Gründerallianz Ruhr

Gründerallianz connects founders of the Ruhr area

Gründerallianz Ruhr (Startup ecosystem)

evonik evonik rag iniativkreis ruhr

Entrepreneurial spirit has a long tradition in the Ruhr area. The Gründerallianz Ruhr revitalizes it. With the support of etventure, the Initiativkreis Ruhr and the initiators RAG, RAG foundation and Evonik Industries AG founded the Gründerallianz Ruhr located on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage “Zeche Zollverein” (coal mine). The project wants to establish the Ruhr area as an attractive founders location, contribute to the development of a hotspot for data-oriented startups and provide new economic impulses through digitalization after the coal phase-out. For this purpose, among other things, the Data Hub was founded to bring together deep-tech startups and established companies on a regular basis to encourage data-driven innovation. etventure founder & CEO Christian Lüdtke acts as founder coordinator.

Impact in figures

Foundation of the Data Hub and creation of a “pull effect” on startups in the Ruhr area

Networking of the ecosystem with over 40 partners through consistent ecosystem activities

500+ startup applications from 40 countries; 18 use cases from industries and communities (Status December 2020)

Dirk Opalka

CEO of Initiativkreis Ruhr GmbH

The large companies of the Ruhr area recognize that their huge treasures of data are valuable resources for the future. It is an enormous opportunity to build something in the Ruhr area that can compete even with the Silicon Valley.

Gruenderallianz Ruhr der Initiativkreis Ruhr GmbHThe Gründerallianz Ruhr is a project of the Initiativkreis Ruhr. More than 70 companies and institutions form one of the strongest regional economic alliances in Germany. The Initiativkreis Ruhr is a motor of change. Its members are united by the goal of driving forward the development of the Ruhr region and strengthening its future viability and competitiveness in the long term.

Der Data Hub

Innovation & growth with the Data Hub: tapping data potential through collaboration with start-ups

Create real benefits and added value from industrial data and thereby strengthen the competitiveness of participating companies. In order to achieve this, established companies are brought together with deep-tech startups to solve real challenges. The focus is on innovative, data-driven solutions.

  • Solutions help participating companies or public institutions to make faster and better decisions, improve the efficiency of existing processes or open up new business opportunities and growth potential
  • Rapid prototype development and validation under real conditions within 3 months
  • agile and innovative collaboration model
  • Worldwide scouting of deep-tech startups enables the identification of the best solutions for the problem

Success stories

Case 1

Dirk Opalka, Geschäftsführer des Initiativkreises Ruhr (Foto: IR)

Entsorgung Herne

Thanks to automated route planning from adiutaByte, the disposal waste company Entsorgung Herne can reduce the kilometres driven by up to 30% and cut waiting times for citizens by two-thirds when collecting bulky waste.

Case 2

Dirk Opalka, Geschäftsführer des Initiativkreises Ruhr (Foto: IR)


The Haniel subsidiary XXLhoreca, together with Mergerspot, was able to set up a fully automated market analysis in real time and thus increase competitive intelligence by 200%, which would never have been possible manually due to the fast pace and mass of data.

Case 3

Dirk Opalka, Geschäftsführer des Initiativkreises Ruhr (Foto: IR)


At Evonik, innoSEP was able to improve the accuracy of order planning for silanes from 60 to 85 percent in the model test by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to better serve customer needs and avoid production surpluses.

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