Since September 2021
Our Vision and Mission
The GEC’s vision is to catalyze the transformation towards a sustainable world
The GEC scales innovative companies with sustainable technologies, processes and business models for impact.
Who we are
The implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offers 60 new market hotspots with a market potential of $12 trillion. The race to tap into these opportunities will be won by the most innovative regions of the world, offering the best innovation ecosystems, support services, and framework conditions. Supported by the Rhein-Kreis-Neuss, the State of North Rhine Westphalia and the German Federal Ministry
for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Global Entrepreneurship Centre is the ﬁrst structure of its kind to address the scaling challenges of promising SusTechs – deep-tech start-ups with a clear sustainability focus. It is a one-stop shop for access to lab capacity, pilot facilities and hands-on investment, legal, HR, ﬁnance, IT, business development services and sustainability advice to enable exponential growth.
The GEC is a value driven organization. It is rooted in the commitment to sustainability, climate protection and circularity, in the transparency of its operations, and in the principles of neutrality among stakeholders. Given that innovation may be disruptive in nature, the GEC needs to preserve its space and its freedom for its investment choices. The GEC is taking more than one sustainability indicator into consideration
when looking at its portfolio and is continuously measuring and assessing the impact and the possible trade-offs of the technologies under management. Furthermore, the funding of the GEC relies on a generational contract between companies. Using the proceeds coming from successful alumni, the GEC will ﬁnance the support of the following generations of scale-ups.
THE GLOBAL ENTERPRENEURSHIP CENTRE STANDS FOR
The GEC wants to be instrumental in driving structural change in the Rhineland region in alignment with the sustainable development goals and the objectives of the Paris accord. It fundamentally believes that the required transformation can only be achieved through innovation. However, there are many obstacles for SusTechs to reach the required scale and produce the desired impact. Today, only 1.8% of all start-ups reach the Series C investment stage. The GEC helps its portfolio companies bridge this second valley of death.
The GEC services are geared to address all major obstacles to growth. The GEC Scaling Factory, the GEC Technology Services and the GEC Catalyst Programme offer scale-up services worth up to 200.000 Euro per company. Companies receive an individual evaluation which includes a sustainability assessment. Depending on the outcome, the company will be eligible for an enrollment in one or more service areas.
GEC SCALING FACTORY
The GEC Scaling Factory includes an individual, tailor-made 360° service running for 15 months. Depending on the identiﬁ ed needs, the GEC can offer access to lab spaces and pilot plants, technical partnerships, business development services, hands-on support with a digital strategy and an IT backbone, intellectual property and legal counsel, accounting and tax services, HR-, payroll, recruitment and soft landing services, as well as continuous advice on sustainability. The goal is to lead the scale-up to its next level of investment.
The GEC Catalyst Programme
The GEC Catalyst Programme targets start-ups directly after the seed phase (TRL 4/5). It consists of a curriculum with a 2 x 3-month training schedule for selected start-ups. The best graduates will be offered the opportunity to participate in the GEC Scaleup Factory. The GEC Catalyst Programme leverages best practices from Silicon Valley and the US National Science Foundation. The GEC will run two full programmes per year.
The GEC Technology Services are a response to lab shortage in Germany, providing scale-ups with access to labs, co-working spaces, technical facilities and pilot sites through technical partnerships.
Come back soon to see our portfolio companies in action
The GEC is actively scouting for SusTechs in the areas of sustainable textiles, sustianable mobility, sustainable nutrition and agriculture, sustainable building and living. It will also consider investments into enabling technologies: sustainable materials, sustainable chemistry, AI and robotics, sustainable energy. If you are innovating in those sectors and are looking for ways to boost your growth, ensure to get in touch!
Groundbreaking regional development and visionary architecture
The GEC will establish an environment in which innovation can thrive, combining working and living in the GEC house next to the industrial Areal Böhler site, providing laboratory space, showcasing sustainable solutions and produce, and connecting partners and customers in a networked ecosystem. The building itself will feature sustainable technology and concepts to become a landmark in the region.
The Vision is to create a supercluster of innovation in the region, which will contribute towards the change agenda of NRW, Germany and Europe and which will help achieve the sustainable development goals through the impact generated by the technologies of our portfolio companies.