10 Mai 2021 | Münsterland

ARDENT incubator is in full swing! As part of Erasmus+ project Advancing Rural Development through Entrepreneurship Education for Adults (ARDENT), managed by Science-to-Business Marketing Research Center, within FH Münster - University of Applied Sciences, an incubator was launched on 16th April 2021. As part of it, 9 teams have entered the ARDENT Incubator titled "Social Entrepreneurship in Münsterland". The incubator ended with a pitching event on 7th May 2021.

In the ARDENT project, current societal challenges were identified that especially rural areas like the Münsterland are confronted with. Teams contributed to the positive development of the region by finding creative and innovative ideas to solve these challenges:

  • Sustainability ("Sustainable Development Goals")
  • Inclusive, equal, and quality education
  • Rural exodus & demographic change
  • Promotion of community initiatives for social purposes
  • Support & distribution of regional and sustainable products
  • Environmental protection
  • Digitalization for sustainability
  • Regulatory framework conditions

The Social Innovation Incubator was based on a competition where 9 teams took part in 4 intense, hands-on seminars with expert coaches to spearhead their social entrepreneurship projects. The expert coaches included Michael Kortenbrede, Prof. Dr. Thorsten Kliewe, and Dr. Christian Junker.

The incubator is a training program designed to train adult learners to develop, test and grow creative and innovative solutions for societal and economic needs of rural areas in a few months.

The Pitching Event

The crown of the Incubator was a grand pitching event which took place on May 7, where the teams pitched their ideas to a panel of expert jury. The expert jury included: Birgit Neyer, Director of WESt mbH; Elisabeth Remmersmann, Consultant at Wirtschaftsförderung Münster GmbH; Frank Sibbing, founder of Finne Brauerei; Barbara von Groote-Gotzes  & Lea Kipper, entrepreneurs of the platform muenster.fair; and Tobias Ebbing, project coordinator within West mbH.

First prize: Perfectly Blind

First prize was won by Christina Wulf who developed a sustainable phone case in the category "Support & distribution of regional and sustainable products". Christina Wulf developed a compostable, biodegradable version of the phone case that prevails access to camera from third parties. Christina is studying for a master's degree in sustainable service and food management at the Department of Oecotrophology - Facility Management at Münster University of Applied Sciences.

Second prize: AUJU - wir verbinden Generationen

Joelle del Rio and Sarah Mallach won the second place with their social app designed for seniors and their families. Just as mobile phones have become indispensable, apps have become a way of life. The app aims to help senior residents to stay socially engaged as they age and connect them with younger generations. Joelle works in E-commerce company from Münsterland, and Sarah works as a junior consultant in technology solutions for businesses.

The winning team received a 500eur voucher to utilize for the further development of their project idea, while the runner-up received a 300eur voucher for the same purpose.

About the ARDENT project

The event was part of a larger European project "Advancing Rural Development through Entrepreneurship Education for Adults" (ARDENT) co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (project number 2019-1-DE02-KA204-006491), which aims to promote the potential of entrepreneurial thinking and acting in rural areas.

The overarching idea of ARDENT is to create a momentum for more engagement in the challenges and opportunities faced by rural areas within Münsterland. Further aim driving the implementation of ARDENT is helping adult learners enhance their capabilities and entrepreneurial mindset through a two-semester training course entitled "Social Entrepreneurship Incubator". The course includes hands-on projects addressing societal and business challenges which would in the long run boost their employability chances and revive the economy of the rural areas.

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