BRYCK startup program: not an accelerator, but accelerating a livable future


If you search for Accelerator or Startup programs, you will find plenty of options. In Germany, in NRW, in the Ruhr area. So, what was the idea behind the BRYCK startup program to contribute to these offers? Basically: That startup growth is a very individual process. And we identified a need for very focused individual support in areas such as access to markets and money. So, we want to focus on your biggest needs and let YOU define your program.

Laura Kohler & Jeanette Pankow talked about their vision to create a highly customized matchmaking and consulting program for all entrepreneurs who want to drive innovation for a better future.

The mission at BRYCK is “building a livable future” – what does that mean to you?

LK: For us, building a Livable Future means to strive for a world where everything we do has a positive impact on our economy, our society and our ecological environment - in all regions of our world and both for the people living today and for future generations. Through BRYCK, we aim to work towards this utopia by supporting inventors of technology-based solutions that improve people's lives.

What sets you apart from other programs?

LK: Our USP is a combination of three main aspects:

  1. We do not offer a fixed curriculum, but focus on tailor-made support: With the applications, the teams define their three main challenges they want to tackle during the next 3 months. Based on that, we curate an individual agenda provided by mentors and experts.
  2. We as BRYCK are open to provide seed-investments up to 150k – where it makes sense for both sides.
  3. We integrate the topic of impact measurement for early-stage startups. Impact measurement is becoming increasingly important for BRYCK-supported investors and startups, as a responsible leader must have a good understanding of a company's impact - positive and negative - on our society and environment. Transparency and awareness are very important at the beginning. And from here, we provide innovators and entrepreneurs with expertise and tools to improve their businesses on all three levels. 

How are you supporting the teams during the 10-week sprint program?

JP: By tailoring the program, mentors & experts to the teams´ individual needs and collaborating with the handpicked experts: Each team receives business-building support from their own mentor - an experienced BRYCK team member. Industry access and expertise is provided by our dedicated industry experts - each team is supported by one dedicated industry expert as well as a list of many other experts who are available for sparring sessions. We offer 4 workshop sessions for all - likely on cross-cutting topics such as impact measurement, B2B sales, or team building. And we offer the opportunity to present to potential customers and investors at our Investor's / Customer Pitch on June 13th.

With your first program you are taking a closer look at livable cities of the future and ideas that contribute to that issue. Why did you choose that specific subject?

JP: The United Nations estimates that 55% of the world's population already live in urban areas. This figure is forecast to rise to 68 % by 2050. This rapid urbanization involves various challenges - particularly in the areas of well-functioning infrastructures, livable housing, sustainable transport, decentralized energy generation and waste management. At the same time, every city must find its way to climate neutrality. In a nutshell: Cities are an integral part of a livable future on our planet. Aware of the challenges mentioned above, we see it as our responsibility to support those who develop innovative solutions to make a city more livable – and are happy to have found four teams to work with during the next 10 weeks:

The H2UB has requested support from BRYCK in executing the H2UB sprint - how do you support each other's missions?

LK: The request from H2UB about support from BRYCK came at the right time, because hydrogen is an essential part of shaping the energy transition, providing renewable energy in the future and achieving global climate goals - in other words, an important part of creating a livable future. So, while the H2UB allows us exclusive access to customers, experts and investors in hydrogen and energy, BRYCK supports the H2UB teams with business mentoring and entrepreneurial support. With the H2UB as an experienced and well-connected partner in the field of hydrogen, it’s a perfect match of our collaboration approach to amplify what’s already successful and co-create what’s still needed - and we´re happy to support the first four teams of our H2UB sprint powered by BRYCK: Namen + Links teams

What happens after the programs ends? Will founders remain part of BRYCK? 

JP: Yes, each participating team became a member of our community and will benefit from our services free of charge for one year.

What is your personal recommendation for any new founder or innovator with an idea who doesn't know how to turn their vision into reality? 

LK: Reach out to BRYCK – we are passionate about supporting startups as well as first-time founders. Even if your idea doesn´t fit into the current sprint topic or schedule – if you´re contributing to a livable future with your idea, we´re happy to support you also on an individual basis!

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About Laura & Jeanette

Laura Kohler BRYCK
Laura Kohler BRYCK

LK: My journey toward innovation and entrepreneurship began ten years ago in my role as e-commerce manager at the long-established Bertelsmann Book Club. That was when I first heard about methods like Lean Startup and Design Thinking. I started getting involved in the development of corporate startups and organized matchmaking sessions with the Berlin startup ecosystem. But I only realized what it really means to build a successful tech company when I joined the company builder etventure in 2014. Since then, I've been a passionate startup coach and startup program manager, and a few years later I also founded my own company in the field of innovation and sustainability. Today, I'm excited to combine my passion for entrepreneurship and innovation with my strong desire to have a positive impact on our world. And that fits with our BRYCK vision: Building a Livable Future.

Jeanette Pankow Bryck
Jeanette Pankow Bryck

JP: Innovation is a constant companion in our lives. However, innovation only took on an active role in my life in 2018 when I became part of the Innovation Garage at Kienbaum. This is where I first had contact with frameworks and agiles methodologies like Design Thinking, Customer Journeys, Lego Serious Play and Scrum. Later on, I transferred from the Innovation Garage to the internal academy, where I developed, implemented and trained Workshopss and learning event concepts. Due to my studies in business psychology, my focus has always been strongly on the area of social skills. Nevertheless, I have also always been interested in agile methods and innovation and did my Scrum Master some time ago. So today at BRYCK I can not only contribute to the planning and execution of the startup events, bootcamps and sprints but also support the startups with agile methods like Scrum.