We provide you with support in starting up your own business

BRIDGE provides innovative courses and solution-oriented advice about setting up a business - with free all-round support for your move towards self-employment.

There is a lot involved in starting up a business. First, however, you need a feasible idea for which there is demand. An idea that can be transformed into success. This initial idea is the cornerstone of every start-up. We should therefore promote and support it in the right areas. BRIDGE provides support for business start-ups. We hold workshops and seminars, arrange grants, and organise competitions in which new entrepreneurs can prove themselves, exchange ideas and gain recognition.

BRIDGE helps you to build a bridge from your business idea and the initial funding to the setting up of your new business. We help you turn your idea into reality – with an extensive network of experts in the field of start-ups right here in the Bremen region.

Our services at a glance

Events and workshops to suit your personal preferences:

Starting up a business is a very individual endeavour – in our various events and workshops you will receive valuable tips and advice, all geared to the current stage of your start-up.

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Individual advice:

Do you only have a rough idea for a start-up? Or have you already developed a business concept?
In an initial consultation, we will establish what your options are and refer you to the workshops or funding programmes that are just right for you. In the EXIST programme, we will provide you with support both in the application process and throughout the entire funding process.

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Test your business idea in the ‘CAMPUSiDEEN’ competition:

Every year we organise the ‘CAMPUSiDEEN’ competition, one of the longest running and successful competitions of its kind in Germany. Do you have a rough business idea or a fully developed business concept? Then why not apply for ‘CAMPUSiDEEN’ and compete with your business idea against many other creative minds.

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And the best thing is,
it’s all completely free.

StartUp-Lounge fotografiert durch Handybildschirm
© Frank Pusch / BRIDGE

New entrepreneurs at BRIDGE – Start-ups geared to success:

Who is BRIDGE’s business start-up advice intended for?

We are the first point of contact for students and university staff when it comes to business start-up advice. This includes not only students but also alumni, academic staff and other university employees. However, anyone who has an idea for a business start-up is welcome here. We aim to find the right contact person for everyone in our Bremen network and to thus offer optimum support in starting up a business.

Get in touch with us

Produkte von utamtsi und Reishunger
© Frank Pusch / BRIDGE

Are you not yet sure whether starting up a business is the right thing for you?

Then simply take a look at our StartUp Lounge. This is an event where successful start-ups talk about their experiences. You can listen to what they say and get in touch with them. Perhaps this is where you will catch the start-up fever. Or even meet your co-founder for life.

Start-ups initiated at Bremen’s universities: What exactly is BRIDGE?

BRIDGE is a university network: an association of the University of Bremen, Bremen City University of Applied Sciences, Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences, Constructor University and Bremer Aufbau-Bank. Since 2002, our goal has been to improve the start-up climate at all the participating universities and to promote promising ideas with start-up potential at an early stage. To achieve this, we provide various services on the topic of start-ups at the individual universities in Bremen. Through us, students, alumni and employees of the universities gain initial access to the topic of business start-ups. We provide you with support in the form of free advice and the right workshops and funding, and put you in touch with experts from the Bremen network as required and organise the ‘CAMPUSiDEEN’ competition. We build a bridge for you from the rough idea to the start-up. We provide you with personal, free support in starting up your own business.

Plakat von der 10. Bremer StartUp-Lounge 2019
© Frank Pusch / BRIDGE

Where can you find us?

The BRIDGE office is located on the campus of the University of Bremen. In addition, we are represented at all the participating universities. This is also where our individual, personal consultation usually takes place. Currently, we offer our consulting services both digitally and on-site. You can find more information here.

I would like to start up a company! How exactly does this work? – BRIDGE is your support for setting up a business


The topic of starting up a business can often seem rather overwhelming. You probably have questions like these:

  • What do I need to start up a business?
  • How can I turn my idea into a business model?
  • What might my next steps be?
  • And how do I protect my ideas?

Questions that can appear difficult to answer. Questions that might even prevent you from starting your own business. But that is precisely why we are here: because starting up a business requires a great deal of time and commitment; however, we will show you that it really is possible. We are interested in your idea: in the special offering you intend to provide, the exciting service, or the urgently needed product. We will help you to turn your idea into reality. Because our goal is to provide you with support to make you feel ready to start up.

“We want to inspire you to make your start-up idea a reality.”

Meike Goos, BRIDGE staff member

Starting up a company is always an individual matter – there is no one right way, however...

The process from your initial basic idea to the actual start-up will not necessarily be linear or even identical to other start-ups. There is no one right path that you can take. Bureaucratic hurdles and contact persons are often very different. The way the new entrepreneur approaches the start-up is usually a highly individual matter – as indeed are their own personal challenges. Despite this, the basic processes are often the same. Here we will show you how things may proceed for you after you have developed your idea together with BRIDGE:

You have an idea. The next step: initial consultation

You have a rough idea for a business start-up. Your next step is to contact us: by phone, email or carrier pigeon. We will invite you to an initial consultation. Then we have a conversation – you get to know us and the university network, and we listen to your ideas. The initial consultation is completely free of charge and without any obligation. So don’t worry if your idea is still very vague. We will help you form your rough idea into a business model.

In our initial consultations, we like to work with the Business Model Canvas. This allows us to look at your idea from different perspectives. And it enables us to introduce all the essential elements for a successful business model into a scalable system:

  • What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
  • What competitors are there on the market?
  • What resources do you require?

Don’t worry: You don’t have to know the answers to all the questions right from the start. Together we will establish the most important requirements for your start-up. Once we have filtered these out, we will point you towards the right workshops, courses and seminars – currently all online of course.

“Are you worried that your idea is not yet fully developed? That is precisely why we are here. We will work together with you to develop a business model from a rough idea.”

Jeroen Langejan, BRIDGE staff member

Zwei Teilnehmer des Wettbewerbs Campusideen diskutieren ein Produkt.
© Harald Rehling / BRIDGE

The basic idea is there. Now you need facts.

Your basic idea has been solidified, so you now know roughly what your business model can look like. The theory is there. What you need now are practical examples and facts about starting a business. For this purpose, we offer various courses that provide you with compact start-up knowledge.

“We always make the following recommendation: Talk to as many people as possible about your business idea, and get feedback on it. With surveys and competitive analysis, you will find out at an early stage if there is a need for it on the market.”

Dr. Katrin Oellerich, BRIDGE staff member

  • The StartUp Workout is a series of events that we provide at the university. A course that is open to all students, alumni and members of the participating universities. The StartUp Workout is all about forming your idea into a business concept. This is a classic among the BRIDGE courses, because it takes you a giant step forward. Seven weeks, seven topics: Here you get all the important information for the initial phase of your start-up and can develop your basic idea further.
  • Another classic is the Dr Self-Employed (“Dr. Selbstständig”) event. The target group here consists of doctoral students and postdocs. Successful new entrepreneurs with doctoral degrees speak about their experiences in starting up their own businesses

Funding programmes: EXIST grants

In particular innovative start-up ideas have the opportunity to receive an EXIST grant. At BRIDGE, we arrange primarily two different funding programmes as part of EXIST. We also provide information about regional funding programmes and put you in touch with the right contact persons.

Grants are a financial and professional relief during the start-up phase. They provide new entrepreneurs with support in the form of start-up coaching as well as financial support in the form of material, personal or coaching resources. In a consultation, we will establish which grant could suit you. We will guide and support you throughout the application process and the entire funding procedure.

Get in touch with us

We have an entire start-up network behind us

Talks, courses, workshops, lectures and grants – at BRIDGE you can access your required start-up expertise in a number of different ways. However, you may also have specific questions about taxes, legal issues or accounting. This is not part of our scope of activity. However, various experts from our extensive start-up network in Bremen will provide exactly the right answers for you. We will be happy to refer you to the appropriate specialist if you have a question. BRIDGE is a partner in the Starthaus network.

Enter your idea: CAMPUSiDEEN competition

CAMPUSiDEEN is a joint ideas competition of the University of Bremen, Bremen City University of Applied Sciences, Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences, Constructor University and Bremer Aufbau-Bank. With a 17-year tradition, it is one of the longest running and successful of its kind. The competition aims to encourage (future) new entrepreneurs to test their ideas on the respective potential markets.

Do you only have a rough business idea or do you already have a fully developed business model? Students, alumni and university staff are cordially invited to take part in CAMPUSiDEEN. The next competition will take place in summer 2023. Click here to register.

Jurysitzung bei Campusideen
© Frank Pusch / BRIDGE

There is no one right way to start up a business. We will help you to take the next step – with our free comprehensive advice, we will guide and support you throughout the entire start-up process, right up to your move into self-employment. We look forward to getting to know you and your idea!

Feel free to contact us and we can discuss which courses, workshops or types of funding are right for your start-up phase.

Get in touch with us.

Here you will find the right contact person for your idea!

University of Bremen
Hochschule Bremen
Hochschule Bremerhaven