DR. Christian Lüdtke

Founder Coordinator Ruhr 

felix Schröder

Program Manager Data Hub

Ersin Üstün


Sarah Wurzer


Patrick Majunke

Startup & Partner Manager

Pascal Werner

Startup & Partner Manager

Christina Wimmer

Marketing Manager


Thomas Misz

Head of Planning Dewatering
RAG Corporation

Heike Humpf

Lead Education, Science
and Culture RAG-Stiftung

Dr. Henrik Hahn

Chief Digital Officer, Evonik

Alexander Weihe

Head of Innovation & Business Building,

Dirk Opalka

Chief Executive Officer
Initiativkreis Ruhr GmbH 

Dr. Britta Julia Dombrowe

Programme Lead Startup Activities

Stefan Weber

Startup Ecosystem Manager

Christian Icking

Lead Communications
and Press Initiativkreis Initiativkreis


Log der Initiativkreis Ruhr GmbH

The Initiativkreis Ruhr is an association of more than 70 leading commercial enterprises and institutions. The aim of the Initiativkreis Ruhr is to promote the development of the Ruhr area and to strengthen its future and competitiveness. With its start-up initiative, the Initiativkreis Ruhr supports innovative founders, amongst others with events like RuhrSummit or FuckUp Nights Ruhrgebiet. The mentoring project “Smart am Start” opens the doors for startups to the boardrooms of the Ruhr industry. The start-up fund Ruhr, which was set up together with NRW.BANK, provides young entrepreneurs with venture capital of more than 30 million euros.

Logo RAG Stiftung

The RAG Foundation under private law was established in 2007. The task of the RAG Foundation has been to permanently finance the so-called perpetual obligations of the German hard coal mining in the Ruhr and Saar regions since the beginning of 2019. These are dewatering measures (mine dewatering, polder measures, groundwater purification) that continue to exist even after the coal mining industry has ended. In addition, it is also the purpose of the RAG-Stiftung to support projects in the fields of education, science and culture, as far as these are related to the coal mining in the Ruhr and Saar.

Evonik Industries

Evonik is one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies. We do not produce car tires, mattresses, tablets or pet food. And yet there is Evonik in these end products – and in 4,000 others too. Often it is only a small amount that we contribute, but that is exactly what makes the difference. With Evonik, tires become fuel-efficient, mattresses become more elastic, tablets become more effective and animal nutrition becomes healthier. This is specialty chemistry. And we are among the best in the world. Evonik stands for attractive business and innovative strength.


Vonovia SE is Germany’s largest residential property company with around 400,000 apartments in Germany, Austria and Sweden. As a housing company, Vonovia is at the heart of society. That is why our activities never only have an economic perspective, but always a social perspective.

Logo RAG

When the last still active mines stopped producing coal by the end of 2018, a chapter of industrial history ended – but not the work of RAG. The so-called perpetual obligations help to regulate the water balance in the region below and above ground. The perpetual obligations include mine water management, the operation of polder systems and groundwater management. The top priority for RAG is drinking water and environmental protection. At the same time, the company is further developing former mining areas so that they will offer space for residential and commercial areas or for photovoltaics and wind turbines in the future.

Logo der RAG Montan Immobilien Gesellschaft

For more than four decades, RAG Montan Immobilien stands for expertise in space development and building construction as part of the RAG group. With our experience in the revitalization of previously used industrial areas and our development projects, we make a contribution to structural change in the Ruhr area. Our experts create modern commercial, technology and logistics parks, vibrant creative quarters as well as livable residential and city quarters with attractive leisure and cultural offers.