Leipzig Summer School

for diverse Startups

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Entrepreneurship needs diversity! You are a diverse team with an interesting business idea or already founded a startup? You are looking for professional support in the areas of financing, profit-market-fit, or sales? Then apply now until 22nd May 2022 for the second Leipzig Summer School for Diverse Startups and pitch for 2000 € sponsored by the City of Leipzig

From July 17th  to 22th, 2023, SpinLab - The HHL Accelerator and HHL DIGITAL SPACE offer a program, especially for diverse founders teams!


Check out the blog article and video of Leipzig Summer School for Diverse Startups from 2021: 



What can I expect during the Leipzig Summer School for Diverse Startups?

During the Leipzig Summer School, you can expect a lot of relevant input for your business idea. In addition to workshops with our mentors on topics such as financing, marketing, sales, HR, leadership, etc., you will also benefit from professional pitch training. There is also time for your individual and current challenges. Get to know other interesting founders and talk to experts from the SpinLab and HHL DIGITAL SPACE network. 

Since 2015, SpinLab has successfully supported over 100 local and international startup teams to secure their first investment and enter the market and their growth phase. Since 2020, HHL DIGITAL SPACE incubated 45 startups right from their idea phase. Now, in addition to these regular accelerator and incubator programs, for the second time, we offer a Summer School during which diverse startup teams in particular are addressed and supported! 

At the end of the two weeks, you will present your business idea to the public at a pitch event. The perfect chance to get noticed by potential clients, mentors, and investors and meet other interesting people.

Plus, win 2000 € of prize money with the Digital Award granted by the City of Leipzig!

Who can apply?

  • Your team consists of 2 people or more 
  • You have at least one team member that has a diverse background, for example, a FINTA (women, inter, non-binary, trans, agender) person and/or People of Color. More information and examples can be found below in "Our goal" and the FAQ.
  • The topic of your business idea does not matter as long as you have the potential to grow
  • A legally founded startup is not mandatory, but your business idea should already be very concrete, for example in form of a business plan
  • You are available to be in Leipzig for the duration of the program (17.-21. July 2023). At this point, we plan to run the program onsite. When applying, be sure to be available to come to Leipzig for two weeks!
  • The program will be in English, so someone from your team should understand and speak English well. If only German-speaking teams are selected, the program can also be held in German.


How can I apply?

You can apply until 22nd May 2023 by submitting the form that you see on the right. The form contains a (really) short questionnaire. In this questionnaire, you are asked to upload a pitch deck or a short pitch video (max. 120 seconds). You can read more about application details in the FAQs below.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email us (Linh Pham, info@spinlab.co) or call: +49 341 355 785 70.


Application Deadline
22nd May 2023
Feedback to applications
9th June 2023
Summer School Week
17th - 21th July 2023


Why we offer a Summer School specifically for diverse startup teams? Because diversity in the startup scene is statistically proven to be extremely low and hardly increasing (as an example: 16 % of founders in Germany are women and roughly 75 % of VC money goes to male-only startup teams). At the same time, several studies have shown that (gender-)diverse companies are 21 % more likely to achieve above-average profitability than less diverse ones. We think that the future needs to be created from more than one perspective. 

Diversity in all facets, be it origin, educational background, sexual orientation or gender are key for more innovation and success as well as sustainable growth. We at SpinLab and HHL DIGITAL SPACE are convinced that diversity creates innovation and strengthens the startup ecosystem. That's why in summer 2022, for the second time, we are offering Leipzig Summer School specifically for diverse startup teams who share our vision.

Our goal is to empower diverse startup teams with growth ambitions and create an environment where all participants can develop and learn. With a program tailored to your needs, we will help you overcome potential hurdles in the startup world and connect you with the right people from our local startup ecosystem. 

Still unsure if you should apply? 

If you have any questions concerning the program, you can find our contact data at the bottom of the page. Don't hesitate to drop us an email (Linh Pham, linh@spinlab.co)  or call: +49 341 355 785 70


  • What do we mean by diverse startups?

    For us, diversity means first and foremost variety that we need more of in the startup world. Therefore we are looking for teams where at least one team member has "non-standard" characteristics or experiences for startup founders teams. That includes for example FINTA (woman, inter, non-binary, trans, agender) persons, People of Color, persons with disabilities, age diversity, neurodiversity, educational background, religion or socialization.

  • What information has to be in the pitch deck or the application video?

    The following information should be included in both the pitch deck and the pitch video:
    • Your idea
    • The problem you want to solve
    • A market analysis
    • A competitors analysis
    • Your Business Model
    • Your financial plan
    • Your timeline / roadmap
    • Traction / proof-of-concept / LOIs
    • Information about your team
    • What you'd like to achieve through the SpinLab Summer School

    Please provide us with a download link to the pitch deck or video. This is free of charge, e.g. via WeTransfer, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

    You can also submit both a pitch deck and a video.

  • Which stage has my startup have to be in?

    You can apply if at least one of the following criteria applies to you:
    • have already founded your company
    • are in the pre-seed or growth phase
    • have a complete and substantial business plan
    • a Proof Of Concept
    • have a Minimal Valuable Product
    • have customers
  • Which topic area should my startup be in?

    We do not place any requirements on a specific topic area. Nevertheless, factors such as sustainability, problem-solving-potential, scalability and innovation, and an existing product-market fit play a key role in our selection process.

  • We are not from Leipzig. Can we still participate?

    The Summer School will take place onsite at the SpinLab and HHL DIGITAL SPACE in Leipzig. If you can and are allowed to travel to Leipzig under the appropriate conditions, you can participate.

    If you don't speak German, that's no problem, the program will take place in English! If, and only if all selected startups speak German, we can consider having the Summer School in German.

  • When will we know if we were selected for Leipzig Summer School?

    You will be informed by 9th June 2022 whether you were selected. So you have enough time to plan your stay in Leipzig. We can also help you with discounts for local hostels. 

  • Do we get a certificate or other proof of participation?

    Do we get a certificate or other proof of participation?
    Yes, we will issue a certificate for your participation in the SpinLab Summer School for diverse startups. You can use this for applications, PR and talks with important potential partners such as investors or customers.

Our Partner












"Leipzig stands for diversity, variety and open-mindedness - the perfect location for the Summer School for diverse startups. I warmly welcome you to our city and wish you great success. Let the city's great startup scene inspire you." 

Head of Amt für Wirtschaftsförderung Leipzig, Clemens Schülke

Leipzig Wirtschaftsbürgermeister Clemens Schülke

Want to become a partner?

If you want to be part of a more diverse startup world, there are many options to get involved. Reach out to us via mail: info@spinlab.co

The Summer School Team

Our startup-experienced team will make sure to support you as good as possible during the Summer School week. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us:


Sophia Kuhl

Sophia is the Managing Director of HHL DIGITAL SPACE and a mentor at Leipzig Summer School.


Linh Pham

Linh is the PR Manager at SpinLab.



Valeria is the Program Manager of SpinLab.



Franziska is the event and HR Manager of SpinLab.






Swantje is the Marketing Manager at SpinLab.

Jennifer Lorenz Digital Space 2


Jennifer is the Incubation Manager at HHL DIGITAL SPACE and a mentor at Leipzig Summer School.



Hendrik is a startup coach at SpinLab.