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Centre of Innovation & Entrepreneurship is successful in EXIST programme

The Centre of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE), located on the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) campus, was one of 16 concepts selected in the third and final EXIST III funding round. The initiators hope that the beacon project will be able to foster the establishment of new successful companies in the Karlsruhe technology region. In addition, the initiators hope to turn the CIE into a role model for other universities.

The CIE will bring together company founder teams on an interdisciplinary level and support them in developing ideas into successful business concepts. The CIE will use an innovative “boot camp” module to establish start-up teams by bringing together highly-qualified students, PhD students, scientific staff, professors and alumni from different areas of expertise and accompany the teams throughout the company foundation process.

A new method of supporting start-up companies: start-up boot camps

The CIE’s activities consist of a broad spectrum of different, well-matched modules. One of its core activities is the organisation of boot camps, a new method supporting the establishment of new companies. Boot camps involve specialists and alumni from different disciplines – the engineering and natural sciences, business studies and humanities – that discuss the potential and realisation of promising business ideas. The boot camps provide potential company founders with the possibility of meeting future entrepreneurs from other disciplines. This increases the probability of turning an idea into a successful business model.

Consulting vouchers

In addition, the founder teams will receive vouchers for consultations with experienced managers who will help them to set up SWOT analyses, market entry strategies and business cases. Effective support prior to company establishment improves the chances of becoming a successful start-up company. Conventional start-up initiatives usually come into effect at the time of company foundation.

CIE Mentoring Club puts founders in contact with successful investors

CIE is well integrated into the university landscape and is supported by renowned business partners (among others: Boston Consulting Group and Wellington Partners) offering service packages free of charge. Efforts are underway to make CIE a permanent “creative hotbed for budding start-ups” on the KIT campus. CIE fills a gap in the range of start-up programmes offered by the University, Karlsruhe Research Centre and other regional start-up initiatives.

“Best practice” orientation

The CIE team is in contact with successful initiatives and exchanges information with them, including renowned centres such as:
- UnternehmerTUM, TU Munich
- Stanford Entrepreneurship Network und Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH)
- Oslo Business School.
University-based business start-ups (EXIST)
EXIST III supports projects at universities and research institutions that contribute to establishing a lasting culture of entrepreneurship. In addition, the EXIST support programmes are aimed at improving the entrepreneurial environment at universities and research institutes. EXIST III is a support programme of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) and is co-financed by funds provided by the European Social Fund (ESF). The programme itself is evaluated by a consortium of independent institutes. For the third and final EXIST funding round, the expert board has selected 16 projects to receive BMWi funding. The projects have a duration of three years. The university and project partners will establish new activities and services that will qualify and motivate students and scientists to become entrepreneurs. In addition, support will be provided to turn research results into business ideas and support potential business founders in the establishment of a company.
Source: www.exist.de - July 2008

Further information:
University of Karlsruhe (TH)
Dipl.-Wi.-Ing. Tim Lagerpusch
Kaiserstr. 12
76128 Karlsruhe
Tel.: +49 (0)721 8304711
E-mail: tim.lagerpusch@alumni.uni-karlsruhe.de
Website address: https://www.biooekonomie-bw.de/en/articles/pm/centre-of-innovation-entrepreneurship-is-successful-in-exist-programme