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Startup School: Innovation in the age of AI

02.00 pm - 06.00 pm
free of charge
Target group
PhD students and postdoctoral researchers
HEIINNOVATION – University of Heidelberg
Amina Daca
Phone: +49 (0)6221 54 12674
E-mail: amina.daca(at)zuv.uni-heidelberg.de

Would you like to get out of your lab or office and solve real-world challenges? Stop imagining – START UP and realise your ideas! Join our STARTUP SCHOOL by hei_INNOVATION. Join us on a one month innovation journey and develop innovative, actionable solutions for meaningful challenges on the issue of „Innovation in the Age of AI“. Our STARTUP SCHOOL leads you through the whole cycle of innovation from the idea to a viable business product. Guided by professional coaches and mentors, interdisciplinary teams will qualify themselves using state of the art innovation methods and will get the chance to deep dive into digital technologies that will shape the future.


  • July 2021 – Monday to Friday from 2 pm to 6 pm
  • Live online workshop sessions
  • Online talks by innovators on Entrepreneurship & Innovation with AI
  • Innovation Methods: Design Thinking, Rapid Prototyping, Business Model Innovation
  • Entrepreneurial Skills Workshops: Networking, Team, Pitching and Storytelling

Call for support

This programme sounds interesting for your organization, institute or company? You have a challenge in the field of AI that you would like to pose and you are looking for innovative answers?

Or do you have an interesting, innovative input on the topic of AI you would like to share? Reach out to us and become a partner of the STARTUP SCHOOL by hei_INNOVATION.

About the Startup School

The STARTUP SCHOOL is conceptualised to motivate young researchers from all disciplines to develop new skills and methods, to think outside the box, and to solve challenges with innovative ideas.

You will work in interdisciplinary teams on real-world challenges from different stakeholders. While qualifying yourselves using state-of-the-art innovation methods like Design Thinking, Rapid Prototyping, Business Model Innovation, you will also gain a new entrepreneurial skill set in the areas of networking, teamwork, pitching and storytelling.

Professional coaches and mentors will guide you through the full cycle of innovation in one month: The first week will be all about onboarding and understanding the challenges, choosing the one you will work on for the duration of this programme and getting to know your new team. In the second week, we will introduce you to Design Thinking methods. You will learn how to use them to test human desirability and understand the user’s needs, find solutions and create low-fidelity prototypes to test your ideas.

In week three we will deep dive into digital technologies and learn about the technical feasibility of your idea. In a crash course about developing and coding AI you will get the chance to earn hands-on experience and maybe you can already use your new skills and concepts to wrap a prototype with the help of IT experts.

In week four we want to generate a business product out of your solutions, test the financial viability and create a viable business model. In the final week you will learn how to pitch your solutions and we will prepare you for the final pitch in front of a jury and the other teams. During the programme you will have the exclusive opportunity to participate in a series of exciting talks from AI professionals and innovators.

Frequent questions

  • Who can Apply?
    The STARTUP SCHOOL is designed for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. But all dedicated and motivated individuals are invited to apply. We aim for participants from Baden-Württemberg and will mix many online with a few on-site formats.
  • Which language will be spoken?
    The whole programme will be in English; you have to speak and understand English at least at B2 level.
  • What technical requirements do you need? 
    You need a stable internet connection and a laptop or computer which can be used for video calls. We will provide you with accesses to the platforms that will be in use for the online sessions.
  • How much time do you need? 
    You should be available between 1 -29 July during the afternoons. During the week we will have mandatory workshops Monday to Friday from 2 pm to 6 pm. You can find the detailed programme soon on this website.
  • Is it possible to get credits for participation in the programme?
    After successfully participating in the STARTUP SCHOOL you will get a certificate with ECTS credits. It depends on your faculty and study course, however, if they accept this certificate. Please check with your department or faculty to make sure of that in advance. To receive a certificate an active participation during the live workshop sessions and during the group work is obligatory.
Website address: https://www.biooekonomie-bw.de/en/events/startup-school-innovation-age-ai