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What’s up with German start-ups? 


StartupSÜD is the newest alliance of Ulm University and the universities of applied sciences in Neu-UlmBiberach and Ulm. The goal: to support and promote start-ups and young founders. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has now announced to support the alliance with EUR 4 million through the funding initiative EXIST.

In their new alliance project StartupSÜD, Ulm University and its partners set out to boost the entrepreneurial potential of regional talents. For this purpose, the institutions share their support services and their infrastructures for those interested in setting up a business. The portfolio ranges from laboratories and co-working spaces to educational offers and services to shared digital resources. Together, the alliance partners are able to reach around 20,000 students and thus potential founders. ‘The agenda until 2024 is to expand start-up support structures and networks, professionalise them and make them accessible to young talents,’ says Professor Klaus-Michael Debatin, Vice President for Outreach at Ulm University. The partners benefit from the many years of successful cooperation, particularly within the alliance InnoSÜD: Their joint mission is to establish the Donau-Iller-Riss region as one of the most competitive and innovative areas in Europe. A particular focus is put on energy, mobility, health and biotechnology as well as transformation management.

Economics students of Ulm University play a business management game. The new network StartupSÜD wants to support young founders (Photo: Eberhardt, Ulm University)

Doctoral candidates as a target group

Ulm University has identified doctoral candidates in particular as a promising target group for start-up projects. Part of the project agenda of StartupSÜD is to implement new teaching formats in the Graduate and Professional Training Centre ProTrainU – from crash courses for founders to the three-month seminar CEO Basics. Ulm University also plans to expand existing offers for young talents. This includes, for instance, a summer school particularly aimed at international students as preparation for the qualification pathway Founder’s Garage. A start-up office with co-working spaces will serve as permanent contact point on campus.

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