The University of Stuttgart supports smart people with new ideas. Any students, employees or members of the alumni who would like to start a business will receive support from the Technology Transfer Initiative. Long-serving employee Edith Schmidt will explain exactly how that works at the event ‘Stuttgart Start-Ups’.
The process begins with a consultation meeting. During this meeting the future company founder explains the main idea behind the implementation of the company. An elaborate concept can be helpful here, but is not absolutely necessary. The business plan can then be put together or reworked with help from employees at the Technology Transfer Initiative (TTI). But what is important for the first step?
“Generally, it is advisable to build up a large network”, explains Edith Schmitt. The TTI can help you with this. Via their own events or by establishing contact to support and funding programs, new companies are able to get to know future business partners and gather funding. For example, the TTI has already supported the eMovements startup, which developed the electric walking frame ‘ello’. Not to mention the startup of the company Hybrid-Ariplane GmbH, the owners of which developed the hybrid airplane H-Aero.
The mentor model also offers similar help. This involves forging contacts between the startup founders and university professors. “Since the beginning, we have closed over 300 mentor contracts”, says Schmitt. For example, this model can allow the startup founder free use of a laboratory. And closer collaboration is also possible.
Anyone who wants to try out what it is like to start a business can become a project manager, implementing their own ideas under the TTI’s roof and in the context of a Transfer and Startup Enterprise (TGU). “The advantage of this is that you don’t have to actually found your own company”, explains Schmitt. So, you can start a business without actually starting one. The TTI doesn’t just offer consultation about this model, it also takes care of the financial and personnel management and thus creates a good starting point for an aspiring, independent enterprise. According to Schmitt, “there are currently over 50 TGUs”
Anyone can start a business, regardless of age or semester. But, the earlier the better, to ensure that you don’t miss any deadlines. But is it even possible to study and start a business at the same time? “Generally speaking, people do tend to underestimate the time needed to establish a startup”, says Schmitt. However, she also pointed out that it is possible to get an idea of what’s involved in a startup by doing freelance work and gathering experience for later. This functions particularly well for TGUs. “We offer support right the way from the basic idea, all the way to marketing and financing”, summarizes Schmitt. But there are, of course, limits, for example, they are unable to provide a personal coach for every new startup. But it is still definitely worth getting in touch. For further information, please visit TTI GmbH homepage.