Founding a company with a scientific basis is a significant challenge, be it during one’s studies or as a new graduate. Alongside learning, tests, and lectures, a business model needs to be developed, the market observed, and a finance plan created. Funding means enabling a first step in order to create the necessary breathing room for this development. However, the willingness of the employer is especially important for scientists who take this path.
In the KIT environment, professors are an important part of these processes. In the first stage, they not only serve as mentors. They can become important promoters in the validation of the business idea and the market by believing in the prospective startup team. Through their competency, professors represent a seal of quality for the startup and vouch with their name for the great potential of the business idea. They drive teams forward but also give them space and support them with their expertise when issues arise. Through their numerous contacts to the industry, they open up conversations with important market participants and decision-makers. With their institution and their employees, valuable collaborations and patentable inventions can arise, which may lead to a new motivation for the business model and market cultivation. Finally, professors can facilitate the path to the startup for employees willing to found by providing the chances such as continued employment with reduced number of hours. In case the business fails and a former employee returns, professors can be a supportive influence.
At the KIT, there are already a number of professors who gladly and with dedication accompany teams on their way to becoming entrepreneurs. We are happy about this participation and want to provide more professors with an understanding of the role as a promoter. To this end, special events are offered for interested professors. We support the exchange of experiences with committed promoters and use this experience to continue developing our consultation and support services.
Are you a professor and would like to join the promoter network, or do you know another professor who would enjoy supporting or who has already been engaged in the startup field? Then contact us. On March 24, 2015, the first promoter dinner will take place at the KIT. Professors of the KIT are cordially invited.