“A place to help young entrepreneurs and students find cheap workspaces and the right infrastructure for their company foundation” – this is how Andreas Fischer has described Germany’s first student incubator, named “Launchpad”. Andreas Fischer is a member of the PionierGarage student group at KIT. He was involved in the planning of Launchpad. A “launch pad” is the starting place of a rocket. PionierGarage similarly aims to provide the necessary starting energy for projects in their early stages of foundation.
On 29 June 2016, KIT organised the third KIT Venture Fest. This year’s Innovation Day attracted more than 700 to the premises around Audimax: a new visitor record. The diverse programme brought together students, employees and entrepreneurs based at KIT with representatives from industry and business, investors and networking partners. Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board at Daimler AG, was the highlight of the event with his late-night talk.
In April, the entrepreneurs’ barbecue was hosted by a member of the executive board for the first time in the eight-year history of the event: Professor Thomas Hirth, the new KIT Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs, personally fired up the grill and explained the significance of innovation at KIT and plans for the further development of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship (CIE) to attendants of the event. He was supported by the Head of KIT Innovation Management (IMA), Dr Jens Fahrenberg, and the Head of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology Management and Innovation (EnTechnon), Professor Orestis Terzidis.
Inspire genius, encounter new concepts and deepen your own ideas – the third KIT Venture Fest is a platform for everyone with an enthusiasm for innovation. At KIT Audimax, students, academics, entrepreneurs, investors and creative minds get together under the banner of “Innovation for Business and Society” to exchange views, ideas and inspiration.
Visitors can look forward to a versatile programme. In addition to a programme based on the topic of start-ups and entrepreneurship, this year’s edition of Venture Fest also includes highlights pertaining to the field of technology transfer. The event will be officially opened by Professor Thomas Hirth, who assumed the position of Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs at KIT on 1 January 2016. The morning of Venture Fest will be dedicated to the acquisition of knowledge: a diverse mixture of workshops and seminars, during which representatives of the various target groups share their own experiences. Topics include the protection of intellectual property, the development of business ideas and coping with failure.
Students and academics will have the opportunity to showcase their successful, innovative projects to a wide audience. Afternoon highlights include a pitch for the KIT Innovation and Founders’ Prize. KIT teams with future-oriented projects get to present their ideas to renowned businesspeople and investors. Following a varied daytime programme, all participants of Venture Fest get to enjoy a keynote speech and discussion in the evening, when experts from business and industry share the stage with representatives of KIT.
All interested parties are warmly invited to join us for the next edition of our KIT Venture Fest on 29 June 2016. Registration will be open from May on the Venture Fest website.
Professors are key players in the area of founding. They can bring about inspiration early on in their teachings and raise awareness for this option in one’s life. However, they can also recognize opportunities for a promising startup in the research sector and either found a startup themselves or motivate others in their surroundings to seize this opportunity. Furthermore, they are important as mentors in consulting and supervising young founders with their experience, technical competency, and diverse contacts.