In the newly published "Gründungsradar 2020", a ranking by the Stifterverband, the University of Stuttgart was able to improve by no less than 14 places compared to the previous edition in 2018 and now ranks 12th among the 42 large universities in Germany. The university was particularly successful in the categories of start-up support and start-up activities (each ranked 8th out of 45 universities included).
Prof. Peter Middendorf, Vice Rector Knowledge and Technology Transfer at the University of Stuttgart, commented on the success: "Knowledge-based start-ups play a central strategic role as a transfer path for the University of Stuttgart. We are therefore very pleased that the focus on entrepreneurship and start-ups in our transfer strategy is beginning to bear fruit and that we have not only been able to improve strongly in the "Gründungsradar" ranking, but also to rank among the top places in the awarding of EXIST grants in 2019."
Crucial to the success are a large number of support measures, which have been significantly intensified in recent years, with which the University of Stuttgart raises awareness of start-ups and promotes start-up projects. In January 2020, for example, the Chair for Entrepreneurship in Technology and Digitalization was established, funded by the Daimler Fund in the Donors' Association and affiliated with the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research (ENI). Its director, Prof. Alexander Brem, and his team have set themselves the goal of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and combining them in research, teaching and practice with a cross-faculty approach. "The good performance in the start-up radar is a great success for the University of Stuttgart, which is not least due to the activities before my time here. Here, special thanks go to the VECTOR Foundation, but also in particular to the many other players within the university and beyond, who have driven the topic of start-ups with great passion," emphasizes Brem.
The ENI also includes the Let US start! project, which is run jointly with the Vector Foundation. It aims to get students interested in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activity at an early stage and to demonstrate the establishment of startups as an attractive career path. Since the project was launched three years ago, 1,000 students have already been accompanied. Another milestone since 2020 has been the EXIST project "startup campus 0711", with which the University of Stuttgart, together with Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart, aims to intelligently network and specifically supplement existing offerings in the field of entrepreneurship in one of Germany's most innovative regions. And for many years now, the Technology Transfer Initiative (TTI GmbH) - now together with ENI - has acted as a point of contact at the University of Stuttgart, offering support for all startup-related issues, for example in drawing up a business plan, accessing funding opportunities from the federal and state governments, using university resources, and setting up a transfer and startup company.
Radiance beyond the university
Beyond the university, the University of Stuttgart, in cooperation with the Vector Foundation and Pioniergeist GmbH, took the lead in developing the "Gründermotor" initiative, which is now receiving further funding from the state of Baden-Württemberg as part of the "Re-Start BW / Gründermotor" excellence program. The program is intended to provide impetus for stabilizing and strengthening the state during and after the Corona pandemic and to ensure Baden-Württemberg's future viability.
Further award from Falling Walls Foundation
The good performance in the Gründerradar is not the only award for the start-up culture at the University of Stuttgart. Just a few days ago, the university successfully earned the "Young Entrepreneurs in Science Campus" certificate. The certificate, developed by the Falling Walls Foundation, recognizes partner institutions that are committed to increasing entrepreneurship in science and research through their participation in the initiative.
About the Gründungsradar
The Stifterverband's Start-Up Radar examines and compares the efforts universities are making to strengthen their start-up culture. In the process, various dimensions are recorded: Start-up awareness, qualification and support as well as institutional anchoring. It also looks at start-up activities, i.e. the output of efforts to promote start-ups, networking, monitoring and evaluation activities in this area.