"Just right for motivation to continue" - YES workshop "From PhD to Innovator" attracts many participants

May 6, 2021

How much start-up is there in your doctoral thesis? In the online workshop "From PhD to Innovator", part of the Young Entrepreneurs in Science programme of the Falling Walls Foundation, PhD students and postdocs at the University of Stuttgart were able to explore this question on Thursday and Friday last week.

Guided by experienced innovation coaches, with experience reports from role models who have already gone through this process and from a large German innovation company, the researchers learned in an interdisciplinary and motivated peer group how to develop a business idea.

Entrepreneurship as a possible career path

The researchers were shown an alternative career path by developing a concrete idea for solving a problem from their doctoral project or an everyday problem in their work environment. The doctoral researchers were presented with methods of how to develop a simple prototype from this idea. The latter was presented in a virtual pitch to a jury consisting of Prof. Dr. Alexander Brem and Dr. Ferran Giones from the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research.

Feedback as valuable input for further implementation

 Both were enthusiastic about the ideas presented and were able to give valuable tips on the one hand: "It is always important to focus on the consumer as well. Often it is not decisive whether a similar product already exists on the market, but for which target groups the product was developed," says Dr. Ferran Giones. On the other hand, they were also able to show the researchers further steps up to the start-up. One possibility of support is to consult the start-up coaches at ENI in order to further develop one's own idea. "Anyone can become an entrepreneur with an appropriate idea and you have taken the first step today. It is now important to take further steps," says Prof. Dr. Alexander Brem, head of the ENI, "because there is no right time for founding a start-up, neither yesterday nor tomorrow".

And the researchers were also able to take away many ideas and impressions from the workshop: "I think the best online workshop concept I've had so far."

University of Stuttgart as YES Campus to support entrepreneurship awareness

As a "Young Entrepreneurs in Science Campus", the University of Stuttgart is one of a total of six universities in Germany to be certified. ENI an GRADUS support the Falling Walls Foundation in raising awareness among doctoral students about entrepreneurship as an attractive career path. Those interested in starting a business or in individual workshops on the topic can find out about other Young Entrepreneurs in Science programmes directly from the ENI or via the newsletter and news.

Text: Andreas Wahl



This image shows Melanie Minderjahn

Melanie Minderjahn


Research Associate, PR Manager

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