- Please briefly introduce yourself and your current job.
My name is Andreas and I am a postdoc at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research since April 2021. My tasks are actually divided into two areas: On the one hand, I am doing research in the field of entrepreneurship and am investigating, for example, which personality traits entrepreneurs have and how these affect their decisions. On the other hand, I am responsible for developing a program that supports doctoral students at the University of Stuttgart to spin off their research ideas. The main goals are to show the doctoral students that entrepreneurship is a viable career option, to teach them the basics that are necessary for a spin-off and to connect them to our ecosystem.
- How did you get involved in entrepreneurship?
Via detours 😉. Somehow, however, this brought me full circle. At the end of my time as an undergraduate student, I came into contact with incremental/radical innovations and the mechanisms behind them; however, the people behind these innovations remained unknown to me. During my master's and doctoral studies, I focused on other areas, especially the methodological side of scientific work, but the questions about societal coexistence remained. And after I finished my PhD, I decided to get more involved with this topic again. Luckily for me, the institute was looking for someone with a strong methodological background and an interest in researching entrepreneurs and innovations. As a result, I now have the opportunity to study the very people behind the innovations I was involved with at the end of my bachelor´s degree.
- What tip would you give to students who are enthusiastic about founding a company, who are currently thinking about founding a company or who have already taken the first steps towards self-employment?
Without passion for the project, it will be difficult, but if you are really burning for it, don't be discouraged and be persistent. It is also important not to be too enamored with the first idea, because in the end it may turn out that it is not the one that will stick. So you should be open to deviating from it at some point. That's why it's also necessary to approach potential users with your idea as early as possible. That will show you whether it's worthwhile to continue working on it. Also, you can incorporate the corresponding feedback into the new iteration right away and be one step closer to a viable product.