1. Please briefly introduce yourself and your current job.
My name is Gertrud Edith Schmitt and I work as a start-up coach at the Technologie-Transfer-Initiative (TTI) GmbH at the University of Stuttgart. I support students, graduates and academic staff at the University of Stuttgart in all phases of founding a company with a focus on assistance with applications for funding programmes such as EXIST and Junge Innovatoren. Our network of experts, special offers such as the establishment of a TGU (transfer and start-up company) and targeted events for founders make the range for start-ups complete.
2. How did you get involved in entrepreneurship?
After my business studies, I was fascinated by the inventors at the Weissach development centre at Porsche AG during my work in the patent department. As assitant to the Vice Rector for Technology Transfer Prof. Messerschmid in the Rector's Office of the University of Stuttgart, I got to know the enormous knowledge in the high-tech area of the University of Stuttgart and the chance to become self-employed with the start-up ideas. In 1998, TTI GmbH was founded with its headquarters in the Technology Centre at the Stuttgart Vaihingen campus, and I was involved in setting up and expanding the initiative from the very beginning. According to the motto "No risk, no fun", I have been accompanying start-ups through the ups and downs of founding a company ever since.
3. What tip would you give to students who are enthusiastic about founding a company, or who have already taken the first steps towards self-employment?
Make use of the offer of the TTI and the ENI for start-ups. The start-up coaches will support you in all matters relating to your start-up. Benefit from the many years of experience, the start-up community, the network and don't let yourself be diverted from your own path!