KIT Gründerschmiede

Vision and goals

The KIT Founders Forge dedicates itself to the development and support of entrepreneurs and businesses that lead innovations to success. Accordingly, KIT can expand to become an internationally visible competence and application center for innovative business startups and technology transfer.

What we want to achieve

We want to get students and scientific employees for entrepreneurial thought excited and train them in entrepreneurial action. We fund entrepreneurs and businesses that lead innovations to success and act responsibly in all aspects while doing so. Consequently, KIT can become a regional and international Founders Forge for innovative business startups and technology transfer.

With a wide-ranging offer of assistance measures, we offer founders an ideal framework to get their own startup idea rolling. This includes new teaching formats, advanced consulting services, and a KIT financing platform.

What we stand for

The KIT Founders Forge, as part of the strategic field of action called "innovation" of KIT, was launched in order to expand and combine existing activities in founder support. Through a founder-friendly climate, KIT can develop and establish itself as a founder hub. The framework at KIT is to be expanded, especially in the area of entrepreneurship and founder support, so that an active founder culture emerges. This general objective can be described in more detail by the following individual goals.

Implement an established entrepreneurship theory as the basis for a holistic entrepreneurial education at KIT

Entrepreneurial thought and action is necessary to transfer innovative, pioneering ideas into a business and the economy successfully. In the area of KIT theory, this entrepreneurial approach and knowledge is to be learned. A newly developed teaching concept of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology Management and Innovation provides the core competences of an "ideal" entrepreneur. Thus, those willing to learn receive an in-depth education in the area of entrepreneurship.

An interdisciplinary curriculum around the theme of entrepreneurship is the central component of all majors. The curriculum should be made available to bachelor students, master students, and doctoral candidates, but also to a wider audience. Using mandatory lectures and faculty-specific information sessions, all departments can deal with the topic of founding. The number of people aware of teaching formats and the number of trained students and doctoral candidates are to be considerably increased. Ideally, specific startup ideas develop from the awareness and, subsequently, form more startup projects.

Offer comprehensive startup-promoting consultation, supervision, and qualification measures for students and researchers

The teaching offerings of the Founders Forge pass on theoretical knowledge for prospective founders. Furthermore, potential founders are supported through practical supervision and consultation by our founding coaches from the idea to market entrance of their startup. Different startup-relevant themes and problems are addressed throughout individual consultation, workshops, and intensive programs. Our promotional work aims to bring about numerous, high-quality startups at KIT. The KIT startups are a positive contribution to the development of the society.

One deciding factor of the startup process is financing. We are active in this area as well. With advanced and new financing instruments, we want to support prospective founding teams. Especially public funds, private investments, and crowdfunding are to be expanded in our consulting portfolio.

Promote innovation in research and entrepreneurial development potential

The interconnection of university operations and research offers the best conditions for a unique, wide spectrum of knowledge and technological development. We strive to utilize the comprehensive innovational potential at KIT for the society. The knowledge and technology transfer from KIT to the market is a necessary step for innovation.

We want to stimulate the creativity of KIT students and employees, so that innovative business ideas develop on the basis of technologies and research results. KIT spin-offs and technology transfer projects are the visible transfer of innovation in the economy and industry. Startup promotion contributes significantly to the innovational force at KIT.

Establish a lively startup culture with professors, employees, and students

We want to establish KIT as a "founder hub", so that it is recognized as a breeding ground and catalyst for innovative business ideas. In order to make KIT members recognize entrepreneurship and founding as a career option and to set a path towards independence, we want to promote this awareness early on. We want to show the opportunities as a business founder and directly support startup projects.

The goal is a sustainable startup culture on all levels: in the university and research areas as well as beyond campus limits. All KIT startup activities are communicated with broad and high-quality information flow both internally and externally. Thus, all KIT employees, students, and alumni are to be informed about our measures.

Advance the regional ecosystem and strengthen the technology region of Karlsruhe

We not only want to contribute to the startup culture at KIT, but also strive to design the regional ecosystem of the technology region of Karlsruhe by working together with external partners. Networking and cooperation are important success factors for startup projects. As an initiator and member of the founders’ alliance of Karlsruhe, we act as part of the Karlsruhe founders’ network, giving founders access to the Karlsruhe network. In order to establish Karlsruhe as a well-known "founder hub", it is crucial to have a close network to all tested and existing initiatives, measures, and programs about founding. Common goals and the bundling of activities strengthen the founder community and the technology region of Karlsruhe.

Build up intercontinental cooperation and an international visibility of KIT as a Founders Forge

After the regional setup and building of a good reputation, we want to become long-term and internationally visible. We strive toward a Germany and Europe-wide prominent position for startups and entrepreneurship. KIT, in connection with the regional network, shall become known as a sophisticated ecosystem for students and research startups far beyond national borders. Comprehensive entrepreneurship theory, active support of startup projects, and applicable startup success contribute positively to the external effects of KIT.

Ideally, cooperation and exchange projects with other public and university institutions shall develop through an international reputation. Other international educational institutions shall be won over as partners, so that an active exchange in the field of entrepreneurship is possible.