The UnternehmerTUM Center for Innovation and Business Creation: Entrepreneurship
Germany , 2002 to Ongoing
Compendium: University Business Forum (UBF)
BackgroundThe Technical University of Munich itself lives in the midst of an ecosystem of major global players, Siemens, BMW etc. The university is one of the foremost in Europe. The institution concentrates on Technology: Engineering, Mathematics, Informatics, Physics, Chemistry. There are 22.000 students, 4.400 academic staff, 400 professors and a total budget (incl. hospital) of €800m. The TUM has a tradition of productive and innovative relationships with major industrial entities.
Aims and targetsThe UnternehmerTUM Center for Innovation and Business Creation puts young company founders in touch with experienced managers and introduces research scientists to entrepreneurs. People from different sectors and countries can develop new business models and team up to form innovative start-ups and joint ventures in the pursuit of high ideological standards and values.The TUM Centre for Innovation and Business Creation was established with the mission to encourage and enable entrepreneurship and was founded in 2002. Now it has 40 employees and is an associated Institute of the university. The overarching aim of the university co-operation is to change perception amongst young people and support their capacity to start and grow businesses of the future.
Strategy and actionsTo be a success, a company start-up needs an innovative entrepreneurial chance, a high-performing team and a powerful network of experts and sponsors. UnternehmerTUM is a competent partner for such projects: in conjunction with start-up teams, it develop entrepreneurial opportunities into viable business models. Putting its expertise to full advantage, it supports promising company start-ups through the diverse phases of entrepreneurial development, funding and organisational set-up. Each year the Center has 20 start-up teams, 40 innovation teams, and around 1000 teachers and learners in enterprise education.
Monitoring and evaluationThe Center has an established system of key performance indicators for the purposes of monitoring and evaluation.
Funding/Cost effectivenessTUM became the first state-run German university to launch a fundraising program as an additional – and successful – source of finance back in 1999, setting up its own Fundraising Department, which reports directly to the Executive Board of Management. In conjunction with the fundraising team, the senior university management lays down the principles of the fundraising strategy as well as being the first point of contact for our existing and forthcoming sponsors.
Sustainability/TransferabilityThe long term sustainability of the Center depends upon its continuing to make positive contribution to the commercial ecosystem around the whole university while drawing support and inspiration from it.
AchievementsEach year the university supports 20 start-up teams, with the aim of the realisation of business concepts. Then there are 40 innovation teams, to pursue the systematic testing of business concepts, and 1000 students, academics, professionals and business promoters working in entrepreneurship education programmes.
Success factorsIn addition to the productive commercial ecosystem of the TUM itself, success appears to come from the bringing together of the development of high-level skills in the entrepreneurs themselves with the supportive network of experts and sponsors in the rigorous testing of concepts and business models.
Strengths and weaknessesA major strength of the Center is its close proximity to and relationship with world-class commercial concerns and the involvement of key enterprise leaders in the Center's governance.
A discussion on this project at the 2nd University Business Forum in 2009 suggested that while the TUM experience works in its own context it could not be replicated easily say in the university of Salamanca in Spain – similar size but very different circumstances. A different approach would be required.