Founding spirit in the lecture hall: founding a startup as a compulsory subject and degree course at the university | message
Declining willingness to take risks in the start-up scene
“If we want to do something for the start-up scene, then it takes place in the universities. We have to part with training only for employees,” says Tobias Kollmann, professor of internet economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen, to Business Insider. He is addressing the negative development of the start-up scene in Germany, because since 2000 the start-up rate has fallen from 2.4 percent to 1.1 percent. The German Startup Monitor published this data and made it clear that fewer and fewer people are finding the courage to take the step of founding their own company. The startup commissioner for the federal government, Thomas Jarzombek, also confirmed this when presenting the monitor, as BI reports: “There seem to be few who are willing to take a risk. Without a willingness to take risks, however, we are all losers, because then nothing new arises either. ” That is why the economics professor Tobias Kollmann calls for the topic of entrepreneurship to be included in the program at universities and specifically addressed. He imagines that universities will integrate a compulsory startup module into courses such as computer science, economics and business administration. The economics professor admits, however, that the compulsory subject is not compatible with every degree program, but for business-oriented curricula the topic of starting up a start-up could provide a decisive basis for a career.
While Tobias Kollmann calls for a compulsory subject for universities, some German universities are already a step further and are already offering corresponding courses based on start-ups. It is possible to study electrical engineering and information technology at the Frankfurt University of Applied Science. The curriculum consists of elements from electrical engineering and computer science and is aimed specifically at high school graduates who are interested in topics such as renewable energies and intelligent internet networking. The university is thus following the trend of digitalization and offers students the opportunity to learn the development of digital innovations and to acquire entrepreneurial and business management qualifications so that they can later implement what they have learned in their own company. But there is also a degree program in Germany that not only combines important elements of founding a company, but also covers and teaches all the points necessary for a future startup founder. “Foundation, innovation and leadership” is the name of the course offered at the Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences. Here, students are specially prepared for founding a start-up. The website says: “The ‘Founding, Innovation, Leadership’ (GIF) course is aimed at people who think and act entrepreneurially. It imparts methods, models, abilities, skills, attitudes and practical experience for challenging, novel projects in a team to conceive, to plan, to realize and to lead. ” The aim of the university is for the students not only to graduate with a bachelor’s degree, but in the best case already to work on their first own company.
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