Empowering Female Founders @Ilmkubator (EFFI)

The EXIST Women program at the TU Ilmenau

Participants in the EXIST Women programs at TU Ilmenau, Bauhaus University Weimar and Friedrich Schiller University Jena with their start-up advisors.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) is expanding its start-up funding for female entrepreneurs and founders from the scientific community. To this end, the established EXIST funding program is being expanded to include the new funding line "EXIST-Women".

The new program line aims to encourage women at universities and research institutions to venture into entrepreneurial independence so that more women will act as managing directors and shareholders of innovative start-ups in the future.

The Ilmkubator, Start-up Service of TU Ilmenau, also applied for the new program and was awarded the funding in November 2023. Since December 2023, ten women are working in the "EFFI" (Empowering Female Founders @Ilmkubator) program, developing their start-up ideas with the help of Ilmkubator employees and mentors as well as strengthening their entrepreneurial personality.

The women had applied in advance in two phases and were selected from a large number of applicants in two jury meetings. In addition to Ilmkubator employees, Tino Wagner, Business Development Manager of the City of Ilmenau, Dr. Peter Hauschild, InSignA Performance Center, and Junior Professor Dr. Elena Freisinger, Department of Innovation Management at TU Ilmenau, also decided on acceptance into the EXIST Women program.

The EXIST Women program includes:

  • 12-month program with knowledge, coaching & networking exclusively for women (01.12.2023 - 30.11.2024)
  • one mentor per participant
  • workplace for concentrated work (access 24/7)
  • 2,000 € for material resources (e.g. for technical equipment, prototypes, travel expenses, participation fees for events, additional coaching)
  • optional: 3-month scholarship of up to € 3,000 (depending on degree, if no income or employment max. 20 h/week; subject to tax and social security contributions)

Impressions from the EXIST-Women program at TU Ilmenau

Logo of the BMWK