TU Ilmenau launches project to strengthen start-up culture

TU Ilmenau/Ilmkubator
The Fischerhütte site includes the former administration building (left, home of the Ilmkubator) and the Kontorhaus (right, Central Institute for Education). In the long term, a centre for start-up activities at the TU Ilmenau is to be established here.

The Ilmenau University of Technology has launched the "Ilmenau Ideas Incubator", or Ilmkubator for short. The project aims to strengthen the start-up culture among students, doctoral candidates and scientists and to spin off as many innovative technology-oriented companies as possible from the university. In the long term, a centre for start-up activity at TU Ilmenau is to be created on the site of the Ilmenau Fischerhütte. In December 2019, TU Ilmenau was one of the winners among 220 universities in the "EXIST-Potentials" competition of the Federal Ministry of Economics, which supports German universities in implementing measures to promote start-ups. For the project, it will receive funding of almost 1.6 million euros from the federal government for four years. The Ilmkubator team will consist of a total of six employees.

In the Ilmkubator project, the TU Ilmenau will sensitize students, doctoral candidates and scientists to the topic of entrepreneurship in newly created teaching and continuing education programs. At the same time, the team of employees in the five faculties will engage in intensive scouting to find research topics that are so interesting from a social and economic point of view that they could be turned into an independent company. The people involved then receive professional coaching and consulting services from the Ilmkubator team.

A special highlight of the new project is the "Ilmkubator Class". In order to lead start-up ideas as early as possible on the path to a spin-off, selected teams undergo an intensive individual coaching and training program, at the end of which there may be a concrete business plan or the prototype of a product. The founding teams receive professional training in workshops, are assigned mentors and receive support in areas such as marketing, market research and intellectual property rights. They are provided with working space on the premises of the Fischerhütte, where an important glassworks used to be located. The Ilmkubator's offices and consulting rooms are also located in the former management building. The first Ilmkubator Class with three to four founder teams will start this summer semester. Interested parties can contact gruenderservice@tu-ilmenau.de by e-mail.


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