The Ilmkubator Class

Focus. Feedback. Future Skills.

TU Ilmenau/Ilmkubator
Participants of the first Ilmkubator Class 2020, together with the coaches in front of the Fischerhütte Ilmenau.

The Ilmkubator Class is TU Ilmenau's intensive coaching program for particularly well thought-out and original start-up ideas. Teams and individual founders develop their concepts in six modules with the support of Ilmkubator coaches, mentors and experts.

The class is dedicated to the pre-founding phase and is aimed at both students, scientistsand employees of the university. Together with peer founders, in their own offices and with the help of a well thought-out module structure, all important start-up topics are explored in the Ilmkubator Class and applied to one's own idea. Within the program, the market is analyzed and strategies for the own offer and the target group approach are developed. Legal and financial framework conditions are also taught in the Ilmkubator Class to pave the way for the start-up idea. Regular coaching sessions help to pursue one's own goals, such as prototyping or the first business plan, in a focused manner. Research projects with start-up potential and projects with EXIST aspirations are also funded.

The third class in 2023 will offer space for up to nine teams to be mentored over nine months with their start-up plans. The decision on admission is made on the basis of the submitted applications in a pitch process by the Ilmkubator team. The size of the group, the composition of the teams and the type of start-up idea (technical, non-technical) are not decisive for the allocation of places. The jury believes in the founding spirit and promotes diversity.

We offer:

  • Monthly Workshops with content-related know-how for start-up practice and self-organisation (6 modules over 1 to 2 days each)
  • Premises 24/7 for concentrated work
  • Kick-off and final event
  • Two review meetings to keep track of your most important milestones
  • Team matching, in case you are looking for more bright minds
  • Events around the topic of founding & networking
  • Large network of partners, start-ups and experts

You are supported by:

  • One start-up coach per team with sprint meetings
  • Mentors and contacts in the network
  • Classmates with valuable peer-to-peer feedback
  • A non-cash budget of up to 300 euros
  • Arrangement of further funding opportunities if required

Apply now for Class 2023!

Information on application and participation

Who are you and who are we looking for: Alone or as a team? A rough idea or already concrete ideas? It doesn't matter - the main thing is that your approach convinces us.

At least one team member should study or work at the TU Ilmenau and the team should not have founded a company with the idea yet. Interested in the program, but still looking for an idea or a teammate? Fill out the short profile for co-founders and send it to us by e-mail. With a bit of luck, you will find the right match soon!

With the participation in the class the team commits itself to take part in all workshops, the individual meetings and important networking events as well as to submit module-related preliminary work that is conducive to the foundation (for best progress, expect ~ 15h of work per month). At the end of the class you will receive a certificate of participation.

Whether classic presentation, text document or video - send us your documents plus profile by e-mail to! Application phase starts February 01, deadline is on February 28, 11:59 p.m..

    Applications are made via a brief introduction, which should include the following:

    1. Idea: What is the idea? What concrete problem is the idea based on? What makes the idea special and innovative?
    2. Target group and market: Who is the product or service aimed at? What is the concrete added value for this group? In which industry do you operate?
    3. Team introduction: Who are you? What makes you special as a team? What is each of you an expert in? What resources do you possibly already bring to the start-up project?
    4. Expectations of the class: What do the team want from the programme and the coaches? Where do you need special support? What are you most looking forward to?
    5. Vision: What do you want to achieve after the Ilmkubator Class? Where will you be with your project in two years from today?
    6. Contact details: How can we get in contact with you? (see profile)

    Questions about the Ilmkubator Class or the application? Our coaches will be available during consultation hours on February 09 (5:00 p.m., online) and February 23 (5:00 p.m., Ilmkubator Start-up Space), and via e-mail at any time.

    We also welcome applications from interdisciplinary and international teams (basic German language skills are required). There is no legal claim to participation in the Ilmkubator Class.

    We look forward to receiving your submissions and wish you every success with your application!