Start-up centre

Students and graduates with entrepreneurial spirit can implement their business ideas under the best possible conditions at the start-up centre, in close proximity to research and teaching activities. At the three start-up centres on the Saarbrücken and Homburg campuses, young entrepreneurs can rent office and laboratory space at reasonable prices and – together with other companies – make use of the infrastructure, from the secretariat service to conference rooms.

Favourable starting conditions reduce the financial risk involved in a business start-up, and the founders can exchange ideas whilst also retaining contact with the university.

The terms of the lease are limited to three years, as there is a high level of demand among aspiring company founders for business space on the campus.

The start-up centre is a model for success – so far, 317 companies have implemented their business ideas (as of 06/2016) and are now operating successfully on the market.

History:

1995
On the initiative of the KWT, the country’s first start-up centre is opened in December, getting off to a quick start with five business start-ups. Business space on the university campus is made available to potential company founders.

1996
Professor Dr. Heinz Kußmaul (Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and SMEs) begins his research and teaching activities in the field of entrepreneurship.

The first business start-up seminar (compact course) is organised under the direction of Prof. Kußmaul.

1997
The executive board consents to company founders also being located away from the centre site. Laboratory and technical space is thus also available to the start-up centre.

1998
Beginning of the two-semester ‘Business start-up’ course for students in all faculties. This is headed by the Institute for Entrepreneurship and SMEs under Prof. Dr. Heinz Kußmaul.

Beginning of the workshop series for company founders on ‘Questions of strategic, communicative and social competence’

The second start-up centre is opened.

1999
The third start-up centre is opened (in Homburg).

2000
Opening of Science Park 1 on the Saarland University campus (3,100 m² of office space and around 800 m² of laboratory space).

2002
Founding of Wissens- und Technologietransfer GmbH (WuT GmbH) as a fully-owned subsidiary of Saarland University.

Founding of the Saarland Universities Patent Marketing Agency (PVA).

2004
‘Start-up cups’ are offered by the KWT for the first time.

2005
Opening of Science Park 2 on the Saarland University campus (4,400 m² of office space, 1,400 m² of laboratory space and 700 m² of storage space).

2006
The METiS project, designed to motivate business start-ups in Saarland, is integrated into the existing KWT programme as part of the ‘EXIST III – improving the entrepreneurial environment at universities and research institutions’ funding programme.

2007
The start-up centre is awarded a prize in the competition ‘Germany – Land of Ideas’.

2009
200th company in the start-up centre.

Opening of the new library, containing literature relevant to setting up a business.

2011
Entry into the ‘EXIST Culture of Entrepreneurship – The Entrepreneurial University’ competition organised by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

2012
The PVA celebrates its tenth anniversary.

As part of the ‘Working together for an entrepreneurial university’ kick-off event, to which all members of Saarland University are invited, university president Professor Volker Linneweber presents the ‘Entrepreneurial Campus Saar’ in the university auditorium.

Building on the KWT’s already successfully established services, this is to be implemented as part of the ‘EXIST Culture of Entrepreneurship – The Entrepreneurial University’ competition.

The ‘Working together for an entrepreneurial university’ forum goes online. Students have the opportunity to actively contribute their desires, ideas, expectations and questions to the application.

A total of 2,029 students, 63 academic employees and 44 professors take part in the survey to establish the current culture of entrepreneurship at the Saarland University campus.

An interdisciplinary seminar for students on the topic of ‘Developing a campus-wide, start-up-oriented strategy for Saarland University’ takes place.

An article on university funding of business start-ups and Saarland University’s participation in the ‘EXIST Culture of Entrepreneurship – The Entrepreneurial University’ competition appears in the newspaper Saarbrücker Zeitung.