Document Actions

You are here: Home Online Magazine invent & establish Reflecting on ideas and letting …

Reflecting on ideas and letting them mature

The Foundersclub supports start-up entrepreneurs’ projects and invites them to regular discussion panels

Freiburg, Jul 21, 2017

Reflecting on ideas and letting them mature

Source: fotolia

Turning a original idea into a successful business model is no easy thing. That is why the University of Freiburg Foundersclub helps interested parties to find like-minded people with whom they can share ideas and experiences - helping them to turn their ideas into reality. Julia Dannehl spoke with the originator of the Foundersclub, Philipp George, about the plans of this student initiative.

 Source: fotolia

What does the Foundersclub see as its tasks?

Philipp George: We aim to promote the student business founder scene and create a space in which to be creative and to discuss ideas - without having to fear any value judgement being made on you. Sometimes we talk very openly about seemingly crazy ideas.  Apart fron that, we go to a lot of startup conferences - and we want to pass on the knowledge we gain there to others.

Philipp George started the Foundersclub to boost the student entrepreneurial scene in Freiburg.
Photo: Sandra Meyndt

You are talking about the student business founder scene. Does that mean only students at the University of Freiburg can come to the club meetings?

No, our events are open to anyone who’s interested. For instance, we have a lot of people coming along who have finished their studies but are thinking of starting a business. But yes, the program is aimed primarily at the needs and wants of our fellow students. We aren’t focused on any one group. Anyone and everyone is welcome, no matter which subject they study. It’s one of our long-term dreams to have members from every study program on offer at the university.

How is the Foundersclub different from the university’s start-ups office?

The start-ups office is a university institution; we are a student initiative. You go to the start-ups office with a more or less business-ready idea. For instance, somebody finds something interesting while he’s doing his doctorate and sees a potential to make commercial use of it. The start-ups office will help to make the necessary applications and so on. We at the Foundersclub want first and foremost to help reflect on ideas and to let them mature.  With us, you can get to know people who may have the same interests as you and might like to join in your project. And we would like to help people to develop not just the ideas they have, but themselves as well - to become successful business founders.

What kind of help is it exactly?

We meet every second Monday. At every meeting we focus on a topic and we usually invite someone who may have already founded a company in this area, for example. Then there are short talks in which various aspects are discussed, and at the end you can ask questions. That usually leads to exciting discussions and new ideas get developed. We are planning workshops and seminars for next semester; the focus will be on the personal development of the entrepreneur. But we are not going to do this by ourselves of course; we work with business professionals and with the start-ups office. In addition we are just now working on a new way of networking for potential business founders.

How did you get the idea of starting the Foundersclub?

I always found the topic interesting. During my first degree studies in Münster I had an idea for a start-up, but it didn’t work out. I would have been happy if there had been something like the Foundersclub back then. Because if you know in advance where the pitfalls are and what to watch out for, the chances of being successful with a business are much greater.

Which three tips would you give those seeking to start a business?

The first tip would be to join the Foundersclub and to network with our members. It’s also important to understand the current trends and the latest technology, for instance, so that you can stay up-to-date.  And my third tip would be to simply try out as much as possible and to talk about your ideas with other people. A lot of people find that difficult because they are afraid that someone else could use the idea for themselves. But the more you protect your idea, the more it wastes away. Feedback is incredibly important.

Foundersclub Freiburg

Founders' Office of the University of Freiburg

The Founders' Office helps students, graduates and all members of the University of Freiburg to take the first step towards self-employment. The aim is to establish a sustainable start-up culture at the university. The heart of the strategy that won the "EXIST-Gründungskultur – Die Gründerhochschule" competition is the Freiburg start-up ABC: "A" is for learning at the start-up Academy, "B" is for advice and Back-up from the start-up office, and "C" is for Coaching from the Freiburg Research Services, which at an early stage investigates the potential rewards and prospects of results from basic research.

Interview with Dr. Philipp Julian Köster, head of the Founders' Office

Founders' Office website

Filed under: