University of Bayreuth, Press release No. 031/2021, 12 March 2021
Top place for the University of Bayreuth in Stifterverband's latest Start-Up Radar
The University of Bayreuth achieves a top ranking for the first time in Stifterverband's (donors’ association for the promotion of humanities and sciences in Germany) Start-Up Radar. With 1st place in Bavaria and 4th place in the overall German ranking, it is one of the best medium-sized universities. This result confirms the University's strong commitment to start-ups and the nurturing of innovation.
An der Universität Bayreuth werden Studierende besonders gut bei ihren Gründungsvorhaben unterstützt.
Stifterverband's Start-Up Radar evaluates the activities of a total of 232 German universities every two years with regard to their support of start-ups. The main focus is on the creation of a lively start-up culture, which has already helped many innovative concepts become reality.
Within the scope of the survey, universities are divided into three size categories. The University of Bayreuth, with its approximately 13,500 students, belongs to the middle category.
Stifterverband awards points in seven categories: Start-up entrenching, awareness, qualification, support, activities, monitoring & evaluation, and networking.
Bayreuth twice scored full points in the Start-Up Radar 2020: in "start-up entrenching" (for example, through explicit specification in the University of Bayreuth's Structural and Development Plan 2025) and in "monitoring & evaluation in start-up support" (standardised recording; success stories, etc.). In the category "start-up entrenching", it achieved 1st place. The results in the areas of start-up awareness (community events etc.; 9.2 out of 10 points), start-up qualification (expansion of courses offered etc.; 9.5 out of 10 points), start-up support (pitch events, individual coaching etc.; 9.5 out of 10 points), and networking (establishment of a regional innovation ecosystem etc.; 9 out of 10 points) also represent a top achievement.
University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible sees the excellent ranking as impressive confirmation of the University of Bayreuth's activities. "This shows that we were on the right track seven years ago, when we started integrating entrepreneurship and the start-up spirit into our studies. Our new Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation bundles these activities and gives us even greater impact. We have moreover succeeded in providing a creative climate for start-ups and companies in Bayreuth, even outside the University, from which the entire region is benefiting. The planned Regional Start-up and Innovation Centre of the City of Bayreuth will give this a further boost and make us a true start-up region.”
In recent years, the University of Bayreuth has taken many new initiatives for start-ups. The Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation was founded at the end of 2020 with the aim of incorporating innovation and start-up competencies to a greater extent regionally. "In this way, a regionally integrated transfer and innovation ecosystem is to be created in the heart of Upper Franconia," says Prof. Dr Torsten Eymann, Vice President for Digitalisation & Innovation. The previous Entrepreneurship & Innovation staff unit has been transferred to the Institute's office under the leadership of Dr. Petra Beermann. The newly founded research groups of Entrepreneurship & Digital Business Models, chaired by Prof. Dr. Matthias Baum, and Human Resource Management & Intrapreneurship, chaired by Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Isidor, are also firmly anchored in the Institute.
Encouraging entrepreneurial thinking and action throughout the University of Bayreuth (and beyond) is one of the central goals of the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. "The close integration of research, teaching, and knowledge transfer at the Institute creates more efficient processes in the promotion of start-ups. It also enriches the courses offered at the University of Bayreuth and facilitates their networking," explains Dr. Petra Beermann. In this way, we were able to integrate the promotion of start-ups directly into teaching via customised courses. "We aim to enable our students to think in a problem-oriented way and to generate innovations that will address the great questions of our time in social, economic, and also ecological terms. In doing so, the programme sees itself as cross-faculty and interdisciplinary - so it does not depend on exactly what someone is studying. Rather, it is about the right mindset, methodological competency, and practical experience. All of this is offered and taught in the various teaching formats in entrepreneurship education," says Prof. Dr. Matthias Baum.
In this context, Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Isidor points out that further innovations in teaching are also planned for the near future: "In the future, we will continue to build upon the courses we offer in the area of entrepreneurship and innovation. For example, in addition to a supplementary course in "Entrepreneurship & Innovation" available for all students at the University of Bayreuth, the new master's course in "Digitalisation & Entrepreneurship" is currently being created, which we hope will provide further impetus for our start-up activities. But for now, it is nice to see that our hard work is being acknowledged with such a great ranking. It will spur us on even more to continue offering a first-class range of services for people interested in founding a start-up."