Potsdam Expands Start-Up and Transfer Services Internationally

Johannes Zier (right) and Sascha Thormann of Potsdam Transfer receive funding from the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy to establish the Potsdam International Transfer Collaboration Hub (PITCH). Photo: Bildkraftwerk.
Johannes Zier (right) and Sascha Thormann of Potsdam Transfer receive funding from the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy to establish the Potsdam International Transfer Collaboration Hub (PITCH). Photo: Bildkraftwerk.

The University of Potsdam managed to impress in the competition “EXIST Potentials” of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and will receive funding of up to 2.5 million euros over four years to establish an international entrepreneurship hub. “This will enable us to substantially strengthen our start-up and transfer area and expand it across borders,” says the University’s President Prof. Oliver Günther. In the coming years, PITCH will identify start-up projects with a high innovation potential, support international start-up teams and open up markets in Germany and abroad. The project starts in January 2020.

By establishing the Potsdam International Transfer Collaboration Hub (PITCH), the University of Potsdam is focusing on further internationalization of its start-up culture and associated network. “Potsdam has a thriving start-up and investor scene and is already one of Germany’s most attractive locations in this field. We want to make a significant contribution to establishing the metropolitan region as one of the most successful start-up regions on an international level,” says Johannes Zier, Head of the University’s Start-up Service. He initiated the project with his team and is now managing its implementation.

“Our aim is to create an internationally visible, innovative hub for teaching and collaboration in the field of entrepreneurship," says Sascha Thormann, Managing Director of “Potsdam Transfer”. The start-up and transfer center of the University of Potsdam has successfully supported 242 start-up teams since 2011. Thanks to their work, the university developed into one of the best start-up universities in Germany. In the “Founders’ Radar” complied by the Stifterverband, it was again ranked third last year.

With “EXIST Potentials,” the Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy wants to sustainably improve the general conditions for start-ups and knowledge-based spin-offs from universities. A total of 220 colleges and universities from all federal states had applied for funding. 142 projects were selected. A total budget of over 150 million euros is planned for the next four years. The aim is to raise the quality of academic start-up support in Germany to a new level.

Press Release 05-12-2019 / No. 166
Antje Horn-Conrad

University of Potsdam
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Published online by: Agnes Bressa
Translation: Susanne Voigt
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