Innopreneur Circle – a program to promote innovation skills among students

Innovative capability is a decisive competitive advantage, today more than ever. But how do you ensure that innovations are created and can be successfully implemented? At the end of October, KTUR partner DHBW Lörrach and BadenCampus organised a virtual workshop on this topic for decision-makers, innovation managers and students. The result is the go-ahead for the so-called Innopreneur Circle, a special cross-curricular support programme for selected students to acquire innovation skills.

With the virtual workshop on 26 October, DHBW picked up the thread of the Innopreneur project launched shortly before the pandemic in spring 2020. The two project leaders Prof. Dr. Matthias Paul and Prof. Dr. Jörg Thietke had invited partner companies of the Cooperative State University and their students to the event.

Innopreneur Circle an der DHBW Lörrach

The two keynote speakers Georgiana Menny, Innovation Manager at Hekatron, and Dr. Thomas Scheuerle, Managing Director of BadenCampus, kicked off the event. They gave an insight into innovation management in their two organisations. Afterwards, Prof. Paul and Prof. Thietke presented the concept of the Innopreneur Circle and answered open questions in two breakout sessions on the contents and methods of the Circle as well as on participation opportunities for partner companies. The participating partner companies were receptive to the idea and signalled a need for innovation competence, encouraging the DHBW to launch the Innopreneur Circle as soon as possible.

It is planned to start in April 2022. About 15 to 30 students, who will be appointed to the Innopreneur Circle by the DHBW with transparent selection criteria, will attend several workshops over two semesters in addition to their normal study curriculum. The focus will be on a combination of innovation and entrepreneurship concepts, method training, but also on innovation management processes and, last but not least, on the external framework conditions of the corporate culture. Partner companies can participate not only by sending their dual students, but also through projects or case studies.

With the tailwind from the successful workshop, the Innopreneur Circle project team is now in intensive preparations for the kick-off in April.