Head:

Apl. Prof. Dr. Klaus Fichter

Press releases with mentions

Innovation Management and Sustainability

ScaleUp4Sustainability is a finalist for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2022

The European project “ScaleUp4Sustainability” (S4S) has been selected as a finalist for this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). The Erasmus+ funded project developed innovative programmes which enabled collaboration of students and companies from Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands in green venturing (collaborative green venturing). As a national finalist in the award category “Supporting the sustainable transition”, the project will represent Germany at the European Awards later this year. With the annual EEPA, the European Commission rewards outstanding projects and initiatives which promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial spirit at the national, regional and local level. More info about the S4S project:

More information about the project

Boost for impact start-ups at universities

Contribution by Dr Karsten Hurrelmann in current BMWK brochure

Universities can play an important role in founding successful "green" start-ups. Provided: They set the right course for it. In the section "IM FOKUS: Rückenwind für Impact-Start-ups an Hochschulen" (In Focus: Boost for Impact Start-ups at Universities) of the current BMWK brochure "Das ist EXIST 2021" (This is EXIST 2021), Dr Karsten Hurrelmann from the PIN Team explains why sustainability-related advisory and support services are still too rarely present in start-up funding at German universities.

Click on the image to download the issue.

Policy Insights - Sustainability as a success factor in startup funding

Central results and conclusions from the Sustainability4All project published

The Policy Insights paper, which presents the key findings of the S4All project and formulates recommendations for action for policymakers and startup promotion, is now publicly available and can be downloaded.

Innovative start-ups are a key driver of change in the economy. While the economic transformation potential of startups has long been recognized, their ability to make a targeted contribution to environmental and climate protection and societal sustainability goals has so far received too little attention and support. Against this background, the project „Sustainability4All: Nachhaltigkeit als Erfolgsfaktor für alle Start-ups“, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) as part of the National Climate Protection Initiative, addressed the question of how the consideration of sustainability potential can be stimulated at an early stage and on a permanent basis in newly founded, innovative companies and supported by methods and tools tailored to the target group. The project also examined the extent to which environmental and social sustainability are already anchored in the German startup ecosystem, where there are still gaps, and how these can be closed in a practical way.

The paper summarizes key findings and recommendations that are of central importance for policy makers and startup funding actors. 

Click on the image or here to download the paper.

German Startup Monitor: Take part now!

The survey for the German Startup Monitor 2022 has started. The Startup Association (Startup Verband) wants to examine how the German startup ecosystem is developing. What motivates founders in Germany? How can the development of the start-up scene be advanced? What is the situation, for example, with regard to issues such as skilled workers and financing? And what does the ecosystem want from policymakers?

The German Startup Monitor also collects data for the Green Startup Monitor in close cooperation with the Borderstep Institute. The Borderstep Institute, founded and led by Prof. Dr. Klaus Fichter, is a project partner of our ScaleUp4Sustainability project, among others. 

Take part in the survey now

The data make the start-up scene in Germany visible. Participation is an ideal opportunity for founders to make a strong case for the topic of founding in Germany.

Take part of the survey here.

New articles by Prof. Dr. Klaus Fichter published

Two new articles by Prof. Dr. Klaus Fichter are now publicly available.

The article Growing for sustainability: Enablers for the growth of impact startups - A conceptual framework, taxonomy, and systematic literature review, published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, focuses on the subset of growth-oriented impact startups that replace less sustainable practices with new technologies, products or services, and on the factors that influence their growth and sustainability benefits. Impact Startups are innovative new companies that disseminate solutions at scale that have a net benefit for sustainability. They play an important role in the transition to sustainability as actors for the adoption and diffusion of sustainability innovations. Co-author is Dr Jannic Horne of the Borderstep Institute.

The article Startups as sustainability transformers: A new empirically derived taxonomy and its policy implications, published in the journal Business Strategy and the Environment (BSE), addresses the research question of whether the transformation orientation of startups differs and, if so, how they can be clustered as a basis for sustainability transformation policy. This is done against the background that there is a clear need for a better understanding of the transformative role and relevance of startups as newcomers to the market, both for researchers and policy makers aiming to promote the transition to sustainability at multiple levels. Co-author is Prof. Dr. Yasmin Olteanu, Professor of Business Administration/Entrepreneurship at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences (BHT).

The articles can be accessed by clicking on the title of the respective article.

Sustainable Venturing Challenges: Launch of a New Online Platform

Where business problems meet sustainable solutions

The Sustainable Venturing Challenges platform is the new source for discovering opportunities in student-business collaboration for sustainability. From university educators seeking to innovate their programmes and students looking for real-world experiences to businesses finding solution providers – the platform is a resource for getting started on co-creating sustainable solutions.

At the heart of the online platform is an emerging database of challenge platforms, matchmakers and alliances that makes it easy to quickly find and connect to either challenge providers or challenge solvers. Searchable by sustainability focus, region, language and target group, it turns your search into a snap. Complementary to the database, platform visitors can also browse the knowledge hub for information and guidance on challenge-based student-business activities and access challenge profiles, real-life experiences as well as useful resources.

The Sustainable Venturing Challenges platform was developed by ScaleUp4Sustainability , an EU-funded project that fosters the collaboration of student teams and business partners in developing eco-innovations and starting new green businesses. It is realised by an international consortium of partners from higher education, business and research who are continuing to develop partnerships for international virtual student-business challenges in sustainable entrepreneurship in the EU-funded project Challenge4Impact. Both projects are coordinated by University of Oldenburg, adj. professorship of Innovation Management & Sustainability.

Explore the new platform at https://platform.scaleup4sustainability.eu/.

Latest Publications

K. Fichter und K. Hurrelmann, "Sustainability-oriented business incubation: framing and supporting sustainable entrepreneurship," in Handbook of Research on Business and Technology Incubation and Acceleration, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2021, pp. 478-495. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788974783.00038

Fichter, K. & Tiemann, I. (2020): Impacts of promoting sustainable entrepreneurship in generic business plan competitions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 267 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.122076

Wagner, M., Schaltegger, S., Hansen, E.G.; Fichter, K. (2019). University-linked programmes for sustainable entrepreneurship and regional development: how and with what impact? Small Business Economics (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-019-00280-4

Volkmann, C., Fichter, K., Klofsten, M. et al. (2019). Sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems: an emerging field of research. Small Business Economics (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-019-00253-7 

Clausen, J. & Fichter, K. (2019). The diffusion of environmental product and service innovations: Driving and inhibiting factors. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 31 (2019), 64-95.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eist.2019.01.003

Tiemann, I.; Fichter, K. & Geier, J. (2018). University support systems for sustainable entrepreneurship: insights from explorative case studies. in: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing.  Vol. 10, No. 2, 2018; DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2018.090983

Breuer, H.; Fichter, K.; Lüdeke-Freund, F. & Tiemann, I. (2018). Sustainability-oriented Business Model Development: Principles, Criteria, and Tools. in: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing.  Vol. 10, No. 2, 2018; DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2018.10008388

K. Fichter & I. Tiemann (2017): Factors influencing university support for sustainable entrepreneurship: Insights from explorative case studies. in: Journal of Cleaner Production, 175 (2018), 512 - 524.

N. Bank, K. Fichter & M. Klofsten (2017): Sustainability-profiled incubators and securing the inflow of tenants - the case of Green Garage Berlin. in: Journal of Cleaner Production, 157 (2017), 76-83.

Further publications

(Changed: 2022-06-27)