Prof. Dr. Klaus Fichter

Press releases with mentions

01.01.2019 - 30.06.2022
Funded by:
Technical Support/ Management of Program:
Borderstep Institut Berlin
Number of Funding Agreement:

Brochure „Sustainability in university start-up support programmes Practical examples and approaches“

As part of the project, the brochure "Sustainability in university start-up support programmes Practical examples and approaches" was produced, which for the first time systematically recorded good practice example projects of sustainability-oriented start-up support at various universities. Thus, it offers actors in start-up consultancy at universities an orientation framework on how the support of start-ups in this area could look concretely.



Founding sustainably: Sustainability as a success factor for all start-ups (Sustainability4All)

Business start-ups are a central driver of change in the economy. In cooperation with key players in the German start-up ecosystem, the goal of the project "Nachhaltig Gründen!" was to stimulate the early and lasting integration of climate protection and other sustainability issues in newly founded, innovative companies, especially start-ups, and enable them to achieve practical solutions.

In order to exploit the full potential of sustainable management in early business phases across all industries, it is essential that sustainability aspects are broadly integrated into all start-up fields and central funding programmes. For this reason, the project was aimed in particular at intermediaries such as start-up competitions, university start-up institutions, funding programmes and other supporters of young companies, especially innovative start-ups. The project "Nachhaltig Gründen!" was carried out by the Borderstep Institute in cooperation with the partners Bundesverband Deutsche Startups e.V. and Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg (PIN).

The project pursued two central objectives:

  1. On the basis of selected important cross-sector and cross-technology support programmes and services offered by the German start-up ecosystem, it was demonstrated how sustainability and in particular climate protection aspects can be integrated effectively and appropriate for the target group.
  2. Creation of practical tools for the development of sustainability management for the new companies as well as for the consideration of climate protection and other sustainability issues in the development of products/services and business models. 

Central actors of the German start-up ecosystem, such as nationwide funding actors and programmes, were directly involved in the project as network partners. These include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (, the Jülich Research Centre (EXIST), the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V. (Gründungsradar), the Federal Association of German Innovation, Technology and Start-up Centres (BVIZ) or the Business Angels Netzwerk Deutschland e.V. (BAND). Their task was to participate in the development process of the criteria, services and institutional structures through stakeholder workshops and interviews, and to examine, promote and implement the possible implementation on the basis of the recommendations resulting from the project. Especially in the work packages 3 (universities), 4 (start-up information offers), 5 (start-up competitions and accelerators) and 6 (funding programmes) the partners of the network were cooperating directly with central actors in the domain of start-up funding. A major focus of the project was also on the transfer, broad impact and continuity of activities. This transfer was aimed at by integrating further multipliers of the start-up ecosystem, such as the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) and the German Association of Business Development and Redevelopment Companies (DVWE).

Project results

Tools & Practice methods

Sustainability Challenge Workshop Leitfaden

Sustainable Value Proposition Designer

Erfolgsfaktor Nachhaltigkeit

Publications & Reports


  • Mention in the section "Im Fokus" of the Exist brochure „Das ist EXIST 2021” (german)
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