In 2011, the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg was awarded one of the three best founding universities in Germany by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). In the competition "EXIST-Gründungskultur - Die Gründerhochschule" the university prevailed against 80 other universities. The previous successful approaches to promoting start-ups are to be further developed and strengthened in the coming years. The aim is to create even more start-up-friendly framework conditions that promote innovation and establish a start-up culture that radiates far beyond the borders of the university and the northwest region. The Presidential Board of the University of Oldenburg has also committed itself to further academic support for start-ups.
The numerous spin-offs that have emerged from the faculties of computer science, natural sciences and energy economics make it clear that the research profile of the University of Oldenburg holds great potential for successful spin-offs. The University of Oldenburg is now attempting to use innovative forms of public-private partnership to make the promotion of start-ups more market-oriented and to create incentives for start-up support with new forms of remuneration.
The higher education strategy of the University of Oldenburg is essentially based on three pillars:
1.) Market orientation: Success-oriented start-up support not only exports technologies and scientific know-how to the market - it also imports market-oriented knowledge into the university. The market-orientation approach pursued in the EXIST IV project goes beyond the economic networking that was already promoted by the University of Oldenburg in the EXIST III project. Now the know-how, the contact network and the judgement of market players (e.g. established entrepreneurs, business angels, founder alumni or banks) are to be integrated directly into the structures of university start-up support. If knowledge about fields of application, practical problems, turnover potential, resource availability, market trends and value creation structures is incorporated into the spin-off process at an early stage of the start-up process, this increases the chances of spin-offs.
2.) Organizational Change: A founding university must have the capacity for far-reaching organisational change. Such an ability is not self-evident, especially since universities are regarded as structurally conservative organisations. The competent design of the change process with the components strategy development, cultural change, change management and external process support is therefore a central part of the planned project. In this way, new strategic priorities, restructuring measures and innovative incentive mechanisms can be effectively implemented.
3.) Inter-university impact: The "Gründeruniversität Oldenburg" is associated with the claim to be perceived far beyond the region as a centre for business start-ups. This applies in particular to the target groups of those seeking a place at university and young academics. The newly established Start-up and Innovation Center of the University of Oldenburg will be given extended responsibilities and will become the central contact point for people from the region interested in setting up a business.
The Start-up and Innovation Center offers professional start-up consulting and coaching for people interested in setting up a business and for founders with innovative, growth and profit-oriented business ideas, including the preparation of business plans, contacts in the start-up network and financial support opportunities.
The sub-projects supervised and implemented by the Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship within the framework of EXIST IV include: