• 9/4/2015

Angela Merkel: “UnternehmerTUM is exemplary in Germany”

German Chancellor visits TUM’s Entrepreneurship Center

German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a visit today to the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at Technical University of Munich (TUM), UnternehmerTUM. After a conversation with founders of TUM start-ups, as well as with Susanne Klatten, associate of UnternehmerTUM GmbH, and TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann, the Chancellor emphasized the extraordinary importance of start-up support for Germany’s capacity for innovation. She was also impressed by the entrepreneurial activities of TUM, from which over 700 companies with currently around 14,000 employees have been spun off since 1990.

Chancellor Merkel meets the founders of the TUM start-up Magazino. (Photo: Heddergott / TUM)
Chancellor Merkel meets the founders of the TUM start-up Magazino. (Photo: Heddergott / TUM)

“This Center is a breeding ground – in the best sense of the word – for innovative start-ups,” the Chancellor said. “The entire knowledge of an outstanding technical university flows into this site. And the entire knowledge of a classic, flourishing industrial location like Munich also flows into this Center, as does the innovative power of young entrepreneurs.” The Munich region is thus exemplary for other locations in Germany.

The strong German “Mittelstand” (small and medium-sized enterprises) as well did not spring up on their own, Merkel emphasized. “We sometimes fail to appreciate just how important government subsidy, political framework conditions, guidance and the help of networks are.” The benchmarks should be the USA, Israel and, increasingly, China too. “We are not always as speedy as we should be."

TUM President: “Entrepreneurial spirit must become the prevailing basic attitude”

TUM President Herrmann also underscores the significance of an entrepreneurial culture for Germany’s economic strength: “Especially in the digital revolution, we have a need for founders who are willing to take a risk. Entrepreneurial spirit must become the prevailing basic attitude of our society. As an institution that is at the service of society, TUM provides support for scientists and students to transform their knowledge and developments into marketable products and services – what’s more: TUM seeks to motivate those who previously gave no consideration to the value of the entrepreneur, let alone about having their own company.”

Chancellor meets with founders in the high-tech workshop

TUM and UnternehmerTUM GmbH offer start-up teams advice and active support concerning all significant steps: from the development of a business model to a team-building workshop, from management training to the search for investors. The start-ups find all the offerings and services under one roof: in the Entrepreneurship Center at the Garching campus, which was inaugurated this year and is unique throughout Europe.

Here, the Chancellor visited the “MakerSpace” high-tech workshop where start-ups can make use of the equipment needed for realizing prototypes and small-batch production. Office space is also available in the Entrepreneurship Center to start-up teams for the early phase of their company’s development. In the same building, four academic Chairs of the TUM Entrepreneurship Research Institute conduct research with the aim of fostering an exchange between practical application and research. This constellation is a first in Germany.

TUM spin-offs on the New York Stock Exchange

Of the approximately 700 companies that have been spun off from TUM since 1990, 600 are enjoying success on the market. Seven are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The TUM start-ups generate average revenue of around 3 million euros per year.

According to the latest “start-up radar” of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, the business community’s innovation agency for the German science system, no other major university does as much for start-up companies as TUM. TUM was also successful with its concept within the framework of the EXIST Support Program (EXIST IV Gründungskultur) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It is receiving funding to the tune of 2.7 million euros from 2011 to 2016.

More information:
Entrepreneurship at TUM


Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

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