Research with value added - that is the objective of the GGS. The scientific findings of the Institute for Entrepreneurship are therefore applied in many areas, be it in teaching at the GGS, in exchange with practitioners or in the dialogue with other researchers.

...into teaching

MBA Personal Focus Module: Entrepreneurship and Startup Management

How do you start a startup? What makes an entrepreneur entrepreneurial? What challenges does a team face in the course of developing a new venture? These are just some of the questions students will explore in this module. It is designed to help students gain an in-depth understanding of state-of-the-art concepts and methods in entrepreneurship and startup management. Lectures as well as presentations by entrepreneurs and new venture experts will provide students with a sound theoretical foundation. In small teams, students will gain hands-on experience in the art of developing an innovative idea, searching for a profitable business model, and planning a sustainable business. On the final day of the module, teams will pitch their business concepts to investors and arrange the next steps for a potential launch of their venture.

MSc Module: Technology Management and Business Models

The module “Technology Management and Business Models” in our master’s programme “Innovation Management” (MSc) focuses on development of innovative business models and management of technologies and innovations. In this module, students learn about the importance and effects of innovative business models in generating and maintaining competitive advantage. Emphasis is placed on elaborating the particularities of digital business models. Students form teams and develop an innovative business model for an existing business idea. They design the business architecture and plan its rollout. Students further learn processes and methods for building on the strategic potential of technologies, especially on current technology trends (Industry 4.0, Business Analytics). By the end of the course, students know how to design, plan and manage technology in the corporate world.

MBA: Managing and Leading in Organizations

This module introduces students to concepts and principles of human behavior that are essential for creating high performance organizations. Students will learn methods of managing individuals, groups and organizations and advance their effectiveness as managers and leaders through self-assessments, feedback, and the study of exemplary management and leadership situations. Topics in this module include organization design, power and influence, culture, motivation, group behavior and teams, diversity management, decision making, emotions, conflict management, negotiation, and managing change.

MBA: Strategic Management

In this module, students learn the core concepts and instruments that will enable them to assess a firm’s competitive environment, to evaluate its resources and capabilities, and to craft a strategy that will allow the firm to leverage its competitive advantages over time. Topics in this module include: strategy and the strategic management process, evaluating an organization’s external environment, evaluating an organization’s internal resources and capabilities, the two elementary business-level strategies of cost leadership and product differentiation, and corporate-level strategies such as vertical integration, corporate diversification, strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, and internationalization.

MBA: Germany’s Mittelstand Companies: Managing SMEs in the Heart of Europe

This module focuses on Germany’s Mittelstand companies. These small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of Germany’s export-oriented economy and are often global leaders in their niche markets. Drawing from the fields of management, marketing, and law, students will learn how Germany’s Mittelstand companies operate and how they are managed. Topics in this module are grouped in two themes: (1) Mittelstand companies and their economic and societal context, and (2) the internal workings of Mittelstand companies.

...into practice

Heilbronn Talks: Corporate Leadership

The “Heilbronn Talks: Corporate Leadership” offer discussion of current topics which are of high relevance for professionals and executives. The members of the institute contribute to this series by joint discussion of their research results with practitioners. The collaboration between practitioners and researchers enables a dialogue about the projects pursued at the institute. The academic work of the institute should not only advance scientific knowledge, but also provide added value for professionals and executives in the region. The open format of the series was chosen to encourage bilateral knowledge exchange on current topics.

Further information: “Heilbronn Talks: Corporate Leadership”

Startup Coaching

GGS startup coaching accompanies aspiring founders through the entire founding process. It covers a wide spectrum of support ranging from the discovery and development of the business idea through the design of the business model to the planning and implementation of the project.

Depending on the individual situation and context, the coaching process can include identification of entrepreneurial opportunities by means of human-centered innovation (Design Thinking), modeling a business model using graphical methods (Business Model Canvas) and operational planning with the help of a business plan. Topics relating to the founding team or venture financing may be considered as well.

The coaching process starts with getting to know each other, presenting the business idea – if it already exists – and agreeing on the coaching needs. Based on the personal background of the founder and the status of the startup project, a coaching schedule is developed. This includes specific elements related to the founding person or team as well as project-related elements aimed at successfully developing the startup project. Depending on individual needs, we further link the prospective founders with other regional and national experts and investors.

For students and graduates of GGS Heilbronn, this service is free of charge.

Startup Events

Startup Meetup is a network event for founders and startup enthusiasts. It takes place on a regular basis at GGS and at partner locations. A guest speaker gives a talk about his or her own startup, especially the challenges faced in the founding and roll-out phase. Topics discussed cover venture financing, legal issues, scaling of business models, as well as marketing and PR. After the talk, participants engage in discussion and open exchange.

For more information:

Startup Weekend Food

Over the course of three days, Startup Weekend Food offers a platform for innovators, aspiring entrepreneurs, and food-enthusiasts aiming to develop an innovative startup in the areas of gastronomy, food production, and food delivery. On the first day, participants present their business ideas, and teams are formed based on individual preferences. The teams elaborate their startup ideas by defining target groups, conducting market research, and working on their financial models. Experienced mentors from the startup and food scene support them in developing viable and sustainable business designs. The weekend ends with pitch presentations in front of a jury.

The first Startup Weekend Food Heilbronn, which took place at GGS 12-14 February 2016, attracted more than 50 participants from Germany, France and Denmark. Well-known companies and mentors supported the event.

For more information:

Executive Education

Intrapreneurship und Design Thinking

Companies need to continuously reinvent themselves in order to thrive in the market. Entrepreneurial thinking and action taking within existing companies, known as "Intrapreneurship", is a capability that facilitates and drives innovation and change in organizations. This capability is dependent on the leadership, structure and culture of the organizational setting as well as on the creativity and innovativeness of the employees.

Through consulting and educational offerings in our Executive Education programme, we enable companies to increase their dynamic capabilities. We train employees in methods that have a proven impact on individual creativity and innovation, such as Design Thinking.

Design Thinking has become a core component of modern management skills. The method supports the development of new products or services and aims at finding solutions for complex problems. Products and services are developed and tested in a creative process based on actual customer needs. It is a six-stage innovation process, ranging from the inspiration for a new product or service to testing and iterating prototypes on the market.

Click here for more information about our seminars and workshops:

Are you are interested in a tailor-made offering for your company? Contact us!

SEFEX project of the Economic Development Agency Heilbronn

2016-2018: Conceptualisation and implementation of strategy development measures for the member companies of two industrial clusters in the Heilbronn region (MetallDIALOG and KunststoffDIALOGs) within the framework of the SEFEX project of the Economic Development Agency Heilbronn []. In this project, sponsored by the EU and the state of Baden-Württemberg, metal and plastics companies are given the opportunity to obtain training in the fields of strategic management, efficiency improvement and expansion through specialist consultants in order to secure their success in the long term.

...into science

3rd International Conference on the Dynamics of Entrepreneurship

The ZEW conference „3rd International Conference on the Dynamics of Entrepreneurship“ took place in Mannheim from June 6-7, 2016 with the support of the institute. Formation, growth and exit of firms are crucial for innovation, employment and structural change in modern economies. The aim of this conference was to discuss recent scientific contributions on the interdependencies between finance, human capital, innovation as well as investment activities of young firms. More than 90 participants from Europe and the US attended the conference. In addition to engaging in scientific exchange, the participants also learned about the situation of young firms in Germany. A panel with representatives from firms, the financial sector, politics and academia discussed financing opportunities for innovative firms with high growth potential.