GründerWerkstatt is a core element in the first part of the Bachelor program in Business Economics and obligatory for all second semester students. Students of Philosophy, Politics & Economics and Family Business Management may also attend this start-up workshop as an elective course.
From the very beginning Witten students are autonomous in organizing their studies. We support their entrepreneurial initiative with this prize-winning start-up workshop, where they learn to develop and implement business ideas and marketable concepts. They are free to think and act as entrepreneurs. They organize themselves, define targets, and plan and realize strategies. Experienced managers, founders, investors, consultants and UW/H lecturers give valuable advice and accompany the resulting start-ups during and beyond the course. This hands-on experience is excellent preparation for business practice and a necessary complement to theoretical studies.
We are convinced that you learn best how business works if you try it out for yourself. We share the views of Prof. Günter Faltin, author of the famous book “Kopf schlägt Kapital”, that entrepreneurship is not the same as business administration, and that an intelligent and creative use of knowhow and existing models is more important than available capital: “Today it is not capital expenditure but intellectual effort that makes ideas assert themselves; not because they are translated into the language and techniques of business administation (as in business plans) but because ideas are considered, developed, revised, possibly even discarded and replaced by better ideas. The mark of nobility is awarded for the mental effort, for out-of-the-box thinking and acting, for novel perspectives and combinations, sometimes for the ability to accept that to others you may seem an outsider, even a nutcase.”
What entrepreneurs really need in addition to unconventional concepts are character, enthusiasm, originality, curiosity, creativity, intuition and verve. You will not find any of these aspects in the curricula of conventional business schools – but at Witten/Herdecke they are part of the philosophy.
The experience won in our GründerWerkstatt is fed back into regular reflexion units and seminars for discussion and analysis; the result is a comprehensive integration of theory and practice with progressive learning effects. In this innovative teaching concept students learn much about entrepreneurship through the analysis of personal experience.
Upon completion of the GründerWerkstatt we offer students to arrange a meeting with potential investors to whom they may present their business ideas.