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Student Business Ventures

Witten/Herdecke University is an entrepreneurial university and autonomous in all relevant decisions concerning budget, organization, staff, strategy, capacity building, recruitment of students and employees, as well as its financial position.

Our students are encouraged to develop entrepreneurial qualities. The prize-winning start-up factory GründerWerkstatt stimulates enterprising spirit in economics students right from the start. They learn to be self dependent and act as part of a team. The focus is on responsibility, initiative, creative will and entrepreneurial spirit.

UW/H students are dedicated and prepared to take charge. Here are some examples of innovative business ideas successfully realized by Witten students. 

Berlin Institute for Innovation

Oliver Skopec, student at the UW/H Faculty of Management and Economics, was 21 when he designed and managed "schülerVZ", Europe's largest social network for young people. Today he is managing director of the Berlin Institute for Innovation (BIFI) which specializes in consumer centred innovation research.


With BuddyBeers you can buy someone a beer via Internet and thus cultivate friendships worldwide and any time. One of the initiators is Min-Sung Sean Kim, a Witten economics student. He and his partners Travis Todd and Benedikt Bingler started this innovative online service in 2010, thereby reviving one of the oldest and most cheerful traditions known to us.


Denkleister is a student consultancy with currently about 50 active members. The original plan was to support the university during the financial crisis in 2008. Today the initiative still passes on half of all profits to the university budget.

DSGE / DSGI curriculum

In 2008 dentistry students Karl Bühring and Paul Schuh introduced the DSGI curriculum, to be followed by the DSGE curriculum in 2010. These learning platforms enable students of dental medicine to acquire comprehensive knowledge and competences in implantology and endodontics prior to graduation. Participants profit from a network of producers in the field and experienced dentists, and they acquire skill which considerably improve their chances of a successful career entry.



Tobias Lorenz, doctoral student at the Faculty of Management and Economics, manages an online fair trade language school. Glovico (global video conference) arranges for native speakers in Africa, Latin America and Asia to teach foreign languages to German learners. The fee is above average for the instructor's country but rather modest compared to Germany, so that both sides profit from the deal. German learners acquire not only language skills, they experience intercultural exchange.


Economics students Daniel Pütz and Stefan Peukert created an Internat portal called for students looking for internships and employers offering such opportunities. Former interns can describe and comment on their personal experience, employers may present their business and the internships they offer.


Mira Maier, doctoral candidate at UW/H, initiated this project for a transparent scholarship system. The idea is to make access to scholarships easier for pupils, students and doctoral candidates. The only representative national study shows that existing scholarship options are neither known nor made use of. More than two thirds of prospective university students expect financial problems; but only one out of eight school leavers with good grades plans to apply for a scholarship.

Online book swap shop

Online book swap shop

Jonas Piela and Fionn Kientzler started the online book exchange “” in August 2008. They combined the fleamarket principle, i.e. easy purchase and sale on site, with an online portal – an intelligent bookselling concept.


Max von Papen is convinced that comparably "easy" products such as T-shirts and baseball caps were just the beginning of the mass customization revolution. Together with his partner Manual Langele the economics student founded Scurdy. On their homepage Internet users may first design and then order their personal, highly individual sneakers.



Patrick Rebacz: "My interests are both medicine and economics, and I am passionate about drawing and sketching." It seemed only natural to combine these fields for a business idea. His company Visionom specializes in graphic designs and in visualizing complex medical and economic issues in easily understandable illustrations.

In addition to the above start-ups founded by UW/H students there is an impressive number of businesses designed, established and managed by graduates of Witten/Herdecke University.

See an overview of alumni businesses.

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