Co-Founder Matching at WHU –

Successful university spin-offs through collaboration with WHU business talents

Research teams struggle to become founders without experienced business team members.

The strategy consultancy McKinsey & Company estimates that increasing the number of new start-ups through additional initiatives will create an additional €500B in value and 340,000 jobs by 2030. A majority of these ventures could come from universities. 1,350 additional start-ups founded from universities in 2030 is the estimated number that McKinsey predicts.

So-called “deep-tech” startups that rely on profound technological understanding are at the core of the next wave of European innovation. Technical faculties are the institutions that foster the talent and intellectual property necessary to create such ventures.

According to the Deutscher Startup Monitor, 55,9 % of academic founders see transitioning from a scientific to an entrepreneurial role as a crucial challenge for establishing successful spin-offs.

But there are significant obstacles stopping university scientists from becoming entrepreneurs. How to solve this problem? A team of founders who provide scientific and entrepreneurial know-how has proven to be a good choice.

WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management educates Germany’s most successful founders:


15 unicorns = more than any other university in the DACH region1


German business school for degree programs and entrepreneurship education2


Alma mater of founders of “Top-500 Start-ups” in Germany relative to its student population3


University alumni network of active Business Angels and Venture Capital investors in DACH

Co-Founder Matching Program:

Adding a co-founder from WHU can accelerate the transition from research teams to startups. And this is where the WHU Entrepreneurship Center steps in with its Co-Founder Matching Program.

Research teams create a short summary of their team & innovation in English (best including: innovation, potential applications, current team & funding, and future timeline and projects)

The WHU Entrepreneurship Center forwards co-founding requests to its talent pool. The co-founding opportunities are published on the In Praxi job platform and sent to a selected mailing list of WHU students and alumni.

In Praxi is the alumni association of WHU.​ 90% of all graduates are members and can be addressed via mailing and our own intranet. ​Every WHU alumnus has direct access to our network of prestigious WHU founders and investors and can leverage this access for every venture they engage in.

Interested WHU alumni reach out to the research team to talk about further details.

Successful WHU-X Examples of Co-Founding:

Get in Touch

Maximilian Eckel

Managing Director
+49 (0)261 6509 237
send email

Sigrid Dethloff

Operations Manager
+49 (0)211 44709 262
send email

Professor Dr.
Dries Faems

Academic Co-Director
+49 (0)261 6509 235
send email
more information

Professor Dr.
Christoph Hienerth

Academic Co-Director
+49 (0)261 6509 261
send email
short biography