Interdisciplinary teams are successful founding-teams – this is what researchers at the Entrepreneurship Research Institute at Technische Universität München, commissioned by the Joachim Herz Stiftung, discovered. Alongside various measures regarding academic facilitation in the range of founding, they explicitly pointed out the aspect of interdisciplinarit (cf. https://www.wiwo.de/erfolg/gruender/zaghafte-ausgruendungen-wir-brauchen-einen-oliver-samwer-fuer-techies/26898514.html, accessed last 03.05.2021).
With its 20 faculties, more than 42.000 (inter-)national students, more than 6000 (inter-) national employees and 300 partnerships (cf. https://uni.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/de/zahlen-und-fakten, accessed last 03.05.2021), the Ruhr-University Bochum offers a solid basis for building up interdisciplinary teams in which one’s own start-up project can be driven forward supported by a wide range of competences and expertise within the team.
Especially start-up projects with distinct focus on sustainability are, in the case of successful spin-off, a prime example for the demand of interdisciplinary collaboration. Genuine sustainable products, services or technologies and the complex socially relevant challenges of our time can no longer be solely developed by experts under a bell jar – here, cooperation and collaboration between various experts and talented all-rounders are required.
And exactly at this point of intersection of sustainability and interdisciplinarity the hour strikes for chemistry. Because many research endeavours within the field of chemistry, in an early stadium, already address at least one of the 17 Sustainability goals given by the UN (https://sdgs.un.org/goals). Especially here, there is a need for full development of the already existing potential towards the utilization of different chemistry distant expert knowledge.
As the Start4Chem incubator of the Worldfactory Start-up Center at the RUB, we support people interested in founding, to incorporate complementary expert knowledge into their teams. Especially teams within the field of chemistry are often strong and excellent in their own professionality and realise with progressing work on their projects that they, for example, desperately need advice concerning engineering or business and economics. Thus, a proficient salesman might be required to place an own idea in the market and to get potential customers excited about it – here, it is not enough to solely work with external consulting. Once this important milestone regarding team insight has been achieved by the team itself, we at Start4Chem are ready to support with the help of finding and/or placement of new team members.
A low-threshold first step for acquisition of new team members could be, for example, the Stellenwerk portal available under the category “Wer gründet mit?” (https://www.stellenwerk-bochum.de/jobboerse/wer-gruendet-mit). Here, no-cost job advertisements can be placed, for the purpose of gathering new team members for start-ups.
Ultimately, it is all about forming a strong team, in which the members trust each other and build on one another and also about the respective expert knowledge and competences. What’s more, regarding team development, we also like to offer our services as a sparring partner for future founding teams.
We offer RUB chemists the framework to take their own research results and / or business ideas as a basis to orientate themselves towards the market, to deal with their own interest in founding a company, to develop this interest and, ideally, to start up a business.
Essentially, our services are directed at scientists and students within the field of chemistry, regardless of an already existing theoretical business proposal or whether there are promising research results at hand.
Chemists, who have bright results at hand and who want to test their market relevance get the chance of an individual WSC-coaching for business model development, preparation for founding competitions or applications for funds, like EXIST or NRW Start-up Transfer.
For everyone, who wants to get into touch with the topic of founding, we like to be the interface to mediate WSC offers, like Gründer:Innentalk or within the range of “Entrepreneurship Education” at RUB. Here, we like to emphasize our course “From Top Level Science to Top Level Business” that welcomes anyone wanting to get a first impression of the start-up spirit.
Furthermore, we as a team understand ourselves as networkers for people who are interested in founding and want to provide demand-based contacts for our teams. Examples for these kinds of contacts would be the excellence cluster RESOLV, the faculties and administration of the RUB or our external scientific institutions, the founding eco system at RUB as wells as role models within the chemical industry.
In the foreseeable future we will be able to offer office and laboratory spaces to those interested in founding. Here, the teams will be able to advance their real start-up projects and a chance of communicating and exchanging with others within the same field.
Together with our colleagues at WSC, we already accompany three teams interested in founding in chemistry: LiveSen, Millovation and Phycosystems. These teams are all on different milestones and have different stories behind and in front of them. And that is, what is important to us. We support you from the moment on, where you actually want to get in touch with your founding interest – end open. We look forward to getting to know you!
You can find information about this in the moodle course.
Furthermore, we would like to draw your attention to the two Start4Chem master courses:
From top-level research to top-level business
Out of the chemistry lab and up to the escape room!