THI students go on a "founders' journey" for sustainability

As part of a new project, students are to be made aware of business start-ups that contribute to regional sustainability.

Hands lie over each other

As part of a new project at THI, students go on a start-up journey together (Photo: Pexels)

The global challenges are great. With the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, the global community wants to enable a decent life worldwide while at the same time permanently preserving the natural foundations of life. As part of the ERIC funding project, Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI) would like to enable students to found companies that provide answers to these challenges - from the region for the region.

A "start-up journey" awaits the students - from developing an awareness of ecological, social and economic issues to imparting the necessary knowledge for starting a business and establishing their own company. The goal is to found companies that address the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in close cooperation with regional partners from business, science, society and politics. To this end, the Entrepreneurship Certificate established at the THI years ago will be further developed into a new start-up certificate "Sustainable & Digital Entrepreneurship" and rolled out both at the new THI campus in Neuburg with a focus on "Sustainable Infrastructures" and at the Ingolstadt campus.

Promoting an entrepreneurial mindset

The "Founder's Journey" focuses on Bachelor's and Master's students from all faculties as well as doctoral students who, as future experts and managers, will assume responsibility for shaping a future worth living. "ERIC aims to promote their entrepreneurial mindset and raise their awareness of sustainability issues. The aim is to encourage students to set up businesses that provide answers for the region with regard to the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations," explains Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Hof, Vice-President of the THI and project leader of ERIC. Students will learn approaches and methods for the development, evaluation and realisation of sustainable enterprises and develop their own ideas for practical implementation.

THI's partner in the ERIC project is Coburg University of Applied Sciences. Together, the universities have broad expert knowledge in the fields of technology, economics as well as social sciences and social work, so that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be tackled competently and comprehensively.

LAB-of-Change festivals will take place

The central sub-projects of the first stage are the establishment of a LAB-of-Change festival, which will be held annually at the THI and Coburg University of Applied Sciences, the establishment of impact talks and an impact film festival. In the second stage, the conception and implementation of the basic certificate "Sustainable & Digital Entrepreneurship" will follow, for which new modules will be developed with "Sustainable Entrepreneurship" and "Sustainable Value Assessment & Finance" and existing modules will be supplemented or further developed according to the triple bottom line. In the third stage, the in-depth certificate will be developed. A central component of the Certificate of Advanced Studies, which is geared towards practical implementation, are the Lab of Change projects that start each semester with the Lab of Change Festival, in which project or start-up ideas that can contribute regionally to overcoming global challenges are worked on in student teams together with regional stakeholders. In addition, there are special start-up coaching offers for sustainable entrepreneurs and the establishment of an impact track in the start-up competitions.

The project is funded with 1.9 million euros by the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts within the framework of the guideline for the promotion of impact-oriented entrepreneurship qualification. 950,000 euros of this will go to the THI.

Info: Further information is available from Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Hof, e-mail:



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