Managers support company founders

Researchers wishing to set up their own businesses are experts in their respective fields, but may lack the necessary business knowledge. In the course of the “Fraunhofer promotes management” programme which is supported by the Federal ministry for education and research (BMBF) the venture group of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is going to support research company founders with experienced managers.

In particular during the starting stage of a company it is important to develop a comprehensive market strategy, to form a client base and to represent the company professionally. However, quite often research business founders rather concentrate on technological aspects while at the same time paying too little or no attention at all to commercial aspects, say the experts. This leads to serious problems for company founders. Here the new “Fraunhofer promotes management” programme is to provide help. To this end the BMBF will make available 2.2 million Euros over the next three years.

Thus, in future pragmatic and experienced manager from industry are going to support researchers during the starting stages of their new businesses. Currently the Fraunhofer Institute is still looking for managers which want to support researchers over a limited or longer period of time. This support would include the development of a business model, analysis of the market and competitors and defining client requirements. If the partners get along well with each other, it may be possible that the counselling manager will later become part of the business management of his or her counselled company.

Since 1999 the venture group experts have been counselling researchers wishing to set up their own business. They help with the optimization of business plans, the selection of the legal form and the drawing up of contracts. Furthermore, researchers are also supported in their search for partners for financing and co-operations. GERMAN