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2017-09-04

ZU Starts a New Business Incubator

ZU is starting a business incubator at its Lake Campus. In the "PioneerPort" at Seemooser Horn, founders and researchers will find a common place of ideas for innovations - both by companies from the region and by student start-ups and with impulses from science. The official start will be as early as this fall, and the first renowned partner will be WAGNER Group from Markdorf. Within the ZU business incubator, they will start with their idea "freiraum".

"The promotion of economic, social, and cultural entrepreneurship is a central aim of ZU", ZU President Professor Dr. Insa Sjurts explains. "The business incubator combines the various activities at ZU in research, teaching, and practice that are related to company start-ups, and develops them further". The business incubator has the potential to create a sustainable added value, not only for founders and ZU, but also for the city of Friedrichshafen and the Lake Constance region. It is also an ideal supplement to other projects in the city and the region that deal with company start-ups. Insa Sjurts, "We are very happy to have WAGNER Group as a strong and innovative partner at our side".

"Innovation is the core of our WAGNER DNA and an essential part of our long-term strategy as one of the leading experts on surface coating worldwide. Innovation needs open space, the possibility to think without limitations across borders, beyond existing mental, organizational, and spatial structures", Dr. Bruno Niemeyer, Chairman of the Executive Management of WAGNER Group says. This space is created with the new WAGNER Group incubator "freiraum" at ZU, and thus business ideas strongly related to surface coating technology are supported. They will be implemented in the context of start-ups, and that quite practically by means of co-working space, financing, mentoring, and access to know-how. Niemeyer continues, "In ZU, as one of the best universities in Germany with a strong orientation towards entrepreneurship, we have found the ideal partner in the region. Its interdisciplinary approach, both problem- and solution-oriented, especially regarding innovations, offers the best pre-conditions for knowledge transfer in both directions. Additionally - and this is just as important to me - we support young entrepreneurial talents in the Lake Constance region with our business incubator.

The business incubator is generally open to all student start-ups at ZU and to companies in the region. It is accompanied by an advisory board consisting of representatives from science, business and business development.

So far, ZU students and alumni have founded more than 120 companies. The most well-known are the remote bus pioneers of DeinBus.de, the social enterprise "Rock Your Life!", the publishing house for 3D printed design objects "Stilnest", as well as "unu", developer and provider of electro scooters.