Research for New Entrepreneurship Impulses

Diverse research at the Entrepreneurship Hub

We deal with a wide range of topics in a startup context.

Business Model Innovation
High Tech Entrepreneurship
Digitisation and Industry 4.0
Regional Entrepreneurship and startup ecosystems
Entrepreneurial University
Entrepreneurial Mindset
Entrepreneurship Education

Examples of current research topics

Systematic transformation of scientific research results into innovative products and services triggers a direct prosperity effect and strengthens the competitiveness of the industrial sector.

The research focus High-Tech Entrepreneurship analyses the process of commercialization of scientific results at technical universities and non-university research institutions. Using quantitative and qualitative research methods, approaches to the integration of scientific and economic systems are sought and further developed. Particular attention is paid to business modeling, technology venture capital and high-tech entrepreneurship governance.

Prof. Dr. Reza Asghari
Telephone: +49 (0) 5331 939 33410

Integrated innovation methodology to strengthen the innovative capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises in the region

Questions and motivation

The ability to innovate is a key success factor for companies in all sectors. It is often unclear which factors determine the ability to innovate and which measures or methods can be used to promote innovation in business practice. This applies in particular to
small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as human resources are very limited here and know-how is often highly specialised. Due to these limitations and the insufficient understanding of the levers to increase innovation capability, it is difficult to identify and implement company-specific measures. Shorter life cycles, more complex products and the global distribution of value creation processes on the one hand increase the pressure to act and require the expansion of the internal know-how of SMEs. On the other hand, digital tools make new forms of knowledge exchange and cooperation between companies possible. The InnoLink joint project takes up these opportunities and challenges in order to develop a methodology for strengthening the innovative capacity of SMEs in the Braunschweig region. Companies and universities act as know-how carriers and provide their specific knowledge about innovation methods and processes or technologies, e.g. in the form of best practices. This is expected to provide significant impetus and a better company-specific awareness for concrete measures to increase innovation capability.

Approach and Project Goal

The aim of the joint project between TU Braunschweig and Ostfalia HaW is to provide tools for innovation management in SMEs. On the one hand, the offer is to provide aids for identifying and evaluating the fields of action for strengthening innovation capability. Building on this, the offer is to provide measures and methods that can be applied in a company-specific manner to strengthen innovation capability. In addition, the innovation methodology is to provide networking with universities and other external knowledge carriers to support the implementation of measures.

On the basis of a needs assessment of regional SMEs and extensive research, a model was developed to describe the innovative capacity of SMEs. With the help of this model, it is possible to consider one’s own innovative capacity on a strategic and operational level.

Elements of the integrated innovation methodology

Based on a needs analysis for SMEs in the region, an integrated innovation methodology was developed which, as a future portal solution, includes the following elements, among others:

  • Creating awareness – Innovation NavigatorInnoCheck
    Evaluation of one’s own innovative capacity and identification of company-specific fields of action for strengthening innovative capacity.
  • Providing orientation – decision support InnoScope
    Support in the selection of concrete fields of action and measures to strengthen one’s own capacity for innovation.
  • Providing knowledge – measures and methods box InnoBox: Provision of practically applicable approaches, methods and tools to strengthen the capacity for innovation.
  • Promoting networking – digital knowledge and communication portal InnoNet: Networking with universities and other external knowledge carriers to support the implementation of measures

Opportunities for cooperation and participation

Would you like to become a partner, discuss current challenges, expand your knowledge about innovation and develop concrete solutions? We offer:

  • Workshops for company-specific analyses of innovation capabilities  and fields of action
  • Pilot projectsfor the application of modern innovation and development methods
  • Problem solving by students of TU Braunschweig and Ostfalia HaW

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in this joint project and if you would like to share your experiences or bring in concrete questions. If you are interested, we are happy to share our current project results with you.

Project partners

Institut für Konstruktionstechnik – Technische Universität Braunschweig

Allianz für die Region GmbH
Braunschweig Zukunft GmbH

IHK Braunschweig
Handwerkskammer Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Stade
KIM Kooperationsinitiative Maschinenbau e.V.
Metropolregion Hannover Braunschweig Göttingen Wolfsburg GmbH
PEINER SMAG Lifting Technologies GmbH

For further information please visit

Leonhard Riedel, M.Sc.
Telefon: +49 (0) 5331 939 33660

As a key term of the 21st century, digital transformation is increasingly emerging, which essentially refers to the transformation of products, services, processes and business models in the context of increasing digitalization.

The dynamic and sustainable change of the ecosystem has changed many sectors structurally and permanently and established new rules of competition. Corporate success is less and less attributable to products, services or internal value creation processes; rather, it is innovative business models that act as value drivers. The changed market conditions also require the adaptation of tools and methods to develop business models in order to meet these new dynamic requirements. This results in the following overarching research objective:

Derivating and evaluating a requirement-compliant approach to the development of business models in the context of digital transformation in the form of a serious game.

Against the background of this overarching research objective, more detailed research questions can be derived:

  • What is the status quo in business model research and which instruments and tools have already become established in theory and practice?
  • What are the weak points for users in the application of common business model development tools?
  • What new influencing factors and value drivers are emerging from digitization?
  • How do transformation processes influence products, user behavior, value creation and thus entire business models in the context of digital Darwinism?
  • Which new requirements arise for approaches to business model development?
  • To what extent are these requirements already taken into account by existing frameworks for business model development?
  • To what extent is a serious game a suitable methodological instrument to conceive business models in digitally transforming ecosystems?

Ricarda Schlimbach, M.Sc., MBA

Innovation is a key factor for the economic success of any company, regardless of its size. Disruptive innovation or creative destruction is the strongest form of innovation. The entrepreneurial component in the innovation process is the person with an entrepreneurial mindset who not only recognizes an innovate idea and its associated potential, but also acts entrepreneurially based on it.

The term entrepreneurial mindset describes a concept that describes the characteristics, attitudes, motives and behavior of the entrepreneurial personality as comprehensively as possible. This concept establishes an action reference between attitudes and actions that characterizes the path from idea generation to idea implementation. Therefore, the entrepreneurial mindset can be seen as a driving factor for the development of innovation.

Entrepreneurship Education has the potential to systematically positively influence the entrepreneurial mindset of engineering students and thus enhance their ability to identify innovative opportunities and support the corresponding innovative action.

The aim of the thesis is to examine how the concept of Entrepreneurship Education should be structured in order to systematically influence the entrepreneurial mindset of students in engineering courses.

Relevant is the question regarding the great importance of engineering sciences in the development of innovative technologies. For an economy that claims technological leadership, it is therefore necessary to ensure the entrepreneurial mindset of students is positively influenced already in higher education in the field of engineering science.

Dipl.-Kffr. Dagmar Wilgeroth
Telephone: +49 (0) 5331 939 33530

Digitisation is associated with great opportunities for the economy and society. The current Kondratjev cycle manifests itself through digitization with a further increase in total factor productivity. The industrial sector in particular is benefiting from the efficiency gains of technological progress and the potential for Germany is therefore particularly great. However, it is not only the efficiency of production systems that can be increased, but also their effectiveness, for example in customer loyalty or the development of new market segments. In this way, innovations can and must be adapted to the individual needs of customers and customers more strongly bound by network effects.

The German economy depends on industrial SMEs, but it is precisely this sector that is lagging behind in implementing digitisation. Only very few small and medium-sized enterprises are exploiting their real potential or developing concrete strategies for dealing with digitisation. What is tricky is that the success of a company to date does not alone indicate future prosperity. On the one hand, technical possibilities are changing the demands placed on product and service bundles, while on the other monopolies are becoming simpler in the digital age and are being built up beyond geographical borders. Digital disruption is forcing companies to rethink and change their self-image, to digital transformation.

The digital transformation of a company fathoms a new path of development on an organizational level. A company forms the framework for the innovation cycles of its business models. The research area of social innovation shows technical innovation cycles comprise phases of incremental progress and disruptive change. The latter goes hand in hand with the introduction of a new understanding of the dimensions by which progress is defined. Digitalization also breaks through outdated trajectories of incremental growth at the corporate level. It thus requires a social closure in the company for a new development perspective. The current digitalization stage of the German middle class can thus be understood as an imbalance between external changes in the corporate environment and internal guard rails of corporate development.

Against this background, the following research question is answered:

How can epistemic methods in business development support medium-sized companies in the manufacturing industry sector in recognising the relevant potentials of digitisation?

Furthermore, these subordinate questions have to be answered:

  • Which approach is suitable for sensitizing the business development of medium-sized companies to the long-term anchoring of a new corporate development trajectory?
  • Which methods and approaches can be used to overcome inactivity towards digitalisation in medium-sized companies?
  • Why are the potentials of digitisation not realized in medium-sized companies?
  • What exactly are the potentials of digitization at the business model level?
  • What is the prosperity perspective of the German economy with low exploitation of digitization potential in medium-sized companies in the manufacturing industry sector?

Consequently, the field of research includes in particular digitisation, change management and social innovation. The following graph visualises key areas of the research field.

The key objective of the research work is to close the gap between the real opportunities of digitisation and its implementation in small and medium-sized enterprises in order to contribute to the long-term prosperity of the German economy.

Leonhard Riedel, M.Sc.

National and international cooperation

We cooperate with various institutions in order to conduct national and international research.

In addition to the opportunities for scholarship-funded work abroad, there are numerous other opportunities to research new and interesting problems and challenges in the field of entrepreneurship at home and abroad.

Feel free to contact us or make an appointment.

Importance of Entrepreneurship Research

“With our Entrepreneurship Research, we would like to make a contribution to the way in which influencing factors in of the innovation process can be used to improve innovation capacity.”

DAGMAR WILGEROTH, Research assistant

“It is very important for the future viability of the German economy to develop its own innovative performance and not to let the manifold changes in the markets go by inactively.”

LEONHARD RIEDEL, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
“Entrepreneurship can be a driving force for bringing research into the economy. And it also helps to stimulate a rethink in the economy, i.e. to change the mindset.”