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Freie Universität Berlin Wins Start-up Competition for Eighth Time

First Place in Berlin-Brandenburg Business Plan Competition (BPW) for Start-up Support at Freie Universität

№ 151/2020 from Sep 02, 2020

For the eighth time, Freie Universität Berlin has been named Ideenschmiede Berlin (“powerhouse of ideas”) in the Berlin-Brandenburg Business Plan Competition (BPW) in recognition of the university’s success in supporting start-ups. Due to covid-19, the president of Freie Universität, Prof. Dr. Günter M. Ziegler, accepted the award in a virtual event. Ziegler expressed his thanks on behalf of the university and its start-ups. He emphasized that entrepreneurship education is of great importance at Freie Universität and is even open to new students so that they can learn how to write business plans at a very early stage in their education and put these to a practical test. Profund Innovation, a service institution in the research division of Freie Universität, has been successfully supporting start-ups at the university for years. In addition, the university has a Digital Entrepreneurship Hub and a Start-up Villa. Company founders also benefit from an attractive environment on the Dahlem research campus. In the future, the FUBIC technology and start-up center that is currently under construction will provide additional impetus for start-ups. The university has important networks for spin-offs within the framework of the Berlin University Alliance, the university consortium of excellence funded through the German government’s Excellence Strategy and consisting of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and Technische Universität Berlin.

Start-up awards were also presented at the virtual event. They were awarded in the categories BPW Plan, BPW Canvas, BPW Study, and in the special category of sustainability. The start-up Aivy, which is supported by Freie Universität, placed fourth in the BPW Plan category and third in the sustainability category. Aivy describes its product as a game-based assessment that supports hiring decisions using diagnostic and scientifically validated performance values to determine individual strength profiles for a nondiscriminatory initial assessment of applicants. The start-up Wover, also supported by Freie Universität, placed third in the BPW Canvas category. This start-up is developing an app that will connect girls and women on their way home at night and transfer them to a ride service designed only for female passengers.

The Berlin-Brandenburg Business Plan Competition (BPW) is organized jointly by the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Enterprises and the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy of the State of Brandenburg. It is funded through the European Social Fund. A total of 146 business plans were submitted in 2020. The title Ideenschmiede Brandenburg went to BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg.

The next round of the business plan competition will start on October 9, 2020. Start-ups from Freie Universität can contact Profund Innovation for further information and assistance.

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