At Startup Port Gründungscamp 2023, ambitious founders met to learn and network in a campus atmosphere. Last weekend, Hamburg’s Tempowerk Technology Park provided the backdrop for three days of intensive workshops, constructive discussions and innovative company presentations.
At the start-up camp, a team of competent speakers worked together with those interested in founding a company to put the individual components of their knowledge-based business ideas to the test and develop them further into a mature business model. With the help of canvas models, rapid prototyping and various risk scenarios, the offer is concretised, the target group is sharpened and the revenue model is tested for feasibility and scalability in order to put the intended company on a solid footing.
This year, the participants not only received excellent training in a campus atmosphere, but also benefited from the exchange of experiences with other young entrepreneurs: Concrete information on the most important start-up questions and problems, the examination of one’s own start-up personality as well as numerous individual counselling offers rounded off the start-up camp.
“Sustainability and business ethics were particularly important to the participants. Environmental awareness, fair treatment of employees, gender – all of these have come more and more into focus in recent years,” reports Tatjana Timoschenko (Hamburg Innovation / Startup Port). “Another special feature this year was that the participants were not allowed to use a classic PowerPoint presentation for the idea pitch, but had to come up with alternatives. One participant even opted for a rap performance,” adds Henrik Hopp-Piepho (Hamburg Innovation GmbH / Startup Port). The two speakers and start-up advisors also found the participation of an 18-year-old high school graduate unusual: “So far, we’ve only had students or graduates,” they said, surprised. But it’s not about age, but about the freshness of the vision and the energy with which the future is shaped, they said.
The start-up camp is the successor to the INNOTECH Summer School, which Tempowerk and Hamburg Innovation GmbH have been organising together with Leuphana University Lüneburg in late summer for 15 years. The form of knowledge transfer has changed over the years, reports Nils Neumann, the speaker and start-up consultant who has been accompanying the event for many years: “Today, the start-up camp is a workshop – we place a lot of emphasis on hands-on experience. Originally, we did a kind of frontal teaching, but over the years we have continued to optimise this in dialogue with the participants. The lively interest in our camp confirms us in this.”
In the meantime, the event has been so well attended that a repetition is already being considered for March 2024. The Leuphana University in Lüneburg, the “cradle” of the event, is being discussed as the venue: after all, Professor Reinhard Schulte, holder of the Chair of Start-up Management at Leuphana, developed the didactic concept of the seminar there one and a half decades ago – and is one of the three fathers of the Summerschool and the Start-up Camp. To this day, he is also involved in running the start-up camp every year. In conclusion, Lüneburg is always worth a visit and early registration is definitely recommended.