Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank Chair of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship

Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart


Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank
Chair of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship


Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank im Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft
Stifterverband (Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany)

HHL Academic Group

Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart

Team Assistant

Franziska Greim

Senior Research Fellows

Dr. Nagwan Abu El-Ella, Dr. Dorian Proksch

Research Associates

Julia Busch-Casler, Marcus Haberstroh, Simone Haubner, Wiebke Stranz


Business Plan Development
Innovation Management

Research Areas

Venture capital and private equity financing
Employee involvement in open innovation
Reinvention of science-to-business collaboration
Entrepreneurial innovation in the field of bioeconomy and health care
New approaches in business didactics in research and practice


BioEconomy Cluster

Self-Management Initiative Leipzig (SMILE)

Technische Universität Dresden

European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ESCB)

FGF - Association for Entrepreneurship Research, Education and Policy (Förderkreis Gründungs-Forschung e.V.)

Working Group Technology Transfer of BIO CITY LEIPZIG

12/13/2016 Sustainable Business Idea Wins Bootcamp Competition of the University of Leipzig and HHL2016 INNOVATION BOOTCAMP – Science Meets Economy Read ›
12/07/2016 top Rethinking Leadership: The Leipzig Leadership Model Compass in turbulent times Read ›
12/06/2016 Porsche enters cooperation with HHL Leipzig Graduate School of ManagementInnovation projects at “SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator” Read ›


“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” (Peter F. Drucker)

Entrepreneurship has been a cornerstone of the educational program at HHL for many years. With over 150 startups founded by HHL graduates so far we are one of the premier breeding grounds for future entrepreneurs.  

Our work centers on entrepreneurship and innovation management in big and medium-sized companies as well as for start-up businesses. The focus is on innovative venturing and the transfer of created knowledge between academia and businesses. The Chair’s goal is to realize an intensive theory-practice transfer both in research and teaching. 

The teaching programs are interactive and practical; our lectures are supported by our wide network of entrepreneurs and innovators in the market who are engaged in interesting co-teaching with our professors.


The Chair of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship offers courses for M.Sc. and MBA students. Our aim is to enhance the students' entrepreneurial thinking and innovation knowledge and provide them with the right tools from theory and practice that can help starting their own company, or at least understand how global companies worldwide survive facing the challenges of rapidly developing technologies and the fierce competition in the market. The courses encourage interaction between students, and we have a wide network of successful startup owners and innovators we welcome as guests in our lectures.

Business Plan Development

The main goal of the business plan development seminar is to create a business idea and to develop it to a comprehensive business concept. We teach and apply creativity techniques to support the students developing their own business ideas. The students use their ideas and develop them to business concepts to assess if they are feasible for further examination. They then choose the best among it and write a business plan about it. That enables the students to explore if their idea is worth to found a business. In the final business plan lecture, they will present their business plan to an external jury which in the past existed of entrepreneurs and investment managers of venture capital firms from the region. The feedback is always very valuable to the students and is especially helpful if they really want to start a business. Spreadshirt and MySportGroup are only two examples of successful companies which first developed their ideas in the HHL business development seminar. Furthermore, we often invite guest lecturers from theory and practice to include the latest knowledge in the field.

Innovation Management

In this course, students learn how to manage innovations with different degrees of newness and influencing factors. Therefore, we go through the innovation management process by introducing the most important aspects and mechanisms from searching to commercialization. Furthermore, the complex interactions between different market actors, technologies and organizational behavior (innovation strategies and innovative culture) will be addressed. Our innovation management lecture is based on current research results as well as their application in practice. Therefore, we attach importance to a high degree of interaction through discussions, cases and exercises during class. Students work together in groups to prepare a task on current topics of innovation research and practice, which they present during our lecture. In addition, we invite well-known and respected guests from practice, who contribute through their outstanding practical experience.


The research activities of the Chair comprise a wide variety of subjects focusing on startups, venture capital financing, the role of trust and innovation respectively open innovation. Research is carried out in the framework of doctoral projects and publicly funded projects. Detailed information on our research projects can be found in our annual Chair Report.

Publications resulting from our research activities are listed in the HHL Publications Database. 

Areas of Research of the Chair's Team Members

Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart
Innovation management and technology management
Business dynamics
Turnaround management

Nagwan Abu El-Ella
Trust in open innovation
Employee involvement in innovation
Innovation in the context of resource efficiency
Science-Business collaboration
Open borders and the impact of innovation 

Anja Hagedorn
Crowdinvestment as a new financing instrument for startups
Founder’s coaching in entrepreneurship education
Innovation and entrepreneurship in bioeconomy clusters

Dorian Proksch
Internationalization of hightech startups
Strategic management in early stage venture capital funds
Risk management in venture capital funds
Trust in venture capital companies and financing

Eric Weber
Advisory boards in startups

Knowledge Transfer

The Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank Chair of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at HHL is continuously striving to apply and implement current research findings into practice. Every year during the Startup Week Germany our Chair holds workshops together with the SMILE Initiative. The Leipzig Entrepreneurship Lecture, which was introduced at HHL in 2011, is open for everyone interested in latest entrepreneurship findings.
Since 2012 we have been cooperating with the student initiative Accelerate@HHL that organizes the annual Accelerate Conference, an event dedicated to entrepreneurship topics. In June 2014 we inaugurated the first HHL International Investors Day. This unique event brought together founders with potential investors, established enterprises, and successful startups from HHL to promote an active exchange.
Furthermore the Chair is an active member of the Working Group Technology Transfer of the BIO CITY LEIPZIG. In the group the partners deal with current transfer projects in the region of Leipzig and bring in their academic expertise. Beyond this the Chair's team members initiate and supervise students' field projects. 

Leading-Edge Cluster BioEconomy

The BioEconomy project is a three-year project in the region of Central Germany funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is one of the fifteen leading-edge clusters in Germany which were selected in the course of the leading-edge cluster competition. The BioEconomy Cluster focuses on the integrated material and energetic utilization of non-food biomass for the production of materials, chemicals, energy carriers and products from new materials. As a cluster partner the Chair is doing research in the field of identification and analysis of innovative potentials of the cluster's products or services and supports the cluster with its entrepreneurial expertise.

Self-Management Initiative Leipzig (SMILE)

SMILE stands for Self-Management Initiative Leipzig and is a cooperation between HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, the University of Leipzig, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ).
SMILE is financed by funds from the European Union and the Free State of Saxony (European Social Fund (ESF), the State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport, the State Ministry for Science and Art). SMILE supports students or graduates who are interested in founding their own business.

If you want to be coached feel free to contact us.


Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart
T +49 341 9851-828 (Franziska Greim)
F +49 341 9851-679
Franziska Greim, M.A.
Team Assistant
T +49 341 9851-828
F +49 341 9851-679
Dr. Nagwan Abu El-Ella
Senior Research Fellow
T +49 341 9851-828
F +49 341 9851-679
Dr. Dorian Proksch
Executive Director
Center for Entrepreneurial and Innovative Management (CEIM)
T +49 341 9851-827
F +49 341 9851-679
Julia Busch-Casler, M.Sc.
Research Associate
T +49 341 9851-829
F +49 341 9851-679
Marcus Haberstroh, LL.M., LL.M. (MCI)
Research Associate
T +49 341 9851-687
F +49 341 9851-679
Simone Haubner, M.Sc.
Research Associate
T +49 341 9851-880
F +49 341 9851-679
Wiebke Stranz, M.Sc.
Research Associate
T +49 341 9851-891
F +49 341 9851-679
Financial Management
International Management

Accreditation & Rankings

Among the leading EMBA
programs worldwide

Top 3 in Germany

#6 for salaries worldwide

Top 5 in Germany

Favorite business school
in Germany