Education & Inspiration

HHL offers various curricular and extra-curricular programs to enhance student’s entrepreneurial skills.

Curricular entrepreneurship education

HHL offers multiple courses in the field of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, both for MBA and for MSc students. This starts with an introduction of entrepreneurship including current topics like lean or digital entrepreneurship. Within the business modeling seminar, students can work on their own business ideas and develop it into a first prototype using e.g. LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. Furthermore, HHL integrates successful founders and investors within their teaching program to enable students to learn from real-world experience. In addition, HHL offers students to do their internship with startup companies or to solve a challenge of a startup company within a student consulting project.

Workshops and individual coaching via SMILE

HHL actively supports its students in the realization of business ideas. Apart from counseling and feedback in seminars and by HHL professors and research associates, potential founders may obtain valuable support from the local cooperative project SMILE of which HHL is a central partner.

SMILE stands for “Self-Management Initiative LEipzig” and supports academic founders in and around Leipzig. SMILE is a network consisting of the University of Leipzig, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, and Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK). SMILE provides supervision and coaching for startups and spin-off companies as well as training for key qualifications.

SMILE is financed by funds from the European Union and the Free State of Saxony (European Social Fund, the Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour & Transport and the Saxon State Ministry for Science and Arts).

Female Founders Initiative

The Female Founders Initiative is a 6-month program that supports potential female founders (preferably from the STEM sectors) on their way to self-employment. In workshops and seminars with experts students can develop business ideas, discuss business issues from the women’s perspective, and extend their business network. In particular, they benefit from the knowledge and know-how of experienced start-up coaches and mentors.

The Female Founders Initiative is supported by the European Union, the European Social Fund and the State of Saxony.

Mastering challenges together

Female Founders Initiative


SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator is a HHL spin-off, managed by HHL alumnus Dr. Eric Weber. The accelerator supports innovative startup projects with the implementation and growth of their ventures. In addition to intensive coaching, the founding teams will also benefit from a high-caliber mentoring program as well as numerous contacts to investors, established companies and other founders. They can use a co-working office with state-of-the art equipment on the premises of Spinnerei, an old cotton mill now serving as a center for creativity, and will gain access to various technologies offered by partners. Even after completing the program, the startup teams are supported in their recruiting efforts, they can plan their expansion through an international exchange program and they get the opportunity to rent office space next to SpinLab.

The founders will be able to use all offers free of charge when they are accepted for the six-month program. In addition, HHL offers a pre-accelerator for HHL start-up companies which are still in such an early phase that they do not qualify for the accelerator.

SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator

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