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).
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.
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.
HHL DIGITAL SPACE offers a platform for promoting digital business models. The mission is to encourage new business ideas, enable founders, and enrich the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In a specially developed incubation program, founders are guided in the early stages of their business development. Additionally, established companies contribute to overcoming challenges with digital business models. With the premises on the HHL campus in Leipzig, HHL DIGITAL SPACE provides a space where founders, entrepreneurs, students and researchers can discuss and apply entrepreneurship and digitization.
The free and structured 12-week incubation program, which focuses on founders with a digital business model, forms the core of HHL DIGITAL SPACE. In this program, participants receive support from experts belonging to the HHL network to work on their business idea and validate theirproblem-solution fit. The program is accompanied by supporting events such as Founders Talks, Market Day, and the final Launch Day. The teams have the unique opportunity to present their pitches to a group of interested audience, investors and experts.
HHL DIGITAL SPACE is supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) as part of the EXIST – Potential Program. It is characterized by an international network of technology and business expertise and an innovative environment for creative cooperation, lively exchange within the community and result-oriented development of start-up ideas – and thus offers the ideal breeding ground for the digital start-up of tomorrow.