From the idea to your own start-up
With the support services of the HIGHEST Innovation and Start-up Centre

Gaining practical experience during your studies: Sure, almost all students want that. But do you want to start your own company right away? Yes, why not? If you have a cool business idea and want to create a start-up, HIGHEST can ideally support you. The comprehensive service and consulting options support you with questions and advise you on financing. As an innovation and start-up center of the TU Darmstadt, HIGHEST offers you free and confidential advice. We gathered some information on what HIGHEST exactly offers and why it can be worthwhile to start a business while still studying.

Laura,
Data and Discourse Studies M.A.

HIGHEST can point out funding opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs and certainly make a professional connection or two.

Portrait TU Darmstadt Ambassador Laura
Picture: Privat

Having your own business while still at university – how does that work?

You have a good idea and believe it could be turned into a business model? Then HIGHEST, the Innovation and Start-Up Center of the Technical University of Darmstadt, can support you professionally and free of charge. Here you will find experts who can develop a business model with you, advise you on the protection of your intellectual property, and find a suitable financing or funding programme for you. All you need is your idea and courage to start your own business!

Even if it sounds exhausting: Starting a business while you are still a student can be adventurous! If you've been working on an exciting project with fellow students, why not continue and create a working environment where you all benefit and learn from each other. With the support of the HIGHEST team and TU Darmstadt on your side, the wind blows in your favor. In addition to the start-up support, you will also have the know-how of your professors and the comprehensive infrastructure of TU (including 3D printers, laboratories, analysis facilities and much more) at your disposal, which you can use to drive your development and your business forward.

In addition, you will get important connections to other companies, network partners, innovators, and people interested in starting a business, who can support you. Various event formats, from networking events and matching events to start-up roundtables and the Start-up & Innovation Day, offer you the opportunity to exchange ideas with others and to further develop yourself and your company.

Arya,
Tropical Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering M.Sc.

To have your own business you need to be brave and willing to invest a lot of your time, energy and money. I think it’s rare to be ready at a very young age, but what if there are like 10% of the students at TU Darmstadt that would actually have an idea and be brave enough to follow through – that’s still a lot of cool potential start-ups.

Portrait TU Darmstadt Ambassador Arya
Picture: August Strotz

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employment instead of founding – how about working a student-job in a start-up

If that's a little too fast for you, you can take a slower approach and participate in many of HIGHEST's other offers. For example, there is the possibility to attend workshops or to support one of the start-ups in Labs as a student assistant.

The start-up job exchange, offer various opportunities from start-ups and companies that are arranged through HIGHEST. Sometimes the team is also looking for student assistants for marketing and communication. These are awesome student jobs where you build up a personal network that you can rely on when looking for a job after graduation.

Arya himself worked at a start-up while studying. The company, which was founded at his university in Iran at the time, offered online language courses. He gained a lot of valuable experience there: “It really helped me to develop my personality and become a better person. You have a lot of different things you can learn, like business plans, customer service, it’s much more than what you might learn somewhere else. I became more flexible and learned to cooperate more and listen to others. We worked together very closely, and I am still in contact with some of my former colleagues.”

Are you intercultural and international-minded? HIGHEST will connect you with Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and give you the opportunity to work in a start-up abroad!

By the way, the European tech university environment Unite! also offers exchange and networking and you can earn credits in entrepreneurship seminars or lectures at partner universities.

Our tip! HIGHEST Start-up & Innovation Day 2021 – now daily!

Are you looking for more information, start-up inspiration, and direct contact with companies and representatives from the business world? Then take a look at the interactive website of Start-up & Innovation Day 2021. There you can browse the exhibitors' websites or scan business cards and make new contacts.

Training and preparation – how to become a start-up professional

Quite a few opportunities to get started while still studying. If you prefer to concentrate on your studies primarily, but are generally interested in the topic of start-ups, HIGHEST will still support you. No matter from which field you come, start-up can theoretically be an option for all disciplines. Therefore, you have the opportunity to gain valuable entrepreneurial skills in the HIGHEST lecture series. Here you will earn additional credit points while learning about topics related to entrepreneurship. The content includes building blocks that you need on the way to a successful start-up or to entrepreneurship in business. Numerous experts and start-ups are integrated into the lecture and report on their experiences. This way, you will be prepared excellently after graduation if you decide to take this path.

Moritz,
Digital Philology B.A.

I think the most important thing is to find something that’s really your thing, because if you don’t really love what you’re doing, you won’t be in it for the long run. Just like a study programme, if you don’t love it enough, you should always consider trying something else and find what works for you. You can make it so much easier for yourself that way.

Portraitfoto Moritz
Picture: Britta Hüning

Your support in the background: HIGHEST is there for you

Do you have a passion and a big idea that you're determined to pursue too? Self-employment and being responsible for your own company may not be for everyone, but many skills can be learned and with the right support you can overcome the fear of jumping into the deep end. Maybe you want to make it big with your idea. If you are really interested in founding your own start-up, you now know who to contact!

Infobox

One of the most important puzzle pieces to starting any business is financing. But don't you worry because you don't have to finance your business on your own. There are many possibilities to apply for subsidies and support funds, which will help you cover the running costs during the start-up phase. HIGHEST has got the overview or you and the consultants will help you professionally free of charge with the selection and application for funding:

More info can be found in the financing overview on the website of HIGHEST.

Portrait TU Darmstadt Ambassador Laura
Picture: Privat

Laura

Hello, my name is Laura and I study Data and Discourse Studies. I chose this degree programme because I am very interested in combining computer science tools with research in the humanities. Moreover, the degree programme is the only one of its kind in the world.

Portrait TU Darmstadt Ambassador Arya
Picture: August Strotz

Arya

Hey there! I’m Arya and I’m a master’s student in Tropical Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering at TU Darmstadt. I’ve always been passionate about innovation, teamwork, Start-up work environments and how to keep nature safe and sustainable. These elements form the main topics for our master’s program and they match my ambitions and goals for the future. This ultimately encouraged me to apply for the programme at TU Darmstadt, whose home is also known as the “city of science”.

Portraitfoto Moritz
Picture: Britta Hüning

Moritz

Hey, my name is Moritz and I’m studying Digital Philology at TU Darmstadt. You can find out here why I chose such a specialty degree programme and why I especially profit from and enjoy working together with other departments. Maybe we’ll run into each other at TU Darmstadt on Campus Stadtmitte or we’ll get to know each other through my work on the faculty’s council and as a member of the university student council. If you see me around, please feel free to say hi!