HEPTrepreneurs Training School 2023 at GSI/FAIR – How science can impact society


The HEPTrepreneurs Training School, a three-day workshop focusing on fostering entrepreneurial skills in the field of high-energy physics, recently took place at the GSI/FAIR campus. The overarching theme was “Fundamentals of entrepreneurship – how science can impact society”. The workshop, consisting of lectures and interactive workshop formats, was led by two renowned experts: Ian Tracey, CEO of Anchored In, and Viola Hay, Director of International Programs at Anchored In. The workshop was organized by the GSI/FAIR Technology Transfer team as part of the HEPTrepreneurs event series in cooperation with the technology transfer network HEPTech.

Participants benefited in particular from trainer Ian Tracey's many years of experience in supporting entrepreneurs in research- and technology-intensive environments of how they can develop their potential and build successful businesses, and how these can be used to reach society. Viola Hay, with a wealth of experience in European programs and funding opportunities, also offered valuable insights and possible strategies on how to access Horizon Europe funding and identify potential consortium partners.

The workshop offered an in-depth exploration of the entrepreneurial process with sessions such as “How to write a business plan, how to start a business?”. These sessions highlighted the complex process of starting a business, technology commercialization, team building, go-to-market strategies and different business models through interactive games and team exercises.

Participants also had the opportunity to exchange ideas with international experts and other entrepreneurs in a dedicated “Career Session” and learn from inspiring success stories on how to develop a strong research profile and build a professional network.

A central focus of the public „Start-up Afternoon“ was the protection of valuable ideas e.g. from imitators. The discussion underlined the importance of protecting ideas in science and covered aspects such as inventions, patenting, know-how, open source, and their further development and commercialization.

Here, experienced technology transfer speakers such as Dr. Matthias Götz, Dr. Timo Smit and Madeleine Mussgnug from Innovectis, the Gesellschaft für Innovations-Dienstleistungen mbH of Goethe University Frankfurt, gave the participants informative insights into the entire process of entrepreneurship.

In a personal experience report by the founder Justin Port of “Betterdrinx”, a technical start-up of Goethe University, and in an open dialog, many insights into the path from the idea via the foundation to the growth of a technical start-up were conveyed.

At the end of the HEPTrepreneurs Training School 2023, participants, trainers and organizers looked back on an intensive training with a lot of instructive content and inspiring and motivating discussions – characterized by the passion for science and the creation of sustainable added value for society through it. (CP)

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