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MCEI wishes you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year & MCEI year end review 2016

MCEI wishes you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year & MCEI year end review 2016 Thanks to

We are looking back at an exciting year at MCEI. Especially, the last months were really exciting for us due to several events and new opportunities to foster the startup culture at the University of Mannheim and in the Rhine-Neckar Region. The following is the MCEI year 2016 in review...if you read this article for the Season's Greetings only, please scroll all the way down :-)...

Let us start our year review by taking a look at our networking events...

In the first half of 2016, we had  MCEI Founder Talks with Oliver Köllner (Boracay Pub Crawl, Philippines), Tobias Schüle (foodspring, Berlin), Marion Nöldgen (Move24, Berlin) co-featuered with Startup Lounges in Café L3. Next to these events, we have had regular Startup Lounges wit Sprach-Stil-Vergleich (Daniel Spitzer, now Michael Wurst (Mr. Trip) and two more co-features with Sieferle & Sailer Bar und Barber in the Entrepreneurship Club and Marc Preusche (LeROI Marketing) and Andrea Kranzer (Balloonas) in a startup event hosted bei Arbeitskreis Börse

In the second half of the year, we continued our events series and had the pleasure of welcoming two Mannheim alumni, Boris Danne and Henrike Rettig, being in charge of the business development at AutoScout24 in a co-feature with the ifm's Förderkreis right at the start of the semester. In October, two Silicon Valley delegates with an amazing founding and funding track record payed the city of Mannheim and MCEI a visit. In an inspiring Founder Talk, André Marquis (Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley) and Erik Magdanz (U.S. Embassy, Berlin) shared their great experiences with an electrified crowd of students, entrepreneurs and investors from the Rhine-Neckar region. Both speakers are serial entrepreneurs themselves and have a very strong background in scaling up ventures in the Silicon Valley and beyond.

Next to the Founder Talks, we had regular Startup Lounges with Maxim of STIRVOXDimitris Dekavallaswith MODUS, Kai Hübner of LinguedoJonas Johé of Survey Circle, Nils of Tripstant and a fantastic MAN 631 award ceremony and special Startup Lounge on December 2. At the end of the semester (November 28), we have held a penal discussion with Theresia Bauer (Minister for Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg) and representatives of the city of Mannheim, the Hochschule Mannheim and the startup scene on how to foster startup culture at German universities: "Studierst du noch oder gründest du schon?".

Lots of thanks and appreciation to all our speakers and visitors of the Startup Lounges and Founder Talks who have made these networking events so inspiring and fun! Also a big thank you to the Café L3 team for hosting us and being so supportive! Putting up all of these events would not be possible without you. The spring 2017 Startup Lounges are already scheduled and we are looking forward to a lot of fun networking events with you!

Some stats for fun in between: In 2016, we welcomed more than 1150 event participants at MCEI events and had about 300 students in MCEI courses.

What else happened at MCEI in 2016?

  • 5 extensive Inside the Venture Projects with INTEGRA e.V.: Tripstant & Pedi Quick
  • 5 Inside the Venture Master Theses (Mr. Trip, Miamed, Herrenfahrt, GBO Human Resources, Pedi Quick), and 2 Bachelor Theses (LU Linguistische Unternehmenskommunikation, 1 own student startup)
  • In August, the University of Mannheim received a three-year funding from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of the State Baden-Württemberg to foster entrepreneurial culture in studies and teaching. The funding program “Gründungskultur in Studium und Lehre” provides the MCEI with great opportunities to develop and establish new course formats on a cross-faculty and interdisciplinary basis.
  • In September, Thomas Hipp joined us as our new Content Manager. Robert Bölkow (previous Content Manager at MCEI) left us after finishing his Master's program. We are grateful for Robert's excellent work and all the energy and inspiration he has put into MCEI. At the same time, we are thrilled by all the passion Tom has put into MCEI since September. If you have followed our pages and the community groups closely (including the responsive mobile pages) you may have noticed that there have been many updates on functionality and information architecture. Also new on the MCEI team are the ifm/ MCEI research assistants and PhD candidates Nora Block and Andrew Isaak who will be increasingly involved in coaching and teaching activities. Both have had a great start and have worked very hard to make MCEI a great experience for you.    

Excited and driven by the positive outcome of our application and the new and expanded team, we could not wait to put our new concepts into practice: 

  • In November 2016, we celebrated the grand opening of our newDesignLAB. The MCEI DesignLAB is a collaborative work space (L9, 1-2; room 211) for students to brainstorm, develop ideas and get their startup off the ground. It is fully equipped with everything you need to get creative and work in a team. You have a large screen to work on, lots of materials for Design Thinking and can even 3D scan and print. More information about the MCEI DesignLAB and the booking procedure can be found on our DesignLAB pages. We have had about 20 bookings since November and are overwhelmed by the highly positive response! We are looking forward to your booking and many more bookings in 2017!
  • Also in November 2016, we launched a startup mentoring program in cooperation with ABSOLVENTUM. The new mentoring programaims at bringing experienced startup alumni together with student entrepreneurs to coach them on their project and to facilitate their journey. Together with ABSOLVENTUM, we have acquired about 10 new mentors in the past 1.5 months and the program will gain lots of traction in early 2017. So watch out for more news to come and approach us at info[at] if you want to join the program as either mentor or mentee. 
  • In December, Cokodu, a new student startup, won the MAN631 Creativity and Entrepreneurship course pitch challenge. Overall, the course brought forth some amazing startup ideas and prototypes. The teams had one semester to develop their business ideas and finally pitched their ideas in front of a jury of startup experts on December 2, 2016. The winning team convinced the jury with their solution for connecting and empowering coworkers in coworking spaces. It was a highly competitive race to the top. 


Speaking of winning and competition...

Supported by the Heinrich-Vetter-Stiftung, we have issued a competition for the best University of Mannheim Startup 2016. The call for pitches ist up and running and the winning startup will receive a 10k seed award. Here is more information on the application process!

So how many Startups have evolved out of the University of Mannheim in 2016? We have worked with at least 30 student teams and startups approaching us with ideas. But keeping track of all the developments at the University of Mannheim is a lot of we hired Kai Bruchmüller (kai[at] to take care of the stats in 2017 as our new Startup Scout. Tell us about your startup projects and get in touch (kai[at]! An alumni culture is absolutely essential to a flourishing startup culture and so is making your projects public.

A little sneak preview on 2017...there will be two new practical MCEI courses starting in spring term on top of what is in the course Syllabus now. One of them is at Master's level and named Entrepreneurial Spirit (FSS & HWS) and the other is at Bachelor's level and named Thinking Beyond Boxes - Advance your Startup! (FSS elective) 


We had a great year with lots of vibrant discussions and tons of fun with all of you and are looking forward to an exciting 2017!

Have a relaxing holiday season and we'll see you next year - lots of new interesting stuff is hopefully waiting for all of us to be explored in 2017 !


Your MCEI Team 

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