Entrepreneurship and the start-up scene are the new big growth drivers in Germany and especially Frankfurt. Until now, the city has been widely known as Europe's financial centre, but a number of new industries have emerged in Frankfurt over the past decade - with the start-up community leading the way.
Frankfurt School has already established itself as one of the leading institutions in the movement, as more and more graduates found start-ups or join promising entrepreneurial initiatives. Successful and award-winning start-ups such as Braceless, Finanzguru, Fitvia or Oatsome show that Frankfurt School alumni are active across all sectors.
The business school has responded to fundamental changes in society and the economy by addressing the very latest topics in its academic programmes.
Frankfurt School has adapted its curricula and teaching to the growing needs of the start-up scene. For example, there is more and more learning content from the fintech and business start-up fields in academic programmes, Ausbildung, and Executive Education offers. In addition, the business school is committed to ensuring that its students can deal with ever-increasing amounts of data through targeted training.
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Frankfurt School of Finance & Management hosted the first Start-up Night on its campus. More than 50 start-ups and 400 guests joined the networking and recruiting event that brought together founders, entrepreneurs and start-ups from all over Germany with young talents from Frankfurt School.
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Frankfurt School’s Bachelor programmes put a strong importance on the topic of Digitalisation. Since September 2019, the concentration "Digital Business" aims to prepare students for the Digital challenges of the future.
Students complete the core curriculum of the Bachelor of Business Administration, as well as ten modules related to the Digital Business concentration: System Development, Database Systems & Data Management, Information & Communication Systems, IT Security Management, Information & Architecture Management, Digital Marketing & Business Models, Entrepreneurship, New Technologies und Analytics & Big Data. The tenth module is a practice project.
A further four modules can be selected by students in the 6th and 7th semesters from a pool of electives. The Bachelor thesis is written in the 7th semester and students spend their fifth semester abroad.
The Entrepreneurship Accelerator gives our master students the opportunity to generate innovative business ideas, test the viability of a business opportunity, and acquire the right mindset needed to make critical decisions in the context of high-risk startups.
Through hands-on workshops and in-class exercises, experts from Frankfurt School and the partner company TechQuartier give students access to digital learning materials and resources. Academic and Industry experts from the startup world will guide the students and they will be able to attend relevant events to further develop their network.
The Sigma Challenge is a fully computerised business simulation set in a highly competitive and international environment that requires participants to take a comprehensive and global view of the business to be successful. It allows to see and experience the linkages across strategy, finance, marketing, operations and cross-cultural team dynamics, and to experience first-hand the leadership competencies required to build a high-performing team, and essential attribution of successful companies from start-up to continuing operations.
An Entrepeneurial Buisness Plan is a comprehensive business plan for the establishment and start-up phase of a new enterprise/ initiative, according to a set format, developed by a team of MBA students.
In just three (very intense) days students will be teamed up in entrepreneurial teams, ideate a B2C solution to an existing problem, create the value proposition, build a first landing-page MVP (minimum viable product) that will go live in the www, design and setup A/B-tests, create Facebook ad campaigns to get traffic on your website. You have to step out from your comfort zone and learn from market feedback and real entrepreneurs. On successful completion of this module, students will have a thorough comprehension that entrepreneurship requires being active; they will have an understanding that entrepreneurship is a soft-skill, a mindset, a reference of acting, that will help them in any future career. Last but not least, students will acquire the knowledge about the Venture Capital industry, and what it takes to get your startup funded.
Nowadays, it is impossible to become a successful executive without having both general management and entrepreneurial competences. As marketplaces are changing rapidly, entrepreneurial skills – both outside and inside corporations – have become a critical success factor. While general management is mostly about efficiently and effectively organizing productive resources and processes for conducting business, entrepreneurship is about creating the underlying business in the first place. It is about identifying new opportunities for solving possibly large-scale problems as well as setting up, building and scaling new companies or organizational forms to exploit these opportunities, in the process possibly disrupting industries and maybe even transforming the world.
The Executive MBA is designed to build and foster precisely this entrepreneurial mindset. It does so with an introductory course “Entrepreneurship”, an advanced elective course “New Venture Creation”, and the opportunity to complete the final thesis project by writing an entrepreneurial business plan. The overarching objective is to help you realize your entrepreneurial potential, where the verb “to realize” is meant in the double sense of both recognizing the potential and bringing it to fruition.
Today, the ability to think and act like an entrepreneur is a sine qua non for specialists and executives, enabling them to tackle operational issues (management, finance, economics), revise business models and implement innovations in ways that benefit the organisation.
Proficiency in the latest technologies and familiarity with digitalisation are just as important as leadership and soft skills. Our Executive Education programmes can provide you with the professional development courses you need to identify and exploit competitive advantages.
The AI Lab belongs to the AI Initiative at Frankfurt School and shows the university's commitment to this topic. It is the home for artificial intelligence and digital transformation at FS. Here, innovation-oriented and collaborative students, employees, faculty members and partners come together. The AI Lab is a hub for projects and topics within AI, ranging from Machine Learning and Deep Learning to image recognition and natural language processing. From internal digitalisation projects to external tech events, the AI Lab offers a designated space for open and collaborative learning and working, both on a department level and institution wide.
The Frankfurt School Blockchain Center is a think tank, investigating and actively advising on the impact of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and distributed-ledger technology on companies and their business models. The centre, headed by Professor Philipp Sandner, was founded on 1 March, 2017 and currently has 15 full- and part-time employees. Alongside Die Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Frankfurt School leads Germany in the blockchain and finance fields.
Frankfurt School also provides a broad general education in blockchain, which strengthens the blockchain community as a whole. This includes various events on campus as well as countless lectures at IHKs, companies, associations, even aimed at seniors (e.g. studying for seniors as part of the University of Goethe University's 3rd age).
The research institute also organises the Crypto Assets Conference at Frankfurt School, the largest specialist conference for blockchain and cryptocurrencies in Germany. The two-day conference - next in March 2020 - has regularly welcomed over 300 participants. Dirk Bullmann, Innovation Team Leader at the European Central Bank, and Arik Sosmann, software engineer and Libra expert on Facebook will speak at the conference in March.
A total of ten companies with proven blockchain expertise, such as Commerzbank or PWC, support the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center as sponsors and are in close contact with experts at the think tank.
The Blockchain Center serves as a partner for the federal government and the state of Hesse. Research projects are generally financed by public funds and implemented with other research institutions, such as universities. For example, BMWi is currently researching blockchain applications for the Internet of Things with TU Darmstadt and Bosch.
In addition to the public, the think tank also advises companies from various industries. A current customer is, for example, Aareal Bank from Wiesbaden. The Frankfurt School Blockchain Center has evaluated various blockchain frameworks to help them decide which DLT platform to use.
Academic programs and training and Executive Education
Experts at the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center provide content for academic programme, Ausbildung and further education portfolios. As digitisation increases demands on employees, Frankfurt School has aligned its goals to prepare students and course participants for the digital transformation challenges. There are various seminars in its academic programmes and the Certified Blockchain Expert certificate targeted at professionals.
The Centre for Research on Entrepreneurship and Mittelstand (CREAM) deals with the secrets to success for German SMEs and their application to global companies. The Frankfurt School aims to create a platform on which all actors, both nationally and internationally, find solutions for their success. Young researchers, start-up funding, training and application-oriented research are all closely related.
Frankfurter Gründerfonds emerged from an initiative going back to 2008 by various players in Frankfurt who recognised the fact that the financing of start-ups without a company history is a gap in the widely diversified funding jungle.
Over the past five or six years, the landscape for microfinancing and small loans in Germany has changed. It was recognised that instruments of microfinancing can be appropriate to counter market failure and to push forward business start-ups with low capital requirements.
The Frankfurter Gründerfonds supports company founders and young companies based in Frankfurt am Main which have not been on the market for more than five years with a loan requirement of between EUR 2,500 and EUR 50,000. Frankfurt School Financial Services GmbH (FSFS) supports and examines business concepts for their market prospects in several contacts (by telephone and in person), passes on recommendations for guarantees to Bürgschaftsbank Hessen, and conducts quarterly business checks with founders and young companies during the term of the loan.