There are many startup-supporting initiatives and programs in Germany, but they usually do nothing in the long run, says Gunter Festel, Festel Capital, Fuerigen, Switzerland, and TU Berlin, Germany. He criticizes that they are mostly sub-critical and dependent on government funding, as well as fragmented into many individual initiatives because each federal state and many ministries in Germany have each launched their own.
Private initiative is crucial for a vital start-up scene: It is about the joy of entrepreneurial activity, the need to build something of one’s own, and to create independence. Skills and knowledge such as analytical thinking and perseverance acquired during chemistry studies are an excellent basis. Nevertheless, the potential in chemistry, in particular, is far from being fully exploited in Germany, although topics such as new materials for energy storage or intelligent recycling concepts have great potential.
Gunter Festel pleads for more courage for entrepreneurship. The German Chemical Society (GDCh) could play an important role in this by further strengthening and extending existing networks. Festel is involved in the Founding Angels initiative. He supports the networking of scientists willing to found companies with experienced entrepreneurs to revive the start-up scene in chemistry, independently of government activity. For specific projects, a team is put together or supplemented for a start-up foundation. Good teams, rather than financial resources, are the bottleneck, says Festel.
- Mehr Mut zum Unternehmertum,
Nachr. Chem. 2022.