CDTM Center Venture 2015

CDTM Center Venture 2015

Author: Bastian Burger


The most intensive CDTM course

On freezing Monday morning, just between the first and the second cup of coffee, a group of students gather in the CDTM conference room. They are about to work for at least twelve hours a day, five days a week. What brings a group of engineers, computer scientists and business students to such an intense task? As often in the CDTM community a fascinating project revealed itself. The chance to create a social entrepreneurship startup. The opportunity to make a sustainable impact. The chance to help solving the hard challenges of our time. This is what motivates those students. They have chosen the elective course “Center Venture”.


A Wikipedia for solutions

Shortly after some basic instructions the students are set to work. In functional teams they work on topics like strategy or branding. Some of the students organized a trip to a refugee camp for the same afternoon. Challenges like those associated with the current migration situation will be tackled with this Center Venture. – as the final product will be called – is a Wikipedia for solutions. The idea is to create an open, collaborative platform where everybody can contribute solutions to pressing questions. On the other side, those in need will find solutions to their problems on the platform.


Building a startup from scratch in a week

At the end of a long day, the group comes together for a SCRUM meeting. In only one day they have designed a product, coded a framework and created a prototype. During the following days they will build a working product. After the course is finished it will be continued as a Social Entreprise. In collaboration with the non-profit Kayser Forum they target the platform for long term success.


Social Entrepreneurship is trending

Deep into the night, the students are still motivated. Many of them work until the morning hours. For many a project with a Social Entrepreneurship background is very special. While the relevance of the topic is long known it comes more and more in the public interest. Many startups at least consider social or ecological aspects in their value proposition. Even big corporations take their social impact more serious than some year before. In a joint effort most problems can be overcome. This is what this Center Venture is based on. This is what makes the students proud of their work. This is why they are driven dusk till dawn.


Laura is part of the Management Team at CDTM. With a background in economics, cultural and political science, she is interested in societal aspects of technology as well as bridging the gap between sustainability issues and tech innovation. She is conducting her research in the field of Entrepreneurship Education at the Max-Planck-Institut for Innovation and Competition.