14 November 2017. The Center for Entrepreneurship, headed by Prof. Dietmar Grichnik, was particularly committed to opening the MakerSpace at the HSG. He and his team have been supporting students who are interested in entrepreneurship and start-ups on campus for a long time. From their point of view, the University of St.Gallen was previously lacking a room in which issues connected with start-ups and innovation could be dealt with. This has now materialised in the form of the MakerSpace, which is intended to offer room for creativity and new ideas in a casual environment. Thanks to the modern equipment, which provides various seating and working options, ideas and thoughts can be exchanged openly.
A room for all students
Basically, all students are able to make use of the MakerSpace. The precondition is that they do not use the MakerSpace for learning or eating purposes but really in order to share and develop ideas. The key to the room can be borrowed after consultation with Diego Probst. In future, it should also be possible to open MakerSpace by means of an app in order to make it easier to use. In addition, individual utilisation will be complemented by regular public events such as Co(de) Learning@HSG every Thursday evening, where interested students will be able to improve their programming knowledge.
Those who are looking for a permanent place for a start-up are able to rent an office in the start-up container. Even though all the places are occupied at present, a start-up office, for which applications can be submitted, is freed up every six months. This office provides a great deal of space for a motivated founding team to work on a start-up.
Wide range of options
Besides MakerSpace and the start-up container, there are further facilities through which start-ups and creative minds are fostered at the HSG. Centre stage is occupied by Startup@HSG, which is the control centre for entrepreneurship at the HSG. It provides services such as individual advice for founders who want to develop their ideas and are looking for feedback. There is also the possibility of consulting a lawyer, who can assist founders with regard to legal issues. Furthermore, Startup@HSG also maintains a widespread network of mentors and investors who are brought into contact with HSG start-ups and support them with advice, as well as financially.
In addition, eight students who have applied and convinced a jury with their ideas are selected as talents in the context of the Entrepreneurial Talents Programme. These students are then provided with CHF 2,000 and working space in the start-up container, as well as being granted access to exclusive events. The purpose of this is to give additional encouragement to particularly committed and talented students and facilitate their entry into the start-up scene.
All in all, the entrepreneurship scene has become distinctly more visible at the HSG in the last few years. This is undoubtedly also due to the launch of the University’s own spin-off label, a seal of approval which firms that have emerged from the HSG can apply for. More than 100 start-ups are already listed as HSG spin-offs. The label has made the University of St.Gallen’s start-up scene distinctly more perceptible to the outside world.
Niels Niemann is a third-semester Business Administration undergraduate at the University of St.Gallen.