BioTech Entrepreneurship

This course is intended for motivated master students and doctoral students in economics and natural sciences who are interested in entrepreneurship and have start-up ambitions. It offers the opportunity to combine start-up activities with studies and to gain first experiences in the field of entrepreneurship, thanks to the DTE study concept "Road to Start-Up".

The fields of biotechnology, material science and pharma are catalysators for technology progress, which are merging more and more with innovations such as mRNA-based vaccines, biology inspired surfaces on cars, which reject dirt particles or cell-based CO2 recycling. Biotechnology-focused product development include methods and tools to actively shape our society. This theory-driven and actionoriented course provides an overview of technologies, methods and tools for conceptualizing and developing products. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: (1) explain what factors are involved in biotechnology product development and how to incorporate them into decision-making processes, (2) explain which technologies are relevant to specific processes, (3) use agile project management techniques in prototyping, and (4) use design thinking for product development.

Role of economics students:

Business strategy and model development:
Economics students are responsible for the business side of the start-up projects, which includes:

  • Business model design and evaluation: Designing business models that can effectively bring biotechnology innovations to market.
  • Sales and marketing strategy development: Planning and implementing strategies to promote and sell the product in line with the start-up's objectives and market requirements.
  • Financial viability and market competitiveness: Using their knowledge of economics to make strategic decisions that will ensure the start-up's financial and competitive success.

Role of biotechnology students:

Technical expertise and innovation:
Biotechnology students play a key role in providing the technical backbone of start-up projects. Their role includes:

  • Idea generation: Using their deep understanding of their field to propose innovative, technology-based solutions.
  • Applying scientific methods: Applying scientific methods to product development, with a focus on breakthrough applications such as mRNA-based vaccines, bio-inspired materials and green technologies.
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration: Working closely with business students to ensure that innovations are not only technically feasible, but also marketable and commercially viable.

Organizational details

Date: Summer semester 2024
Degree courses: Doctoral and Master level
Scope: 4 SWS/6 CPs
Exam: To successfully pass the course, students must complete a project in which they apply the new product development approaches of the course. The project result will be presented in a presentation and evaluated afterwards
Date: Block seminar 18.04.2024 and 19.04.2024 12:00-18:00; bi-weekly lecture Thursdays, 09:00-11:30
Language: English

Start: 18.04.2024
Location: Online sessions and New Product Development Lab (KWT building/Innovation center)
Number of participants: 12
Course application:
Please send a mail to benedikt.schnellbaecher(at) , nicolas.kiefer(at) , daniel.silva(at) (Cc) (1) with "Application BioTech Entrepreneurship" in the subject line as well as including (2) a brief letter of motivation (half DIN A4 page) (3) and your CV.

Registration open until: 17.04.2024


Learning objectives

The specific competencies that students are expected to acquire in the process include:

(1) The ability to consciously select, evaluate, and apply different decision-making strategies in the development of biotechnology products,

(2) an understanding of the relevance, characteristics, and context of application of biotechnologyrelated product development technologies (e.g. CAD software, 3D printing, etc.),

(3) the application of agile project management techniques to prototype,

(4) the use of design thinking for product realization.