Founders Kit­chen

Develop innovative and customer-oriented solutions to business models independently and in a team: That is the goal of our new Founders Kitchen. The Founders Kitchen started in the summer semester of 2022 as a pilot project for students of the Business Psychology programme. However, all HNU Bachelor's students and international exchange students are eligible to apply for the next round starting in the summer semester of 2023. The Founders Kitchen is a founding practice semester that can be credited as a practice semester.

What is the Founders Kit­chen?

Within 100 days, the participants are sensitised to the topic of setting up a business in the newly designed Edison room at Edisonallee 1. By observing and interviewing users, customers and experts, the students derive requirements and approaches to solutions and develop and test prototypes. Gradually, they develop a business idea into a business model, for which they draw up a viable business plan that should lead to an application for an EXIST start-up grant from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. Pitching and presenting to a potential jury is also practised. The students work exclusively on their own ideas, but receive a free contract with our partner TFU. This allows them to draw on the network of the local Startup and Innovation Centre.

In addition, the Founders Kitchen enables networking among each other and in the local start-up scene through participation in start-up events. The students are accompanied and trained by the experienced coaches Prof. Dr. Daniel Schallmo (opens in a new window), Prof. Dr. Jens Pätzmann (opens in a new window) and Prof. Dr. Klaus Lang (opens in a new window) throughout their time in the Founders Kitchen. Thanks to their years of experience in design thinking, business model innovation and founding, our coaches are able to provide students with optimal support during the foundation practice-semester and give them valuable feedback on their ideas during the weekly coaching sessions.

Your benefit

Practical relevance: Learn about case studies and apply the content directly.

Networking: You work in small teams and exchange ideas. Participate in local start-up events.

Up-to-date methods: The practice-oriented tools of Actions Learning can later be applied at your workplace.

Your own project: You can bring in your own ideas for a project to work on.
Duration and scope

100 days (30 ECTS)

Usual hours from 9 am to 5 pm

In room A.1.77 (your home for the whole semester)

25 places available, allocated according to application procedure

For all Bachelor students and international exchange students at HNU

Currently, the Founders Kitchen only takes place in the summer semester.

The concept be­hind

The didactic concept of the coaches Prof. Dr Daniel Schallmo, Prof. Dr Jens Pätzmann and Prof. Dr Klaus Lang enables the participants to gain new insights, apply tools, work in teams and transfer knowledge into practice.

The didactic concept includes:

  • Interactive presentation
  • Case studies
  • Group work and application
  • Discussion of results
  • Application of creativity techniques


Founders Kit­chen pro­ced­ure

  • Week 1

    • Introduction, getting to know each other and team building
    • Sources for start-up ideas and their description
  • Week 2-3

    • Building an understanding of the start-up idea
    • Observation, questioning, testing, building expert knowledge
  • Week 4

    • Derive the requirements for customers and users
    • User Empathy Map, User Journey, User Needs
  • Week 5-6

    • Derivation and concretisation of solution approaches
    • Development and testing of prototypes
  • Week 7

    • Development of a business model
    • Development of the business model dimensions
  • Week 8-13

    • Development of a business plan
  • Week 14-15

    • Development and submission of an EXIST application (based on a business plan)
  • Week 16

    • Development of a pitch
  • Week 17-20

    • Carrying out pitches at start-up events
    • Test of financing via crowd-funding, banks, venture capital, potent. Partner companies
    • Final presentation

Ex­per­i­ences from the last semester

I was able to gain a lot of experience through the independent work in the team, the weekly coaching sessions, but also through the many events in the start-up scene in Ulm and the surrounding area. It was a super exciting and eventful time and I will always remember it fondly.

Lara Reichenbach, 21, Business Psychology

As a person who would like to develop in the entrepreneurial direction, I was able to experience the highlight of my school and university career with Founders Kitchen. Unlike a usual internship, you don't just get to know one area of a company, but have to think about all areas that are relevant for a successful venture.

Ferhat Ay, 24, Business Psychology

Among other things, you learn to recognise problems and generate suitable solutions. One of my highlights was the weekly coaching sessions. Whether you start with the intention of founding a company or want to learn more about entrepreneurship - Founders Kitchen makes it possible! I can't imagine HNU without it.

Francesca B., 30, Business Psychology

It's a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the start-up culture. There are cool events and many opportunities to network. I also really enjoyed working in a team on my own idea. From design thinking to a fully developed business plan, we were able to implement everything practically as a team.

Vanessa Wendt, 26, Business Psychology

How to ap­ply

Applications for the Founders Kitchen in the summer semester 2023

Application documents:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of motivation: 1-2 pages. If you already have your own business idea, please mention it.

Application deadline (extended): 5th February 2023

Application deadline for international exchange students: 15th October 2022.

Further information on the application process for international exchange students can be found here. (opens in a new window)

The documents can be in German or English.
Please send the application to the following mail address: (subject: "Application International Founders Kitchen")

We offer a total of 25 places.

FAQs for the Founders Kit­chen

1. Where  does  the FK takeplace?
We have set up a special room for the Founders Kitchen (A.1.77). This room is reserved for you, i.e. you can leave your results on whiteboards etc. on site.
2. How  long does the FK last?
At the HNU, there are 100 days for the internship semester (30 ECTS); we start on 01 March 2023 and end on 31 July 2023. Your daily working time goes from 09.00-17.00.
3. Will I get a contract? Will I be insured?
Yes, we work with TFU (opens in a new window), who will enter into an employment contract with you. This contract is free of charge, in exchange you are allowed to work on your own idea. You are also insured.
4. Do I have to be present?
Yes, because the Founders Kitchen is equivalent to an internship. Since, in addition to input from our side, you will also work on your results in the team, present interim results and receive feedback, regular attendance is important and required.
5. Which dates are relevant?
We have fixed dates where you receive input from us, present your results, etc.; in addition, there is a Jour Fixe of the TFU 1 x / month. We will set up a joint Trello Board where we share mandatory and voluntary appointments e.g. from the local startup scene.
6. Who is involved in the FK?
Mainly the professors J. Pätzmann, K. Lang, and D. Schallmo. In addition, other professors / experts are called in for input on a subject-specific basis.
7. Which coachings are available?
In team coachings you get the opportunity to discuss your results on team level, to clarify questions etc.. In addition, there are specialist coaching sessions in which experts give you input on the one hand, but you can also call on them for their specific questions. In addition, there is a daily stand-up to ask smaller questions or get guidance for contact points.
8. Where do I get input from?
In addition to the input you will receive from us on each week (plus handout), you will also have access to more in-depth resources that you will look at on your own.
9. What evidence  is required?
We require an internship report once, which you will prepare individually (weekly basis: table/times/activity/ reflection/learnings -> 1-2 pages/ moodle); we also require specific team deliverables per phase, which you will present regularly and submit in writing (milestones). Ultimately, your weekly reports and the business plan you have created will serve as your internship report.

About our Coaches

Professor Dr. Klaus Lang

Pro­fessor Dr. Klaus Lang

Managing Director of the „Institute for Digital Transformation“

Dean of Studies of the Department of Information Management

Phone: +49 731 /9762-1510

Location: Main Building A, A.1.54

To profile of Professor Dr. Klaus Lang

Professor Dr. Jens U. Pätzmann

Pro­fessor Dr. Jens U. Pätzmann

Professor of Marketing, Branding & Strategy

Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship

Member of the Africa Institute

To profile of Professor Dr. Jens U. Pätzmann

Professor Dr. Daniel Schallmo

Pro­fessor Dr. Daniel Schallmo

Professor for Digital Transformation and Entrepreneurship

Programme Director Master Digital Transformation and Global Entrepreneurship

Programme Director BA Digital Management and Technologies

Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship

Member of the Institute for Digital Transformation

Phone: +49 731 /9762-1531

Location: Edisonallee 1, E1.1.02

To profile of Professor Dr. Daniel Schallmo