Nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship in young, hungry minds

A technical university in Munich (TUM) is tapping into a rich resource, aspiring young businesspeople keen to turn their innovative ideas into marketable products and services.

Motius, a young R&D start-up company working with big names in the German car-making industry, is a shining example of success here. It was created just two years ago by five young people and has benefited from valuable EU support provided to TUM.

Zièd Bahrouni, CEO of Motius, believes that the methodology and consultancy support received, based on his initial idea, was critical to the start-up’s success, adding that ‘the personal coaching we got from them’ was key.

The number of full-time staff at Motius has grown from 5 to 10, and it now also has an office in Oman, serving the Gulf area. ‘The goal we had in mind with this pool was to build a multi-disciplinary and dynamic group’, says Zièd. He and his teams have since created a group of more than 200 collaborators, mostly students, young researchers and graduates, able to respond to market trends and new state-of-the-art research. Teamwork is vital, says Zièd, ‘without the team, we have nothing’.

CEO of TUM, Helmut Schönenberger, explains the university’s role: ‘We connect our start-ups with venture capital sources and business angels, and with financing opportunities from European funds’. Since 2002, some 380 businesses and more than 11 000 jobs have been created.

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