Startup Experience - STAX

Help startups grow!

You like new ideas and love their execution? You want to apply your knowledge in the real world and develop your own startup or learn from startup teams on the project!  With this course, we help startups grow, foster entrepreneurial culture and advance the Mannheim startup ecosystem. 

This class is designed for students from all disciplines that want to learn more about innovation, commercialization of intellectual property, and want to gain real startup experience.

In a blended course setting of theory and immediate practical implementation, the course follows an action-oriented learning approach: Students either support existing startup projects or develop their own venture to the next level. This course has two versions: STAX 1 and STAX 2.

STAX 1 is part of our course program and connects to the highly successful Inside-the-Venture program of the University of Mannheim - including joint teams. STAX 2 is Hochschule Mannheim only. 

Support a Startup:

Offers students who want to experience the startup world an excellent opportunity to work at eye-level with an experienced real-world startup team. The concept: Solving challenges of young companies with student approaches and on-site by student teams. Assisted by an experienced coach, the students carry out joint projects with the startup after a needs analysis. 

Advance your Startup or Idea: 

Advance your ideas or startup in class! Further advance your startup in class according to milestones set with MARS and MCEI (University of Mannheim) coaches. Recruit student teams from class to work on your challenges, find potential co-founders and gain access to to business expertise via our collaboration. Please approach the instructors upon course registration to sort out, whether your startup project is eligible for this track.

Course Content

  • Innovation methods for customer-oriented product and service development

  • Structure and design of a pitch presentation, presenting in front of stakeholders of various kind

  • Action-oriented learning, alternating units of input sessions and practical implementation to real projects

  • Development and optimization of products and services including, e.g. technology, design, strategy, marketing or financial planning

  • Preparing a startup for funding in different stages

  • Teamwork in interdisciplinary dynamic teams 

Learning Objectives

  • Acquired knowledge of innovation and economic value creation by bringing research results, inventions and ideas into practice.
  • Gained know-how and practical experience to execute their own ideas and translate scientific findings into commercial potential. 

  • Applied their knowledge, e.g., technical, design, business, to real startup and innovation projects in preparation for their professional future in startups as entrepreneurs or in a corporate setting as intrapreneurs.

  • Developed managerial skills and familiarity with problem solving in practice.

  • Experienced interdisciplinary team work and improved their presentation skills.


  • Meetings & workshops
  • Team work
  • Coaching and individual feedback
  • Final pitch/startup presentation

Course Structure

Level: Master, depending on study track also Bachelor. 

Language of instruction: English

Credits: 6-10 ECTS (depending on faculty)

There will be two course opportunities in parallel - one with an early Kickoff (Batch 1) and one with a later Kickoff (Batch 2). 


  • Continuous project work and project report
  • Status Updates/ Mid-Term
  • Final Presentation (or Pitch)
  • For >6ECTS: individual Founder's Diary/ Reflective Report/ Business Plan (depending on faculty)

Please reach out to your respective faculty regarding accreditation. 

Participating Startups (offering projects)

Create online certificates that spark pride and drive engagement across social media.

Robotizing logistics. 


CONNOU-The opportunity to connect all your university and to keep everybody socialised.

MATEO transforms the rental process into an entirely digital and automated experience. At its core MATEO ensures a delightful connection between landlord and tenant. By providing a saas solution, MATEO puts the landlord’s operational tasks on autopilot and frees up time for growth and innovation.


Dr. Jan Zybura

Registration coming soon here.


Dr. Jan Zybura

Course Literature

  • Blank, S., & Dorf, B. (2012). The startup owner's manual: The step-by-step guide for building a great company. Pescadero, Calif.: K & S Ranch Publ.
  • Maurya, A. (2016). Scaling Lean: Mastering the key metrics for startup growth. London: Portfolio Penguin. (also available as e-book)