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Prof. Hasso Plattner appeals for innovation initiative and announces new type of founders' center14.06.2005 - (idw) Hasso-Plattner-Institut für Softwaresystemtechnik (HPI)
Potsdam. At a "Forum for entrepreneurship" on Monday, June 13, scientific patron Prof. Hasso Plattner appealed for an innovation offensive throughout German society. Before 250 guests from industry, science and politics, he presented his own contribution to this offensive - a new type of founders' center for young and promising information technology companies. It has its headquarters directly next to the Hasso Plattner Institute for IT Systems Engineering in Potsdam, where highly gifted students are trained in a course of university studies "IT Systems Engineering" which is unique in Germany. The core of the new founders' center in Potsdam is an incubator. A venture capital fund of more than 50 million euros is waiting for the young IT entrepreneurs who will be admitted to this "company incubator".
Plattner (61) will be head of the unit with the name "Hasso Plattner Ventures", together with Eran Davidson (46), an Israeli venture capital and incubator specialist. In the founders' center for young IT companies, software-based product ideas can be "hatched" and made ready for marketing under the guidance of experienced consultants and with the support of venture capital. Plattner will launch a fund for the project, and will contribute at least half of the total capital resources of more than 50 million euros. Further investors should contribute at least five million euros each.
During the presentation of his project, Plattner criticized the absence of a willingness to take risks in Germany. "We must reawaken the entrepreneurial spirit in Germany", emphasized Plattner. He appealed to the federal government, to the largest companies listed on the stock exchange, and to the most wealthy Germans to additionally invest at least one billion euros annually for promoting new companies. "The state should contribute 250 million annually, and the DAX 30 companies and the more than 40 billionaires in Germany should each contribute ten million euros. Then we will easily reach this amount", declared Plattner.
If Germany wants to keep pace with international competition, the country needs new, young companies, especially in the dynamic growth markets such as information technology and telecommunications. "Their success will then also result in growth in other areas", said Plattner. His project in Potsdam is now searching for "young top persons with the best ideas from the sciences who have a great entrepreneurial spirit and ideas for IT products and services providing particular user benefits - to target global markets". He wishes to support innovative inventors who want to solve urgent problems or make significant improvements possible. Plattner focuses not only on graduates from his institute, but also on first-rate professionals from other leading universities and research institutes all over Germany.
According to information from Eran Davidson, director of "Hasso Plattner Ventures", an average of five startup companies per year will be incorporated into the incubator in Potsdam. "A prerequisite is that they have their company headquarters here. They must also produce and follow a tailored 'road map' for the future development", emphasized Davidson at the "Forum for entrepreneurship" in Potsdam.
The willingness to accept intensive guidance and business support belongs to the conditions of working with "Hasso Plattner Ventures", as does the readiness to accept support in product design and marketing. An exceptional technical infrastructure and complete office services are provided, as well as early association with strategic partners and guidance to the relevant markets. "Hasso Plattner Ventures" will be accommodated in an old, completely renovated villa between the Hasso Plattner Institute and the film park in Potsdam-Babelsberg.
A maximum of approximately four million euros can be invested in each of the most promising company projects. The 'kick start investment' will be approximately half a million euros against shares equity in the newly established company, said Davidson. He expects the startup companies to remain in the incubator for two years on average.
"Hasso Plattner Ventures' new concept of coaching values, together with "hands on" business and marketing guidance, global and strategic investors and substantial financial support aims to reduce risk, and thus create new, valuable start-up companies in Germany", declared Davidson.
http://www.hp-ventures.com - Website of HassoPlattnerVentures
http://www.hpi-web.de - Basic Information about the Hasso-Plattner-Institute
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