STA-E-LAB Start-Up Incubator
Entrepreneurship in Stade
The STA-E-LAB, the new start-up incubator of PFH Private University of Applied Sciences' ZE Zentrum für Entrepreneurship (Centre for Entrepreneurship) in Stade, provides assistance in implementing innovative entrepreneurial ideas. Apart from students on PFH Hansecampus Stade, the University's distance-learning students and alumni can also avail themselves of extensive support here.
For some time now, students in Stade have been able to take advantage of the business starter and innovation advice provided by the ZE. The aim of the advice is to develop creative ideas for new products or services so as ultimately to produce a workable business concept. It initially does not matter whether the business idea revolves around an industrial product, an Internet service or a smartphone app.
As soon as a solid outline idea has been formed, the STA-E-LAB provides business starters with the best possible framework for setting up a company. As a start-up incubator, the STA-E-LAB is a "hotbed" for entrepreneurial ideas. Students can use the premises and infrastructure here to further develop their product and business model, while being in close contact with the experts of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and with other entrepreneurs within the incubator. The role model for the facility is the GO-E-LAB, which was opened in Göttingen as early as 2010.
Bringing Innovations to Companies
All on-campus and distance-learning students as well as alumni of PFH can take advantage of the start-up advice as well as the premises and infrastructure of the STA-E-LAB. For the Stade on-campus students taking Business Administration, however, developing innovative ideas is, to all intents and purposes, mandatory. As part of the "Entrepreneurship" focus, they work on start-up or innovation projects that they have chosen themselves in the third semester, with students that are funded by companies in the region via the StudyingPractice programme preferring to engage in innovation projects that fit the portfolio of their companies. Students that do not have a company connection can work on their own start-up ideas or, for example, develop business concepts for CFRP products (CFRP stands for "carbon fibre-reinforced plastic"); many points of reference can be found in the CFK Valley Stade.
"Whether students pursue their entrepreneurship project activities and put them into practice at the end of the semester in the STA-E-LAB is left up to them, but would, of course, be desirable. In any case, the projects may present a great opportunity for the companies in the Stade region that participate in the StudyingPractice programme. They may give them suggestions for new products or services – including an initial assessment of market opportunities. We hope that students can bring innovation back to their companies like this", Vollmar explains.
StudyingPractice Programme in Stade
Six companies in the Stade region are currently collaborating with PFH with regard to the StudyingPractice programme. These include Karl Meyer AG from Wischhafen, the company group NDB Technische Systeme, the Stade-Altes Land Savings Bank and Stader Saatzucht eG. Since the autumn of 2011, they have borne a proportion or the full amount of the tuition fees of one or more students. Furthermore, from October 2012, the two Stade companies, City-Map Internetmarketing AG and Johannes Lindemann GmbH & Co. KG, have made a commitment to new students in the first semester. Virtually half of the students taking Business Administration are being supported in this way. They complete practical phases in the companies in the lecture-free periods, and companies in the region also retain them, depending on collaboration agreement, as high-performers after they complete their studies.