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Successful Start-ups with CET

At TU Dortmund University, we care about more than teaching and research: The university’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Transfer (CET) provides hands-on support to members who want to start their own businesses; evaluate, register and exploit inventions and patents; enter into corporate partnerships; or build their entrepreneurial skills. Its objective is to support start-ups and young businesses, foster a culture that encourages inventions and patents, and share knowledge and technologies between TU Dortmund University, the corporate world and society. Since 2012, start-up support at TU Dortmund University has helped launch 125 new businesses. And since 2015, almost 650 participants have attended CET workshops. TU Dortmund University currently holds 83 patent families. More than 700 companies have used the TU job portal ‘Stellenwerk’.


Success story: comnovo GmbH

Crossed arms of four people in business shirts, holding each others hands, viewed from above © Pexels

One of these successful start-ups is comnovo GmbH, a spin-off from the “Communication Networks Institute” in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at TU Dortmund University. Founders and TU graduates Dr. Andreas Lewandowski and Volker Köster have developed a novel vehicle locating system that emits warning sounds or vibrations to warn people moving around hangars, buildings or block warehouses that vehicles are approaching. Here’s the ingenious part: Due to its high frequencies, the system can “see” through pallets, rolling gates and walls – with a precision down to the centimeters.

The start-up has received multiple awards for its innovative solutions – such as the 2015 “Start up of the Year in Information and Communication Technology” award by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as well as TU Dortmund University’s tu>startup AWARD. Since the summer of 2017, the start-up has been part of Linde Material Handling, which belongs to the global KION group.

Since it was founded in 2013, comnovo has been one of TU Dortmund University’s research, teaching and transfer partners. It is headquartered in the immediate vicinity of the university at the Technology Park. The team received start-up support from TU Dortmund University’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Transfer and is still actively engaged in its network.

CET caters to students, graduates and researchers in all departments at TU Dortmund University as well as to start-ups, new and established companies, and associations as well as corporate and community interest groups. Its services include:

  • teaching and qualification programs
  • support in implementing new business ideas and models
  • advice on financing as well as support in identifying and applying for startup funds
  • evaluation, registration and exploitation of technological inventions and patents
  • operation of the TU job portal ‘Stellenwerk’
  • facilitating cooperation between startups and medium-sized businesses
  • helping startups join initiatives and enter competitions, such as the Dortmund-based “start2grow” and the federal start-up competition “Digital Innovations”
  • coordination of the tu>startup FOUNDATION office

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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Campus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dort­mund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Campus). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from North Campus to South Campus by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Campus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station (“Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop “Dort­mund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dort­mund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on North Campus. One (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Campus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Campus and offers a direct connection to South Campus every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

Site Map of TU Dortmund University (Second Page in English).