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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 Faculty 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 faculties 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 Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). 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 Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord 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 20 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".

Dort­mund Airport offers flights to several destinations in Central Europe. There are regular connections to Katowice, Kraków, London and Munich. For the approximately 20km-trip from Dort­mund Airport to TU Dort­mund University, you can use a shuttle bus to the railway Station "Bahnhof Holzwickede", from which trains depart to Dort­mund main station (please visit Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr for more information). Normally, the fastest way is to catch a taxi at Dort­mund Airport.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. 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 Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.