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TU concept GmbH: New support for start-ups

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Ein Mann sitzt an einem Klavier und lächelt in die Kamera. Im Hintergrund stehen drei weitere Männer. © Oliver Schaper
Albrecht Ehlers (right) and Matthias Giese (2nd from left) are managing directors of TU concept GmbH, which entered into a participation in the takt1 start-up. Prof. Holger Noltze and Jonas Zerweck (at the piano) broadcast classical live concerts at takt1.

TU Dort­mund University financially participates in promising start-ups and thus treads new ground. “For the first time, we can help establish businesses on the market that are spin-offs of TU Dort­mund University,” said Matthias Giese, Head of the Department of Finance and Procurement. He was instrumental in developing the investment model with his team and, together with Albrecht Ehlers, Chancellor of TU Dort­mund University, is the Managing Director of the TU concept GmbH. Through this limited liability company, the university will hold a share in future companies.

TU concept GmbH is already holding a share in two companies: classicon GmbH and Crop.Evolution GmbH (in the founding process). Both companies have emerged from the university. And both show the broad spectrum representing Universitas, i.e. the totality and diversity of the sciences, which characterizes TU Dort­mund University.

Digital stage offers exclusive live concerts

With its internet platform, the digital stage takt1, classicon GmbH offers access to an archive of classical music videos to lovers of classical music. As a special highlight, takt1 regularly presents exclusive live concerts with world-class music partners. One of the founders is Professor Holger Noltze from the Institute of Music and Musicology at TU Dort­mund University. Also participating is Benedikt Stampa, the longtime director of the Konzerthaus Dort­mund and current director of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.

Crop.Evolution GmbH i.Gr. has set itself the goal of developing and marketing a disruptive production process in the field of “natural substance production with recombinant crops”. Crop.evolution - in addition to b.value AG as the main shareholder and TU concept GmbH, Prof. Oliver Kayser from the Faculty of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering is also on board – wants to develop the process to patent maturity and market it after patenting.

Assistance in establishing companies on the market

The stakes held in the two companies should only be the beginning for start-up support by TU Dort­mund University. “So far, we have faced the problem that TU Dort­mund University has been able to offer a wide range of teaching and consulting services for all development steps along the founding process right up to the founding of the company,” said Rector Professor Ursula Gather, representing the shareholder TU Dort­mund University. “However, because of legal reasons, we could not assist the start-up when it established itself on the market. We can now change this with TU concept GmbH.”

It is important to the TU concept managing directors Albrecht Ehlers and Matthias Giese that no public money made available by the German government to the university for research and teaching is used as stakes in start-ups. “After all, every start-up involves a risk of loss,” said Giese. Thus, the capital of TU concept GmbH does not come from taxes. Rather, the money comes from profits that TU Dort­mund University was able to achieve in externally financed economic research projects after deduction of all costs – personnel, use of facilities, including all taxes incurred, etc. – that were taken into account.

TU concept GmbH is expected to grow substantially. Above all, Albrecht Ehlers and Matthias Giese want to invest the returns from the start-ups that have established themselves on the market with the help of the university immediately in new start-ups. An advisory board currently appointed by TU concept GmbH will support the selection and assessment of potential candidates for funding.

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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.