Lindner: “Germany Needs Another Wave of Rapid Expansion”

Opening of the largest start-up conference in eastern Germany, the Accelerate@HHL Conference. About 200 international students talk to founders, investors and companies and discuss the latest trends in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation management.

Kicking off the two-day Accelerate@HHL Conference at Germany’s leading entrepreneurial university, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, patron Christian Lindner postulates, “Germany needs another wave of rapid expansion in politics and society. The opportunities of digitalization and biology should be used here and not elsewhere.” According to the National Chairman of Germany’s Free Democratic Party (FDP), start-ups keep Germany innovative overall as they put pressure on established companies, among other things. According to the politician, changes could target three crucial needs – heads, funds and culture. He appeals, “We must do more in schools and universities to put the names of entrepreneurs on the map. Moreover, we need more capital for highly innovative start-up businesses. The political framework conditions can and must improve to achieve these goals. We also need a different culture.” In this context, Lindner quotes HHL’s latest entrepreneurship study which found that potential founders feel particularly inhibited by the notion that they could fail. “Those who are successful deserve recognition and respect. Those who are not successful deserve a new, a next, chance,” demands Christian Lindner. Referring to the motto of the conference, the FDP Chairman called upon the conference participants, “Unleash your inner entrepreneur – don’t let anything stop you from following your professional dreams.”

During the Accelerate@HHL Conference, which will be conducted in English on April 21 and 22, 2017, about 200 international students will have the opportunity to talk to founders, investors and companies and discuss the latest trends in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation management. The event stands out with its multi-faceted scientific and supporting program, top-level experts as well as a relaxed start-up atmosphere.

In addition to the main speakers; Lukasz Gadowksi (serial entrepreneur and investor), Christopher Muhr (co-founder of AUTO1 Group), Lorenz Jüngling (COO N26) and Christoph Sollich (The Pitch Doctor), other renowned representatives from the economy and research will give presentations at the entrepreneurship conference. Amongst others, Julia Derndinger (Die Gründertrainerin), Annemarie Heyl (Co-Founder of Kale&Me) Prof. Dr. Sven Ripsas (Berlin School of Economics and Law) as well as Stefan Kimmel (Partner at KPMG Law, responsible for venture capital, private equity, M&A and joint ventures), have confirmed their attendance.

The start-up scene will be represented by successful serial entrepreneurs such as Stephan Heller (Founder of FinCompare), Andrew Shaw (start-up in stealth mode) and Pia Poppenreiter (Founder of Ohlala) as well as representatives from renowned European venture capital providers such as Benedikt Ernst (Managing Director of Media-Saturn SPACELAB – Tech Accelerator), Philipp Hartmann (Founding Partner of Rheinghau Founders), Carl-Luis Rieger (Investment Analyst at Kompass Digital), Niklas Walinski (Investment Analyst at STS Ventures) and Milda Jasaite (Investment Analyst at Earlybird Venture Capital).

Students will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and attend the Career Fair, where companies such as Bertelsmann, zeb, trivago, KPMG, Rheingau Founders and Porsche will present themselves.

The 7th Leipzig Entrepreneurship Lecture, held in English, will also be a part of the 2017 Accelerate@HHL Conference. This year, Prof. Dr. Ripsas (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Prof. Dr. Stubner and Jun.-Prof. Dr. Velamuri (both HHL) will share their experiences from the entrepreneurship scene and shed light on the topic of start-ups from an academic point of view. The 7th Leipzig Leadership Lecture will be moderated by HHL Dean Prof. Dr. Pinkwart.
The 2017 Accelerate@HHL Conference will take place on the campus of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management today, on Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22, 2017.

Supporters of the 2017 Accelerate@HHL Entrepreneurship Conference include gold sponsors zeb, Bertelsmann, KPMG, Media-Saturn SPACELAB – Tech Accelerator as well as silver and bronze sponsors trivago, ABInBev, the Association of Friends of HHL (GdF), the HHL Alumni Association, Rheingau Founders and Kompass Digital.