From theory to practice: university promotes entrepreneurship

 ·      New FOUNDERS@IU initiative creates space for development: Kick-off event on 12 May

·      Platform for exchanging entrepreneurial know-how and exploiting potential while still at university

·      Two successful start-ups already: JUNITY and "Studium im Gepäck".


Erfurt, 28 April 2022. With the new FOUNDERS@IU initiative, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) offers a platform where founders can exchange ideas, learn from each other and establish valuable contacts. "Anyone who lives out their passion and founds a company has to overcome a number of hurdles, not only in Germany - bureaucratic, technical and economic ones. With FOUNDERS@IU, we support people in building a successful business - even while they are still studying," says Prof. Dr Alexandra Wuttig, IU Chancellor and Professor of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Law.

In January, IU launched the free support programme "How to Become a Female Founder" in cooperation with the Food Startup Incubator Weihenstephan (FSIWS), which is aimed at female founders. With FOUNDERS@IU, an initiative is now starting that is aimed at all from the IU cosmos interested in founding a company.

Growing together: Kick-off in May

The kick-off event will take place online on 12.05.2022 from 6 pm. Registration is possible at

FOUNDERS@IU is intended to become a platform for entrepreneurial know-how, to network founders and to contribute to joint growth. "We have a lot of entrepreneurial potential in Germany. As a university, we are obliged to help develop this potential," says Alexandra Wuttig.

First start-ups founded: JUNITY and studies in the bag

Two examples prove that many people with a pronounced entrepreneurial spirit are active around IU. The first is JUNITY, a travel platform for people with disabilities, which Carolin Noack founded in March 2020. She works as Head of Growth-Multibrands at IU. The company name JUNITY is composed of the J for "journey" and "unity". Carolin Noack has intensively studied the enormous challenges for people with disabilities when travelling and wanted long-term change. With JUNITY, everyone should find accessible travel online more easily. According to Carolin Noack, this can only succeed in the long term if barrier-free travel takes into account not only social but also economic factors.

The second example is Studium im Gepäck. The start-up combines studying and travelling. Studium im Gepäck is developing a new study format together with German universities: travel-related studies. The combination of studying and travelling is intended to help students develop into competent, responsible and sustainable personalities and to build up informal competences, such as the right soft skills, in addition to their professional studies. To this end, participants choose a distance learning programme at a cooperating university such as IU University of Applied Sciences that is suitable for travelling, travel to the countries of their choice and return with a degree - all at a cost similar to that of a state attendance programme without tuition fees in Germany. Studium im Gepäck provides the right preparation for the study adventure and travel companions as well as the right network of places to study, live and work. The campus is therefore where you want it to be.

Founder Luisa Schmid knows travel-related studies from her own experience: she is studying Business Psychology (M.Sc.) at IU and is currently writing her Master's thesis in Bali. She and her co-founder Lukas Rissing have travelled through 17 countries in 4 semesters, have already gained a lot of new life experience and sharpened their soft skills. They have also been more productive than expected with their studies while travelling. Nor has there been a gap in their CVs.

With the support of FOUNDERS@IU, Luisa Schmid wants to professionalise her business model. The start-up is currently working on a preparation course, a search programme for study programmes suitable for travel and customisable study routes. The first "Global Students" have been on the road since the end of 2021. "With studies in our luggage, we show that freedom and success are not mutually exclusive," says Luisa Schmid.

Registration for the kick-off of the FOUNDERS@IU initiative on 12 May, 6 p.m.:

Information on Studium im Gepäck  and JUNITY

Questions about the initiative:

With over 85,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-recognised educational institution brings together more than 200 Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes under its roof, which are offered in German or English. Students can choose between on-campus study, dual study, distance learning and flexible combination models and thus shape their studies in a self-determined way. In addition, IU facilitates continuing education and promotes the idea of lifelong learning. The university's goal is to make education possible for as many people as possible. IU began operations in 2000 and is now represented in 28 German cities. It cooperates with over 10,000 companies and actively supports them in employee development. Its partners include Motel One, VW Financial Services and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at:

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