Grün gründen - Start-ups mit Mission
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2022-10-01 publication

Founding Green - Start-ups with a Mission

Saving the world with good ideas. That's what many newly founded companies with innovative green technologies want to do. There is certainly no shortage of visions in Germany, once a land of start-ups. But why do so many founders still fail to make the big international breakthrough? In the current issue of VDE dialog, approaches to solutions are presented and success stories are highlighted. 

Further topics are: Autonomous driving, Young talent crisis, Engineers for Future and much more.

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“Just need to save the world real quick”

Prof. Dr. Jochen Kreusel

“Many committed, idealistic people are working on new and unconventional solutions.” 

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… is the translated title of a song by German pop star Tim Bendzko that satirizes the way we tend to discuss big societal problems, but still go on behaving just as we always have. Everyone is probably familiar with this dynamic in both their personal and professional settings. And it’s easy to come up with examples related to the energy transition – in fact, shaping a more sustainable future necessarily involves continuing with certain longstanding practices, applying both past experiences and existing knowledge, and also making sure that established stakeholders play their part. 

But there is another side to the coin, which isn’t quite so evident. Many groundbreaking innovations have always literally been made in garages – from the famous personal computer in Silicon Valley to the first car in Mannheim. The inventors are often enthusiastic young people with the drive to overcome obstacles and difficulties, almost always without any government funding. In most cases, the people behind these ideas have a strong vision. The task of saving the world takes on a different meaning in contexts like this. 

When you start calling for change, many people will say that it’s all too easy to make demands and accuse you of not facing up to the real-world challenges involved in your solution. With the current issue of VDE dialog, we hope to demonstrate that it doesn’t have to be that way. Many committed, idealistic people are working on new and often unconventional solutions here in Germany – in small, fast, newly founded companies, often near universities and technical colleges. But also in cooperation with established companies and with public funding. We often hear that Germany is missing this kind of entrepreneurial commitment – and, of course, there’s always room for more. But maybe part of the explanation is simple: that companies like this are naturally less visible in their early stages. We want to help change that. 

I hope you find the following articles interesting and enriching – from the features on startups to all the other topics in this issue! 

Yours truly, 

Prof. Jochen Kreusel, Market Innovation Manager, Hitachi Energy and member of the VDE Supervisory Board 

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