From scientist to entrepreneur – Corona as an opportunity

The corona pandemic has put many proven business models to the test. The IfM Bonn demands more Courage to innovate through start-ups from science.

While the corona pandemic and the restrictions that came with it have had catastrophic effects in many parts of the economy and society, in other parts they could also innovation engine be understood.

For scientists who had toyed with the idea of ​​starting a business anyway, suddenly arose new business areas. Despite (or precisely because of) the pandemic, many a business idea has become a company that can work both modernly and digitally. In a study (external PDF link), the IfM Bonn interviewed scientists to examine the start-up success during the pandemic. The courage from science is exemplary – one in three entrepreneurs developed a new business concept due to the pandemic, only one in six wanted to postpone their project “to become self-employed”. This insight reveals what business can learn from science in this case.

Business start-up from science – start-up driver Corona

Starting a business is a cross-discipline with hopes and dreams, and many scientists are no longer interested in research or teaching. Instead, self-realization, innovation and your own idea should be in the foreground and of course some scientists would prefer that own boss.

That in many disciplines of science practice-oriented work has long been done and the focus on implementation of the business ideas is likely to drive the development even further. The COVID crisis, the lockdown and a new push for many industries digitalization have also changed the world of work (reading tip: New funding for SMEs: “Digitalization Now”).

Although the IfM Bonn was able to determine that it was above all the positive attitude to found a company that turned scientists from concept papers to business plans (including financial plans) to their own start-ups, but at least a third of those surveyed by the institute saw the changed situation as an imperative to take action. The uncertain work situation and the unclear future in so many industries have prompted scientists to seek self-employment.

That doesn’t make the pandemic the decisive one mainspring scientific business ideas, but still an important factor. More important for scientists was practical relevance, independence, self-realization and, above all, the implementation of their own ideas. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, after all, for most entrepreneurs, whether male or female, these points are the focus of their own company.

Presumably also because scientists think digitally, concerns about the corona pandemic play only a minor role. Only 11.7 percent of those surveyed stated that they feared the effects of the pandemic on their business model. Around half of all respondents, on the other hand, share classic, non-crisis concerns: the lack of basic legal and commercial knowledge, the risk, the lack of suitable financing, the time burden and the incompatibility of current work and starting a business.

Realize personal goals, stick to the corporate concept

As the study by the Bonn Institute for SME Research shows, science and business go hand in hand even during the pandemic. And while the pandemic plays only a minor role as a start-up obstacle in the sciences, for many scientists it was the decisive impetusto realize the dream of your own company. After all, forming a company from your own ideas and a specialized skillset and offering scientific solutions as a business concept is a business model that can certainly be considered crisis-proof.

As with any start-up project, there are numerous questions for founders from science to answer, including e.g. B. Search for investors, marketing strategy and choice of legal form. These and other hurdles can be overcome safely and sustainably with the support of business start-up advice. You may be able to apply for funding for these (service tip: consultant search). In addition, before founding a company, it should be checked whether other subsidies, including promotional loans, can be used. This can be determined free of charge using our subsidy check.