Consulting services for start-up businesses

The first step towards setting up a company

The FAU Start-up Service provides aspiring entrepreneurs and young companies with sound advice. Students, staff or professors at FAU are supported both before launching their company and whilst building their business.

The Start-up Service regularly invites founders and young entrepreneurs to events covering topics relevant to starting out in business and provides information on competitions for founders and start-ups.

Current events for founders and young entrepreneurs

No upcoming events.

Regular events

  • Existency

    ‘Existency’ is the new platform for entrepreneurs from universities and research institutions in the Middle Franconia region. The Existency platform provides support to academic start-up teams to fully exploit the potential of their business idea and significantly increase their chance of success. Existency is a collaborative project run by FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg (coordinator) in conjunction with Technische Hochschule Nürnberg and Hochschule Ansbach, and funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in the context of Exist (Exist potentials). Other partners include, in particular, ZOLLHOF Tech Incubator, and LZE e.V. as well as many other partner institutions such as BayStartup, various start-up centres in Middle Franconia, and the Nuremberg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK Nürnberg für Mittelfranken).

    Further information and details of services and events is available at:

  • Start-up café

    A start-up café is held on the first Thursday of the month.

    This offers all young entrepreneurs, anyone starting their own business and anyone interested in going into business the possibility to share and explore innovative ideas with those of a similar mindset from other universities and research institutions in a relaxed, casual atmosphere.

    Entry is free of charge.

    Further information

  • FAU Digital Tech Academy

    The Digital Tech Academy consolidates and reinforces the opportunities FAU offers in the field of digital entrepreneurship. Exceptionally talented students and doctoral candidates who would like to acquire methodological knowledge and practical experience in implementing digital innovations can apply once a semester for the one-year interdisciplinary and extra-curricular Digital Tech Fellows programme. In addition, the Digital Tech Academy offers events and workshops in collaboration with institutions and departments at FAU.

    Further information

  • €5 Business

    The aim of the €5 Business project is to work together as a team to develop a business idea and launch it onto the market for a period of six weeks. You can focus entirely on your company, without the distraction of having to comply with complex formalities. The event is run at universities throughout Bavaria.

    Further information and previous teams:

Start-up competitions

Depending on their focus, competitions revolving around start-ups are aimed at either students, inventors, those who want to start their own business or young entrepreneurs.

Northern Bavarian Business Plan Competition

The Northern Bavarian Business Plan Competition focuses on innovative ideas with a substantial potential for growth. It is open to all start-ups and entrepreneurs based in Northern Bavaria. Anyone not currently living or working in Northern Bavaria can only participate if they can give plausible reasons justifying their plans to move to Northern Bavaria in future. The project is open to people who are aiming either to launch a start-up or to extend an existing business idea. The competition is split into three phases, but participants can join at any of these phases. In each phase you are provided with written assessments which you can use to fine-tune your business plan. The competition is held every year.

German Entrepreneur Award

The German Entrepreneur Award is conferred annually in five categories: Student, StartUp, Rising Star and Lifetime Achievement. The award is presented to entrepreneurial role models in various phases of business – from simulation contests for school pupils to an award for lifetime achievement. A special award is also presented to entrepreneurs whose success is based on an unorthodox approach. The German Entrepreneur Award is a joint initiative between stern, Sparkassen, ZDF and Porsche.

Entrepreneur of the Year

The award presented annually by Ernst&Young is awarded in the categories industry, trade, services, ICT technologies/media and start-up. The prize is awarded to entrepreneurs who demonstrate initiative, foresight and a flair for innovation. In the categories of industry, trade, services and ICT technologies/media, the competition is open to entrepreneurs whose companies are at least four years old, have at least 40 employees and have their headquarters in Germany. For the start-up category, companies must have completed at least one business transaction and have been set up no more than four years ago, but are not required to have at least 40 employees.

ICT Start-Up Challenge

The Gründerwettbewerb IKT (ICT start-up challenge) run by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) promotes innovative ICT start-ups. It follows on from the successful ‘Gründerwettbewerb – mit Multimedia erfolgreich starten’, the BMWi challenge aimed at encouraging start-ups in the multimedia sector.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Start-Up Award

The Nuremberg Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Middle Franconia awards the annual Chamber of Commerce and Industry Start-Up Award for Middle Franconia once a year. The competition is open to owners/partners of companies belonging to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry with their headquarters in Middle Franconia. The award is intended to encourage those who want to set up a business and reward young entrepreneurs for their courage and dedication.


Science4Life is an annual industry-specific start-up competition run throughout Germany in the emerging areas of life science and chemistry. The competition is aimed at students, doctoral candidates and research associates at universities, universities of applied sciences and research institutions as well as other innovators in the area of life science and chemistry. Companies which would like to participate in the competition must have started business after 1 September 2008.


Consulting services for start-up businesses

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Referat S-OUTREACH - Outreach Support

Henkestraße 91 Medical Valley Center, EG, Haus 2
91052 Erlangen