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  • Behind every successful Fraunhofer spin-off is a strong technology - and a strong team of tech experts and personalities, who get things done. Fraunhofer scientists bring much of this with them, and the optimal team set-up and working methods are developed together with experienced coaches. We spoke with Dr. Klaus Dürrbeck, Managing Director of the Munich Leadership Group and head of team development for the AHEAD program.

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  • Together with his team, Leo Mück has developed the new SDG track of the AHEAD program as project manager. Leo is part of the AHEAD program management, initiator & co-founder of a social start-up, studied Management of Social Innovations and is currently working on his part-time MBA Green Economy & Digital Innovation. In this interview, he answers your most important questions about the new SDG track. Get to know Leo and our new SDG track:

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  • Solar power is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources worldwide. But the growing demand for the critical resource silver for module production could become the bottleneck of green energy. Starting in fall 2021, the Fraunhofer spin-off project PV2plus is driving an innovation that replaces scarce and environmentally critical materials while significantly reducing manufacturing costs as part of an EXIST research transfer.

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  • More than 1.800 applicants from all over the world, stunning new tech approaches and an exceptional selection of start-up talents and experts – but only a few will make it the Olympus of functional surface design technologies: Yesterday, Heraeus, a globally operating and visionary German tech-company, announced 5 new start-ups to join one of the most advanced acceleration programs in the field – and the Fraunhofer spin-off Fusion Bionic will be among the chosen ones.

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  • Fraunhofer researchers have an outstanding expertise and technology portfolio - but to turn these assets into successful companies, they need to develop skills and mindsets beyond tech and theory. Lisa Gius is team development coach in the AHEAD program and works with AHEAD teams on their »social launch momentum«: teamdesign and teambuilding for successful young companies. We spoke with her about the challenges of Fraunhofer spin-offs and the special »joy of development« that drives researchers in the start-up process.

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  • Leyla, you are responsible for the events at AHEAD and of course especially for the organization of the AHEAD Bootcamp. What can you bring to the party? The mentality and experience to deal with challenges in general. Parallel to my studies in business sciences I worked as a ramp agent at the Munich Airport, where I handled aircraft turnarounds and logistics between flights on a second-by-second basis. Imagine a mixture between meticulous planning and Murphy's Law – for me this is a perfect training for professional management of challenges. Later I changed to the strategic sector, where I was responsible for the management of executive events and workshops.

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  • Germany occupies a top position in high-tech research and development, but currently lands only in the middle of the pack when it comes to high-tech start-ups and venture capital investments in young technology companies. Especially in the capital-intensive early phases of company development, investors and start-ups seem to have difficulties finding each other. One reason for the gap between technological potential and its commercial exploitation is the difficulty in obtaining reliable key figures on companies whose technology and products only become marketable after lengthy, complex developments. The so-called Venture Readiness Management System, a new method to evaluate startups, enables investors to reliably evaluate young tech companies even if they do not yet have valid market data. We spoke with Leonard Rinser, Innovation Manager in the Fraunhofer AHEAD program, who has evaluated methods to overcome the investment gap with the Venture Readiness Management System.

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