Model of Success and Example for Europe: Susanne Klatten and Helmut Schönenberger in Handelsblatt

Profilbild Susanne Klatten Forum 2022
29 July 2022

It was 20 years ago that these three people came together and laid the foundation for an unprecedented success story: one of Germany's great family entrepreneurs, Susanne Klatten, met the President of the Technical University of Munich at that time, Wolfgang Herrmann, and the student Helmut Schönenberger. With a shared vision - to build an innovation and start-up center at Technical University of Munich - UnternehmerTUM was born.

"I carried the thought with me that we need more founders who make their business idea their own in such a way that it becomes their life's work. (...) Mr. Schönenberger had written a thesis on this: What can be learned from Stanford. So one thing led to another. I like to think back to that time. UnternehmerTUM was my start-up," says Susanne Klatten today.

In today's issue of Handelsblatt, Susanne Klatten and Helmut Schönenberger take another look back at the beginnings of UnternehmerTUM. They talk about the Munich model as a role model, the future of Germany and Europe as a business location, and the question of what contribution young people, start-ups, (family) businesses, research institutions and the public sector can make to ensure Europe's future viability and technological sovereignty.

Since its founding, UnternehmerTUM's growth curve has been around 20% annually; in 2021, nearly $3.5 billion flowed into UnternehmerTUM startups - almost one-fifth of the venture capital available in Germany. Today, around 350 employees make the former start-up the largest and leading center for innovation and start-ups in Europe. More than 100 partner companies - including family-run companies, DAX corporations, VCs or foundations - have built a strong innovation ecosystem with us.

And big goals continue to be pursued: "UnternehmerTUM will also bring people together more strongly at the European level in the future to work together on the vision of an entrepreneurial Europe. The successful Munich cooperation model of UnternehmerTUM serves as a blueprint for jointly mastering the great challenges of our time in an innovative and sustainable way," says Prof. Dr. Helmut Schönenberger.

Here you can find the Handelsblatt article (German language, paywall protected).

And also a portrait of UnternehmerTUM (German language, paywall-protected).

Get Monthly Updates

Your bite of the innovation scene: stay up to date with news from the UnternehmerTUM network and our event recommendations and discover which start-ups are up and coming now.
You'll find our privacy policy with information on logging your registration, mailings via Mailchimp, statistical analysis, and unsubscribe options here.