Born Global Startup Festival 2024

BGSF 2024: Empowering Internationals to Create Startups in Germany

The opening day of the Born Global Startup Festival 2024 on May 28 brought together around 200 international students, doctoral candidates, post-docs and alumni who have a business idea or are interested in founding a startup in Germany.

The "Empowering Internationals" day at the Born Global Startup Festival provided aspiring entrepreneurs with valuable insights into the success factors of international startups. Participants gained new knowledge and contacts to help realize their startup ideas and attended three well-attended workshops that covered legal and financial challenges, as well as prototyping opportunities.

After a welcoming address by Prof. Dr. Utz Dornberger from the SEPT Competence Centre at Leipzig University and Prof. Dr. Matthias Middell, Vice-Rector for Campus Development - Cooperation and Internationalization - at Leipzig University, the festival focused on empowering international participants to start a business in Germany.

Pictures: Christian Hüller

Inspirational Talks with international founders

Three successful international founders shared their entrepreneurial experiences and key insights:

  • Akiko Takahashi, founder of Gohan Power, which targets to promote Japanese food and culture via vegetarian cuisine, took the participants on a journey through her start-up story along prototypes, support network and funding programs.
  • Dr. Luis Bernal, CEO & founder of Realists Training Technologies GmbH, a global provider of lifelike surgical training systems in spinal surgery, encouraged risk-taking and the use of government support for international start-ups.
  • Dr. med. Dilan Sinem Sert, CEO & founder from SeDiDoc GmbH, a pioneering mobile platform that efficiently connects medical personnel with healthcare facilities, explained how knowing the exact needs of the target groups helps to develop the start-up idea into a commercially viable business. 

In an inspiring panel discussion with Jazmín Ponce Gómez from Leipzig University's International Startup Office, the three panel guests generously shared their entrepreneurial experiences and key advices to the new generation of entrepreneurs.

Key info-sessions and the new SMILE Co-founder platform

Informative sessions provided knowledge on funding opportunities and infrastructures of the startup ecosystem in Central Germany. The topics ranged from administrative and legal aspects of starting a business or becoming self-employed in Germany to funding through public programs and “hacks” for successful applications, as well as prototyping opportunities in Leipzig. In addition to experienced business coaches, successful founders such as the systemic consultant and coach, Daria Schneider, and the co-founder of Glashaus3D, Copikishore Vayalthota, also contributed practical knowledge to the workshops.

Following the workshops, the SMILE Co-founder Platform of the International Startup Campus was launched, which aims to bring together aspiring international entrepreneurs with suitable co-founders or team members and connect entrepreneurs with startup ideas with specialists and talented people in Germany. The SMILE Co-Founder Platform of the International Startup Campus also includes a Startup Talent Pool, where specialists can register their interest in working on startup projects.

Congratulations to our award winners

To round off the evening, the International Innovators Award Central Germany and the International Innovators Award Africa & Asia were presented, followed by a summer in the Plagwitz market hall with culinary delights from successful international start-ups from the Start-up Kitchen of the SMILE start-up initiative of Leipzig University and Egenberger Lebensmittel GmbH.

Get to know our award winners:

International Innovators Award Central Germany:

  • Dr. Sergey Turtaev, founder & CEO of DeepEn, a research transfer start-up from Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technologies in Jena, Germany. Driven by the vision to make high-performing hair-thin endoscopes available to users in medicine, neuroscience and industry, DeepEn’s multidisciplinary and international team embarked on its journey in 2021.

International Innovators Award Africa & Asia:

  • Joseph Tchetan, CleanEnergy4all, IRGIB Africa University, Benin. CleanEnergy4all is an innovative start-up aiming to revolutionize the grain milling industry in West Africa by introducing solar-powered, automatic, and silent mills.
  • Nghĩa Đặng Kim, MediFind, VGU & HCMUTE, Vietnam. MediFind offers a solution for managing drug usage, enabling users to analyze dosage, receive medication reminders, and access intelligent usage advice.
  • Dr. Jared Onyancha & Dr. Henry Yatich, WEMA Soap, MKU, Kenya. WEMA Black Herbal Soap is a product innovation by Mount Kenya University researchers and a community of herbalists in Kenya, which combines six herbal active extracts to address different skin conditions.
  • Dr. Yesuenyeagbe Atsu Kwabla Fiagbe, Kente Weaver, KNUST, Ghana. Kente Weaver introduces an innovative small-scale, compact, portable, and energy-independent mechanized kente weaving loom.

ISC Born Global Startup Festival

The Born Global Startup Festival is an annual event that supports "Born Globals", startups founder, international students or researchers from Mitteldeutschland and from the Universities Leipzig, Jena, and Halle. The festival combines inspiring keynotes, workshops, expert panelists that give insights to startup ecosystem in Germany and beyond horizon. The Born Global Startup Festival is our event for the global-minded startup community. On this edition of 2024, we offered a special day event focused on the international community of aspiring entrepreneurs in Leipzig.