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Digital Education – an opportunity for science… and practitioners like me

Just a year and a half ago, it seemed downright impossible: to work as a freelancer at a state institute without ever having been there. No auditions, no submitting documents in person, no giant bureaucratic effort? My journey at the University of Bayreuth began last fall after my long-time friend and business partner in previous projects Prof. Matthias Baum moved from TU Kaiserslautern to the University of Bayreuth to establish the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Digital Business Models. The chair is located in the Faculty of Law, Business & Economics, the University of Bayreuth is one of the rising stars of the German university landscape and is top-ranked in the global THE ranking: In the new global comparison of the subjects of business administration and economics, the University of Bayreuth has now moved up into the ranking group 126 to 150. In the nationwide comparison, it has thus moved up from tenth to sixth place. It is thus far ahead of other smaller universities in Germany.

Campus of University Bayreuth – a place, I have never seen in real life

Matthias asked me, if I wanted to be part of this journey – of course within the scope of my possibilities and in such a way that other commitments and projects should not suffer. So I was assigned a lectureship for the winter semester 2020/2021. Prof. Matthias Baum and his chair deals with a variety of topics related to the fields of „entrepreneurship“ and „digital business models“ (or „digital transformation“). In this context, a special focus is on generating a better understanding of the strategies, processes and value creation of (high-tech) start-ups, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Our teaching is designed to promote entrepreneurial decision-making and develop entrepreneurial skills among students. Therefore, our students learn to plan entrepreneurial activities, develop successful (digital) business models, make the transition from an idea to an innovative company, as well as manage and expand their own business.

The exciting thing is: I was never at this university! I have never been to Bayreuth! Of course, this will hopefully change soon, there is said to be the largest density of breweries in Germany in the Bayreuth area… digital teaching is also making its way in for external lecturers, who are supposed to create practical references and thus charge the students with inspiration and support sparring with diverse industries. This university and its newly established institute for Entrepreneurship und Innovation are excellent examples of this. For the summer semester, I am already very much looking forward to the exchange with scientists and students – around the topic of entrepreneurship, innovation, business model development and transformation processes!