Campus & Student Life

Start-up spirit & Service for entrepreneurs at CBS


Start-up spirit on our campuses

Entrepreneurship is on the rise in Germany and more and more students are interested in entrepreneurial activities. Anyone who wants to found their own company or join a start-up needs comprehensive business knowledge. CBS promotes the start-up spirit on campus by implementing subjects such as "Creative Thinking & Innovation" or the "Digital Start-up Lab" in its study curriculum. In addition, we offer  entrepreneurs support through our start-up service, numerous events in the Gateway university network and various financing options, such as the EXIST start-up grant. If you are interested in founding a company, the CBS family is the right place for you!


CBS as Gateway University Cologne

It always starts with an idea. But when it comes to realising this idea, many questions arise: How does it become a business model? What qualities do you need to found a company? And how can business partners, financiers and potential customers be inspired by this idea?

As part of the Gateway Gründungsnetz e.V., CBS offers support for students from the Cologne region who are interested in starting a business. Since 2023, we have been the first private university to become an official Gateway University in Cologne. Together with the University of Cologne, the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, the Cologne Sport University and the Rheinische Hochschule Köln, we offer students and alumni free support and advice on setting up their own start-ups. Various partners such as the IHK, Sparkasse KölnBonn, NRW.Bank, Kreissparkasse and Köln.Business Wirtschaftsförderung have joined forces with the start-up services of the five gateway universities in Cologne to provide founders with the best possible starting conditions for their business start-up.


EXIST start-up grant

As one of 5 gateway universities in Cologne, CBS International Business School offers scholarships to academic founders via its EXIST start-up service. The programme focuses on start-up formats with an innovative character. Start-up coach Stefanie Pies provides advice and support in discussing the idea as well as in its design and implementation and guides the founders through the application process. Many professors such as CBS President Prof. Dr. Anja Karlshaus also support the project and make themselves available as mentors.

As part of EXIST Women, a pilot project has been launched in 2024 by the project management organisation PTJ (Project Management Centre Jülich, based in Berlin), through which the CBS International Business School is supporting 10 women interested in founding a company with a three-month scholarship and many input-rich workshops and networking events.

Founders Factory @CBS

Are you a student at CBS and interested in founding a start-up? Then join the Founders Factory and network with other students. The aim of the student initiative is to exchange knowledge with each other, help each other with the start-up process and exchange ideas with entrepreneurs or mentors. Are you interested in becoming part of the Founders factory? Get in touch with the responsible persons at or contact them via the corresponding LinkedIn group.

Team_Stefanie Pies

Stefanie Pies

CBS Start-up Coach

Geschäftsstelle Gateway-Gründungsnetz e.V.

"Make ideas work" is the credo of the Gateway University Network. Stefanie Pies supports CBS students as a start-up coach to help them realise their ideas. Whether it's finding suitable financing, building a network or acquiring important skills for setting up a company, Stefanie always has an open ear for the students. In addition to her advisory work, she organises events such as the start-up talk and other exciting formats in collaboration with the start-up services of the other Gateway universities.  At the website of the Gateway Gründungsnetz e.V. you can find further announcements about events organised by our network partners and interesting links on the topic of start-ups.


Phone: +49 (0) 0221 931809-875



Team_Ulrich Anders

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Anders

Professor of Strategic Management

Managing Director Gateway Gründungsnetz e.V.

The CBS has several experienced professors who explicitly support students with start-up projects as part of entrepreneurship lectures. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Anders, Professor of Strategic Management at CBS, deals with topics such as business planning and business start-ups in his teaching and research. On his homepage, those interested in founding a company can find practical tools such as an easy-to-use business planner or a canvas for creating pitch decks.

Events for Entrepreneurs


Personal Brand(ing) für Günder:innen

15. April 2024 | 14:30 - 16:30

Im Workshop lernst Du, wie Du Deine Personal Brand auf LinkedIn aufbaust und wie du für Deine Zielgruppe sichtbar wirst.


Social Media Marketing der neuen Zeit

24. April 2024 | 16:00 - 18:00

Im Social Media Marketing geht es um einen ganzheitlichen Ansatz, der einen Unterschied macht zu klassischem Marketing. Neugierig? Dann tauche ein!


Führung heißt Kommunikation — richtig oder stimmt's?!

30. April 2024 | 16:00 - 18:00

Wenn du möchtest, dass sich dein Team für dich bzw. für deine Vision begeistert und produktiv mitarbeitet, lernst du in diesem Workshop entsprechende Kommunikationstools für deine Führungsaufgaben kennen.


Freiberufler:innen – Selbstständige eigener Art

25. May 2024 | 16:00 - 18:00

Daniela von Franck verschafft euch einen Überblick über die wichtigsten Pflichten und Formalien und gibt Tipps zur Selbstständigkeit.


Devin Agca

Changing shoes quickly and easily between indoors and outdoors - Devin Agca from MODIFOX has designed and patented a shoe with an interchangeable sole.

His founding team has designed a shoe with double sole technology that you simply slide into - without the hassle of tying laces. This makes it super comfortable to use from slipper to street shoe, with stylish colours to boot.

Devin recently proved that the shoe can withstand any strain at the Malta Marathon. Go, go, go MODIFOX!


Katharina Marie Tesch

As a florist's daughter and sister, Katharina fell in love with flowers at an early age.

But her heart beats just as much for sustainability. That's why she asked herself how to make bouquets last longer. The answer: plant them and sell them in a bouquet!

She studied business psychology at the CBS International Business School in order to further her career as an entrepreneur in this field. She was also a guest in the start-up talk with CBS start-up coach Stefanie Pies at the end of September.

"Now my greatest happiness is to be able to combine both and my biggest goal is to really make a difference in the industry," says Katha.

We are always delighted to be able to present your floral splendour at our internal events!


Alexander Root

Experiences in nature are formative and the greatest stimulus both for children's development and for adults. Playful group experiences weld children together. Not only do new friendships develop, but also new motor skills and a sensitivity for the environment and fellow human beings.

This is why Alexander Root has made it his mission to open up a green space for more creativity, play and fun for children throughout the Rhineland with special nature experiences.

In a world of increasing digitalisation, he believes it is essential to offer and strengthen "offline togetherness".

Alexander is therefore rarely to be found in the office, but sometimes on the big stages: In November 2023, he spoke for GREATOR. Congratulations on this success!


Felix Löhr

"We want to maximise local cashew processing in West Africa in order to increase farmers' income and support the rural economy."

Together with founder Robert, Felix is committed to the fair trade of cashews and now markets the delicious varieties of CAJUs not only in a wide variety of cafés, at exhibitions and trade fairs in the Rhineland, but also throughout Germany and Austria and soon, most recently, in supermarkets.

Snack the world a little bit better!