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Theses (M.Sc. & B.Sc.) Inside the Venture

Theses (M.Sc. & B.Sc.) Inside the Venture

The usual academic track intends for students to write a scientific seminar paper as they can do in MAN 770 and Master Thesis at our chair. We also offer an alternative option where the students can write their thesis in a startup and help the business to grow or advance their own already existing startup (idea stage is excluded from this option). This option is in a limited (i.e., realistic) scale and scope also applicable to MCEI Bachelor Theses

For startups in need of support

A typical Inside the Venture thesis starts with a need analysis and project definition. We discuss if and how your challenges are suitable for a student thesis project and then inform about the project opportunity via the MCEI pages and our network and scout potential candidates. Startups being interested in hosting an Inside the Venture thesis project: Please contact us with a brief project description! Of course, students who already have established startup ties or work on their own project can approach us anytime with project suggestions as well. By the way: Inside the Venture projects have a confidentiality clause. 

For participating students who want to conduct a startup project

The project task can range from developing a business plan with pitch-deck to market analyses, pricing analyses, competitor analyses  to a dedicated analysis of the business model. However you are tasked, the focus is always set on an empirically grounded due diligence, pushing the envelope and deriving well-grounded implications.

This special type of Master Thesis consists of 2 parts:

Part I : The startup project ( 1 chapter)

  • fully dedicated to your client startup or your own startup
  • clear implications for business
  • well-grounded on due diligence and facts to the point
  • you usually work on site
  • internship certificate possible
  • final consulting report as 1 chapter of your thesis (usually spans between 50 and plus 100 pages including all documenting appendices)
  • the managerial report may contain theoretical background and academic papers if helpful to the startup
  • all sources (including data) have to have proper reference

Part II: An academic journal-style paper (1 chapter)

  • usually qualitative research (about 5 to 10 interviews etc.)
  • of about 25-30 pages with empirical focus
  • clear theoretical foundations and contribution to theory and practice (just like an academic journal paper)
  • in the "Look & Feel" aligned with the Academy of Management guidelines
  • paper structured like in the Academy of Management Journal
  • the topic of the academic (i.e., theory) paper may be related to the startup project but does not necessarily have to be related

The same applies to Bachelor Theses but the project volume is very limited and we have about 25 pages + appendices. Please arrange an appointment to discuss project feasibility before your bachelor topic application. 

Why do we have these two parts?

Experience of more than 25 highly successful projects show that this is a scheme which produces highly productive outcomes at top-level, enabling students to grow their skills significally and really give our startups a significant boost in acceleration and growth. A combination of writing a theory paper with managerial reports would not meet any standard - neither of the academic nor the stakeholders from practice. 

Please contact us, if you have further questions or need advice. Sample projects can be screened in the MCEI office upon request to gain a better impression on Inside the Venture. 

In his Inside the Venture project, Lukas has performed lots of analytics and derived a general market review and determination of future market trends for leafsystems. He has then turned to potential effects on the business model and looked at leafsystems' competitors and the overall positioning on the market. Further, Lukas has worked on the customer value proposition and derived…
In her Inside the Venture project, Helen worked closely with the Mannheim startup Mister Trip. In the context of her thesis project, she has conducted a single case study and in-depth analysis on Mister Trip and, as a result, derived a teaching case from her qualitative data. The teaching case centers on market entry, business model development, revolutionizing a highly…
Driving, buying and selling classic cars is the passion of the initiators of Classic Ambition of which Daniel Göller is a co-founder. Next to a desired high return on investment and keeping the cars in excellent condition, selected cars shall be accessible for pleasure rides to investors in the desired car pool and fund behind Classic Ambition. In the context…
In her Inside the venture project, Franziska has analyzed and segmented potential customers of Mister Trip (Tervado GmbH). She has performed fundamental surveys and derived implications and clear recommendations from the data. This helps Mister Trip to improve and to better achieve product-market fit with their portfolio and to improve the communication of their offering. In her academic paper, Franziska…
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  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum