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

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

 

For startups in need of support

A typical Inside the Venture thesis starts with a needs analysis and project definition. We discuss if and how your challenges are suitable for a student thesis project and then inform students about project opportunities on MCEI's website and also within our network and scout potential student candidates. Startups interested in hosting an Inside the Venture thesis project are being requested to 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. It is important to note here that we have a confidentiality clause for the Inside the Venture projects. 

 

 

For participating students who want to conduct a startup project

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

This special type of Master Thesis consists of 2 parts (The two parts are seperate from each other with individual title but together form one thesis):

Part I: The startup project (Inside the Venture part)

  • 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 may be possible
  • final consulting report as 1 chapter of your thesis (usually spans between 50-100+ pages including all documented appendices)
  • the managerial report may contain theoretical background and academic papers if helpful to the startup
  • all sources (including data) must be referenced appropriately

Part II: An academic journal-style paper (Academic part)

  • usually qualitative research (about 5-10 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 is advised to be unrelated to the startup project, however it may be related if specifically desired

An example theses:
Inside the Venture part: Business model development and market analysis for Awesome Startup GmbH - Academic part: The impact of entrepreneurship education on venture creation 

 

The same applies to Bachelor Theses but the project volume would be limited and we allow 20 pages + appendices. Please arrange an appointment to discuss project feasibility before your Bachelor's Thesis topic application. Also note that the Bachelor's Theses applications can only be made during the centrally scheduled date in FSS. Please keep an eye on the relevant websites to know the deadlines.

 

Why do we have these two parts?

Our experiences in many highly successful projects show us 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 from an academic evaluation perspective nor for the stakeholders in question. 

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 Theses.

 

  For the upcoming fall semester 2015/2016 we were able to partner with 3 startups looking for students writing their thesis at their company.This means tackling the struggles of a startup with a theoretical approach and formulating a thesis based on data and findings directly from practice. Yet the general formal requirements for master theses at our chair apply and…
Cytena is a Freiburg-based spin-off company of Freiburg University researchers and BioFluidix in the top cluster microTEC Southwest. Cytena develops single cell printing technology for cell research and professional diagnostics and was founded in June 2014. The technology of the spin-off company has a high commercial and scientific potential. At this point, the Inside the Venture project, led by Mr.…
Marc Warczok (graduate student of the University of Mannheim) spent the last months on his thesis. Nothing unusual so far but next to crunching numbers and working the books he is also researching and supporting in the live-environment of a startup. Below you can find his report on his time 'Inside the Venture':   'As part of my Master thesis…
In her master thesis entitled "Identification and overcoming of barriers in technology transfer through academic spin-offs in current practice", Michaela has examined the obstacles faced by academic spinouts in technology transfer from scientific institutions to market in the academic paper part of her Inside the Venture project. In the practical project with LabDisk, Michaela has worked intensively with the founders of…
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Sponsors

  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum