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MCEI says Goodbye and Farewell to Dr. Jan Zybura

MCEI says Goodbye and Farewell to Dr. Jan Zybura

End of June, with a heavy heart we said goodbye to Dr. Jan Zybura here at MCEI and the chair of SME research and entrepreneurship. 

Jan is one of the original founding members of the MCEI at the University of Mannheim and was a major force in shaping not only the center itself but also a driving force in shaping the regional startup scene and the startup ecosystem at and around the University of Mannheim in cooperation with many partners. Starting MCEI in 2012/2013 with a go live in spring 2013, Jan led the initiative since with a small interruption in the context of preparing for and visiting Stanford University in spring 2014. His focus has been on living startup culture and cooperations by example: Integrating partners, promoting partnering events and supporting student initiatives in living and promoting the startup spirit. INTEGRA Inside-the-Venture pro bono projects, thinc! Startup Crawl and especially Q-Summit are cooperative formats that Jan truly embraced and supported with contacts and advice. A startup experience should not be a theoretical construct only but a lived culture of mutual support, mentoring and learing from each other in a positive cultue of knowledge exchange - what he would consider under the term "serendipity". Events like our Startup Lounge resulted from this spirit when Florian (event manager back then at MCEI) and Jan were thinking about how they could possibly attract students, supporters and everbody being interested to a regular meetup that is lean to organize and signals a strong can-do-mentality (okay, fair enough...their shared passion for good drinks in Café L3 might have had some impact, too).

With great passion, Jan has supported many founders over the years (we lost count at somehwat >150 projects in our records, which we started systematically in 2016). Some he met in the courses at the chair of SME research and entrepreneurship, others came to him for help from the ecosystem, and again others he met over a cold drink at one of the MCEI events. In the spirit of a paying-it-forward mentality, Jan always was all ears to the individual startup ideas and helped with lots of advice and contacts. He has supervised more than 50 theses at Master's and Bachelor's level over the years and taught more than 30 classes as course coordinator.  

Since 2016, Jan was responsible for establishing the MCEI accelerator formats whithin the context of the project "Gründungskultur in Studium und Lehre". At bachelor and master level, students are now able to work on their own startups or consult a startup from the ecosystem as part of their studies in the integrated Inside-the-Venture schemes. But he not only supported students and startups but also the next generation at MCEI. Within the project team he shared his expertise and trained many startup coaches ready to support the coming generations of startups at MCEI. 

However, it is not entirly goodbye. Jan will remain with the regional startup ecosystem. He will help build and establish a new startup center and associated teaching formats at Hochschule Mannheim and stay a mentor with us and our startup sparring scheme. So we are sure you will be able to meet him again at some events at MCEI or in new cooperative teaching formats.

Thank you for everything Jan and looking forward to seeing you soon!

You can connect with Jan via LinkedIn

For Jan's research record, go to ResearchGate


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