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Unicorns at the University of Mannheim!

Unicorns at the University of Mannheim! Uni Mannheim/Norbert Bach

A recent report published by the global venture capital firm Antler found that the University of Mannheim is one of the few universities in Germany and Europe where founders of unicorns in the DACH region receive their academic education. In a row with other greats such as WHU, TUM or LSE, alumni of the University of Mannheim are significantly represented among the founders of unicorns and soonicorns (soon-to-be-unicorns).

DACH startups on the rise

The report highlighted various aspects of the founder background, including details such as work experience or skills. Another interesting finding was that the number of unicorns and soonicorns increased rapidly in recent years. The years 2000 to mid-2021 were already exceptional for the DACH startup ecosystem: there were 40 unicorn companies in the region and 25 rising stars (soonicorns) that will follow in their footsteps. The story was clear: DACH startups were taking the continent by storm! But even more promising were the last few months: The last 10 months have been marked by record activity in DACH unicorn country, including the largest funding rounds ever, the fastest time to unicorn, and record levels of investment. For more interesting facts and figures, read the full report at:

Accelerator courses at MCEI

The report was produced by a research team at Antler, including Kai Eckes, a Visiting Investment Associate at Antler and master’s student at the University of Mannheim. Kai participated in one of our courses last semester - MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spirit. The course is part of our accelerator and course program and guides students in developing their own business idea. In Kai's case, this led to the founding of Hymatschatz, a B2B corporate gift store focused on regional products.

In the process, he gained a profound insight into the world of early-stage ventures. This experience paved the way to his current role at Antler's: "The entrepreneurship course I took as part of the MMM (Mannheim Master in Management) was a great way to familiarize myself with the idea and spirit of building businesses from scratch, including selecting the right team members, brainstorming, and finding solutions to concrete problems. This experience not only allowed me to start my own entrepreneurial journey with a great team, but also helped me gain clarity on my own passions and enter the exciting VC space. At Antler, I get to build on all of these experiences and make an impact with an exceptional team and inspiring founders."

About Antler

Founded in Singapore in 2017 by a team of experienced entrepreneurs, investors and company builders, Antler is a global early-stage VC investing in the world's most exceptional people. With offices in the world's top startup hubs, Antler is passionate about supporting exceptional people to fundamentally improve the world.

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