TTI: Incubating businesses at the University of Stuttgart

How to grow a successful business from an idea?

The research results are in hand; the idea has legs – what now? How do you turn scientific research findings into economically viable products and services? Whether the goal is scientific publishing or launching a business, TTI (Technology Transfer Initiative) has multiple resources to help students and researchers at the University of Stuttgart and nearby educational institutions embark on the path to entrepreneurial independence.

You’ve come up with a cool idea and want to profit from it by starting your own business – but how? What exactly is the next step? Stepping out of the university into the business world often entails many questions and doubts. TTI is the central contact point for anyone at the University of Stuttgart and nearby research facilities interested in starting a business. Our experienced TTI team is here to help budding entrepreneurs not just by answering questions but lending a helping hand at every step in the startup process.

TTI is the central point of contact for anyone interested in starting a business. (c)
TTI is the central point of contact for anyone interested in starting a business.

Support and assistance during the incubation phase and beyond

TTI provides consultation and information on all issues impacting the planned business startup:

  • Planning and preparing for the business venture
  • Grounded, motivated assistance in developing a business plan
  • Facilitating contacts with network partners, sponsors and resources at the University of Stuttgart
  • Space rentals in the Technology Center for startups
  • Funding advice

Students and researchers can also house transfer companies and startup projects under the TTI roof. TTI will handle legal, financial, and personnel management and administrative contract review functions.

Technology transfer: from scientific achievement to economic success

TTI GmbH was created in 1998 and is a subsidiary of the University of Stuttgart. It promotes a culture of entrepreneurial autonomy to ease the transition to actually starting a business. Here anyone with an idea for a startup can access free consulting services, wide-ranging information, coaching, evaluations, funding advice, and much more. To date, TTI has incubated some 445 startup enterprises.

More information about TTI [de]

A sampler of successful business startups incubated by TTI


Pinion specializes in innovative German gearbox technology. Over fifty international bicycle makers by now trust the quality and functionality of the P1.18 gearbox, with its 18 evenly- spaced gear step mechanism centrally integrated in the bicycle frame. This gearbox also laid the foundation for the development of the Pinion Bike, a high-end bike that regularly wins accolades, recommendations, and titles. Business founders Christoph Lermen and Michael Schmitz met in 2006, filed for their first patent in 2007, found an investor in 2009 and changed the previous name to Pinion GmbH. In 2011, they received the University of Stuttgart’s and TTI GmbH’s Technology Transfer Prize.


An innovative software and consulting business, scireum is headquartered in the Greater Stuttgart area and currently has a staff of nearly 20. Andreas and Michael Haufler launched scireum in 2008 as a transfer company startup with TTI: “TTI was one of the most important resources for getting us launched. Without it, our company would not exist." Their company became scireum GmbH in 2009; at present, it markets three in-house developed applications: DataHive database shadowing software, OXOMI, a distribution platform for product and marketing information, and SellSite, a B2B e-business solution

Scatterblogs is a visualization app that can geolocate keywords, for example from Twitter or FaceBook posts, globally in realtime for event-driven visualization. This lets it rapidly pinpoint unusual events, such as natural disasters in specific regions. The company founders, Harald Bosch, Dennis Thom and Alexandros Panagiotidis, are University of Stuttgart graduates in informatics and visualization. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supported their business with an EXIST business startup grant. Currently, ScatterBlogs is partnering with the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) and local energy suppliers.

The three founders: Dr. Michael Raschke, Dr. Bernhard Schmitz and Dr Micheal Wörner with their mentor, Prof. Thomas Ertl (third from left).

The blickshift startup, founded by Dr. Michael Raschke, Dr. Bernhard Schmitz und Dr.-Ing. Michael Wörner, provides analytical services and software for eye tracking data. They use cutting-edge methods from the visual (Big Data) analytics research field developed at the University of Stuttgart. Visual analytics can significantly reduce the time required for and hence the expense of comprehensive eye tracking data sets. In addition, the algorithms they implemented open up new areas of eye tracking applications; for instance, for use in eye-dependent driving systems, the optimization of websites with a large number of testers, or improvement of the user experience in virtual and augmented reality environments. Their startup was supported by an EXIST business startup grant and is currently funded under the “Young Innovators” program of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

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It will be crucial for driver assist systems of the future to quickly and reliably warn drivers of dangers. The blickshift software uses eye tracking to analyze the driver’s eye movements and behavior with the help of methods from the visual analytics research field. “Thanks to more efficient algorithms, our software substantially shortens the time required for analysis of eye tracking experiments,” Michael Raschke explains. Their startup has been supported by an EXIST grant since 2015. They developed their first project in TTI, Raschke recalls. “TTI made it possible to do business via our own section inside it. It is really a very comfortable and safe approach to learning business processes.”  




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