Karlsruhe Students Head to the Valley for Startup Inspiration

By Conor Rushby |

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has always been a pioneering sort of place. The country’s first university computer lab was founded there in 1966, and in 1984 the institution received Germany’s first email. That spirit of innovation is being kept alive though as Pioneer Garage, KIT’s organisation for entrepreneurially-minded students, is heading out west this week to soak up the Silicon Valley scenery.

Taking in the offices of Bases, 500 Startups, Swissnex, Startup Genome and Richmond View Ventures, the trip will help budding tech entrepreneurs gain practical advice and will provide a taste of the West Coast working lifestyle. The students will also be given tours of Stanford and Berkeley by their American counterparts.

In all 18 students will be going along, and are being helped out by KIT graduates either working or studying in Silicon Valley. The event will provide a good link between the international startup scene and Germany’s wealth of student talent.

Matthias Geis helped organise the trip, and he said they are looking forward to chatting to entrepreneurs and founders and getting first hand information about life in a startup, and in the Valley. “At university you learn a lot of theoretical stuff but often, this is far from practical. We want to show entrepreneurial thinking students why Silicon Valley is such a great place for founders and we also want our participants to learn a lot from the trip for their own startup ideas.”

This is the highlight of the year for Pioneer Garage, which also organises events year round to discuss ideas and business, such as the Startup Live Karlsruhe Event in early November this year.

The California trip was made possible through a crowd funding campaign at Startnext, which raised €5,160. It’s a good investment though as last years’ visit to the Valley resulted in three startups being born shortly afterwards. They are hoping this year’s excursion will be another success – so much so they want to make it a yearly fixture.

If you fancy keeping up to date with how Pioneer Garage are getting on, you can follow the team’s blog.