In the last few months, I had the pleasure to do an internship at the 5-HT Digital Hub. Today, the last day of this internship, is a nice moment to look back. At 5-HT I worked at a new project: support for foreign startups. To me, this was a good opportunity to learn more about ongoing innovation in digital health and chemistry. Furthermore, as my background is mainly in academic research, the internship provided me with an opportunity to gain experience in industry.
The project’s goal was to improve the support 5-HT can give to foreign startups which are looking to expand their business to Germany. Thus far, 5-HT has supported some of the startups in their network with this process, but a structured program to do so was not in place yet. To find out what support startups would value, I started with mapping the questions, challenges, and wishes of startups in our network that were actively planning an expansion or had just completed one. We conducted several interviews with startups from our network to gain clarity on which support would be valued most.
Since 5-HT is not the only player in the startup ecosystem in Germany and in the region, we also cooperated and aligned with our partner hubs and other organizations. I especially liked this multifactorial aspect of the project and cooperation with many stakeholders. I felt that I was given responsibility early in the internship and that I could develop my own ideas and plans, which was a very nice experience during the relatively short internship. I feel this internship was an excellent opportunity to learn more about innovation in the life science industry and about the role of startups herein. Moreover, my time at the 5-HT Digital Hub was a lot of fun and I would like to thank all my colleagues for the many laughs and the good time.
Based on the insights we gathered during this project, a new program will pilot at 5-HT in the winter of 2020: the 5-HT Soft Landing Program. The goal of this program is to enable foreign startups to make an informed choice about their expansion to Germany. During the program (1-3 weeks) startup founders can get a free office space at the 5-HT Digital Hub. Furthermore, they can choose to participate in several workshops, set different appointments, and get consults on the different issues regarding setting up a business in Germany. If you are interested in participating or want to apply to the 5-HT Soft Landing Program, stay tuned for the planned launch of the new landing page, or contact the Hub at firstname.lastname@example.org.