The mayor of Schmalkalden wants to make the city more attractive to the founders. Mayor Thomas Kaminski (pl.) plans to create a new municipal business development agency. Kaminsky told MDR THÜRINGEN that the company, in particular, should take over and strengthen the collaboration with the famous American Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which began at the Schmalkalden Technology and Founders’ Promotion Center (TGF).
Details are being worked out so that the Economic Development Committee and the Budget Committee can deal with them. It is possible to envisage the establishment of an LLC, for which funds have already been allocated in the budget, at the end of September.
In particular, Kaminsky said, the goal was to provide new opportunities for internationalization for the founders and Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences. As part of the so-called MIT sandbox program Mentors are available who can support founders in developing marketable products of ideas.
The Focal Point for Collaboration with Top American University in Cambridge continues to be the recently resigned Managing Director of TGF, Joanna Izdebsky. Kaminsky said he really appreciates “how international he is and his success also depends on him staying with us.”
Dealing with the other contributors of the TGF, the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district, the Wartburg district and the municipality of Dermbach, with the MIT project was the impetus for Schmalkalden to do so alone. “They don’t want to bring any money with them, but for us this is classic business development,” Kaminsky says.
But he shows an understanding, as Schmalkalden has a different starting point with the University of Applied Sciences. “We need a fast boat and short distances for the founders,” Kaminsky said. Of course, the results must also be critically evaluated.
Kaminsky said the city has publicly discussed the plans with TGF partners. He sees the planned new company as a “half-sister to Technology Center and Startup”. It is envisaged that the new GmbH will lease several offices in TGF and develop further cooperation and projects for the founders in the future.
The MIT collaboration created last fall is currently on standby, apart from a small summer camp. Everyone has been waiting to see if things really get going in September and if the first founding teams can come forward with their ideas for the MIT sandbox program.
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