Mentoring-Program for Fraunhofer-Alumni

A new start-up and mentoring program for Fraunhofer alumni

© Fraunhofer Venture

Would you like to support a young team with your expertise and industry knowledge? Your company is interested in new developments and young talents? Or are you planning to set up a young company yourself? For former Fraunhofer employees and industry experts, the commitment to Fraunhofer technologies will become even easier. Together with Fraunhofer Venture, the central spin-off department of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. offers its members numerous opportunities to get involved in start-ups at any time.

In the coming weeks, Fraunhofer Venture will launch the new technology transfer program, which will be uniform for the entire Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The program consists of an initial bootcamp followed by a two-stage support phase for the participants. These camps will take place three times a year.

In the transfer program, an expert team examines the product, market and team. Together with the founders, a possible spin-off or licensing deal with the industry is then developed on an individual basis. In this way, more than 75 Fraunhofer teams and their technologies are given the opportunity to receive financial and content-related support each year.

The new program offers Fraunhofer alumni three different opportunities to become active in new business ideas or technologies:


  • Mentorship: As a mentor, you support a team in bringing a technology to market. This requires industry and market knowledge and above all experience. Fraunhofer Venture offers professional support for mentoring. The time required for such a commitment can be individually determined in advance, so that teams can, for example, exchange information by telephone on a monthly basis.
  • Industrial partnership: Is your company or employer interested in Fraunhofer technologies? You can become a partner company of the program. Selected teams can support companies with industry-specific workshops, as prototype partners, with mentoring or through access to top management. In this way, companies secure early access to the teams and their technologies. This can be particularly exciting for innovation and start-up departments, and not least for the company's investment department. From medium-sized companies to multinational corporations, all interested partners are welcome.
  • Founders: Former Fraunhofer employees can now also receive support in setting up their own company. Venture helps in the search for suitable founding partners or experts. You will become the founder of a start-up based on Fraunhofer technology. During the program, the time deployment increases successively. However, a full-time commitment as founder is required from the time the company is founded. (Please note the dates below.)


It is always possible to apply as a mentor, founder or industry partner. For founders, however, participation in one of the bootcamp dates listed below is a prerequisite:

  • Bootcamp 1: February 25 – 28, 2019
  • Bootcamp 2: May 13 – 17, 2019
  • Bootcamp 3: September 16 – 20, 2019


If you are interested in becoming active in one of the three options, please contact Almut Stützel from the Fraunhofer-Alumni-Team at or by phone at +49 (0) 89 / 1205-2157.

The Fraunhofer Alumni Marcus Lehmann is, as he explains in his interview with Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V., currently looking for an experienced expert for his project. The company CalWave is in the process of bringing a patented technology to market that generates energy from ocean waves. The mentor should have an industry background.

The Fraunhofer alumnus that ist generating energy from ocean waves

Marcus Lehmann spent eight months at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft headquarters in Munich from the end of 2011. Today he runs a company that could make a decisive contribution to humanity's energy supply in the future. The company CalWave Power Technologies Inc., which was co-founded by the Fraunhofer alumnus and which he also chairs as CEO, is developing a power plant that generates electricity from ocean waves. In comparison to wind or solar energy, this process offers various advantages. If the energy of all ocean waves could be captured it would be possible to produce the amount of energy that was consumed worldwide in the entire year of 2008. It is estimated that by 2050 up to 10 percent of Europe's electricity requirements could realistically be covered by energy from the sea.  

The power plants of the young Californian enterprise float under the ocean's surface some distance away from the coastline. This has several advantages: Unlike wind turbines, these plants are under water and thus not visible. They can produce energy even during storms and do not depend on sun and wind. Above all, however, the energy yields from these power plants can be reliably predicted over a long period of time. CalWave Power Technologies was runner up to the U.S. Department of Energy's Wave Energy Prize and is a project of Cyclotron Road, a start-up incubator from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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The New "Career Portal for Fraunhofer Employees"

Since May 2018, the Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. has been offering the "Career Portal", the main focus of which is on supporting departing Fraunhofer employees in their further career development outside the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

It addresses Fraunhofer employees who will leave the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft within the next 6 months due to the termination of a temporary contract, and offers them a platform to hire their own applicants. Former Fraunhofer employees who have been alumni for some time can also use this portal. Access to these application profiles is restricted exclusively to the Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. companies interested in highly qualified specialists.

Interested Fraunhofer employees and institute administrations can find further information in the Alumni section of the Fraunhofer Intranet and in the flyer following this text.

If you have any questions, please contact us:

Martin Schindler    
Speaker Alumni - Editorial Office and Career Portal
Phone: +49 89 1205-2158

Review: Fraunhofer Alumni Summit in Aachen

Fascinating presentations and top-level talks with bright minds from the academic, political and industrial sectors were on the agenda of the 3rd Fraunhofer Alumni Summit held on 28 September in Aachen. Happy to be reunited, the delegates also entered into animated discussions and creatively communicated research projects concerning additive manufacturing during the Science Slam.

The 3rd Fraunhofer Alumni Summit began with the welcome speech in front of Aachen's landmark building. Touring the cathedral, the place of Charlemagne's coronation, the delegates attuned themselves to the varied two-day event programme and the exchange of interesting ideas. The alumni gained insights into current activities at Fraunhofer during their subsequent visit to the three Aachen-based Fraunhofer institutes – the ILT, the IPT and the IME. Researchers presented the latest interesting research projects concerning laser technology, additive manufacturing and industrial plant cultivation. Excited to see one another again, the delegates saw out the first day together at Aachen's Tivoli stadium, where lively discussions ensued.

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Hallo, Joseph! #WHATSNEXT

70 Years of Fraunhofer - The name patron of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will be honored in a special way in the anniversary year 2019. Joseph von Fraunhofer will talk about his life via a WhatsApp channel. He will explore the development of important inventions of his time and look to the future with the help of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

Interested parties can register via the messenger services WhatsApp and Apple Business Chat. The project starts with the founding day of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft on March 26, 2019 and ends a few days after the Fraunhofer Alumni Summit together with FUTURAS IN RES on November 22, 2019.

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