As an association whose members hold a wide variety of positions in companies of all sizes, we are aware of the challenges faced by founders. To help them get started, we offer not only expertise, but also advertising and a free membership.

The “Freunde der Universität Mannheim” association supports startups by giving them access to the association’s network of business partners. The young, innovative companies pay no membership fee for one year. Those who already take the plunge into starting a business during their studies do not pay a fee until they graduate.

Currently, the following startups benefit from the membership in the Freunde der Universität Mannheim e.V.:


The startup established by Niels Gronau develops strategies for sports and recreation businesses. It even has its own gym in Mannheim. These two areas of edelhelfer can be attributed to Gronau's career and interests. After Gronau completed his studies in Business Administration in Mannheim, he started working as a consultant. His passion for sports quickly led him to a sports industry supplier. He continued his consulting services when he became self-employed and has since expanded them further. His great interest in the fitness market helped the company to develop a sports club concept focusing on individual and personal customer service.


The brand „Herrenfahrt“ revolves around elegance: The two founders from Mannheim, Sebastian Steininger and Andreas Werner, managed to bring the heyday of the great automobile culture into the present. In their company, founded in 2014, University of Mannheim graduate Sebastian Steininger, who studied history and business administration, and his colleague Andreas Werner, a graduate of the Pop Academy, are reviving the tradition of thorough vehicle care.


Jonas Johé, Business Administration graduate of the University of Mannheim, has had an experience like many other students: His master's thesis is based on empirical data and thus on a study for which he had to find participants himself. However, he did not find enough test subjects. Many students and early-stage researchers have the same problem. As a consequence, there are not enough samples and the study results are not reliable. Johés startup solves exactly this problem. Johé integrated a system into his platform that ensures that those who act as subjects themselves will be given preference when they need help with their studies. This is ensured by a ranking system: If you participate in a study, you get rewarded with points. The higher the study is in the ranking, the more points are awarded. SurveyCircle not only makes life easier for researchers and students, but also brings studies and their content closer to people outside the university. Because you don't have to conduct your own study to be active on SurveyCircle.


Business founder, Joscha Stothfang, wants to strengthen local stores. Via the online platform zingoo it is possible to buy gift cards from local stores. The 27-year-old is a law student of the University of Mannheim and developer of this business idea. “The trend of online shopping continues to grow. We want to give small retailers the opportunity to be visible on the internet without being forced out of the market by big companies such as Amazon or Zalando.” His studies helped him implement his ideas, as there are many legal aspects to consider when selling gift cards. This allowed him to solve problems and issues by himself, without having to call in expensive lawyers that startups often cannot afford.

Rektor Prof. Dr. Thomas Puhl und Dr. Josef Zimmermann von den Freunden der Uni Mannheim geben sich die Hand
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As a member of Freunde der Universität Mannheim you will support committed young people, pioneering research as well as the exchange between research and society. In addition, you will receive special access to the President's Office, academic staff members and the knowledge culture of the university.