Are you interested in solving real-life challenges? Stop searching – and join our INNOVATION SCHOOL! Come with us on an six-week innovation journey and develop innovative, actionable solutions for challenges based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During the INNOVATION SCHOOL we lead you through the whole cycle of innovation from a first idea to a viable business product. Guided by professional coaches and mentors, participants will come together in interdisciplinary teams and learn to use state of the art innovation methods and practical skills from the vast field of entrepreneurship.

Key Dates

  • Date: February 15 – March 31, 2023
  • Days: every Wednesday and Friday from 1:00-5:00 pm.
  • Format: On site
  • Place: Graduiertenakademie & Marsilius Kolleg Heidelberg University


INNOVATION SCHOOL 2023 is a project-based course, during which interdisciplinary teams will develop innovative ideas, first prototypes and business models for real world challenges based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Its purpose is to foster ingenuity, creativity and innovative design to deliver environmentally, socially and economically sustainable solutions. Participants work in teams to research SDGs, ideate, develop prototypes and compete in a pitching challenge.

The hei_INNOVATION team, professional coaches and mentors will guide you through the full cycle of innovation in eight weeks and five steps:

  • The first part will be all about onboarding and understanding the SDG’s, choosing the one you will work on for the duration of this programme and getting to know your new team.
  • In the second part, we will introduce you to Design Thinking methods. You will learn how to use them to test human desirability and understand the user’s needs, find solutions and create low-fidelity prototypes to test your ideas.
  • In part three we will dive into prototyping and learn about the technical feasibility of your idea. In a crash course about prototyping, you will get the chance to earn hands-on experience and maybe you can already use your new skills and concepts to wrap a prototype with the help of experts.
  • In part four we want to generate a business product out of your solutions, test the financial viability and create a viable business model.
  • In the final part, you will learn how to pitch your solutions and we will prepare you for the final pitch in front of a jury and the other teams.


A maximum of 30 participants can take part in the programme, as we attach great importance to high-quality and intensive support for the participants. Please only register if you are interested in running through the entire programme and if you have time and can participate on the corresponding dates. You can apply for participation via the website linked below. We will inform you in mid-January if you have been selected to participate in the INNOVATION SCHOOL.

The deadline for applications is February 6, 2023.

Please apply here

Entrepreneurial Skills Modules

The INNOVATION SCHOOL is part of the Entrepreneurial Skills Modules. A successful completion of the programme can be certified with 5 credit points. The programme can also be included in the completion of the Entrepreneurial Skills Certificate.

Frequently asked questions

Who can apply?
Young scientists, students and alumni of Heidelberg University; in general, all motivated individuals from the region of Heidelberg from all disciplines and backgrounds are welcome to apply.

How much time do you need?
You should be available during the mandatory workshop sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays from 1-5pm. You can find the detailed programme on this website shortly.

What language level is required?
The whole programme will be in English. You have to speak and understand English at least at B2 level.

What technical requirements do you need?
You need a stable internet connection and a laptop or computer, which will be used for video calls. We will provide you with accesses to the platforms that will be in use for the online sessions.

Is it possible to get credit points for participation in the programme?
After successfully participating in the INNOVATION SCHOOL you will get a certificate with ECTS credits. It depends on your faculty and study course, however, if they accept this certificate. Please check with your department or faculty to make sure of that in advance. To receive a certificate an active participation during the live workshop sessions and during the group work is obligatory. The INNOVATION SCHOOL is part of the Entrepreneurial Skills Certificate.

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