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Start-up with NEnA! Wanted: 32 junior female scientists in nanotechnologies!

Start NEnA I: 30.9. – 5.10.2007 at Paderborn.

Women take off in science and are no longer rarety in the former domaine of men. For instance the share of women in technical and scientific subjects has increased to between 21 and 37 percent, depending on the branch of study. However only every seventh start-up in this field has been initiated by a women. Nanotechnology is an especially forward-looking sicence. 

The Nano-Entrepreneurship-Academies (NEnA), a new start-up initiative of the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) and nano4women strive for the objective of  conveying the necessary know-how to women, who are interested in starting up their own company to be successful in the nano market.

To activate by means of cross-country networking and role models


In autumn 2005 the international network nano4women has been launched. It intends to promote the career of young female scientists in the future market of nanotechnology. An international specialist conference at Paderborn patronized by the Fedral Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) was the start of the well directed networking. “Within our Kick-off-conference it was first of all important to create a platform for expert exchange and to show that there are successful role models for women in this field of technology,” said Ilka Bickmann, initiator of the network.

NEnA – Nano goes Entrepreneurship
NEnA, the new initiative of nano4women is part of the action programme „Power for Entrepreneurs“ of the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF). From 2007 to 2009 three Nano-Entrepreneurship-Academies will take place with the objective to promote the entrepreneurial ambitions and competences of young female scientists. Patronized by the University of Paderborn, supported by Unconsult and in cooperation with the Zentrum für Weiterbildung gGmbH (center for advanced education) and GmbH as well as a strong nationwide and regional network the one-week-training courses build bridges between science and economy.

Germany is currently a very good starting basis for the economic realization of activities in nanotechnologies. However the excellence in research does not reflect the whole range of economic feasibility and this is exactly the point we come in with NEnA”, states Prof. Ralf Wehrspohn, former professor at the Univesity of Paderborn and since October 1st, 2006, director of Frauenhofer Institute in Halle (Saale). “Our Nano-Entrepreneurship-Academies show young female scientists in nanotechnologies and related sciences, that there is the possibility of starting up their own company, that they can be successful and that this is an exciting alternative or addition to their current professional roadmaps.”

“The aim of our initiative is to discover your own entrepreneurial options, do develop your own creative ideas professionally in teamwork to a real company, to discuss  in consideration of questions regarding the reconciliation of start-up and family and to show solutions and after all to offer a tangible metoring with personal coaching“, completes Ilka Bickmann, project leader of nano4women - NEnA. 

Register now!
NEnA I the versatile training course to discover and develop your own entrepreneurial competence takes place at the University of Paderborn from 30th September to 5th October, 2007. The attedance fee of 199,00 € includes all costs, comprising the VIP reception, individual career training, an entrepreneurial business game, dinner with exclulsive speakers, the final presentation to an expert jury and individual follow-up-coaching. Of course this also includes the whole accommodation and catering at Hotel Campus Lounge.

The second NEnA II at Halle (Saale) will follow in March 2008 and NEnA III will take place in March 2009 in cooperation with the University of Marburg. The project is supported by a strong regional and national network of around 60 partners from politics, sciences and economy..

Start-up with NEnA – who can participate?
It is very simple. All young female scientists who are working in the field of nanotechnology and would like to discover their entrepreneurial capacities are now invited to register for NEnA. The declaration of participation can be found on You will receive the detailed registration documents, a first individual entrepreneurial check, which have to be submitted until 31st July, 2007, for participation in NEnA I. 32 participants will be composed in interdisciplinary entrepreneur teams after personal feedback by a coach and a comprehensive analysis of competences (profiling). Within the one-week course, these teams will jointly develop a tangible business idea and furthermore they will get acquainted with the necessary skills for starting up a company.

Coaching facilitats the realization of the business idea
Subsequent to the Nano-Entrepreneurship-Academy all participants get an individual advanced coaching, which aims at facilitating the business idea.

NEnA goes USA – International experiences as an additional success factor
Among all participants our jury chooses the best idea in a final presentation. The winner will take part in a three-months exchange programme with a practical training in the USA, in cooperation with the nano entrepreneur Margaret Hines of Evident Technologies, who is also mentor of nano4women. In the course of a practical training the female scientists gather experiences in the local nano business on an international level.

NEnA at one glance:

NEnA = Future3 - academies, three locations, three dates:

  • NEnA I: 30.09. - 05.10.2007 in Paderborn
  • NEnA II: March 2008 in Halle/Saale
  • NEnA III: March 2009 in Marburg / Frankfurt/Main

> Course:

Registration to NEnA I at Paderborn via Pre-registration for NEnA II and NEnA III is also possible

> Selection of the 32 participants, feedback and composition of teams by the jury

> Advanced coachings subsequent to the adacemy provide individual accompanying and support of the teams when realizing their subiness idea, even after NEnA.

> The winners of each NEnA participate in a three-months exchange programme with the USA. They will develop further competences regarding the international transfer of their business modell in cooperation with Margaret Hines, founder of Evident Technologies and mentor of the nano4women network.

> Any questions left? Contact:
Ilka Bickman:
Project Management nano4women, NEnA
science2public - Gesellschaft für Wissenschaftskommunikation e.V.
Delegate of the board of directors
Adolf-von-Harnack-Strasse 18
06114 Halle (Saale)
phone: +49 (0) 345 2266258
fax: +49 (0) 345 2266259
mobile: +49 (0) 179 5233145

Updated press regarding NEnA:

> vdi nachrichten
> Paderborner Universitätszeitung, S. 52ff
> bundesweite gründerinnenagentur

> - das Online-Magazin für Frauen
> Unternehmensschmiede
> Kompetenzzentrum Bielefeld
> univations Halle (Saale)
> Technische Universität Braunschweig
> IHK Schwaben
> FH Aachen
> ExistChange
> Förderkreis Gründungsforschung e.V.