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Advice and Coaching for Founders

Beratungssituation mit Gründerin und Beraterin

The comprehensive start-up advice provided by the Start-up and Management Qualification Unit is available free of charge to students, academic staff, and alumni of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam on all aspects of starting a business.

Integrated start-up advice

Every start-up is unique! Our start-up advice primarily supports the following topics:

  • Structuring the start-up idea
  • Coaching and qualification in the start-up phase
  • Workshops, seminars & lectures for those interested in setting up a business
  • Supplementary advice from external coaches
  • Access to various funding programs (especially technology-oriented start-ups)
  • Application for the EXIST Business Start-up Grant

Call us or send an email to to make an appointment for an initial meeting. We look forward to getting to know you and supporting interesting projects.

Individual coaching

In addition to our counseling sessions, we offer further coaching for individuals or teams. After a personal consultation, we work out together which coaches or trainers are suitable for the respective need. If there is an acute need, contact can be established at short notice.

Whether coaching on personality and career development, project planning, financing and calculation issues, or marketing – our start-up coaches provide a comprehensive advisory service.

Individual or team coaching for career development

Individual coaching for students who want to train their skills in the area of self-employment and job.

Dr. Heike Faust has been a certified systemic business coach for managers and teams for over 15 years. With her, interested people learn a lot about themselves and how they can shape and optimize their (future) careers.

Regardless of whether you decide on the career path of a solopreneur, freelancer, or foundation of a start-up in a team – before taking the step into self-employment, there are a few things to consider: In addition to a promising concept, an innovative idea, a sophisticated business plan, and business basics, personality also plays a decisive role: Often, prospective entrepreneurs do not know how they come across to other people, whether they are the type to found a start-up or what values actually count for them.

Coach Dr. Heike Faust emphasizes that these are essential building blocks of a successful start-up, which should ideally be thought about in advance. "Especially young people like the students of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam have the chance to reflect and strengthen themselves before they decide on a certain career path." The trainer relies on the successful combination of knowledge transfer and reflection, using many creative techniques.

The focus is individual and can be:

  • Is self-employment an option for me?
  • Which values are important for me or for each individual team member?
  • How do I appear more confident? (for example, improving a presentation)
  • What strengths do I have?
  • How can I become more visible in the team? (training of self-confidence)

Coaching appointments with Dr. Heike Faust are available throughout the year and can be arranged individually. Coaching takes place either in the Entrepreneurship & Management Lab (House 1/Room 3.07.) or online.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Heike Faust or the coordinator Anke Lüers-Salzmann.

Experts for every need

In addition to our internal counseling and coaching team, we have a diverse network of competent counselors for every need. We will recommend the right mentoring and put you in touch with the right person.

Cathleen Thiele
DMK E-Business GmbH

Main topics of my consulting work:
Agile methods (Scrum, Kanban), strategy development (OKR) & business models (BMC).
3 words about me:
Agile Mindset – Purpose driven – Perseverance
This is the vision I would like to impart to others:
"Never waste a good crisis." – Looking forward, instead of despair and stagnation! I would like to help companies to understand uncertain times and crises as an opportunity to make the right decisions. Seize the opportunity! Now is the time!

Tim Neugebauer

Main topics of my consulting services:
Agile methods (Scrum, Kanban, Lean Startup), digital business models, agency start-up.
3 words to me:
Digitization – Togetherness – Endurance sport.
I would like to convey this vision to others:
"It's half the fun to plan the plan." The best way to learn how to start a business is to do it. With realistic goals, courage, and determination. I would like to support people who want to start a business and share my experience.

Gabriele Bergmann
Bergmann Management Consulting

Main topics of my consulting services:
NLP business coaching/ developing ideas/ business plan, market u. marketing, capital needs planning in the departments of design, social work, and education.
About me:
I like to work in the process together with the people involved (founders, entrepreneurs, colleagues). – Structuring and supporting.
I would like to convey this vision to others:
Every person should be able to determine their own professional path and shape their life creatively.

Prof. Dr. Liv Kirsten Jacobsen
Prof. Jacobsen Management Consulting GmbH

Main topics of my consulting services:
Business plan preparation, funding advice/application, financial planning/financing, and strategy development.
3 words about me:
qualified – committed – innovation-oriented
I would like to convey this vision to others:
We support technology companies, preferably from universities, to promote entrepreneurship, knowledge society, and technology transfer. The aim of our consultancy is to impart and deepen specialized knowledge and to reflect and promote entrepreneurial action.

Dr. Henryk Stöckert
TOM SPIKE GmbH, Pappelallee 78/79, 10437 Berlin, Contact:

Main topics of my consulting services:
Product development, business process innovation, strategy development and implementation, business case & business plan.
About me:
My experience as an industrial engineer & project manager includes numerous successfully completed consulting & business start-up projects. In my 15 years of practice in process engineering, automotive, software development & management consulting I have trained more than 1,000 managers, developers, and company founders.
I would like to convey this vision to others:
Combining start-up & innovation leads to market success! Everything else is just a ball game.

Jacob Thomsen
THOMSEN Consulting

Main topics of my consulting services:
Business plan, financial plan, pitch deck, commercial basics, strategic planning.
About me:
Earning a living with your passion – and thus making a meaningful contribution to society - is something I would like to support you in.
I would like to convey this vision to others:
Every person should be able to determine their own career path, to shape their life creatively.

Dipl.-Ing. Nina Defounga
TOM SPIKE GmbH, Pappelallee 78/79, 10437 Berlin, Contact:

Main topics of my consulting services:
Lean Start-up, inspiring workshop facilitation, individual coaching for executives & start-ups, business model and value proposition canvas, target group questionnaire & customer interviews.
About me:
For 20 years, start-up consulting, also in connection with innovation, has been the focus of my professional life. As a graduate industrial engineer, I developed my methodological knowledge and experience in the fields of advertising, software development, product development, and entrepreneurship.
I would like to convey this vision to others:
Promoting start-up ideas with enthusiasm & sound methodological competence are two sides of the same coin!

Emre Kayabasi, M. Sc.
TOM SPIKE GmbH, Pappelallee 78/79, 10437 Berlin, Contact:

Main topics of my consulting services:
Project Management & Business Model Canvas & Business Model Development.
About me:
My experience as an industrial engineer and project manager includes numerous successfully completed development, industry, and consulting projects. In my many years of practice in the automotive, rail transport, software development, and management consulting industries, always with a focus on novelties & innovative products, I have managed numerous projects and led associated PM teams.
I would like to pass on this vision to others:
Start-up projects need well-thought-out project management. This is the only way to make a start-up successful!

Frank Fölsch, M.A.
TOM SPIKE GmbH, Pappelallee 78/79, 10437 Berlin, Contact:

Main topics of my consulting services:
Marketing, sales, PR, social media communication
About me:
Communication is what has driven me professionally for 25 years: As an editor as well as through 15 years of agency work as a senior consultant. Accordingly well-founded in the field of marketing & PR, especially practical through international PR projects, but also theoretically secure through teaching assignments at universities.
I would like to convey this vision to others:
Communication is a decisive factor for the success of a start-up and the market, and the implementation of communication measures can be simple and fun!

David Immel
Sumid Consult

The main focus of my consulting services:
Marketing, especially online marketing
3 words about me:
useful – courageous – practical
I would like to convey this vision to others:
Foundation as a tool for one's own dream everyday life.

Sabine Arndt; 01723196010

Main topics of my consulting:
Systemic business coaching for founders and managers; strategy development; Business development support from vision to implementation 
About me:
As a graduate of business administration, my structured coaching sessions are geared towards sustainability. This is the only way to meet the economic challenges. In doing so, I work in an appreciative, structured way and at eye level.
The vision I want to convey to others
Courage to change – dare new ways!
Empowering people in a professional context to make meaningful decisions in order to safely take new paths is what drives me as a coach every day.

Sophie Gacs
Sophie Gacs training + consulting, Contact:

Main topics of my consulting work:
User-centered product development, design thinking, sustainable business models, personal development, self-management, agile team working.
About me:
alive – purpose-driven – human.
I would like to convey this vision to others:
Evolution, not revolution: sustainable business creation is agile, colorful, and iterative. New Work needs Inner Work: Behind every start-up is a human being. Companies of the future take responsibility for society and the planet.

Götz Theodor Friederich, LL.M. (Univ. Edinb.), Lawyer, Specialist Lawyer for Tax Law
Kraft & Friederich GbR Attorneys at Law & Tax Consultants
Tieckstraße 2, 14469 Potsdam,

The main focus of my advisory services:
Comprehensive advice on setting up a business: pre-founding advice on company law, general law and tax law.
About me:
I am a qualified banker and have been involved in training and activities from the beginning of my studies, through my work as a trainee lawyer, right up to my active professional life, which can be attributed to the area of business law as well as economic and tax law advice.
I would like to convey this vision to others:
From Antoine de Saint-Exupéry we know this quote: "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up men to procure wood, prepare tools, assign tasks and divide up the work, but teach men to long for the vast endless sea." A wonderful paraphrase of the idea that in life it takes a vision to strive for the very big goals. I want to help ensure that every ship sets sail successfully with a successful launch.

Harald Keil Law Office

Thematic focal points of my advisory services:
Copyright and media law; IT and data protection law; contract and general terms and conditions law; intellectual property law (trademark/design patterns); mediation (conflict avoidance/conflict resolution).
3 words about me:
Experience – Communication – Joy
I would like to convey this vision to others:
Everything is possible!

Counselling & coaching at eye level

Whether advice on financial issues or personal strengths and weaknesses: individual or team coaching can help founders to focus and reach important stages of the start-up roadmap.


All offers and advisory services of the Start-up and Management Qualification Unit can be used by students and graduates of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam who have completed their studies in the last 7 years, as well as by employees of the university who are aiming to start a new business. This also applies to companies that have already been founded throughout Germany.

Of course, all services offered by the start-up service are free of charge.

To arrange an initial consultation, simply send a short e-mail to We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Of course, the offers of the start-up service can also be taken up as a team. For team start-ups, we recommend individual small-group coaching or workshops geared toward teams. In this way, we support the start-up process from the very beginning – so that the idea does not fail due to communication problems.

Contact start-up advice

Anke Lüers-Salzmann is the first point of contact when it comes to reflecting on a start-up idea or arranging further advisory services for planned self-employment. She also actively assists with questions about financing and funding.

ZEGM – Start-up and Management Qualification Unit

Room 3.01
Anke Lüers-Salzmann
Project coordination ESF and EXIST, initial consultation

Funding reference

Supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy with funds from the European Social Fund and the State of Brandenburg.

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EU Sterne auf blauem Hintergrund und Brandenburger Adler mit Schrifzug

Logos: European Union and European Social Fund / Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy of the State of Brandenburg