The TECHimpulse module offers thematically relevant and industry-specific workshops, sessions and impulse lectures. The respective focal points are carried out jointly and in coordination with the local partners. In particular, the module aims to provide impulses in the fields of Women in Tech, Eco-Friendliness & Sustainability, Team-Building, Leadership Skills, Recruiting and other company-relevant areas. 

Circular Economy – Navigating Sustainable Growth

What opportunities does the circular economy offer young companies? In TECHimpulse, we talked about sustainable transformation, creative innovation and international cooperation.

"It's time for African and European innovators to work together. The problems that need to be solved are the same here and there," said Harald Schützeichel, Director of the Stiftung Solarenergie and head of the Startup | Energy initiative. In mid-March, we discussed the importance of the circular economy with him and three other entrepreneurs from Europe and Africa in our online format TECHimpulse.

Our speakers were Léandre Berwa, co-founder and CEO of SLS Energy from Rwanda, Allen Mohammadi, co-founder and CEO of PlasticFri (Sweden), who is also a PhD student at the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Technology Management at KIT, and Mirko Ross, co-founder and CEO of the Stuttgart-based IT company Asvin.

The discussion focused on sustainability, innovation, and new markets in Africa. Léandre explained how his young company is dedicated to the fight against battery waste. SLS Energy uses its know-how to efficiently reuse used batteries until the end of their useful life. "Our main mission is to develop energy storage solutions from retired electric vehicle batteries and electronic waste."

Allen also emphasized the power of innovation. His green tech company PlastikFri, as the name suggests, is fighting for plastic-free solutions. "People are using a material with a half-life of several decades for a few minutes, it's crazy." Allen sees the circular economy as a specific "movement." It is important for young companies to think holistically. It's not enough to solve one problem and create ten more.

This holistic thinking Mirko was missing with many smart products. As an expert in cybersecurity, he brought a new aspect to the discussion: DRM and other security measures could undermine sustainability efforts. Products like phones, cars or tractors are becoming more difficult to repair, which shortens their lifespan and contradicts the idea of a circular economy.

All speakers agreed on the need for social change and a shift in mindset, both here and in Africa. An idea or a product should be conceived with circularity in mind from the very beginning - from design and functionality to repairability.

Not every startup in this space can immediately save the climate, but creative, new and international approaches can drive the circular economy forward. Mirko summed it up well:

"As a small startup you can't change the whole world, but you can talk about it in your environment, in your networks and with the people who have influence."

The next TECHimpulse online event will be held on Wednesday, June 18, focusing on "Corporate Innovation Programs" and is open to all interested.



Banner, How to Build a Team
Online Event on Monday, 4 December 2023, 5pm – 6pm (CET)

(Kindly check the exact time in your local timezone to ensure that you can join us promptly)

Winning teams are critical and a key factor to the success of a start-up. An effective and motivated team with a clear vision enables collaboration and creates a positive working atmosphere to achieve common goals. A successful team thrives through open and honest communication. What should founders look for when building a team? Which factor are critical and make a successful team? And how do high-performing teams work in an international context?

In this session of TECHimpulse we discuss the importance of successful start-up teams. We talk to entrepreneurs about their experiences, lessons learned and best practices on the way to build and maintain a winning team.

Our Speaker:

  • Dr. Alexander Tittel, Postdoc at the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology Management and Innovation (EnTechnon), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Ignace Turatsinze, Co-Founder & CEO at PayingTone
  • Dr. Rene Sehi, CEO and Co-Founder of DATAMOTOR.AI
  • Stephanie Pfeil-Coenen, Managing Director, CEO & Co-Founder, Phaeosynt GmbH


Women are still under-represented in technology-based industries. Clearly, greater innovation requires greater diversity. What are the challenges women face in the TECH sector? What obstacles do female founders face and what are the experiences of female startups in finding investors and networking?

In the first online event of the TECHimpulse series on 24 July 2023, we discussed women in the African startup ecosystem. Four young female entrepreneurs shared their experiences, challenges and best practices. Daisy Isaho, co-founder and CPO of Zuri Health in Kenya, spoke about the importance of gender equality for her medical technology company. "We need to embrace diversity and encourage female talent," she said, stressing that this is the only way to achieve economic and sustainable success.

Entrepreneur Farah Emara, co-founder and CEO of Fresh Source in Egypt, shared her experience in a male-dominated industry - and underlined that she finds such divisions problematic: "There is no such thing as a male or female industry, we can both strive in both".

Jaqueline Mukrukundo, co-founder and CMO of Wastezon in Rwanda, agreed. She also stressed the importance of building a personal brand and networking with other women. Finally, Sana Afouaiz, Founder and Director of the Brussels-based Womenpreneur Initiative, spoke about current issues facing female founders, such as a lack of trust or the fight against stereotypes. "At Womenpreneur, we believe in the economic empowerment of women as a tool to achieve greater equality in society".

The next TECHimpulse online event is scheduled for Wednesday, October 18, 2023 on "Setting the Focus Right" and is open to anyone who is interested.


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