ESMT European School of Management and Technology
June 2017

Proposed Syllabus: Germany: Technological Innovation, “Mittelstand”, Entrepreneurship

Germany: Technological Innovation, “Mittelstand”, Entrepreneurship


In this module, we will introduce Germany, its setting within the European Union, and its economical structure. Specifically, we focus on one backbone of Germany’s economic strength and give insights into Mittelstand and Hidden Champions. In addition, technological innovations (e.g., Industry 4.0) as well as the entrepreneurship will be discussed.

Content outline

Themes to be addressed in the module will include:

  • Germany and its economy
    • An introduction to Germany’s political and economic situation
    • Germany’s Mittelstand as a backbone of economical success
  • Hidden Champions
    • Analysis of factors that make Hidden Champions successful on the global market
  • Entrepreneurs & Start-ups
    • Review of entrepreneurship and start-up spirit
  • Technological Innovation
    • Discussion and analysis of disruptive and incremental innovations. Strong focus on Industry 4.0 developments and innovations
  • Infrastructural Innovation
    • Review of Germany’s “Energiewende”

Module format and assessment

Students will participate in a group project that will gain deeper insights into entrepreneurship and/or Mittelstand. The project will be assessed. Groups will be assignment in advance of the module and will be required to begin collaboration on their project before the week commences.

Groups will be required to present their project at the end of the week.

The module will be offered for credit of 5 ECTS.

At least 50% of the week will be based in the classroom with the remainder consisting of company visits and visits to co-working centers and research centers.


Prof. Linus Dahlander, PhD

Linus Dahlander is an associate professor at ESMT European School of Management and Technology and the inaugural holder of the KPMG Chair in Innovation. He joined ESMT in January 2011 as an assistant professor. Linus received his PhD in Technology Management and Economics from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden in 2006. From 2006 to 2008, Linus was an assistant professor and an Advanced Institute of Management Research Fellow with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at Imperial College Business School in the UK. From 2008 to 2010, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. He is also a visiting professor at the newly funded Institute for Analytical Sociology at Linköping University in Sweden. He teaches classes for MBAs, EMBAs, executives as well as PhD students on innovation, entrepreneurship, and networks. He also consults and advices startups, large multinationals as well as government organizations on issues around innovation and networks.
His current research investigates how new ideas and innovations are developed in networks and communities. The ongoing projects use large-scale analysis of networks, and he tries to integrate that with a deeper appreciation for what content flows through networks.

Dr. Jens Weinmann

Jens Weinmann is a program director at ESMT. Before joining ESMT, Jens Weinmann was project manager of the Market Model Electric Mobility, a research project financed by the German environmental ministry (BMU). From 2007 to 2009, he worked as manager at the economic consultancy ESMT Competition Analysis. Further consulting experience includes projects with the Energy Markets Group at London Business School, Omega Partners London, and the World Energy Council. He has taught master classes in environmental and resource economics at the HTW Berlin, statistics in the bachelor programs of the HWR Berlin School of Economics and Law, and was guest lecturer at Cambridge University and European Business School, London. He graduated in energy engineering (Dipl.-Ing.) at the TU Berlin and received his PhD from London Business School in Decision Sciences.
Jens Weinmann's research focus lies in the analysis of decision-making in regulation, competition policy, and innovation, with a special interest in energy and transport. His academic experience includes fellowships at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and the Florence School of Regulation, European University Institute.

Dr. Benjamin Quaiser

Benjamin Quaiser is a program director at ESMT. His teaching areas are customer experience, service design, and marketing management.
Previously Benjamin worked for Air Berlin for more than nine years, starting out as an intern, holding several positions in the marketing and controlling area, and ending his time there as a vice president of customer interaction and services.
He received his diploma in Business Administration from the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder. Benjamin was a visiting scholar at the Robert H. Smith School of Business of the University of Maryland and received his doctoral degree in Economics from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in 2013.
His research encompasses the areas of customer profitability, loyalty and service recovery.