Project description

Incubators are institutions that support company founders on their way to self-employment through various service offers. When providing the services, incubators usually fall back on their network of specialist lawyers, tax advisors and potential donors. In practice, however, it has been shown that the network of incubators, especially smaller incubators, is often too small and can therefore only offer isolated and superficial expertise. The network of individual incubators cannot always help its founders optimally.

The project aims to network several incubators and, above all, their networks via an internet platform. Together, the incubators and their networks represent a crowd community (value-added network) interacting via this internet platform, which together represents a more powerful network than networks of individual incubators. So the probability is that this crowd can better address very specific questions and problems of founders. In addition, this crowd can even be available as a potential donor (keyword crowdfunding). This crowd enables new types of services for incubators. The joint project has set itself the task of developing and piloting these crowd-based services. In addition, the joint project will develop and pilot the virtual crowd community required to provide these services as well as their underlying technical internet platform, i.e. the service infrastructure.

The services and the service infrastructure to be developed as part of the project primarily offer small, autonomously operating incubators the opportunity to network with other incubators, thereby increasing their individual network strength many times over and thus offering founders a more powerful range of services. Incubators can thus promote business start-ups and their growth opportunities in an even more targeted manner. From an economic point of view, incubators can thus promote economic growth even better, create jobs and increase the chance of survival of startups.

Project partners

  • Universität Kassel, Fachgebiet Wirtschaftsinformatik (Prof. Dr. Jan Marco Leimeister)
  • Fortiss, An-Institut und wissenschaftliche Einrichtung der Technischen Universität München (Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar)
  • Werk1.Bayern GmbH, München (Dr. Franz Glatz)


The CrowdServ project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the project sponsorship of PTKA (Project Management Karlsruhe at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology / KIT) (funding number: 02K14A210).


  • Dr. Ulrich Bretschneider
  • Nikolaus Lipusch