Hasso-Plattner-Institut20 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut20 Jahre HPI


The courses offered by Hasso Plattner Institute in the field of "Entrepreneurship" are devoted to the creation and development of companies in the IT sector. These courses also focus on the management of such companies and organizations. The courses are aimed exclusively at Master students majoring in "IT Systems Engineering".


IT Entrepreneurship (Winter Semester)


  • Dr. Rouven Westphal (Hasso Plattner Capital)
  • Dr. Manuel Effenberg (HPI, Hasso Plattner Ventures)
  • Nadja Hatzijordanou (HPI, Hasso Plattner Ventures)

The lecture deals with hot spots and core questions of entrepreneurship. All parts are taught and coached in a strong interactive mode mixed with real-world case studies and real entrepreneurs as guest speakers. Primarily objective is to equip students with knowledge and insights to execute their own business ideas either within a corporation or in an external start-up. Secondary, we aim to motivate more HPI students to think entrepreneurial.

Please find further information about this lecture here.

Business Creation in the IT Sector (Summer Semester)


  • Prof. Dr. Katharina Hölzle (University of Potsdam)
  • Various guest speakers

Students approach venture creation through practical learning and by dealing with basic questions of entrepreneurship and self-employment. All relevant aspects of venture creation in the IT sector are discussed and used by the students in projects they establish during the course. The start-up process is gone through completely from idea creation to Prototyping (using the MVP approach) while establishing a business model that considers strategies for communication and financing. The students develop a business idea in teams of three to five, detail the idea out and present their intermediate results time and again throughout the process.

Course language is German. Further information on the course may be found here.

Management Essentials


  • Prof. Dr. Eric Kearny (University of Potsdam)

This lecture gives an overview on the five classic management functions of a company: Planning, control, organization, leadership and employment. Management knowledge eases the understanding of the functioning of an organization. Current topics such as “Corporate social responsibility” (CSR), stakeholder value vs. shareholder value, new approaches to leadership as well as the increasing importance of team work and the generation of synergies in heterogeneous teams will be discussed. The students get to understand the basic management functions of an organization and learn how to apply this knowledge through case studies.

Course language is German. Further information on the course may be found here.


Dr. Rouven Westphal

Rouven Westphal’s career brings together various competencies encompassing theory and practice, knowledge and ability: His academic background joined degrees in two different fields - Mechanical Engineering (M.Sc.) and Business Administration (Ph.D.), his professional working career features extensive expertise as well in management theory as in practical entrepreneurial experience; this includes positions within an international Consulting firm, a Venture Capital company, a Business Angel network and a start-up co-founding. Moreover, Rouven has been a private investor in innovative companies, supporting them not only with capital, but equally helping them with the practical building of their businesses and teams. His professional profile is completed by his lecturing activities at various universities and institutions.

Prof. Dr. Katharina Hölzle

Katharina Hölzle holds the chair for Innovation Mangement and Entrepreneurship at Potsdam University. Prior to this, she held the endowed junior chair of the Deutsche Telekom at the Technische Universität Berlin. Her doctoral thesis focused on career models for project leaders in large and medium sized companies. Before her doctoral research study, Katharina occupied various positions in the semi-conductors industry, in strategy consulting as well as in a start-up company for about five years. Her current research concentrates on open innovation as well as strategy and organization of innovation.

In addition to her research and lectures at Potsdam University, at the HPI School of Design Thinking and various Executive Master Programs, she also advises enterprises on topics in the areas of strategic innovation management and technology management.

In her private life, Katharina enjoys her family, her garden and voluntary work in several projects for children and young people in Babelsberg.