Stanford students are smart

Stanford students are no smarter than ours (2/2)

What does the USA have that Germany lacks?

If we want Germany to be just as successful in the future as it has been in the past forty years, we have to give startups a lot more space, change regulations, improve financing options and also create value; the reputation of brave young founders needs to improve.

Is a melting pot like Silicon Valley in Germany possible and at the same time desirable?

No. Our social market economy is a civilizational achievement that we must defend with all our might. In San Francisco one of the richest cities in the world, homeless veterans beg in front of every Starbucks. The main traffic arteries of the valley form two highways, which are in a desolate state. When I returned after my last trip there, I was really happy about the A2 and that means something.

Silicon Valley is a tiger. Can we tame it and still get more than a good house cat?

Germans are incredibly structured, hardworking, reliable and disciplined. When we add daring, flexibility and willingness to experiment, we are unbeatable. The ideas, technologies or software from the USA are no better than ours. But we tend to optimize meticulously and rarely question the process itself ...

... because we are too afraid of failure?

Try to find an English word for failure. To fail is much milder. This reflects the American's willingness to try things out and we can learn from it. In Germany, an investor will not give you a second chance, in the USA it is even easier for you to get money after a failed attempt. Our region regularly produces world novelties. If we add the positive Valley attributes and adjust the framework conditions, nothing will stand in the way of the Brunswick Valley in perspective.

Is Volkswagen slowing down start-up activity in the region by offering graduates a lucrative comfort zone?

In Silicon Valley, too, every Stanford graduate is kissed on the hand. Nevertheless, one in three sets up a business. Those who do not found a company are uncool and have to work with fellow students. Here with us it is exactly the opposite, but we are on the right track. At the TU and Ostfalia, an average of twenty companies are set up each year with 60 supervised projects.

In the course of the emissions affair, do you feel a greater interest in your topics from Wolfsburg?

I regret that Volkswagen has not paid us any attention so far. The group has an office in Silicon Valley and participates directly in startups there, but not here on site. I hope that changes. Other companies, such as J├Ągermeister, are already very committed.

Is it conceivable for you that Wolfsburg will eventually become a German Detroit?

Have you ever been there? We should do everything we can to ensure that such a horror scenario does not occur and to catch up with autonomous driving or electric mobility. The train hasn't left yet, but we definitely can't stand idle.