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Government aiming for injection of youthful vigour

The German government plans to double public funding for university spinouts in order to get more young people into entrepreneurship, according to news reports.

A forthcoming government five-point plan, seen by the business newspaper Handelsblatt, lays out federal education minister Johanna Wanka’s intention to double the €150 million allocated to spinouts in 2015 in the coming years. The aim is to “revamp Germany’s academic culture to make it more conducive to enterprise”, the paper reported on 31 August.

This push is needed because entrepreneurs in Germany are older than elsewhere, the article said. Statistics from the audit firm KPMG showed that last year almost 20 per cent of German tech company founders were older than 45—double the proportion of three years earlier. This is partly because only 6 per cent of start-ups are spinouts from universities or research institutions, according to education ministry data.

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