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Chair of
Entrepreneurship and Innovation / Say Institute

DR Rene Mauer, director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation / Say Institute chairEntrepreneurship is a fascinating field that has yet to decide where it truly belongs. Many fields of research, such as economy, sociology, and psychology, strived to grasp the underlying phenomenon of ‘the entrepreneur’. The field by itself is very young, as entrepreneurship only became an independent subdomain in the 1980’s, while in Germany the first academic chairs appeared even only around 1998. Entrepreneurship nowadays draws more and more attention, as practitioners provide fascinating success stories, educators develop exciting new approaches, and researchers are all set for tackling the challenging opportunities ahead.

Part of our chair and supported by the cross-campus Jean-Baptiste Say Institute is the Blue Factory Berlin, the central contact point for all ESCP Europe students, alumni, and staff members interested in founding their own venture. In addition, we coordinate Berlin InnoBridge, an innovation programme in collaboration with FU Berlin and funded by the Berlin economic ecosystem, and we participate in the SINGA Business Lab, a business incubator for newcomer entrepreneurs.

- Prof. Dr. René Mauer

The team

From left to right: Sven Scheid, Alexander Meister, Barbara Lutz, Prof. Dr. René Mauer, David Lehmann, Tabea Beutel, Dr. Julie Guth, Nicolas van de Sandt, Yanneck Handke

Jean-Baptiste Say Institute

Logo of the Jean-Baptiste Say website, Campus Berlin, ESCP Europe

The Jean-Baptiste Say Institute for Entrepreneurship relies on a unique European network which was developed in 2007 by the Entrepreneurship Chair of ESCP Europe and has today more than 50 researchers and teachers. Its goal is to train entrepreneurs and leaders around the world in entrepreneurship and, to prepare tomorrow’s managers for profound changes in the world of work.

Website Say Institute Berlin

The Blue Factory Berlin

Logo Blu factory Berlin, Campus Berlin, ESCP Europe

The Blue Factory Berlin is the central contact point for all ESCP Europe students, alumni, and staff members interested in founding their own venture. In close collaboration with the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Blue Factory offers custom-made training and support for preparation and implementation processes related to setting up a venture.


Call for Visiting Researchers

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Our Entrepreneurship Theses Topics

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for Master
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for Bachelor

We offer the following courses:

Bachelor in
Management (BSc)

  • EntrepreneursHip-Hop
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Master in
(Academic lead of the option Berlin)

  • Technology Entrepreneurship
  • Mindset and Methods (Option E)
  • Growth and Internationalization (Option E)
Go to the programme

MBA in
International Management

  • Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Go to the programme

Executive MBA

  • Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship
Go to the programme

Executive Master in
Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership
(Academic lead of the programme)

  • Types of and Entry Forms to Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Validating Business Models in China
  • Trends and Challenges in Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership
Go to the programme

The Entrepreneurial Acceleration Programme
(Academic lead of Programme)

  • Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • Entrepreneurial Strategy
  • Failing Gracefully
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Learn and understand entrepreurship

Research approach

In 2000, Shane and Venkataraman defined entrepreneurship as the individual-opportunity-nexus. Accordingly, entrepreneurship emerges when an enterprising individual commits to acting upon an entrepreneurial opportunity. While this definition served as foundation for entrepreneurship to become a sovereign field of research, it is currently critically reflected more than ever before. Our research focuses on empirical and theoretical contributions to current streams of research within the field of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial innovation. Due to the entrepreneurial phenomenon’s complexity, we draw on a larger set of methodical approaches. In our projects, we furthermore make use of close collaborations with practitioners from start-ups and established organizations alike.

Research topics

Entrepreneurial thinking and action

Cognitive approaches gained increasing popularity within the entrepreneurship literature since the 1990’s. We analyze various kinds of thinking and action (such as effectuation, bricolage, and improvisation), as well as their influencing factors and effects. In close connection we cherish and develop what has been discussed as ecological rationality – the competence to choose for each decision-making situation the adequate toolsets and methods.

Entrepreneurship Education

Although Entrepreneurship scholars have discovered entrepreneurship education as a popular field of research, little research has been done specifically in the area of action-based entrepreneurship education. In different studies, both of qualitative and quantitative nature, we explore the dynamic relationship of emotion and (adult) learning in order to better understand their link to the development of an entrepreneurial mindset.

Levels of entrepreneurial action

Entrepreneurship is discussed on several levels within the literature. This becomes also apparent within our research, which addresses individuals, teams and organizations alike. One current focus in our work is on entrepreneurial cognition in family firm innovation. Family firms innovate differently than non-family firms. The underlying reasons are still regarded as a “black box”. Our family entrepreneurship project addresses this gap and highlights the role of individuals and teams for innovation in family firms.

Special forms of entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial behavior is not only applicable to economic issues, but instead addresses a much broader range of fields. Accordingly, our research comprises topics such as social, sustainability, and cultural entrepreneurship.
The movement of social entrepreneurship is seeking sustainable change of society by solving social and environmental issues through creative business innovations. Our social entrepreneurship research projects contribute to the understanding of the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship and explore a broad spectrum of topics from the mindset and cognition of social entrepreneurs to social business incubation models addressing refugee entrepreneurs.

Theoretical foundations of entrepreneurship

For centuries, risk and uncertainty have been considered as determinants of entrepreneurship. At the same time, however, it becomes apparent that the understanding of uncertainty within the entrepreneurial process is still underdeveloped. We therefore participate intensively in the discussion surrounding the theoretical foundation of entrepreneurship research.

Focus on:
Last Publications

Published articles in peer-reviewed journals

Mauer, R.; Wuebker, R.; Schlüter, J.; Brettel, M. (forthcoming): Prediction and control: An agent-based simulation of search processes in the entrepreneurial problem space. In: Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. DOI: 10.1002/sej.1271, in press

Monographs and teaching books

Grichnik, D.; Brettel, M.; Koropp, C.; Mauer, R. (2017, 2nd edition): Entrepreneurship – Unternehmerisches Denken, Entscheiden und Handeln in innovativen und technologieorientierten Unternehmungen. Textbook, Schäffer Poeschel. ISBN 978-3-7910-3659-5.

Peer-reviewed chapters in edited books

Schoss, S./Mauer, R./Brettel, M. (2016): Which deep-level diversity compositions of new venture teams lead to success or failure?, in Ben-Hafaïedh, C./ Cooney, T. M. (Eds.): Research Handbook on Entrepreneurial Teams: Theory and Practice. Edward Elgar Publishing

Invited chapters in edited books

Mauer, R., Faschingbauer, M. (2013): Ein Wegweiser durch den Prozess der Geschäftsmodellentwicklung – eine Effectuation-App für den Business Model Canvas. In: Grichnik, D., Gassmann, O. (Eds.) (2013): Das unternehmerische Unternehmen, Springer.

Find an overview of the publications chair


Team and contact

Prof. Dr. René Mauer, Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Berlin Campus, ESCP Europe

Prof. DR. René MAUER

Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Barbara Lutz, Chair Assistant, Berlin Campus, ESCP Europe

Barbara LUTZ

Sophia BRAUN, Research assistant / PhD student, Berlin Campus, ESCP Europe

Sophia BRAUN

Research assistant / PhD student
Chloé IPERT, Research assistant / PhD student, Berlin Campus, ESCP Europe


Research assistant / PhD student
David Lehmann, Research assistant / PhD student, Berlin Campus, ESCP Europe


Research assistant / PhD student
Maximilian TIGGES, Research assistant / PhD student, Berlin Campus, ESCP Europe

Maximilian TIGGES

Research assistant / PhD student