Top manager encourages coburg

Top manager encourages Coburg

94 percent of the companies in Germany that are considered “hidden champions” are not in the top league are rather unnoticed market leaders, but are very successful and, above all, innovative, are already older than 50 years. In principle, that’s a good thing, says former top manager Thomas Sattelberger. The bad thing, however, is that in return only six percent of the hidden champions are younger than 50. “We have a real problem in the start-up and reproduction phase”, he stated on Friday evening as a guest speaker at the IHK zu Coburg. In order for Germany not to lose out to the USA and, above all, China, it needs “a new dynamic both in the companies and in the regions, as well as in the national economy in general. “We need renewal, We need start-up companies to make a quantum leap in innovation,” said Thomas Sattelberger.

But how can we succeed in encouraging well-educated university graduates to set up their own businesses?? Ideally still in a rather rural area such as Coburg and not in one of the already prospering metropolises? Thomas Sattelberger, who has worked for Daimler Benz and Lufthansa, among others (see CV at the end of the text), has the idea of “digital freedom zones” for this or “special economic zones develops. These should be clearly defined regions – possibly also for a limited period of time – in which start-ups are helped in a special way. For example, Sattelberger could imagine deregulation of various regulations, including labor law, as well as privileged framework conditions. Example: A start-up could not have to file a tax return for three years. Basically it is about the best possible support “so that experiments and innovation are possible”.

Above all, more dynamism would be needed in the “MINT” sectors-area, which stands for mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology. Currently, only 8.3 percent of all startups in Germany would be STEM-related – the other 91.7 percent would be tattoo parlors and organic food stores. “But that doesn’t bring our country any further”, Sattelberger, who describes himself as a “man of clear words”, said understands.

In a digital freedom zone, Sattelberger envisions “Davids and Goliaths work closely together – i.e.: existing companies and start-ups. Networking with an innovative university is just as important, he says.

Criticism of the university

In Coburg, Thomas Sattelberger sees a number of good approaches: First and foremost, the new digital start-up center (the GmbH “Zukunft.Coburg.Digital”) he rates positively. After reading a project by the university, however, he came to the conclusion: “There’s still too much academic spirit in it. We need more passionate and convincing players!” Engineers fresh out of university still think too much “in terms of machines, but they should think more “in terms of information technology. With an eye on Coburg, he said: “We need to bring more IT expertise to rural areas.”

Coburg’s IHK President Friedrich Herdan described Sattelberger’s speech as “terrific”. He immediately liked the idea of digital freedom zones and made it clear: “We have the classic prerequisites for this!”

The top manager with the left-wing past

Curriculum vitae Thomas Sattelberger, born in 1949, has had an eventful past. He was a co-founder of the Communist Workers’ League/Marxist-Leninist, a forerunner of the Communist Workers’ League of Germany. Later, he began a dual training program at Daimler-Benz, and in 1982 he moved to the group’s subsidiary MTU, where his responsibilities included management development. After several years as a manager at Daimler-Benz Aerospace, he joined Lufthansa in 1994. In 2003, he was appointed Executive Vice President Human Resources and Labor Director at Continental, and in 2007 he took over the same functions at Deutsche Telekom.

Awards From the trade journal “Personalmagazin Thomas Sattelberger was named five times to the list of the “40 Leading People in Human Resources recorded.

Politics In September, Thomas Sattelberger entered the Bundestag on behalf of the FDP.

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