MSc Innovation Management – Startup

Innovation Management – Start-up

Master of Science – part-time

Put your ideas to the test. The aim of this degree programme: the successful start-up

Innovation Management – Start-up (MSc)

Part-time business administration master's programme with a focus on entrepreneurship

Do you already have a Bachelor's degree and are looking for an internationally oriented Master's programme in Hamburg? Our part-time Innovation Management degree programme is taught entirely in English and leads to an internationally recognised Master of Science (MSc) in five semesters. You will earn around a third of the 120 ECTS in the Start-up specialisation: this focus is aimed at founders who are ready to put their ideas to the test. You will be guided through the entire start-up process - from generating ideas to focussing on innovation and financing through to actual implementation. Successful founders from the Hamburg area will be at your side and challenge you every step of the way. The aim of the three-part specialisation is to create successful start-ups or projects that are ready to be founded. As a rule, the three specialisation modules are followed by the Master's thesis in this area.

Master of Science
120 ECTS
Programme Start
1 October each year
Study duration:
2.5 years (30 months)
Programme Accreditation

Key Features

Key Features & Highlights of the Master's programme

  • Business administration studies with an internationally recognised Master's degree (MSc) in Innovation Management at the dual business school in Hamburg

  • Multiple case studies

  • Several real-life projects

  • Teaching methods include Design Thinking, Kanban, Agile and Scrum

  • Study trip to an international destination in the 2nd semester

  • JOB & MASTER Service: JOB & MASTER is a free-of-charge placement service for applicants who wish to combine a challenging academic education at HSBA with valuable professional experience.

  • Mentoring Programme: Students are matched with experienced HSBA Alumni from the Hamburg business community, offering to be ideal sparring partners / role models.

  • Campus in the heart of Hamburg

Study Organisation and Programme Structure

Innovation Management – Start-up (Master of Science) at HSBA

To successfully complete the programme and be awarded the Master of Science degree, 120 ECTS must be collected. The credits are spread over ten modules in the first year and eight modules in the second study year. The programme concludes with the thesis. Teaching takes place on extended weekends and during a few full-time weeks per semester. On average, the weekly study workload amounts to 15 to 20 hours.

Plan of Study & Course Content

  • Innovation Management

    Understanding how innovation leads to market success is key for business development and management. As such, the course will lay the foundations of innovation management by introducing models for understanding the diffusion process of innovation within society.

  • Negotiations & Storytelling

    Communication, methodical rigour and negotiation techniques are soft skills that are necessary for success in the professional world. These competences prepare students for a world in which structured work, communication and negotiation are key to managing their careers. Whether scientific writing or a business model as a concise form of storytelling or a multilateral negotiation: the module prepares students for the world of work with practical exercises.

  • Programming (Python

    Successful use of AI tools requires a basic understanding of programming. The introduction to Python also familiarises newcomers with the most important concepts and basics for complex applications.

  • Data Analysis

    This module teaches students about distributions, tests, data architecture, SQL, big data approaches, significance and stochastic modelling.

  • Entrepreneurial Finance

    Innovations in product and business development always harbour financing challenges. This module lays the foundations for understanding the financing of innovations in an international environment.

  • Service and Product Design

    Understanding the needs of users and pivot toward well-designed solutions through ideation, prototyping and testing is therefore the focus of this course. The application of design challenges and product/ service designs is implemented in student projects working in a design lab setting.

  • Study Trip

    Students can choose between four study trips (subject to change) and are themselves in charge of the planning, organisation and implementation of their excursion.

    • Copenhagen (DK)
    • Switzerland
    • Israel
  • Project Management & Business Plans

    Students will be familiarised with the latest methods and developments in project management. In the key part of this module students will learn to apply Design Thinking, Kanban, PPS, Scrum and other methods to project management. A particular focus will be on visualisation and a variety of supportive IT tools.

  • Applied Econometrics

    This module aims to introduce students into the data-driven and results-oriented quantitative modelling of econometrics. Widely spread models of Statistics and Econometrics are considered. The goal is to provide students with an understanding of the rational of quantitative models through applications as well as to apprehend the limitations of such modelling. Furthermore, the students should be able to develop their own applications by analysing a problem, making the necessary assumptions and synthesising knowledge gained into a meaningful result-oriented application.

  • Start-up Finance

    The financial industry is highly influenced by FINTECH innovations. This module provides students with a comprehensive understanding of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the context of market developments, strategic and financial considerations as well as in-depth insights into valuation methods for start-ups. The module covers various aspects of M&A, private equity, venture capital and start-up financing and provides students with the knowledge and skills to analyse, execute and evaluate M&A and venture capital transactions as well as assess the value of early stage companies.

Cross-Module Topics: Digitalisation | Internationalisation | Project Management Tools | Entrepreneurship
  • Case Studies in Innovation

    Using case studies, theoretical concepts of innovation management are analysed for their potential applicability in a real environment.

  • Consulting Project

    In small groups, students are assigned a project for a partner company. The company provides the real-life context of a challenge. The groups act as consultants to the company and present a consistent solution for the challenge at the end of the semester to the company. The groups are assisted by professors in their analytical, strategic and preparatory work.

  • Strategic Digital Economics

    The topic of this module is to identify the impact of digital technologies and innovations on firm behaviour, business models and market outcomes. Special emphasis will be put on networks and platforms. Finally, the module will discuss the benefits and possible pitfalls of digitisation for the economy and will furthermore address the topic of regulation and government intervention in digital markets.

  • Sustainable Innovation Camp

    This module introduces the topics sustainability and compliance. Both are cross-sectoral themes relevant to managers, employees and other stakeholders of any type of organisation. Fundamental theories and definitions of both topics will be introduced and potentials for business development and innovation as well as challenges and opportunities for investors and other actors in financial markets discussed.

  • Future of Work & HR Trends

    Jobs continue to evolve under the influence of technological, socio-economic, political and demographic changes. What and how work is done is subject to innovative changes. This module examines how digitalisation, the dynamics of today's business environment are impacting and changing work itself, the organisation of work and workplace relationships. The course offers perspectives and insights into the future of work.

  • Research Seminar / Scientific Methods

    This research seminar prepares students for their master thesis.

  • Entre-/Intrapreneurship

    The entrepreneurial mindset manifests itself in various forms: Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Corporate Venturing and Social Entrepreneurship. The perspective on Entre- / Intrapreneurship follows a cross-industry, cross-functional and interdisciplinary approach. A brief outlook on the global perspectives of entrepreneurship also raises awareness of differences caused by cultural influences and different ecosystems (e.g. Silicon Valley, Germany, Silicon China, etc.).

  • Start-up Project

    This module is the core element of the specialisation. Students are supported in developing their own project in a timely and practical manner and pitching it to a jury of experts. The aim is to develop the projects ready for the market.

Cross-Module Topics: Digitalisation | Internationalisation | Project Management Tools | Entrepreneurship
  • Master's Thesis & Colloquium

    The Thesis concludes the postgraduate programmes at HSBA. Its results will be presented in the final Colloquium.

Cross-Module Topics: Digitalisation | Internationalisation | Project Management Tools | Entrepreneurship

The business administration modules of the Master's degree programme focus on management and the design of successful business models and innovative measures in a rapidly changing world. You will learn how companies are managed strategically and financially and recognise the importance of careful analysis and flexible strategies in overcoming economic challenges and changes. The project modules are one of the highlights of the programme. Here you act as a consultant for real-life problems and apply the theory you have learnt on the course to business practice.

The programme includes the business administration modules Innovation Management and Strategic Business Development as well as the project management module, which teaches concepts such as design thinking, scrum and agile methods. Data Analysis focuses on IT tools and deals intensively with mathematics and statistics. Negotiation techniques and research methods are acquired in Scientific Methods & Competences and teach methodological and analytical skills. Sustainable Innovation & Compliance, Digital Economics and Applied Econometrics emphasise the need for comprehensive digitalisation and offer a combination of mathematically sound methodological development and extensive applied work with data. During the study trip, you will gain an international perspective on innovation culture and management in other countries.

Career Prospects

Innovation Management with a focus on start-ups is an inspiring degree programme that opens up many opportunities for you. You will learn how to develop, evaluate and implement innovative start-up ideas. You will deal with topics such as innovation management, digitalisation, entrepreneurship and sustainability. You will combine theory and practice in exciting projects and collaborations.

Various areas of the start-up scene will be open to you after graduation. You can design new business models, products or services for the digital transformation of society. Whether in start-up incubators and accelerators, in venture capital firms or in public institutions, you have many opportunities. You can contribute your skills as a start-up founder, managing director, developer, marketing manager, innovation consultant, economic or social politician, regulator or promoter.

A Master's degree in Innovation Management with a focus on start-ups prepares you for a management position. It also promotes your personal and professional development. You will be a sought-after specialist in a dynamic and future-oriented industry.

Would you like to take a different specialisation in the Master's degree programme in Innovation Management?

Choose a different specialisation:


Admissions Requirements & Application Process

Admission Requirements

For the MSc Innovation Management the following admission requirements apply:

  • A completed third-level degree with an economics or business administration focus with 180 ECTS, including good knowledge in maths and stats. The degree should have been completed with a minimum German grade “good” (2.5) or equivalent. We would be pleased to check whether your first university degree covers the required content.
  • Ability to study in English (minimum level: B2 of the European Framework of Reference); for the specialisation "Family Business" additionally B2 in German language
  • Letter of recommendation from a current or recent employer or an academic reference
  • Successfully completed HSBA selection process (online application, individual interview)

Online Application

Set the course for your career!

After you have submitted your written application to us, you will go through our selection process. The process ensures that students have the personal, social and professional prerequisites needed to complete the study programme successfully.

Tip for international applicants and prospective students: You can find detailed information here and in our International Student Guide.

Apply now!

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Juliane Michaelis
Juliane Michaelis

Manager Student Recruitment & Company Relations

+49 40 822160-932

Ask a student

Would you like to address your questions directly to our students? Please contact Muriel Spanke (MSc Business Development) and Florian Kriz (MSc Digital Transformation & Sustainability) by e-mail. The two Master students will be happy to answer your questions!

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Partner Companies

More than 300 cooperation companies support HSBA

Philips GmbH Market DACH
Maersk Deutschland A/S & Co. KG
InnoGames GmbH
Barclays Bank Ireland PLC Hamburg Branch
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy
edding AG
Alsterbuben GmbH
MPC Capital AG
Brightpoint Fund Services GmbH
Beiersdorf AG
Sievert Baustoffe GmbH & Co. KG
Metroplan Eastern Europe GmbH
ZELOS Management Consultants
PwC PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft
WTS Advisory AG
BERENBERG Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG
agiles Informationssysteme GmbH
CFlox GmbH
KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft
Innovabee GmbH
Lother GmbH
Liesner & Co. GmbH
leogistics GmbH
Encavis AG
Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH
Deloitte GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik Aktiengesellschaft
TUI Cruises GmbH
Help Tech GmbH
REM Capital


Frequently asked questions about the Master's programme at HSBA

Is it possible to study the courses part-time or full-time?

The study programmes are part-time, so you study while working. Depending on the Master's programme, courses are held on individual weekdays or extended weekends and in individual full-time weeks in Hamburg.

When can I apply for a part-time Master's programme at HSBA?

Applications are possible at any time. However, since HSBA only has limited study places and funding programmes are partly awarded after receipt of the application, we recommend an early application for your Master's programme. If you want to apply for the JOB & MASTER offer at the same time, we recommend an early application to our university due to the longer procedure.

When do the courses in the part-time Master's programs take place?

In the Master's programme Innovation Management (MSc), the courses take place on extended weekends and in individual full-time weeks at the HSBA in Hamburg. In the Master's programme Digital Transformation & Sustainability (MSc), the courses take place on two attendance days and in two full-time weeks at the HSBA in Hamburg. 

Questions?Juliane Michaelis
Juliane Michaelis

Juliane Michaelis

Manager Student Recruitment & Company Relations
+49 40 822160-932

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