Guiding Family Enterprises from Tradition to Innovation – the Global Center for Family Enterprise (GCFE)

From promising start-ups, hidden champions, and world market-leading companies to family enterprises: The Heilbronn-Franken region is the place for companies to climb the ladder of success – and for students to explore the backgrounds of the lively ecosystem.

Well-known tech companies such as vehicle constructors, engineering firms, representatives from the information and communication sector, and many more have started their triumphal procession as global players in the world from here.


At TUM Campus Heilbronn, we, therefore, explore the structures and strategies of local businesses – especially family enterprises – and supply our students with first-hand knowledge from our research that gives these companies new impulses to remain competitive.

Five people conceptioning on a wall

Exploring Technology and Innovation in Family Businesses

One of the main pillars of research and teaching at TUM Campus Heilbronn is the topic of family enterprises. Since the Heilbronn-Franken region - and thus the new campus - is surrounded by successful corporate examples, the Technical University of Munich has founded the Global Center for Family Enterprise (GCFE) in Heilbronn based on the values of TUM School of Management.


Specifically, the GCFE investigates how business management concepts and family-run companies can be harmonized as efficiently as possible.


In doing so, the GCFE analyzes the structure of family enterprises and their potential from different interdisciplinary perspectives with a focus on three different research areas.

People attending workshop
Sustainability, New Technologies & Innovation, and Strategy & Governance:

What Are the Success Factors in Leading Long-Lasting and Competitive Family Enterprises?

In our global world, which is driven by digital innovation, family enterprises constantly have to face new challenges. The market is becoming international. Competition is growing.


Trends are evolving – innovation is fast. The GCFE pursues its mission to create and disseminate knowledge on successfully guiding family enterprises through the upcoming challenges of today.


How can family enterprises adapt and introduce new technologies of the 21st century? How can they contribute to and benefit from sustainability to ensure their longevity? And which strategies and governance structures help family enterprises to gain a competitive advantage?

Prof. Dr. Miriam Bird and her research team
Facing Development Challenges in Family Enterprises in a Team of Experts:

Get Started at TUM Campus Heilbronn!

With these questions in mind, Prof. Dr. Miriam Bird, director of the GCFE and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise, and her research team of academic professors and experts are getting to the bottom of the gears of family businesses.


Together with our students, they are exploring how digital technologies, innovation and a unique approach to strategy and governance shape the journey of family enterprises from start to finish.


Would you like to become part of the team and help to shape the future of family enterprises? Find your degree program at TUM Campus Heilbronn and get ready to make a difference!

Our Professors

Prof. Dr. Miriam Bird
Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise
Global Center for Family Enterprise
Prof. Dr. Stefanie Jung
Corporate Law
Global Center for Family Enterprise
Prof. Dr. Philipp Lergetporer
Global Center for Family Enterprise


Center Administration

Room L 330

Bildungscampus 9, 74076 Heilbronn