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2015 Moments – Highlights of the KIT Founders Forge

The advent season rings in the end of a year – a good time to “decelerate” everyday life and to indulge in a review of the past year. We look back at the lovely, collective, and educational events of 2015.

KITcrowd – Crowdfunding for startups

KITcrowdAs part of the Founders Forge, the KIT already offers students and scientific employees a wide array of offerings for startup promotion, for instance with consulting, coaching, and seminars. In March, we launched the KIT crowdfunding platform KITcrowd in order to offer KIT founders an additional financing opportunity. Since the launch of the platform, six startup projects and startups have presented themselves. Three of these were successful and able to advance their ideas. More about KITcrowd

A motive for KIT startup teams at upCAT

8 upCAT #3bTwice a year, prospective founders have the opportunity to intensely work on their startup at the KIT accelerator upCAT. An initial idea develops into a concrete business model in three months – supported by entrepreneurial know-how, coaches, and mentors. The Demo Day in March was a complete success. All teams were able to excite the audience of investors and network  partners and received valuable feedback on their business cases. On December 7th, 2014, the next round of upCAT will begin! More about the program

New network of ‘founding promoters’

2 PromotorennetzwerkEspecially for scientific startups, professors are key players to motivate the startup and create space for development. Invited by KIT President Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Hanselka, the kickoff for the ‘founding promoters’ network took place in April at the first promoter dinner of the Founders Forge. During the evening, four tandems presented that consisted of a founder and a promoter. Continue reading

Entrepreneurship schools for scientists

3 Spring SchoolIn order to promote startups based on technical innovations, the Founders Forge organized the spring school for scientists interested in founding this year. Within a few days, participants learned the basics of entrepreneurship and business development in a technological environment. The international EIT Digital Summer School was especially devoted to energy systems of the future as a potential business idea such as new energy systems, e-mobility, or storage systems.

Entrepreneurs up close

7 Entrepreneurship Event TeFakAt the regular Entrepreneurship Talks this year, those who are interested had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of established entrepreneurs once again. A hint of Silicon Valley was felt in June at a special talk on campus. Dr. Guido Appenzeller (CTSO at VMware and Co-founder of Big Switch Networks and Voltage Security) visited the KIT. Another highlight was the talk by Prof. Götz W. Werner (dm-drogerie) at the entrepreneurship event in the Technologiefabrik. All speakers of the Entrepreneurship Talks shared their personal lessons learned with the guests. Continue reading

KIT Venture Fest 2015

5 Venture FestWhat would the Founders Forge be without the numerous imaginative and committed founders? To offer teams and ideas a stage, we invited students, scientists, investors, as well as network partners to the Founders Forge annual event. The program included seminars, a founders’ trade fair, and network meetings. The startup pitches were a special visitor magnet. As was the award ceremony for the startup prizes. To the review

Outstanding startup ideas

Bildquelle: Franziska Krug / Deutscher Gründerpreis

Source: Franziska Krug / Deutscher Gründerpreis

Startup competitions always benefit from greater popularity. After all, they provide founders with valuable feedback about their own business model, a cash prize as a financial injection, as well as media presence. We are proud of the committed startup teams at the KIT that were able to walk off with numerous renowned startup prizes this year. For instance, RESTUBE received the important Deutscher Gründerpreis in the category of ‘StartUp.’ Continue reading

Opel Innovation Day

9 Opel Innovation DayThis year’s KIT Venture Fest was the igniter for the Opel Innovation Day in cooperation with the KIT Founders Forge. A chartered “startup bus” took everyone to the “Open Zentral” in Rüsselsheim. As part of an exhibit and pitches, eight KIT teams presented their demonstrators and finished products. In discussions with development employees from Opel, teams were able to gather important feedback about their ideas and elicit possible cooperation projects. Opel praised the quality of the KIT teams. Continue reading

We would like to thank all interested founders, friends, and supporters of the KIT Founders Forge for the successful cooperation throughout the past year. Our team wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a good start in the New Year – with many brilliant ideas, fruitful cooperation, and additional moments of success!

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