With its high-tech 3D printers for high performance polymers, the KIT spin-off Indmatec GmbH is offering undreamt-off possibilities in prototyping and small series manufacturing.
Prof. Dr. Brando Okolo has been dealing with materials research for several years in the course of his academic career. He lectured at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in the field of micro-reforming of metals and plastics, with a focus on 3D printing technologies and Rapid Prototyping. He then took up a professorship at the German University of Cairo (GUC). “In my research, I also dealt with additive manufacturing – that is, on the basis of digital 3D construction data – using polymers as a material to work with. In this period, I already discovered the potential that 3D printing holds for high performance polymers, and I had my first thoughts about going into business,” Okolo recalls. The decision to end his lecturing activities after five years and realise his dream of an enterprise of his own brought Okolo back to Germany and his Karlsruhe environment.
The Indmatec founders (left to right): Tony Tran-Mai and Prof. Dr. Brando Okolo presenting their Indmatec HPP 155 3D printer. One already wonders what the next generation of printers is going to be like – the PEEK Printer 155 will be on the market in 2017.
(Source: Indmatec GmbH).
INDMATEC GmbH has specialized in 3D printing for high-performance polymers and the relevant materials. With their patented technology, they are pioneers in 3D manufacturing technology according to the principle of “fused filament fabrication” (FFF) in combination with the high-performance polymer polyether ether ketone, abbreviated PEEK. The material is especially appealing for the automotive, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and semiconductor industries. In an interview, we asked the team of INDMATEC about the idea, the startup time, and the future prospects.
On 06/30/2015, this year’s Deutscher Gründerpreis (German Startup Award) was awarded in Berlin. The competition is hosted by the partners stern, Sparkasse, ZDF, and Porsche and is one of the most meaningful distinctions for founders and entrepreneurs in Germany. Every year, this prize is awarded in the categories Student, StartUp, Shooting Star, Special Award, and Lifetime Achievement. This time, two KIT startups made it into the finals and had high hopes at the festive award ceremony.
Image source: Franziska Krug / Deutscher Gründerpreis
The startup RESTUBE GmbH competed against Customized Drinks GmbH and OnPage.org GmbH in the category “StartUp.” RESTUBE develops, produces, and sells inflatable buoys for water sports. In a critical situation, a buoy inflates using a gas cartridge. This way, the user can save him or herself from drowning. RESTUBE is so-to-speak the inflatable backup for all athletes in water sports. On the evening of the award presentation, RESTUBE asserted itself against its competitors with its worldwide unique “life buoy.” The team headed by Christopher Fuhrhop and Marius Kunkis won the German Startup Award in the category “StartUp.” We congratulate the team on this great success!
The KIT spin-off Nanoscribe GmbH, founded in 2007, competed in the category “Shooting Star” next to Jimdo and Little Bird. Nanoscribe was nominated for the Startup Award due to technical and entrepreneurial competency as well as the leap from pure research to market success. The company manufactures 3D printers on a micro and nanometer scale and offers photoresists and process solutions for an array of uses. Unfortunately, the jury ultimately chose a different team, honoring Jimdo with the German Startup Award in “Shooting Star.” Nonetheless, getting to the final round gives the Nanoscribe team great recognition.
We are especially proud that two KIT teams made it to the Startup Awards this year. We are delighted to see the development of the startup culture at the KIT and in the “fan city” of Karlsruhe. We congratulate both teams on their successful participation in the renowned competition and on their special recognition for outstanding entrepreneurial performance in Germany!
For more information about the German Startup Awards, visit www.deutscher-gruenderpreis.de
The Nanoscribe GmbH was founded in 2007 as a spin-off of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). It produces and sells compact, user-friendly laser lithography systems for the manufacture of three-dimensional nano and micro structures with commercially available photoresists. The portfolio is rounded off by consultation on the casting of complex polymeric three-dimensional structures in, for instance, metals or semi-conductors. Martin Hermatschweiler is the founder and managing director of nanoscribe. In an interview, we asked him about his idea, startup phase, and future prospects. Continue reading