Kickoff for the KIT “founding promoters” network

Professors are key players in the area of founding. They can bring about inspiration early on in their teachings and raise awareness for this option in one’s life. However, they can also recognize opportunities for a promising startup in the research sector and either found a startup themselves or motivate others in their surroundings to seize this opportunity. Furthermore, they are important as mentors in consulting and supervising young founders with their experience, technical competency, and diverse contacts.

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Innovation – Curse or blessing!?

The crisis is barely over, and the whole country is already calling for innovations. In times of flourishing information technology, a shift in energy, and the question about our future mobility, we definitely can’t do without them. But are innovations truly the panacea for our problems, and does innovation really make it or break it when it comes to success? Continue reading

X-MATCH 2014 – The end-of-year-party for all founders at the KIT

In keeping of a good tradition, “X-Match” took place on December 15th – the end-of-the-year-party for all company founders and those interested in founding a company at the KIT. Apart from culinary highlights, an exciting framing program concerning the topic of “startup finance” was offered in the usual Christmassy atmosphere in the house of the guest lecturers on the Southern Campus.

With a total of 60 founders, Dr. Andrea Nestl, Dr. Eric Braun, and Dr. Rolf Blattner of the KIT Innovation Management, as well as Ralph Henn of the Center for Entrepreneurship (CIE), the X-MATCH 2014 has grown yet again – a success among the events of the KIT Founders Forge.
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Particularities of life science startups

For some years now, increasingly more startups in the life sciences sector emerge at the KIT, such as Amcure, Incella, Acquifer, Corvolution, or recently 300Microns. In this area there are highly exciting projects that, through their immediate international focus, have larger growth opportunities than a classic startup but are much more complex and thus also more labor intensive in the design phase.

While a technical or IT-based startup is mainly oriented on the market, a successful life sciences startup must also always act in the scientific field. Only those which are present at conferences and verifiably document results that were generated with the startup technology in scientific publications are perceived in the academic market, which is often the entry market.

The scientific founders therefore often remain in the academic field rather than transferring into the management of the startup company completely, which is otherwise usual. As co-founders, they assist in the advisory panel, the so-called Advisory Board, with product development, shape the corporate strategy, and support the acquisition of customers through their academic network.

The financing of life science startups is also a particular challenge. When laboratory tests for product development or manufacturing are required, the young company is going to incur high costs. Here, the KIT can help by providing for the initial phase of the founding with fully equipped laboratory and office spaces in the KIT’s own high-tech incubator for moderate rental fees.

Last but not least, life science founders need a lot of stamina. Economic success arises much later for them due to the long phases of product development and approval, particularly in the clinical field. In comparison, non-technology-based startups can offer a different product or service on the market after a short startup phase.

Are you currently working on a technology from which a business idea can be developed? Are you toying with the idea of founding a company? Do you need advice on founding? Then use the offers of the KIT Founders Forge and make an appointment with the consultant team of the KIT Innovation Management – we support you in your startup projects.

Investment success for KIT spin-off amcure GmbH

The KIT spin-off amcure GmbH receives funding of five million euro for the development of new anticancer drugs. The LBBW Venture Capital GmbH in Stuttgart invests in this scientific spin-off. Other investors, such as the KfW-Bank and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), are also participating in the investments.

There is urgent medical need for the treatment of metastasizing kinds of tumors. In the case of pancreatic cancer, an aggressive kind of cancer which is often discovered late, 95 per cent of the patients die within five years of the diagnosis. The KIT spin-off amcure developed tumor drugs which could lower this rate. For the pre-clinical and clinical tests of the drugs amcure now collected a total of five million euro. With this funding, amcure will further develop its product candidate AM001 for the treatment of cancer in the next years and push their active substance forward to the clinical level.

Congratulations on the funding to the team of amcure! We wish you great success for the further development of the tumor medicine!

Extensive press information at:  http://www.kit.edu/kit/english/pi_2014_15435.php