KIT’s spinoff emmtrix Technologies GmbH facilitates programming of multi-core processors and, thus, enhances performance of embedded computer systems.
The Founders of emmtrix Technologies (f.l.): Michael Rückauer, Frederik Riar, Oliver Oey und Dr. Timo Stripf. (Source: KIT, Meißner)
What is already standard in desktop computers and laptops is increasingly applied in the area of embedded systems, such as telecommunication devices, automotive electronics or industrial control systems: Processors of two or more processor cores for higher speed and enhanced computing power. The higher performance of multi-core processors compared to single-core processors is only reached, if the tasks are distributed appropriately to several processor cores in an efficient and problem-free manner. So far, such a parallelization has been accomplished manually: This is very time-consuming, cost intensive and requires special programming knowledge.
A team of scientists of from the KIT Institute for Information Processing Technology (ITIV) headed by Professor Jürgen Becker started to look for solutions to simplify parallelization of multi-core processors already in 2011. Within the framework of the EU project “Algorithm Parallelization for Multi-core Architectures“ (ALMA), the scientists, in cooperation with industry partners, developed an innovative programming environment. The computer scientists and electrical engineers Dr.-Ing. Timo Stripf, Michael Rückauer and Oliver Oey were part of this research team. Based on the software tool developed in ALMA, they decided to start their own company. “About 40 person-years had been spent for the development. When the project was completed, we decided to start a company to make the technology available for the industry,” Timo Stripf explains.
The “KIT Gründerschmiede” (Founders’ Forge) project aims to strengthen the entrepreneurial culture at KIT. It has been funded within the scope of the “EXIST” programme since 2013. Over the course of the past three years, various measures have been implemented, and their first results are becoming apparent. KIT has reached the third place in the “Gründungsradar” ranking by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors’ association for the promotion of humanities and sciences in Germany) and tied place with the start-up RESTUBE GmbH for first place in the renowned Deutschen Gründerpreis awards in 2015. The second round of funding has been approved on this basis, as continuity and the development of successful measures is one of the main principles of the association. We are delighted about the continued sponsorship from EXIST IV and the implied success of our strategy.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) offers prospective founders a number of funding programs for implementing their startup ideas. An important instrument is the EXIST Business Start-up Grant, which supports startup projects from an early stage. The funding is directed toward students, graduates, and scientists from universities and non-university research institutions. Within one year, the teams receive the opportunity to turn their first idea into a concrete business model, including a business plan, and to receive professional assistance in doing so.
Three KIT teams didn’t miss out on this chance and applied for the grant – successfully! The founders of Aquaplot, Curafida, and Selfbits were able to gain support with their innovative and technology-oriented ideas and, thus, received the EXIST Business Start-up Grant. The KIT Innovation Department actively helped in preparing applications. The Aquaplot team develops a software as a service solution for navigating and planning routes for maritime and cargo traffic. The team of Curafida also offers a SaaS application. Their system for health services is intended to bring chronically ill patients and their medical specialist closer together and to improve the flow of information. The third team, Selfbits, is working on a cloud-based service in the field of knowledge management / knowledge acquisition.
During the course of the year-long funding period, the teams can continue advancing their startup plans. In doing so, the prospective founders are supported through seminars and coaching. The goal is to prepare them for market entry through the technical and entrepreneurial realization of the idea. The task of the founders is to improve their business plan – the final business plan is the conclusion of the grant support. We look forward to seeing the development of the three KIT teams and wish them a lot of success!
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.
For the third time, from March 23rd to 27th, 2015, the spring school for soon-to-be founders and scientists interested in founding took place. As previously, the HECTOR School of Engineering & Management was a cooperational partner of the spring school.
As usual, the participants came from a wide array of areas: from toxicology through to genetics and ranging to robotics and interactive real-time systems. We were pleased that the spring school attracted some more female participants this time – nearly half of the 14 participants were female. Continue reading