EXIST Business Start-up Grant: Three KIT teams demonstrate great potential

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!

upCAT #3 – Teams pitch successfully on Demo Day

On March 10, 2015, the accelerator program “upCAT” of the KIT Founders Forge ended in applause on the final Demo Day. After twelve weeks of intensive work, the six participating teams presented their business model to an expert audience consisting of business angels, venture capitalists, and Karlsruhe network partners. Six entirely different teams participated in the upCAT #3:

  • ChromX: Software for chromatography modeling for process development and robustness studies for the biopharmaceutical industry
  • LehrWerk: Construction kits as teaching materials for prospective engineers and technicians
  • Paralution: Software and consulting to accelerate the calculation of computer-supported simulation
  • Softtop: Weatherproof covering for bicycles and e-bikes
  • Storrays: Technology for manufacturing ultra-high density peptide arrays
  • tego energy: Energy supply modules for energy harvesting

Continue reading

Spark, fire, coal – factors for success with the EXIST Business Start-Up Grant

Many of the founder teams of students, researchers, and / or graduates of the KIT wonder whether their ideas, their startup projects, or their research projects are suitable for an application for the EXIST Business Start-Up Grant. Directly related to this is the question of what to bring to a successful application. Below, we highlight the three main evaluation criteria – which we will discuss in detail in the founder consultation with the teams. Continue reading