With its platform sunsteps.org, the company enspire UG supports social projects. When purchasing from one of the many partner shops of Sunsteps, such as Amazon, Zalando, or Thalia, up to 12% of the purchase sum is donated to the selected social project, with just one click and without much effort. There is no catch and the customer doesn’t pay a single added cent. The founding team of Sunsteps wants to make the world a little bit better by enabling anyone to support social projects every day without much effort. In an interview, we asked Maximilian Brandenburger of sunsteps.org about the idea, the startup time, and the future prospects.
Twice a year, technology-oriented startup projects from universities and research institutions may apply for funding through EXIST Transfer of Research. With this funding program, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) supports outstanding teams of founders whose technology-based startup ideas require elaborate development work. The goal is to improve the startup climate at universities and research institutions as well as to increase the number of technological and scientific business startups.
In May 2015, the jury met and decided on the submissions from the January 2015 application phase. Altogether, 87 sketched ideas from around Germany were examined. Twenty-six startup teams from the areas of life sciences, energy technology, sensor technology, software, and industry 4.0 won the jury over and received approval for funding. Among them are three teams from the KIT: GIn, OTEGO, and Emmtrix. Congratulations!
The team of GIn – Gesture Interaction for Wearable Technologies has specialized in the area of augmented reality (AR). Using newly developed technology for gesture interaction, the aim is to considerably expand and improve the input options and the range of functions of AR glasses and ‘wearable devices’. The OTEGO team is working on a spin-off in the energy sector. With thermoelectric generators (TEGs), they hope to transform ambient heat directly into power when a temperature change occurs. The technology can be applied in a wide array of markets. The third startup project, Emmtrix, develops a software solution for programming multicore processors for simplifying the parallelization of embedded systems in the industry field.
These entirely different ideas were rated by the BMWi as technologically demanding and economically promising startup projects. With the help of EXIST Transfer of Research, the teams can now focus on continuing to develop, proving the technical feasibility, and preparing the startup. We wish the three teams a lot of success and will follow their development!
On February 12, 2015, Mirko Holzer of BrandMaker GmbH was welcomed as a guest at the KIT Entrepreneurship Talks. Holzer began a first attempt at founding while still at school. During his studies at the KIT (the University of Karlsruhe at the time), he was encouraged in his startup plans. He experimented with different ideas and is a successful entrepreneur and provider of a management system for the marketing industry today. Although Holzer “grew up” in the IT industry, his lessons learned are interesting for all founders:
The KIT Entrepreneurship Talks began the year with Ludwig Neer of CAS Software AG. Prospective IT founders and interested people gathered on January 22, 2015 in the Tulla Lecture Hall. Entrepreneur Neer founded CAS as early as 1986 together with Martin Hubschneider, building the company to become today’s market leader for CRM solutions. In his current position on the board for research and technology, Neer continuously works on the development of the company.
Since the startup of CAS about 30 years ago, the IT industry has rapidly changed. Neer witnessed this development and, at the talk, drew personal conclusions about what is different and important for IT startups today. Many changes have to do with the digitalization, the fast pace, and the large competition in the IT sector.