KIT Entrepreneurship Talks – Mikro Holzer of BrandMaker shares his lessons learned

BrandMaker_Holzer_220x220On 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:

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Tag of the Month: Crowdfunding

Prospective founders considering how best to realize their idea are often faced with the problem of how to finance it. Only few can cover the financial costs for building a business or first products with equity. Therefore, crowdfunding has become established as an alternative form of financing startup projects. But how exactly does crowdfunding work? Continue reading

Ministry of Science funds five “Young Innovators” from the KIT

The program “Young Innovators” is a successful tool to support scientific company foundings from universities and non-university research institutions in Baden-Württemberg. Especially innovative founding projects from science are annually awarded with funding from the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts. During the finding phase, they receive support in the targeted preparation of the company founding.

This year, ten “Young Innovators” with innovative products or processes were selected in Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, and Villingen-Schwenningen. Again the balance for KIT submissions is very positive: five of the total ten founding teams stem from the KIT and receive the funding of the Ministry of Science. All funded teams receive a contribution towards securing their living expenses and are helped along with practical coaching.  Additionally, the founders can use the infrastructure of their university or research institution.

The newly accepted founding projects from the KIT:

  • SearchHaus – searching solutions for structural data like databases , wikis, web pages, ERP, or CRM systems with intelligent search algorithms
  • PriceNow – Software-as-a-Service for automated and personalized marketing towards existing customers in e-commerce, through recommendation algorithms for small and middling online shops.
  • Ineratec – Container-based compact system for decentralized chemical transformation of gas from biogenic and non-biogenic  sources in storable value products
  • Rüdenauer 3D Technology – 3D visualization software for intuitive universal use and multidisciplinary, as well as cross-provider information exchange
  • MobiSafety – Mobile application for the design, coordination, and implementation of rescue operations for institutions of civil protection with integrated information media

We congratulate the five founder teams of the KIT and wish them a lot of success for the further development within the frame of the “Young Innovators” program.  Further information regarding the funding program and the teams can be found on the website of the Ministry of Science.

CYNORA back at “Falling Walls” – This time as a jury member

Since 2009, international researchers gather once a year at the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin traditionally held on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th. The focus of the Falling Walls Conference is on scientific breakthroughs and technologies that have the potential to change the world – researchers exchange information on scientific developments and achievements in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

In the framework of the forum “Falling Walls Venture“, scientific foundings, which can also tear down walls with their innovations, are given a stage. With a nomination from various foundations and academic institutions from all over the world, foundings get to go to Falling Walls. Annually over 20 scientific startups may present their developments and business concepts to a high-caliber jury. The three most groundbreaking business models compete against each other in the finals. The grand finale is the awards ceremony for the “Falling Walls Science Start-up of the Year”, in which the finalists present their project to the entire conference audience again.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) spin-off CYNORA GmbH managed to prevail against 20 international high-tech companies in November 2013 and received the award for “Falling Walls Science Start-up of the Year 2013″. At that time, the company was still located in the high-tech incubator on the Campus North of the KIT and was thus nominated by the KIT for Falling Walls Venture.

The CYNORA GmbH is active in the research and development of low cost organic semiconductor materials for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic solar cells (OPV). Today, there already are many monitors of smartphones and some flat screen TV in the uppermost price segment, which consist of OLEDs. As the winner of the competition, Dr. Tobias Grab, CEO of CYNORA GmbH, introduced his startup in the Falling Walls Conference 2013 to the audience of top representatives from academia, business, and politics. He brought the coveted award to Karlsruhe.

Rückblick: Dr. Tobias Grab präsentierte das Geschäftsmodell der CYNORA GmbH auf der Falling Walls Conference 2013 und erhielt die Auszeichnung „Falling Walls Science Start-up des Jahres 2013“  © Falling Walls  Foundation

Retrospect: Dr. Tobias Grab presented the business model of CYNORA GmbH at the Falling Walls Conference in 2013 and received the “Falling Walls Science Start-up of the Year 2013“ © Falling Walls Foundation

Dr. Grab now saw this year’s event from the opposite perspective: after the success of last year, he was called into the jury of the Falling Walls Venture in 2014. As a member of the jury he assessed the business models of the nominees, among other things, by innovation and economic potential and accompanied the decision-making process actively. As part of the Falling Walls Conference 2014 on November 9th, 2014, the three finalists presented their business models to the jury and the conference guests.

More than 25 scientific startups were nominated for the Falling Walls Venture in 2014. As the best startup and “Falling Walls Science Start-up of the Year 2014″ EyeTechCare emerged. The company impressed with an innovative treatment method for glaucoma using a non-invasive ultrasound device.

KIT Entrepreneurship Talks – 21.5.2014: The Value Proposition in Business Consulting mit Dr. Edward G. Verlander

For about one year, the KIT founders forge respectively the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology Management organizes the “KIT Entrepreneurship Talks” (E-Talks) as part of a lecture series for students and interested public. In the 45-minute lecture series KIT Entrepreneurship Talks, inspiring founders and entrepreneurs from the economic sector discuss their startup experiences in different branches. In future, we want to record the E-Talksfor all interested people who can not participate the dates. Stay tuned for the guest speakers in the upcoming winter semester 2014/2015.

Today we start with the first video “Value Proposition in Business Consulting” from 21 May, 2014. The guest speaker, Dr. Edward G. Verlander, is the Managing Director of EG Verlander & Associates. He worked at Lex Electronics and Goldman Sach and has more than 20 years experience as a management consultant. In his talk he will explain the value proposition of business consulting and share how the work as business consultant inspires him.

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