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.
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.