On 29 June 2016, KIT organised the third KIT Venture Fest. This year’s Innovation Day attracted more than 700 to the premises around Audimax: a new visitor record. The diverse programme brought together students, employees and entrepreneurs based at KIT with representatives from industry and business, investors and networking partners. Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board at Daimler AG, was the highlight of the event with his late-night talk.
This year’s KIT Venture Fest on 06/30/2015 ignited the Opel Innovation Day in cooperation with the KIT Founders Forge. Representatives of Adam Opel AG were guests this summer and experienced the ‘startup spirit’ at the KIT for a day. In particular, the enthusiastic pitches of the KIT founders left a lasting impression. Thus, the idea arose to organize the established Opel Innovation Day with a startup focus. Startup teams of the KIT and the TU Darmstadt were invited to the Opel headquarters in Ruesselsheim in order to present their business ideas. Together with Opel, a total of eight KIT startups in the automotive sector and related industries were selected for the Opel Innovation Day. Continue reading
Under the heading “Smart Energy Systems & Entrepreneurship,” the international summer school of the EIT Digital took place from July 27 to August 7, 2015 in cooperation with the KIT Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology Management and Innovation (EnTechnon). The goal of the summer school was to promote innovations in the energy sector. Around 40 participants from around the world participated in the two-week summer school in Karlsruhe.
Through expert lectures and workshops, master students, scientists, and young professionals dealt with the energy systems of the future and potential business ideas in this segment such as new energy systems, e-mobility, or storage systems. One highlight of the summer school was the excursion to juwi in Wörrstadt. In addition to a guided tour of the company grounds and a tour of the wind facilities, Matthias Willenbacher, co-founder of juwi, was available to answer participants’ questions at the founder’s talk.
The focus of the first week of the summer school was on energy-relevant topics. During the second week, potential business ideas were created in various workshops. These ideas were then developed in small groups lead by mentors. At the end of the summer school, the teams presented their developed business ideas during a seven-minute pitch to an expert jury. After long consultation, the jury named the ‘Multi-Family Homes Flexibility Monetization’ team the winner. Participants were also able to rank each other. In this ranking, the ‘Power Check Plug’ team received the most votes. The final pitch ended with satisfied teams and enthused jury members.
Looking back, the participants draw a very positive verdict. Anca Solacolu of the KTH Stockholm explained, “After my Bachelor’s degree, I thought that I would never be able to build a company – because I lacked the entrepreneurial skills. My Master’s degree at KIC Inno Energy and the summer school helped me a lot in developing these skills.” She valued the cultural and information technological exchange during the summer school and was able to gather valuable experiences. Simon Salis of University of Brighton also sees the summer school as a positive experience and responded to the question of whether he would recommend the program straightforward with, “Just two words: Yes, 100 percent!”
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
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