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!
The company Falquez, Pantle und Pritz GbR offers software-as-a-service for flow and noise prognoses in technical device development. With the help of the cloud-based platform NUBERISIM, complex high performance simulations can be driven and operated easily via browser. Therefore, potential sources of noise are found as early as product development and measures for noise minimization can be taken early on. In an interview, we asked Dr. Iris Pantle about the idea, the startup time, and the future prospects.
Team of NUBERISIM (f.l.): Balazs Pritz, Iris Pantle, Carlos Falquez (Source: KIT / Markus Breig)
With its Software-as-a-Service products, PriceNow supports online retailers with existing customer marketing and social media marketing. Customer newsletters and postings can be automatically filled with personalized product and discount recommendations. PriceNow hereby develops and uses the latest machine learning algorithms. Product preferences and price sensitivity of the customer can be determined based on the existing customer data from online retailers. We interviewed Steffen Haak on the idea behind PriceNow UG, its founding period, and future prospects.
Team of PriceNow
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.
Das Unternehmen SearchHaus GmbH ist auf Suchlösungen für strukturierte Daten spezialisiert. Durch neuste Suchalgorithmen und einfache Sucheingaben können verschiedene Datenquellen, wie Datenbanken, Wikis, Webseiten, ERP- oder CRM-Systeme durchsucht werden. Die Technologie erkennt Zusammenhänge in den Daten und liefert dadurch gezielte Antworten auf Suchanfragen. Dr. Daniel Herzig ist einer der Gründer. Wir haben ihn im Interview zu der Idee, der Gründungszeit und den Zukunftsaussichten befragt.
Team von SearchHaus GmbH v.l.: Daniel Breuker, Dr. Günter Ladwig und Dr. Daniel Herzig