In October, academic life at the KIT began for the 2015/2016 winter semester. The KIT Founders Forge, too, picked up speed again and welcomed founders and those interested in founding to the KIT Entrepreneurship Event on 10/22/2015 in cooperation with the Technologiefabrik Karlsruhe.
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!
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: