Professors are key players in the area of founding. They can bring about inspiration early on in their teachings and raise awareness for this option in one’s life. However, they can also recognize opportunities for a promising startup in the research sector and either found a startup themselves or motivate others in their surroundings to seize this opportunity. Furthermore, they are important as mentors in consulting and supervising young founders with their experience, technical competency, and diverse contacts.
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