Promising new technologies for the future are developed nearly daily by KIT. However, they do not always find the direct way to the client. The new project “Research to Business LIVE” therefore intends to close the gap to the market by an association of researchers, students, and experienced entrepreneurs. The challenge: Interdisciplinary teams of students conceive business models for technologies developed by KIT researchers. They are supported by “business mentors”, successful entrepreneurs from the Karlsruhe Technology Region.
Within a short period of time, the teams of students execute a potential commercialization process with a selected technology offered by KIT. They build up a team, select the company type, and develop a business model. Presently, five proposals from different research areas are being checked for suitability. One of them will then be implemented by KIT students in a competition. Experts, business angels, and mentors from industrial companies in Europe will assess the business models and teams finally at the “STARTup Live RhineValley” from September 23 to 25, 2011. This startup weekend will take place under the heading of “Mentor Driven. Expert Rated”. This successful European concept is now implemented for the first time in the region of Karlsruhe by the student group PionierGarage.
The big advantage of the Research to Business LIVE project lies in the value added resulting from the combination of scientific excellence, students’ startup spirit, and entrepreneurial acting and thinking.
The three organizers KIT, CyberForum, and PionerGarage have launched the project to foster the startup scene in Karlsruhe. In the region of Karlsruhe, networking of science and industry plays an important role. “Research to Business LIVE contributes to strengthening technology transfer in the region and exploitation of scientific innovations is complemented by an integrated approach that is strongly focused on startups,” says Anke Schmitz from the KIT Innovation Management Service Unit.
PionierGarage is a platform enabling students of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, who think like entrepreneurs, to critically discuss their (business) ideas in the group, implement them in a structured manner, and enhance their startup spirit.
CyberForum supports startup founders and entrepreneurs actively by contacts, know-how, and its network of active business angels. A major element is know-how transfer from and into the network. This strategy is pursued by CyberForum with about 150 events and more than 4600 visitors per year.
KIT’s Innovation Management Service Unit is the interface among scientists, industry, and investors for the transfer of know-how from KIT. From patenting to patent exploitation together with an industry partner, the Innovation Management staff counsels employees of KIT in establishing startups. Services include counseling during the development of a business model, search for funds, and financing as well as the search for investors and business angels. Moreover, the Innovation Management Service Unit operates the KIT High-Tech Incubator, where young spinoffs have the opportunity to expand and optimize their business on the Campus.
KIT Innovation Management:
Anke Schmitz:anke schmitz ∂kit edu
CyberForum: Mentoring & Coaching, Business Angels
Corinna Thumm:thumm ∂cyberforum de
Sebastian Richter, sebastian∂pioniergarage de
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.