Press Release 072/2015

German Startup Award for RESTUBE

Student Startup RESTUBE Wins with Inflatable Life Buoy that Rescues Lives - Nanoscribe with High-speed 3D Printers for the Microrange among the Finalists in the Category of ”Shooting Star“
Complete success: The founders of the KIT startup RESTUBE, Christopher Fuhrhop and Marius Kunkis. (Photo: Bärbel Schmidt / Deutscher Gründerpreis)

With a self-inflatable life buoy that may rescue the lives of drowning people, RESTUBE, a startup of two alumni of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), convinced the jury of the Deutscher Gründerpreis (German Startup Award) 2015 and reached the first place in the “Startup” category. In the opinion of the jury, the startup is one of the most successful German startups of the past years. Among the finalists in the “Shooting Star” category was Nanoscribe, a spinoff of KIT, with its 3D printer for the microrange.


“I am very happy for the RESTUBE team and congratulate them on this outstanding distinction for their commitment. The German Startup Award is granted for the idea, for the extraordinary commitment and entrepreneurial courage of the founders,” says the President of KIT, Holger Hanselka. “I hope that the prize winners will be able to continue their business as successfully as before and to translate their ideas into viable innovations and excellent products.”


KIT supports entrepreneurial thinking and acting on many levels: Support of student startups and spinoffs of researchers, inexpensive offices and laboratories for the startup phase, consultancy, advanced training, and networking. In 2013, the KIT won the competition “EXIST-Gründungskultur” launched by the then Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) with its university-wide concept of the “Founders Forge” to strengthen entrepreneurial culture. In addition, KIT brings together founders and persons interested in establishing their businesses for a direct exchange of experience. One of the events organized for this purpose was the “KIT Venture Fest” on June 30 on Campus South. It offered a series of seminars, workshops, a fair, discussions, and startup pitches for the participants to familiarize with new ideas and develop own conceptions.


RESTUBE – Self-inflatable Life Buoys

Water sports are very popular, but time and again, sportsmen drown in the water. They might be saved by the self-inflatable life buoys produced by RESTUBE. The rescue systems for water sports have been developed by two KIT students of mechanical engineering, Christopher Fuhrhop and Marius Kunkis. “The systems work with a self-inflatable floating unit. By pulling the trigger, drowning persons are kept above the water,” the startup founders explain. At the moment, they are developing a special version for lifeguards. When the trigger is pulled, the life buoy inflates within a few seconds. The novel rescue equipment delights water sportsmen all over the world, according to the jury of the Deutscher Gründerpreis.



The RESTUBE life buoy inflates within seconds. (Photo: KIT / RESTUBE)


Nanoscribe – Smallest 3D Objects

“With our 3D printers, we offer the most precise devices for microfabrication worldwide,” says Nanoscribe’s Managing Director Martin Hermatschweiler. Smallest 3D objects from a few hundred nanometers in size up to structures in the millimeter range can be produced with a so far unreached resolution and maximum design freedom. The printers by far exceed conventional 3D printers and are applied in a number of research areas, such as photonics, microoptics, sensor technology or medical engineering. Nanoscribe systems are characterized by various features of uniqueness that make these systems reach a new standard in microfabrication. According to the jury of the competition for the Deutscher Gründerpreis, Nanoscribe with its extremely precise and patented 3D printer represents a perfect high-tech startup and now is the technology and market leader in this area.


Detailed information on founding at KIT:


More about RESTUBE:


More about Nanoscribe:


Photos of the prize ceremony may be downloaded at:


More information on the Deutscher Gründerpreis:


About the Deutscher Gründerpreis

The Deutscher Gründerpreis (German Startup Prize) is the most important prize for outstanding entrepreneurs in Germany. The initiative is aimed at promoting a favorable startup environment in Germany and encouraging young founders to start their own business. The prize is granted annually in the categories of pupils, startup, shooting star, and lifetime achievement. Extraordinary entrepreneurial achievements may be honored by a special prize. The prize is offered by stern, Sparkassen, ZDF, and Porsche. These partners have been committed to promoting entrepreneurship and the startup environment since 1997 already. The Deutscher Gründerpreis is supported by a top-class board of trustees who act as mentors of the nominees and prize winners. The Deutscher Gründerpreis is sponsored by Bertelsmann SE, Gruner + Jahr GmbH & Co. KG, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and the Versicherungen der Sparkassen. The cooperation partner is the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.



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 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 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.

kes, 01.07.2015

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse does-not-exist.kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Margarete Lehné
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41157
Fax: +49 721 608-41157
margarete lehne does-not-exist.kit edu

The press release is available as a PDF file.