THE INNOVATION DAY NEULAND 2016 IN REVIEW

KIT hosted the KIT Venture Fest for the third time on June 29, 2016. This year's Innovation Day attracted more than 700 guests to the area around the Audimax - a new record number of visitors. The diverse program brought together KIT students, employees, and founders with representatives from industry and business, investors, and network partners. The highlight of the event was the late-night talk with Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG.

Video Review

We have summarized impressions of the KIT Venture Fest 2016 and voices of our guests in a little film.

Supported by

Funded by: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, EXIST, ESF, European Union

Picture Gallery

OVER 700 VISITORS EXPLORED THE INNOVATION LANDSCAPE OF THE KIT.

KIT hosted the KIT Venture Fest for the third time on June 29, 2016. This year's Innovation Day attracted more than 700 guests to the area around the Audimax - a new record number of visitors. The diverse program brought together KIT students, employees, and founders with representatives from industry and business, investors, and network partners. The highlight of the event was the late-night talk with Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche by the Late-Night-Talk

The day started with an innovation breakfast where the first participants could get to know each other. Fortified, they then moved on to seminars on the topics of business start-ups and technology transfer - from basics on dealing with inventions, patents and licenses to financing options and online marketing tips for start-ups.

Visitors could gain an insight into the diversity of innovation in the Innovation Gallery, where KIT scientists and founders presented their projects. The gallery provided a stage for the exhibiting teams to receive feedback on their projects and business ideas and to establish interesting contacts with cooperation partners and investors.

The event was officially opened at noon by KIT Vice President Prof. Dr. Thomas Hirth, who referred to the special importance of innovation as one of the three supporting pillars of KIT.

Afterwards, the participants went to different snapshot sessions - seminars in which KIT scientists and cooperation partners from industry gave flash-like short presentations.

Furthermore, the session "Quo vadis - Wishes and Expectations for the KIT Innovation 2025 Project" took place, where participants were invited to exchange ideas and discuss proposals for change with Prof. Thomas Hirth, Dr. Jens Fahrenberg, Head of KIT Innovation and Relations Management (IRM), and Orestis Terzidis, Head of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology Management and Innovation (EnTechnon).

In the afternoon, the KIT Venture Fest offered various program items on stage, such as the R2B-Techpitch. Five scientists took the opportunity and presented their current research projects to the audience in five-minute short presentations. For the presenters, this was not only about presenting their technologies, but also about attracting the attention of cooperation and industry partners. R2B stands for RESEARCH TO BUSINESS, an offer of the KIT Innovation Management. In different formats, such as an online exchange, a newsletter, and small thematic events, R2B brings science and business together with the aim of bringing new technologies to the market.

Those who had not yet had the opportunity to get to know the founder teams in the Innovation Gallery got the chance to do so at the latest at the founder pitch of the KIT. Five young companies from KIT had three minutes each to present their business ideas to a broad audience. Selfbits, robodev, emmtrix, SMActuators, and vasQlab were among them. The jury consisted of Robin Schönbeck (PACE Telematics GmbH), Yair Re'em (Hasso Plattner Ventures Management GmbH), Dr. Dirk Schweinberger (tech-solute GmbH & Co. KG), Matthias Hornberger (KIZOO Technology Capital GmbH) and Crispin Leick (EnBW New Ventures GmbH).

In the evening, the event shifted to the outdoor area, where first the award ceremony of the NEULAND Innovation Award took place. The 1st prize in the category "Competition of Ideas" went to Prof. Dr. Ute Schepers, Prof. Dr. Stefan Bräse and Bettina Fleck for their anti-MRSA agent. The winners of the 1st prize in the "Special Prize" category were Dr.-Ing. Jürgen J. Brandner and Dr. Berta Spasova with their industrial partner Cargill for the catalytic epimerization and polymerization of functionalized carbohydrates. Afterwards, the winners of the founder pitch were announced: The Founder's Award went to the start-up SMActuators, the Audience Award to the start-up Selfbits.

The highlight of the evening was the keynote speech by Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, entitled "The rhino principle: Big and yet anything but sluggish". He spoke about electromobility and the transformation in his company. For example, Zetsche predicted that in a few decades Daimler AG will no longer be just about building cars, but rather about offering mobility in new ways. For this, he said, it was necessary to make the Daimler Group fit: "The willingness to change was still as great as it is at the moment." For corporations in particular, he said, it is of great importance to still be able to react at lightning speed despite their size, much like rhinos that can run at up to 45 kilometers per hour. In addition, one can learn from young rhinos the characteristic of not always running along with their parents, but also sometimes taking their own paths. "As a Group, we have to be more willing to take risks," Zetsche demands. After the keynote speech, the evening event turned into a late-night talk in which Zetsche discussed parallels at KIT together with Hirth.

The rest of the evening was dedicated to networking. Until late into the night and with musical accompaniment, the guests could exchange ideas and make new contacts in an open atmosphere.

We would like to thank the numerous guests who made the KIT Venture Fest 2016 a success! Special thanks go to the founders, scientists, and entrepreneurs who brought our program to life through their participation as exhibitors or speakers. We would also like to thank our network partners: Karlsruher Gründerallianz and CyberForum e.V. as well as the university groups: PionierGarage e.V., Young Investigator Network (YIN), Encactus KIT e.V. and r2b-student e.V.

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