AWAKE - Become a startup in six weeks

July 23, 2020

From foldable cargo bikes to sharing platforms for 3D printers and vegan fitness bowls. AWAKE's 4th Demo Night showcased the wealth of start-up ideas lying dormant at the University of Stuttgart.

AWAKE is one of the formats offered as part of the Vector Foundation-funded Let US start! initiative, anchored at the institute of Prof. Alexander Brem at the University of Stuttgart. "We want to get students excited about the topic of start-ups and founding and are focusing on a sustainable offering that combines the three pillars of teaching, research and practice," says Prof Alexander Brem "Developing a start-up idea within 6 weeks, implementing it as a prototype and presenting it in front of a large audience as well as a jury is the challenge of AWAKE," explains Dr. Eric Heintze, project manager of Let US start! "What's also special about this is that the teams are accompanied by student startup coaches in addition to professional coaches. These, in turn, come from the parallel Train-the-Trainer program which consists largely of alumni of the AWAKE program."

What was unusual about this 4th batch was that everything had to be done digitally, from the idea to the pitch. Therefore, it was all the more impressive what the teams presented in front of the top-class jury. The jury included startup pioneer Adrian Thoma (Gründermotor GmbH), successful founder Amelie Vermeer (Spoontainable GmbH), ASAP BW coordinator June Nardiello (ASAP BW), tech founder and University of Stuttgart alumni Dr. Michael Raschke (Blickshift GmbH) and startup coach Marcel Werle (University of Stuttgart).

Convinced by the quality and determination of the teams, the jury decided to award the first prize of over 1000 euros project budget twice. Thus, the team of Loadify, with their intelligent adapter for charging stations, as well as the team of Charge Cube, with the wallbox concept for everyone were happy about the jury prize. The audience award went to the ReVive project with their digital closet solution.

But the other teams from AWAKE and from the other formats such as the Basic Business Modeling, the Startup-Planspiel, the Social Innovation Camp, the Master Class or the internal accelerator program Let US elevate will also continue to pursue their startup projects beyond this semester. They will be supported by the new team of startup advisors led by Prof. Brem.

They will have a lot of work to do, because among the 55 start-up projects of this semester, there are some promising projects. And there will be more, because in various events from the Speaker Series, Hackathons on various topics or other partner events, this semester alone about 1,000 participants were infected with the startup virus.

But none of this would be possible without the mainstays behind this year's program. The team around Dr. Eric Heintze with coaches Merve, Christian, Jamshed and Franzi have made the impossible possible and transferred something that actually only works offline directly at whiteboards and with pizza into the digital world. Thanks to them and the numerous dedicated student startup coaches from the Train-the-Trainer program, the startup spirit at the University of Stuttgart was further strengthened and the Demo Night of the 4th AWAKE batch was once again a complete success.

If you simply want to try out the topic of startup or have your own ideas that want to be realized, then feel free to register for AWAKE or for one of the other formats in the coming winter semester.


This image shows Melanie Minderjahn

Melanie Minderjahn


Career Service - Inner Development, Public Relations

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