Most of the participants did not know each other before AWAKE. They come from a wide range of study programmes: from education to aerospace to business administration. They are united by their curiosity about entrepreneurship and interest in the skills taught during the AWAKE programme. Every year it is always impressive to see how exciting ideas are formed in such a short time, how teams are found and how they pitch in front of an audience at the Demo Day. More than half of the teams continue to work on their idea after the programme.
"I always find it amazing how exciting and ready for business the results of AWAKE are," says Prof. Dr. Alexander Brem, ENI Institute Director, "Hydrop, an AWAKE team from last year, has meanwhile received EXIST funding to expand their idea, in addition to many awards. Now I'm excited to see what this year's teams make of the first impact."
What is AWAKE
In a nutshell: for six weeks, five student teams supported by ENI's Startup Campus 0711 coaches Kristina Winter, Marie-Claire Becker and Jordi Mauri, had been working intensively on ideation, business canvas, team organisation and pitches. At the end of the programme, they pitched their results to peers and the audience.
Demo Night in front of a full house
On 23 November, the time had come: in front of more than 100 participants in the ARENA2036, the pitching took place, followed by the judging and the final naming of the winners.
FERTILE GROUND had chosen an agricultural theme: Cultivated land is increasingly degrading due to a lack of biodiversity. Their solution: the "soil-friendly" seal and a concept to increase organic health for farmers and a certificate for producers to improve biodiversity on arable land by subsidising farmers.
The team received the Best Pitch Award for this idea, donated by Empleox GmbH.
WIRE VISON wants to reduce the costly scrap of wire harnesses in the automotive industry. Their approach: an optical quality control for wiring harnesses BEFORE they are installed in the car body, in order to prevent rework after installation or even the "scrapping" of a vehicle with wiring harness faults. It won the Best Start-up Project Prize, awarded by the Ministry of Economics and the Arts.
Brivur - Dein digitaler Briefkasten (Brivur - Your Digital Mailbox) aims to avoid paper mail and reduce waiting times and high administrative costs by digitising the mail traffic of small and medium-sized enterprises. Smart!
Matchies - Socks that click are socks with a snap fastener. The result: no more single socks, no more tedious sorting.
Optisol Group has tackled a top economic issue: skyrocketing energy prices. Their software for energy consulting for companies can replace the classic energy consultant. With their software, the Optisol team develops a concept for the customer and also provides the necessary hardware to enable energy savings.
Not an easy choice for the jury
Thanks to the jury members Franziska Gildein from LBBW, Katharina Hölzle from Fraunhofer IAO, Justine Kleindienst from All4one, Bernhard Kühl from Ritter Sport and Oliver Roehrle from the University of Stuttgart.
Since 2018, the Vector Foundation has supported AWAKE and its predecessor "Let US start". Many thanks for that too!