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MCEI at upCAT #7 Demo Day

MCEI at upCAT #7 Demo Day

For the seventh time, the ENTECHNON of the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) held the upCAT Demo Day on August 1, 2019. The Demo Day marks the end of the 12-week intensive accelerator program from upCAT, the startup catalyst the KIT. During this 12-week intensive accelerator program, upCAT scientists and students are supervised and coached on their startup plans. upCAT offers the participating teams a supportive environment and know-how.

The Demo Day started with a welcome speech from Prof. Dr. Thomas Hirth, the Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs, and from Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis, the Head of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology Management and Innovation who welcomed all guests to this special events. 

A special feature this year was the first segement featuring team pitches form the Joint Entrepreneurship Summer School (JES). Seven interdisciplinary teams consisting of KIT master's students and master's students or PhD candidates from  Shanghai Jiao Tong University pitched their businesses. The teams had only a few days to develop a valid business model with an unused KIT patent. The results were outstanding. 

Three of the four selected teams for the upCAT accelerator program - Ventecon, Aura and Cepri - followed with the main event and pitched their ideas in front of investors, industry representatives and the startup community. The four selected teams all worked on their value proposition, business model and acceleration for market entry - together with mentors, experts and coaches.

Ventecon works towards helping businesses understand the complexity of their value creation and associated dependencies by using their network mining approach to reconstruct the digital footprint of a company's value creation. With their SaaS tool, they explore, analyse and predict value creation to uncover lost potential, generate unique insights from the value creation network, and empower customers to make informed business decisions from a holistic perspective.

Auro aims to be a reveolutionary sleep coach who lets users measure, analyse and improve their sleep. The device combines a head-worn sensor band, artificial intelligence and root cause mining to deduce personalized behavioral coaching. Aura can measure over 20 sleep parameters (e.g. sleep phases, respiration, cardiac cycle, etc.) and does not depend on complex or cumbersome wiring or tubes compared to other similar products in the market.

Cepri aims to build Germany's first smart insect farm to produce sustainable food resources from edible mealworms in order to be able to provide an alternative food resource to reduce dependency from livestock production, which they believe is one of the main causes of climate change. They also believe that the global demand for animal proteins will increase dramatically in the coming years.

After the piches the jury retired to make their decision while the audience listened to the keynote "Computer Vision - 5 things you need to know before starting a project" presented by Felix Schweikardt, the Cofounder and CEO of auvisus, a startup that won the upCAT Demo Day the year before. The keynote was highly insightful and a great motivation for anybody wanting to start a computer vision project. Felix also gave some valuable tips about when to use deep learning, when not to use it and how one can use hacks to get started. 

Finally the jury announced Cepri as the winner of the upCAT #7 Demo Day. Although it was a very close race, based on the criteria the jury was provided by upCAT, the slight edge went to Cepri. We at MCEI congratulate the startup on their success in the event and wish all upCAT particpants great future development. The day ended with an open networking session and we thank the upCAT team for the great organization of the event! 

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