"The digitization of all areas of life continues unabated, presenting countless opportunities for start-ups with a new digital innovation. Given their exceptional agility, start-ups can profit from this overall trend while at the same time making a significant contribution to the world of tomorrow. Which is why we are once again looking for visionary founders this year,"says Wolfram Gross, Project Director of the "Digital Innovations Founder Competition" at VDI/VDE-IT GmbH.
Worth 10,000 euros in the first round of the competition, this year’s special prize will be awarded in cooperation with VDW and VDI nachrichten for the area of "Digitization in Production". "In production, the potential of digitization extends from design to production planning and control, as well as to automation, materials handling and quality management,"explains VDW Managing Director Dr. Wilfried Schäfer. He continues: "Start-ups can thus develop business models along the entire value chain, allowing them to optimize systems and processes using digital innovations. Within the scope of our major start-up initiative at EMO Hannover, they can moreover meet up with established suppliers from all over the world, with all parties benefiting as a result."
"German universities have been training the best engineers in the world for more than 100 years," says Ken Fouhy, editor-in-chief of VDI nachrichten. "Apart from large German corporations and industrial SMEs, the country as a whole has benefited – in fact, a big part of Germany’s prosperity today stems from German engineering. The digitization and dematerialization of production is an enormous challenge for our production-based economy, while at the same time offering unlimited opportunities for anyone with an affinity for technology who is willing to work at the interface of computer science and the traditional engineering sciences to set up new companies. We are delighted use this start-up competition to promote and support these types of entrepreneurial individuals,"he concludes.
How can I participate?
To take part in the start-up competition, all you need is a draft of your idea and plans – you do not yet need to have founded a start-up. That’s because the start-up competition is an ideas-based competition which is divided into two separate phases. In the first phase, any interested contestant can apply by 1 April at 6:00 p.m. by submitting a draft of up to 15 pages describing his or her planned project at http://www.gruenderwettbewerb.de . A team of experts will then carry out an analysis of the plan’s strengths and weaknesses as well as the associated opportunities and risks, providing a valuable initial insight into the marketability and feasibility of your idea. Contestants who take this first step will receive detailed written feedback on their start-up idea. In the second phase of the competition, lasting until 2 July, the teams whose sketches are among the top 50 will have the opportunity to incorporate the feedback they have received into their concept and resubmit it. The awards will go to the best start-up projects at EMO Hannover, the world’s leading metalworking trade fair, running from 16 to 21 September. The event is expected to attract more than 2,200 international exhibitors on 182,000 square meters of display space.
About the Digital Innovations Founder Competition
The Digital Innovations Founder Competition is an ideas-based competition organized by the Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy (BMWi). Two distinct competition rounds are held every year. At two separate awards ceremonies, a seven-member jury of experts from business, finance and science will award up to six main prizes respectively for the best start-up ideas, totaling 32,000 euros each. In addition, up to fifteen further start-up ideas will receive 7,000 euros each. The "Digitization in Production" special award for the first round in 2019 is endowed with 10,000 euros. Each contestant will receive a written assessment of his or her start-up idea with regard to the associated strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks.
Further information on the founder’s award is available at www.gruenderwettbewerb.de .
VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH, Socio-Economic Department
phone +49 30 310078-205