Jacobs Startup Competiton

After an exciting weekend of workshops and presentations, this year’s first edition of the Jacobs Startup Competition (JSC) has successfully ended with the team ‘Kingii’ from WHU- Otto Beisheim School of Management winning the first prize. During the two-day event ten participating teams from universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Cambridge, WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management and Jacobs University presented their start-up ideas in 10 minute pitches. These were then evaluated by a jury of experts. The first place went to two students from WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management for their business idea ‘Kingii’, a bracelet with an integrated floating device that saves people from drowning. March 19, 2015 The ‘Kingii’ device by Sascha Firtina and Michael Brendle features a pull lever that can be yanked in case of an emergency which results in the inflation of an attached bag. Overall, the ‘Kingii’ team gave an interesting and comprehensive overlook of their start-up and their product, for which the two students were rewarded with the 1st prize of 3000€. They have also now got the chance to attend the Innovation Leaders Conference 2015 at Cambridge University and received a wildcard entry for the Heureka Conference pitch in Berlin.  Team ‘Kasko Drive’ consisting of Nikolaus Suehr and Matthew Wardle won the second place and prize money of €500, as well as the additional prize of a co-working space at the accelerator hub:raum in Berlin. Their business idea focused on an on-demand, add-on car insurance that is provided through an app.  Kevin Kung from MIT came third with his idea called ‘SafiOrganics’, a technology for turning biomass waste into valuable commodities, and received a prize money of €250. The process of densification is unique and helps companies in rural Africa save money.  Aside from the contest the participants had plenty of networking possibilities with industry representatives and investors. In workshops from specialists such as Ernst & Young, the Founder Institute, Axel Springer Plug & Play, Hannover Impuls, and hub:raum participants had the opportunity to interact with experienced entrepreneurs and most importantly to refine their business ideas.  The ten finalists were chosen from a total of 138 applications. 31 of these applications came from the world’s 150 top universities. This year’s competition focused on a three-tier approach: Mentorship, Network, Resources. Fostering collaborations also with the local industry, JSC 2015 partnered with organizations such as the Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen and the Founder Institute to foster entrepreneurial activities in the North-Western area of Germany.  After receiving enthusiastic feedback from contestants, partners, and audience of the competition, the organizing team is looking forward to the second edition of JSC to take place in March next year.