TUM Presidential Entrepreneurship Award 2017

It’s the special combination of high-quality teaching, excellent research, and optimal study conditions that makes the Technical University of Munich one of the most innovative universities. Especially in the field of innovation and spin-offs, the TUM has earned itself an outstanding reputation. This year, President Prof. Wolfgang Herrmann will be awarding the Presidential Entrepreneurship Award to spin-offs of the university for the fifth time. “This award reflects the diversity of the university and its entrepreneurial spirit. It’s the young people here who are trying something out, who want to take risks and turn their ideas into practical products, procedures and services. As an entrepreneurial university, we are happy to support them on this way. This university has produced over 700 companies since the year 1990, which have created more than 14000 jobs as of today. The entrepreneurial spirit is an attitude, which modern people with a solid academic education must have, especially in the field of technology. And our young scientists have that spirit. Among the nominees for the 2017 Entrepreneurship Award is: eGym.” While just a few years ago fitness was considered to be part of a certain clientele, it has arrived today in the middle of society today. But especially beginners often train ineffectively or completely wrong. Through the combination of innovative devices and intelligent training software the young Munich-based company eGym has developed a way to make the training efficient, healthy and thus even more motivating. “Training success, training motivation and modern technology are very important to us, and that is what we would like to bring to the gym. With the goal of simply making people healthier. While digitalization has completely changed retail, communications and media, everything on the weight benches was analog so far and time stood still. Only a combination of hardware and software can make the experience truly seamless, as we imagine it. But we also quickly saw that the technology that is now in the studio, the hardware so to say, for the most part just can’t do that yet. And so the logical step in principle was to say, that we will combine both elements. And I think that’s where our strength comes from – that we see ourselves as a digital company that spans the entire value chain.” Since its foundation in 2010, eGym has been constantly developing, building and improving its products. Especially at the beginning in close cooperation with the TUM. “Above all, we of course exchanged knowledge, on the one hand with the professors, who gave us good ideas for technical solutions, on the other hand we also worked with TUM students. We had working students in our team right from the start, who helped us set up the company. And the help of the TUm has already paid off for eGym. We have already equipped several thousand studios with eGym products all over Europe and I think that figure speaks for itself.” “Also nominated is: ProGlove.” It is valid in every large company: Every second of process optimization is a huge step. And ProGlove has committed itself to this very principle. ProGlove is an intelligent glove for industry and logistics. The young company has developed a product, which at the same time increases the efficiency and quality of the work. “I myself worked for BMW during my studies and then saw two things: First, it is always about efficiency – how to always improve the processes further. And secondly, one is already used to ‘wearables’. You have gloves, helmets and safety vests. And so the idea came up to bring the two together.” The three founders have quickly learned that hardware for the industry must meet very high requirements and have developed such a product, which can be used quickly and easily without great integration effort. “The most important is ‘Plug & Play’. The product is easy to connect and get started. This is also what surprises customers the most, that you can simply use the product without any integration effort.” Meanwhile ProGlove supplies some of the largest automotive companies in Europe and soon the Munich-based company wants to expand into the USA and Asia. “Where I come from, the biggest company is a butcher. So TUM taught me that you can actually build a business yourself. This is probably the greatest support we got from the university. And then, of course, TUM always stood by us with advice and action. They gave us various contacts, we worked in the MakerSpace of TUM, they brought us together with investors, so many things.” “And finally, this year is nominated: KONUX.” In industry, it is becoming increasingly important to understand machines, plants and processes better. KONUX offers intelligent sensor systems and analytics based on artificial intelligence, to enable predictive maintenance. “In the beginning we started to develop hardware, but through discussions with our customers, we have found that the real added value of a solution not only consists in a measured value, but in predicting a certain action, that has to be performed for maintenance. That means, we have evolved from a hardware company, to an entire system company.” KONUX is currently working closely with Deutsche Bahn. With the help of their technology it is possible to monitor the points in the national high-speed network and conduct predictive maintenance. “The most important thing we have learned for a start-up is: focus, focus, focus. That means first to become really good in one thing and then expand into other things.” KONUX combines high-class German engineering skills with incredible speed and innovation, that even impresses Silicon Valley. “We founders got to know each other first in the TUM, in a business plan seminar. There we have further developed the idea. Then the TUM helped us with start-up consulting, so that we may move, so to speak, from the idea to the foundation. And there I think the TUM is extremely strong.” “The professional variety of the nominees shows how broad our subject portfolio is. And I hope that all young enterprises will be as Karl von Linde once was, who invented the refrigerator here with us.”

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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