Kick Off Meeting of the Ilmkubator Class 2022

Wednesday afternoon, with mild 20 degrees and bright sunshine the warmest day of the week, the starting signal for the Ilmkubator Class 2022 of the TU Ilmenau start-up service. It started at 1 p.m. in the "auftakt.Basis".


It is still quiet in the "auftakt.Basis" in the Technology and Start-up Center Ilmenau. Snacks, drinks, books, pens and welcome documents are ready on the tables and waiting for this year's class teams.

At 1 p.m., project coordinator of the Ilmkubator Jan Radicke joyfully welcomes all teams. To lighten up the introductory round and the short phase of getting to know each other, the participants are given a task: draw portraits of their counterparts without putting down the pen or looking at the paper. Adorned with interesting works of art, each participant then introduces him/herself.

From students and doctoral candidates to scientific staff and university alumni, the spectrum of this year's class is broader than ever before. A total of six teams venture into the Ilmkubator Class 2022 with fresh and exciting start-up ideas. In this intensive coaching program, the teams and individual founders develop their concepts further in six targeted modules with the support of mentors, subject matter experts and the Ilmkubator coaches. The coaches Stefanie Freitag and Andreas Meister guide the prospective founders through the first meeting and have an open ear for everyone. Surprise guest Prof. Dr. Jens Müller, Vice President International Relations and Transfer, arrives punctually at 2:30 p.m. and encourages the teams in their start-up plans.

Master's student Philipp Wehr is one of the class participants and wants to start-up together with fellow student Tom Duphorn: "We want to program a digital energy consulting tool that, similar to a car configurator, gives new home builders very clear recommendations on what to install - and thus replace the traditional, expensive energy consultant." At the next table sits Hamed Elahi, a doctoral scholar at Ilmenau Technical University. He is developing a device to simplify home dialysis while minimizing the risk of infection for patients. Not present on site, but connected online, is scientist Dr. Tobias Schwandt. His idea focuses on the use of immersive collaborative mixed reality (MR) environments that bring experts virtually into real workplaces. In addition to technological projects, Class 2022 also offers exciting software tools for private clients and personalized gimmicks for gamers.

After intensive hours in which the teams work on an initial SWOT analysis with the help of the coaches and work out their strengths and weaknesses for self-assessment, the content part of the day is already over. At 5 p.m., the participants gather and head off to their future offices: the Finnhütten on the Fischerhütten site on Langewiesener Straße. The rustic but cozy rooms still have the character of a construction site, but they will soon become the new office home and creative workshop of the founding teams in the direct vicinity of the Ilmkubator.

Over snacks and drinks, the Ilmkubator team and the budding founders let the successful day come to an end. Philipp and Tom also stay for networking and draw a first conclusion: "The kick-off was very informative and has motivated us well for the next nine months. We are especially looking forward to the coaching and the time with the mentors, which will be cool. Most of all, we want to achieve our first successes and create a product."The two students are confident and looking forward to the coming months. On April 26, the teams will also go straight into the first module.

The motto: "Team, idea and vision".