Ilmenau start-up project wins final ticket at Demo Day of the Thuringian Regional Innovation Program TRIP

Thomas Müller / STIFT
Award ceremony for NOVU by Christiane Kilian, project manager ThEx innovativ (right)

AI-project NOVU prepares for VC investments


At the Demo Day on March 16, 13 start-ups of TRIP Class 21/22 pitched their acceleration results and future visions in front of the innovation community, State Secretary Dr. Katja Böhler (TMWWDG) and partners of the Thuringian Regional Innovation Program (TRIP). A total of nine projects were able to secure a final ticket, including the Ilmenau start-up project NOVU led by Dr. Sherief Emam, is one of the finalists.

Over the next three months, the winners will be prepared for venture capital financing with workshops and coaching sessions. In addition, the teams will present their startups on June 14 and 15 at Investor Days Thuringia, one of the largest startup events in Germany.

NOVU wants to use artificial intelligence to increase the efficiency of cancer detection by personalizing the diagnostic process and thus improve the survival rate of patients. In addition, the international project team is committed to accelerating the adoption and diffusion of Artificial intelligence in the medical field. With the help of a standardized framework for the use of AI algorithms, currently existing market entry barriers for innovative business models are to be reduced.

The interdisciplinary founding team of NOVU is composed of graduates of the Ilmenau University of Technology and international experts. It received the 2021 EXISTFounder Scholarship and was funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection as well as by the EU and ESF. The team was additionally accompanied by the start-up advisors of the start-up service Ilmkubator and mentor Prof. Thomas Grebel, Head of the Department of Economic Policy at the Department of Economics and Media.

Christiane Kilian from STIFT opened the event at Mehnert Lab's Erfurt Innovation Space and shared insights into the current TRIP Class. Dr. Katja Böhler then welcomed the TRIP community, saying, "Thuringia has been among the leaders in the quality of start-ups nationwide for years. This is not least due to the broad-based start-up support in the Free State. The TRIP program not only enables new ideas to become sustainable business models, but also makes it easier to raise the necessary capital." Since its inception in 2019, 39 teams have already been funded through the program and successfully networked with investors. Collaboration with other players in the startup ecosystem, such as the startup services of Thuringia's universities, also plays an important role here.

In addition to the NOVU project, the Jena-based start-up Coachwhisperer was also able to secure a place in the final TRIP class. Its hardware developer and CEE Hendrik Thiedke completed his studies in electrical engineering at Ilmenau Technical University and co-founded the student workshop UNIKAT. In 2020, he participated with his own project idea in the Ilmkubator Class, the intensive support program for particularly promising start-up projects at TU Ilmenau, which was launched by the Ilmkubator start-up service.

The start-up project Gravity Garden (formerly HeyHerbert) led by Philipp Tschakert and Anna Marie Meisinger was also able to present its business idea to a broad audience at Demo Day. The team had qualified for the TRIP Class in November 2021 and received an associated ticket, but could not solve a final ticket with it. Their indoor gardening solution aims to make it easier to grow herbs at home. Gravity Garden also applied out of the Ilmkubator Class to the continuing accelerator program TRIP.

Last year, two university spin-offs, eCeramix GmbH and AI-UI GmbH, had already participated in the TRIP Class and made it to the finals.

Thomas Müller / STIFT
Dr. Sherief Emam presents NOVU at TRIP Demo Day
Thomas Müller / STIFT
Philipp Tschakert pitches the start-up projekt GravityGarden

In November 2019, the Thuringian Regional Innovation Program (TRIP) was launched by the Foundation for Technology, Innovation and Research Thuringia (STIFT) as part of the ThEx innovativ project to strengthen Thuringia's startup community as well as connect stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem. Annually, TRIP advances innovation-driven startups with a focus on investment readiness. This year's thematic focus was on the transformation of structures, processes and new ways of thinking. For the first time, the focus was on the automotive and mobility industry, but other disruptive innovations are also supported. TRIP is funded by the Thuringian Ministry of Economics as part of the ThEx innovativ project, with resources from the European Social Fund (ESF) and state funds.


More information: https: //trip.community/

Background information on the NOVU project can be found here.