Start-up Stories

More than 220 start-ups have been registered at TU Ilmenau since 1990. Of these, more than 100 technology-oriented companies have settled in the immediate vicinity of the university. This has led to the creation of several new business parks around the university.

The innovative spin-off activities are thematically influenced by the teaching and research portfolio of the TU Ilmenau and have produced, among others, world market leaders. The active networking of business and science contributes significantly to a founder-friendly region. The location Ilmenau, with its support structures and location factors, its proximity to the university and other transfer institutions, offers excellent conditions for start-ups.

Here, some of the founders and their stories are presented in more detail. Of course, this is only a selection of the start-ups at the university; the selection is also regularly supplemented.


Ilmsens GmbH

Ilmsens GmbH

Development of innovative liquid and high-resolution short-range sensors.

Ilmsens GmbH was founded in 2016 out of the TU Ilmenau and develops state-of-the-art ultra-wideband sensors according to the highest quality standards. Ilmsens sensors are used internationally in liquid analysis and short-range sensor technology.

Ilmsens GmbH has its origins in the Department of Electronic Measurement and Signal Processing and the research group "Ultrawideband Technology (UWB)" headed by Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Sachs, Kai Schilling, Martin Kmec and Ralf Herrmann. In order to take the step from research to business, the four scientists brought the right co-founder on board in Hans-Christian Fritsch: The business informatics specialist was a project manager at the TU and took over the position as managing director at Ilmsens. Today, the company employs more than 20 people at its locations in the Technology and Start-up Center Ilmenau and in Košice (Slovakia).

Using high-resolution close-range sensor technology, Ilmsens GmbH is able to detect objects or surfaces as well as the smallest movements and to determine and classify them with regard to their distance from the sensor, their speed and their position. With this non-destructive method, the objects can be detected in a wide variety of materials. The technology is also used internationally in science: Norwegian researchers, for example, used the sensors to measure layers of snow on the sea ice at the North Pole.

Ilmsens GmbH was funded via EXIST research transfer and won, among others, the Thuringian strategy competition for innovative start-ups (2016), the start-up pitch of the ZVEI colloquium (2018) and the pitch of the technology competition getstarted2gether (2020).

For further information on Ilmsens GmbH, please visit the company website  and LinkedIn.