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Startup Your Idea Contest

Bright Minds, Big Stage

PLYTEQ and VisaFlow won the Startup Your Idea Contest. The spacious auditorium of the University of Cologne provided the big stage for the eight best student teams that made it to the final of the competition organized by Cologne's Gateway universities.

The jury was so convinced by the proposals from PLYTEQ and VisaFlow that they granted both teams first place, allowing them to take home prizes valued at 2,500 euros each.

The jury evaluated the teams according to "Idea Level" and "Product Level", based on the stage of development: Teams with an already developed Minimum Viable Product (MVP) were categorized in the "Product Level", and very early-stage teams in the "Idea Level".

Winners of the Idea Level:

1st place

An AI solution for optimizing the energy requirements of buildings.

2nd place

Sizeless (German Sport University Cologne)
A children's shoe that grows in size.

3rd place

Kuuma (University of Cologne)
Mobile sauna vans in cities, for relaxation and meeting places in the Finnish way.

Winners of the Product Level

1st place

VisaFlow (University of Cologne)
A digital platform to simplifying the visa application process for individuals seeking to migrate to Germany.

2nd place

LUBYO - Let us be your office (University of Cologne)
A platform for creating remote work policies for companies.

3rd place

Pixit (University of Cologne)
An AI-supported platform for fast, cost-effective and flexible production of employee portraits.

Winners of the Audience Award:

The public's favorite was Sizeless. They received the Audience Award worth €1,000.

Winners of the Award for Female Entrepreneurship:

The contest additionally honored female entrepreneurship with an award. Mohini Benzler from FINLYFREE was the winner of the €1,000 reward out of all submissions. The prize is funded by the Ford Fund and Global Giving.

Highlights of the Startup Your Idee Contest 2024

1. Platz für Save your Grain

1. Platz für RheinSharing

3. Platz für Future Box Pinball

Publikumspreis für SmartSwimPal

Sonderpreis für Impact Entrepreneurship Oh Circle

3. Platz: Pixit | Kategorie "Product Level"

Female Entrepreneurship Sonderpreis: FINLYFREE | Ford Fund & Global Giving

After the pitches, the expert jury left to discuss with each other. Moderator Andreas Klein guided the audience through the entire evening.
Visitors of the start-up market could share ideas and network with the more than 16 start-ups in attendance, as well as the five universities' gateway start-up centers.

Those who were inspired by the vibrant start-up atmosphere and wanted to form their own teams were able to take advantage of FoundFactory free matchmaking service: the start-up brings together bright people interested in establishing a new company.

The next Startup Your Idea Contest will begin in summer 2024. Students, academics, and employees will be able to submit their ideas.

About the Startup Your Idea Contest

Gateway Excellence Start-up Center at the University of Cologne, in collaboration with TH Köln, Sport University, Rheinische Fachhochschule, and CBS International Business School, is looking for the most innovative start-up ideas through the Startup Your Idea Contest. Students and scientists will get the opportunity to test out innovative concepts and receive input from professionals in the startup industry.

The contest also seeks to foster networking and collaboration among students and academics from other universities and fields, something that is unique in the German university landscape.

The competition is once again under the patronage of Henriette Reker, Mayor of the City of Cologne.

Startup Your Idea Contest Finale

Startup Your Idea Contest Finale

Startup Your Idea Contest Finale

Startup Your Idea Contest Finale

Startup Your Idea Contest Finale

Startup Your Idea Contest Finale