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Rock your Thesis

The Team

Teamname: Rock your Thesis

Members: Dr. Arne Grüttner, Ann Wirtjes, Fabian Knops





Mentors at university: Prof. Dr. Rosenkranz, Startup-Coaches: Dr. Sebastian Sydlik, Madeleine Krenzlin
University at which you study/work and faculty(s): University of St.Gallen

What is your idea about?

Over half of all students report that they feel inadequately prepared and supervised when writing academic theses. This results in feelings such as stress, frustration, and overload. Here comes Rock your Thesis into play: We are developing the first artificial intelligence (AI)-powered digital tutor that guides students through the process of writing their academic thesis in a motivating, engaging, and personalized way.

AI-powered digital tutor für academic writing

Our AI-powered digital tutor allows for scalable and cost-efficient one-to-one tutoring. We can address not only individual problems, but also individual strengths of students. As a result, everyone can learn and write their thesis at exactly the pace that works best for them. The AI-powered digital tutor consist of three innovative components:

An adaptive learning system, i.e., an AI-powered learning environment that can, for example, adapt to the student's level of knowledge, learning progress, and learning strategies to create individual learning paths.

An integrated pedagogical conversational agent that serves as a communication interface and provides real-time support and feedback functions.

An academic toolkit that includes a comprehensive project management, learning materials, and tools database.

We integrate nudging- and gamification elements into all three components for effective and motivated learning.

How did you get together as a team?

The founding team of Rock your Thesis consists of Dr. Arne Grüttner (CTPO), Ann Wirtjes (CMO), and Fabian Knops (CRO). 

Arne Grüttner developed the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of Rock your Thesis during his PhD at the University of St.Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland. After completing his PhD, Arne Grüttner came back to Cologne to gain start-up experience at the B2B SaaS scale-up SoSafe.

At that time, Arne Grüttner and Fabian Knops met for the first time. Fabian Knops himself was just about to start writing his master's thesis.

He used the Rock your Thesis MVP and quickly recognized its added value. From that point on, the two developed the detailed concept of Rock your Thesis: The vision of an AI-powered digital tutor. 

During the creation of the detailed concept, the founding team was joined by Ann Wirtjes, who is herself a lecturer at Fresenius University of Applied Sciences and is therefore intimately familiar with the problems faced by students. 

The founding team is united by the goal to increase the enjoyment and quality of scientific work and to support students in getting the most out of their academic theses.

What are you studying/working or what have you studied?

Dr. Arne Grüttner completed his doctoral studies with a focus on Business Innovation at the University of St.Gallen (HSG) in 2020. Previously, he obtained his Master's degree in Information Systems at the University of Cologne. Since his PhD, he is a lecturer for Machine Learning and Data Science at Master-level as well as a supervisor of various academic theses at HSG. Until 09'2022 he worked at the B2B SaaS scale-up SoSafe as a part of the strategy team. Before that, he held various technical roles in consulting and implementation.

Ann Wirtjes is currently completing her Master’s degree in Business Administration, which she is doing at the SRH University of Applied Sciences. In addition to her work as a communications consultant for automotive companies, she is a lecturer at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences, where she teaches on the topic: “Successful brand development in the digital age".

Fabian Knops graduated in 2022 with a Master's degree in Business Administration from the Nuremberg University of Technology. Until 09'2022 he worked as a consultant in the transaction consultancy Kupferberg Transactions. Previously, Fabian Knops worked in B2B sales at Thyssenkrupp and completed in parallel a part-time studies at the University of Applied Sciences for Economics and Management.