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Startup Talks @ HPI: Merantix

Lecture X: “AI Venture-building for engineers

The technical difficulties in adopting AI for a real world use case are various and complex. From getting access to the right datasets up to testing with real users, the transfer of academic knowledge to a marketable solution is not without its hurdles. Therefore, Merantix has built a hands-on approach to venture building, the world’s first AI venture studio.

By building up startups, Merantix drives the transfer of AI research to application in the economy. Merantix was founded by Adrian Locher (CEO), a Swiss serial founder and investor, and Dr. Rasmus Rothe (CTO), an internationally renowned AI and computer vision expert. Since 2016, the team of more than 70 scientists, technologists and founders has been building up startups from Berlin in areas such as healthcare (Vara), Big Data (SiaSearch), business intelligence (Kausa) and biotech. With Merantix Labs, there is also a team specialized in project work with established companies and groups (e.g. Lanxess, Volkswagen and TÜV).

In this talk, Dr. Rasmus Rothe, co-founder of Merantix, and Stefan Bunk, HPI alumnus and co-founder of AI breast cancer screening solution Vara, will talk about what it takes to start launching your own AI venture and share insights into the technical challenges that typically arise during this journey.

If you wish to participate in the event, please register here. This event is exclusively for HPI students, alumni and staff.


About the Speakers


Meet Dr. Rasmus Rothe, an internationally recognized AI and computer vision expert as well as co-founder and CTO of Merantix. Rasmus Rothe is also a founding and board member of the AI Bundesverband e.V., where he provides impulses for the implementation and further development of the AI strategy of the federal government. In 2019 he was listed in the "30 under 30" list of Forbes magazine and in the "40 under 40" list of Capital magazine.

Rasmus studied Computer Science in Oxford, Princeton and Zurich. His scientific work has received numerous awards and has been cited several hundred times. At the age of 26, he received his PhD in Computer Vision from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and co-developed an algorithm for age recognition based on photographs that has been used millions of times. Also during his studies in Zurich, he co-founded the hackathon "HackZurich", today the largest event of its kind in Europe.

Stefan Bunk, Founder and CTO at Vara. During his studies at the Hasso Plattner Institute he focused on machine learning, data analysis, software engineering and entrepreneurship. He graduated top of his class in 2016 and worked on various research projects about computer vision, natural language processing as well as projects within the medical domain. As the second machine learning engineer to join Merantix, Stefan has been building Merantix' machine learning stack from the ground up before spinning off Vara as its CTO. At Vara, he's responsible for the machine learning and data platform, as well as the tech stack for our product.