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HPI Business Plan Competition 2018

On September 17, the final round of the 6th Business Plan Competition took place at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI). Three student teams were in the final round, in which they had the opportunity to win starting capital and support worth up to 100,000 euros. In the end, the "RockWorld" team was able to convince the jury, consisting of Prof. Dr. Meinel, Yair Re´em and Dr. Christian Liesegang, of their business idea.

The winners of the Business Plan Competition 2018 from team "RockWorld", the jury consisting of Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel, Yair Re'em (HP Ventures), Dr. Christian Liesegang (HPI alumnus und founder), and the E-School team. (Foto: HPI/K. Herschelmann)

In 2018, HPI hosted its sixth business plan competition in cooperation with the HPI Seed Fund to support young start-up companies. A total of 20 start-up teams with at least one HPI member took part in the competition. Since mid-May, the young entrepreneurs have been presenting their ideas and receiving targeted feedback and input over several phases in order to work intensively on their business model.

The winners of the 2018 HPI Business Plan Competition: RockWorld

The founding team "RockWorld" convinced the jury with the idea of a digital field book for the precise collection of geological data and won the sixth business plan competition at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI). On the morning of September 17, Wera Schmidt (30), Franziska Dobrigkeit (35) and Philipp Dobrigkeit (39) were already delighted with the prize, which includes personal scholarships of up to €50,000, an investment offer from the HPI Seed Fund of €50,000 and a one-year business coaching at the HPI School of Entrepreneurship (E-School).

The program, developed by the founding team, aims to bridge the gap between specialized software and the analog field book for geoscientists. In the future, scientists will be able to work together on projects digitally and without loss of precision on the basis of the results of soil investigations. In addition, the exchange between different sub-areas of geology is to be made possible. The programme is intended to bring researchers together who would otherwise have no points of contact.

"For us, the business plan competition was the ideal opportunity to see whether our idea could become a viable business model," said HPI alumnus Philipp Dobrigkeit, who took part in the business plan competition in 2011 and won. "With the three consecutive phases of the competition, you can devote yourself to the topics that are relevant to the founding of the company". With the help of the prize, the founders want to put their idea into practice as quickly as possible. Their aim is to make the application available to geoscientists from all over the world as early as the start of the next fieldwork season in spring 2019.

"We want to encourage and support students at HPI to start their own businesses and will continue to expand our entrepreneurship offerings in the coming years," said HPI Institute Director and jury member Professor Christoph Meinel. Together with Yair Re'em (Managing Partner of Hasso Plattner Ventures) and Dr. Christian Liesegang (HPI alumnus and remerge founder), Meinel congratulated the winners and presented a symbolic cheque for 100,000 euros.

An overview of the finalists

Team RockWorld

The founding team "RockWorld" from Wera Schmidt (30), Franziska Dobrigkeit (35) and Philipp Dobrigkeit (39) entered the sixth business plan competition at the HPI with the idea of a digital field book for the precise collection of geological data. The program developed by the founding team aims to close the gap between specialized software and the analog field book for geoscientists. In future, scientists will be able to work together on projects digitally and without loss of precision on the basis of the results of soil investigations. In addition, the exchange between different sub-areas of geology is to be made possible. The programme aims to connect researchers who would otherwise have no points of contact with each other. Franziska is a PhD student at HPI, Philipp is an experienced founder and HPI alumnus, Wera is a PhD student in geology with many years of field experience and brings the necessary industry knowledge to the team.

Team mydaco

The business idea of Benjamin Bach (29), Alina Lefèbre (26), Fabian Maschler (27), Fabian Nickel (29) and Christina Schoof (27) is an extension of the functionalities of cloud platforms. The application combines the offering of algorithms by external business partners and developers with the protection of the personal data of platform users. This makes it possible to evaluate ever larger data sets in a flexible marketplace. The application is particularly interesting for companies from the Consumer IoT and Fintech sectors, but it is also popular with medical research groups at universities. www.mydaco.com

Team mTomady

The new solution by Janos Brauer (24), Dr. Samuel Knauss (28), Dr. Julius Emmrich (31), Niklas Riekenbrauck (22) and Elsa Rajemison (38) focuses on health insurance coverage of less than 10% in middle and low income countries and the often lacking access to banking transactions. mTOMADY is designed to secure people's access to health care via a mobile payment platform. With the help of an exclusive account for the digital saving and payment of health services, cash flows can be replaced and the efficiency and transparency of financial transactions can be increased. The platform enables governments, employees, NGOs and donors to transfer health funds. www.mtomady.de