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.