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Spring semester Review 2022

Spring semester Review 2022 pixabay.com

In the spring semester, we were able to get back to holding classes in real life as Covid numbers dropped significantly. After such a long period of distance learning, we as instructors were really happy to return to the classroom and support students on their entrepreneurial journey.

The semester had a great kick-off with the Q-summit. Again, attendees were able to access onsite events, which we appreciated. In addition to attending the event in person, the organizers used their experience from Covid days and kept an online format, making Q-summit 2022 the first hybrid startup fair at the University of Mannheim.

Education

During the spring semester, MCEI offered two courses on entrepreneurship:

MAN 453 Thinking beyond boxes promotes the further development of students' business ideas. As part of the course, students develop their own existing business ideas further, either individually or in teams. In the process, they are guided and coached by our experienced staff.

The participating students have developed several interesting startup ideas: RecruSo is to be a digital recruiting platform and provider that brings German SMEs together with African employees. ParkinGuards monitors handicapped parking spaces and thus informs the authorities in case of unauthorized use. Avity aims to transform the real estate sector into a more sustainable industry by reducing emissions.

MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spirit helps students gain insight into existing startups. This semester, eight startups offered students the opportunity to work as student advisors on specific projects. In addition, students can also develop their own startup as part of the course by choosing the Own Venture track.
Support

As part of our Inside the Venture format, which gives students the opportunity to work on a real startup project and contribute to its success, we had several projects. As part of our accelerator course MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spirit, we had projects with Mentalport, MyScribe, Biogenom, Infusafe, Fleming, Visual Abstract, Directa and OR Companian where students contributed to the success of the startup.

We were particularly pleased to be able to help so many young companies and found the variety of promising ideas especially inspiring: mentalport offers an online platform for students to get help with mental health problems. MyScribe is a digital tool for doctors and medical staff to digitize documentation. BioGenom is in the skin care business, using natural ingredients from bees royal gele. Infu-Safe!, a spin-off of Fraunhofer IPA, develops infusion systems that are affordable and practical in the special conditions of developing countries. Fleming is a fintech and offers loans for aspiring doctors and pharmacists in addition to all their functions and services of a normal bank. Visual Abstract helps researchers visualize their research findings and papers. directra. provides a platform to match lawyers and other legal professionals sought for temporary projects with companies that need their assistance on a specific project. OR Companion, a spin-off of Fraunhofer IPA, provides digital support for preparing operating rooms in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Inspirational Events

In cooperation with Melchers Rechtsanwälte, MCEI hosted a legal workshop for startups in the growth stage. After addressing early-stage legal issues in a previous workshop, this event was aimed at advanced companies facing different legal challenges. Therefore, we offered this second workshop with new topics in corporate, labor and IP law.

Another great event we were involved in was the Sustainability Festival. On May 6, students, researchers, staff, organizations and businesses were brought together on campus to share how they contribute to sustainability. This one-day campus event was very inspiring and full of speeches and presentations, which we of course participated in.

This semester's MCEI-Founder Talk was given by Marc Manzur, founder and CEO of PreviPharma. PreviPharma Consulting GmbH is an international research and development company. The Mannheim-based company is active in the pharmaceutical industry and develops new drugs to save human lives.

We were also able to host several great MCEI Startup Lounges:

The first Startup Lounge was already full of great disruptive ideas and startup vibes. To kick things off, we invited two startups: CU and Moufense. CU is an innovative pool system with a reusable container for dry food that can be seamlessly integrated into the German reusable deposit system. Moufense is currently operating in Togo, protecting people from malaria with an affordable, accessible and easy-to-use body lotion that repels mosquitoes. By establishing a local production line and distribution network, Moufense is not only helping to improve the health situation in Togo but is also fostering local economic growth and thus having a major impact on the local economy.

We held the second Startup Lounge in cooperation with MARS, the Mannheim Runway for Startups. MARS is an initiative of the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences. Guest of this Startup Lounge was Noralia, a startup that improves the conditions for horse owners. In particular, they invented a lick that makes horses stop when horse owners want to rest them for a while.

Then we had Mentalport as a guest. This startup was founded by students at the University of Mannheim and aims to ensure the availability of psychological help below the therapy level. Students in particular often miss out on attending regular therapy due to a tight schedule and a lack of constant presence at their place of study. To provide easy access here, mentalport uses AI-generated chats as well as individual and personal coaching.

We also hosted a Startup Lounge in cooperation with the MARCIE, the Uni Mannheim Research Group on culture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Mannheim (MARCIE). The guest was Enote, a music technology startup that offers a new industry standard for sheet music, making it more accessible and affordable. The Enote app (available for macOS and iOS) gives musicians direct access to a professional sheet music library in a flexible and digital format. This format is made possible by an AI-powered optimal music recognition system.

The series of Startup Lounges ended with our famous Pitch Battle, in which the startups from the two study programs MAN 453 and MAN 633 have to compete against each other and pitch to an external jury.

As a member of the Baden-Württemberg initiative "KI Garage", we also participated in inspiring external events. Highlights were the AI London Tech Week and an event in Stuttgart ("Reaching the SDG Goals with AI") as well as the kickoff & demo day of the AI Rise Program, our own developed accelerator to support AI startups that already have a working business model on the way to becoming a scaling company. The KI-Garage is an initiative of the state government and aims to transfer scientific AI ideas into entrepreneurial ventures.

More news about the MCEI

Thomas and Prof. Woywode spent the last semester at Stanford for research purposes and participated in many MCEI activities online.

As in previous semesters, MCEI was in close contact with the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, Heidelberg University, and KIT in various formats and projects. We intensified the collaborations in the Deep Tech Hub and the engagement in the KI-Garage and the Mannheim Research Group in Culture, Innovation & Entrepreneurship (MARCIE).

We also participated in various Startup BW Summits to network even closer with our friends and colleagues from other regional unis. This is not only a great experience, but also leads to more opportunities for our students and startup partners.

Enjoy your vacations, take care and we'll see you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

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Sponsors

  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum