At the 17th edition of the GründerGeist start-up competition at the Körberforum, the start-ups supported by Startup Port performed excellently, with mo:re from Hamburg University of Technology being particularly successful and taking first place.
Last week, the final of the GründerGeist 2023 start-up competition took place at the Körberforum, directly on the Norderelbe not far from Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall. The Körber Foundation has recently stepped up its commitment to start-ups and invited guests to its “living room” for the award ceremony for the first time this year: around 200 guests attended the event, listened to interesting keynote speeches on start-up experiences and saw excellent start-ups, most of which are supported by the Startup Port. Afterwards, there was plenty of room for networking between business, investors and startups.
mo:re from the TU Hamburg won first prize
The most successful startup of the evening was the mo:re team, which impressed the jury with its vision of being able to produce customised medicines in the future without the need for animal testing. They are talking about mini-organs, 400 of which can be grown on a simple plate. The work is to be done by a robot. The problem in the pharmaceutical industry is that animal testing costs a lot of money, takes a long time and does not deliver good results, says founder Lukas Gaats. One alternative to animal testing is “cultivated mini-organs”. These simulate the organs for the tests. mo:re has developed a production line to manufacture these mini-organs. In the next step, the team wants to build up production capacity in Hamburg. “The potential is not only enormous economically, but also socially,” said laudator Katharina Froh about mo:re.
The startup received the first prize of 10,000 euros and eleven hours of counselling for its ground-breaking idea, the beginnings of which are already a reality. The founders were based at the Startup Port in Harburger Schloßstraße for a long time and are supported by the Startup Port @TUHH, whose Executive Director was delighted to be recognised by GründerGeist: “It’s great when startups like mo:re or KONVOI, which we were able to accompany and support for part of their journey, are recognised for their good ideas. They are passionate about their ideas and simply do very good work!” said Christian Salzmann.
Many Startup Port founders among the finalists
In addition to mo:re, the seven finalists selected by an expert jury from almost 50 applications included numerous other start-ups supported by Startup Port: For example, the jury awarded third place, worth 2,500 euros and eight hours of counselling, to Recyclabs from the University of Hamburg. Recyclabs has developed a process for recycling PET that can be used for bottles or clothing. In the next step, the start-up wants to build the first large-scale plant for this. CarbonStack, another finalist from the University of Hamburg, has developed a platform that simulates the growth of forests. The startup KONVOI, also from the TU Hamburg, secures lorries with its alarm system. Our former colleague Leonie Wilken was also among the finalists with her relationship app myndwerk.
More information about the GründerGeist:
Around 40 founders submitted their business plans to the competition organised by Wirtschaftsjunioren Hamburg (WJ). In the first step, the submitted business plans are evaluated by experienced practitioners from the ranks of the Hamburg Junior Chamber and the top 7 applicants are filtered out. The top 7 are then invited to a separate, high-calibre pitch training session and have the opportunity to present themselves to the jury a week later. The jury consists of experts from the Hamburg startup scene. The award ceremony is the highlight of the competition. The top three winners will receive cash and non-cash prizes totalling over 20,000 euros.