From Micro-Gym to Audio Walk: Five Hessen Ideas Grants awarded to Kassel

Five Teams of the University of Kassel receive Hessen Idea Fellowships, a program designed to support innovative start-up ideas from universities in Hesse.

Bild: Poguntke.
Jan Poguntke is the founder of the Fortis project.

The projects presented by the Kassel teams cover a diverse range, from micro fitness studios and immersive local history experiences to AR systems for production in companies.

"Our society benefits from bright and creative minds that offer fresh ideas, innovative products, services, and business models to tackle the challenges of our time. Through Hessen Ideas, we strive to inspire potential founders from universities to embark on the path of self-employment and support them in transforming their entrepreneurial ideas into compelling business concepts. In doing so, we collectively shape a society that is resilient, adaptable, and future-ready. I congratulate the teams on their successful application for the Hessen Ideen Stipendium and wish them courage and perseverance on their entrepreneurial journey," says Angela Dorn, Hessen's Minister for Science and the Arts.
The Hessen Ideas Scholarship is a six-month program aimed at university students and graduates with a passion for entrepreneurship, specifically those in the early stages of developing an innovative, knowledge-based, entrepreneurial business idea. In this round, a total of 14 scholarships will be granted to teams from six universities.

Among the successful applicants from Kassel are the following teams:

1.    historyHYPE (Lukas Ferber, Marvin Kinkele, Josephine Prkno): historyHYPE seeks to make history come alive in parks, cities, and other locations through individual listening stations and audio walks.

2.    RhönReisen ohne Footprint (Dorothea Griep, Anne Mack, Olga Turiel Dorofeeva): RhönReisen supports the growing trend of sustainable vacations in local recreation areas by offering innovative types of overnight accommodations and restrooms in close proximity to hiking trails.

3.    Representation Alliance (Mehmet Eren Aslan, Kay Clobes, Alejandra Lukas): The Representation Alliance aims to establish a pool of student teachers available for substitute work and supervision.

4.    Fortis Studios (Jan Poguntke): Fortis Studios is dedicated to the installation of fully automated micro-gyms in small commercial and office spaces, which athletes or personal trainers can book by the hour.

5.    CoARTec (Johannes Pfleging): CoARTec specializes in the development of digital assistance systems for manufacturing in companies. Using AR technology, functions such as remote support, assembly instruction, ergonomics monitoring, and robot collaboration are possible.

The grant funding consists of two components: financial support and an accompanying accelerator program. The monetary support, amounting to up to 2,000 euros per month per scholarship holder, is intended to grant the founding teams the freedom to concentrate on refining their ideas. Simultaneously, they receive guidance in shaping their business ideas through the Ideas Accelerator, an encompassing coaching and workshop program.
Hessen Ideen is a collaborative initiative between the State of Hessen, Hessen's universities, and Hessen's companies. It encompasses various pillars such as Hessen Ideen Stipendium, Hessen Ideen Wettbewerb, Hessen Ideen Crowdfunding, and the Hessen Ideen Hochschulnetzwerk, all of which are aimed at discovering and promoting entrepreneurial ideas within the universities.
The initiative is jointly coordinated by UniKasselTransfer at the University of Kassel in collaboration with HIGHEST from the Technical University of Darmstadt. The state of Hesse is generously supporting the Hessen Ideen initiative with 5.4 million euros until 2025 as part of the Hessian Higher Education Pact. Further information can be found at www.hessen-ideen.de.