KTUR Startup & Innovation Nights

Within the framework of the project “Knowledge Transfer Upper Rhine” (KTUR), the “KTUR Startup & Innovation Nights” will take place for the first time. On two consecutive evenings, universities, startups, companies and intermediaries of the Upper Rhine region will have the opportunity to get to know each other and to exchange experiences and ideas on how the innovation network in the Upper Rhine region can grow and gain more supraregional attention.

Please register for the virtual event until April 16, 2021.

Innovation events

FIRST EVENING APRIL 21, 2021 (5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.)


Welcome: Prof. Dr. Kerstin Krieglstein (Rector, University of Freiburg)


Introduction KTUR project: Dagmar Vössing (KIT, Karlsruhe)


Keynote: Dr. Gunther Wobser (CEO, Lauda GmbH)


Panel – Discussion


Prof. Dr. Michel de Mathelin

(Vice-President, University of Strasbourg)


Fabienne Buhler

(Campus Manager, KMØ, Mulhouse)


Dr. Danuta Cichocka

(CEO, Co-Founder, Resistell AG, Basel)


Hans Joachim Fröhlich

(Director Technology and Portfolio, Endress + Hauser, Reinach)


Martin Horn

(Lord Mayor, City of Freiburg)


Caroline Hein 

(Member of Board, Foundersclub Freiburg) 

Discussion with Audience



Portraits: Speakers and Panelists of the 1st Day

Gunther Wobser has been running LAUDA  for 25 years and is the CEO and main shareholder of the group. He is also an active angel investor (www.mango.ventures) and member of the Band of Angels, Silicon Valley’s oldest seed funding organization. Driven by entrepreneurship and innovation Gunther Wobser holds several patents and has recently founded a startup promoting his own patented furniture. Recently he published his findings of innovation: “Neu Erfinden – Was der Mittelstand vom Silicon Valley lernen kann” at Beshu Books Berlin.

Fabienne Buhler

Fabienne Buhler has 14 years of experience in digital communication, including 8 years as a project manager for a non-profit organisation helping start-ups build their projects and reach their market and 4 years dedicated to the pharmaceutical industry. She is now part of the managing team of KMØ, a French ecosystem hosting SMEs and mid-caps industrial and digital companies, trainings, an incubator and an accelerator. Fabienne Buhler has also created a training program for self-taught school dropouts in the digital field.


Dr. Danuta Cichocka

Danuta Cichocka is a founder and CEO of the Swiss startup Resistell AG, developing world’s fastest antibiotic susceptibility test (AST). Danuta is a microbiologist by training and completed her academic career at Helmholtz Centre in Leipzig (PhD), KU Leuven (post-doc) and finally as a senior researcher at FHNW in Basel. At Resistell she is responsible for the company’s strategy development, general management, fundraising and clinical development and validation of the core technology.


Prof. Dr. Michel de Mathelin

Since 2013, Michel de Mathelin is head of ICube, an engineering and computer science research institute, with more than 650 people. He has been elected Vice-President of the University of Strasbourg in 2016 for innovation and relationships with the socio-economic world. He develops key domain of activities such as technology transfer, continuous education and entrepreneurship, with one central goal: fostering as much as possible collaborations between the academic and economic worlds.


Dipl.-Wirtschaftsing. Hans Joachim Fröhlich

Holding a degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Hamburg University, Hans spent the first five years of his career with Air Liquide in France, China, and Germany, followed by 14 years in various technical and leadership roles with SGL Carbon. He joined Endress+Hauser in 2012 with responsibilities extending from technology and portfolio management to strategic innovation process management with numerous touch points to external technology networks and work groups. Hans represents Endress+Hauser on the board of microTEC Südwest e.V., as well as on the VDI AUTOMATION Program Committee.


Caroline Hein

As a member of the Foundersclub Freiburg, a student initiative for entrepreneurship, Caroline Hein loves to organize events with the team for other students with her great passion for digital products, innovative business models and sustainability. Caroline studies Embedded Systems Engineering and loves to exchange and study internationally, establish relations and partnerships with other students and initiatives to cooperate on projects.


Martin W. W. Horn

Martin W. W. Horn, Lord Mayor of Freiburg im Breisgau since July 2018. He studied International Social Work at the University of Applied Sciences in Ludwigsburg and then completed a Master’s degree in “European and World Politics”. Until he took office in Freiburg, Horn was the European and Development Coordinator of the city of Sindelfingen and, among other things, Executive Director of the European city network Eurotowns. Martin W. W. Horn is married and has three children. [Photo: Stadt Freiburg/Patrick Seeger]

SECOND EVENING APRIL 22, 2021 (5:00 p.m. - 8:20 p.m.)


Welcome & Opening: Prof. Dr. Rolf Schofer (Rector, University of Furtwangen)


Keynote: Dr. Michael Lauk, CEO neuroloop GmbH, CEO B. Braun New Ventures GmbH


Session I: Startup Cluster – Showroom Upper Rhine

Cluster I: Health/Life Sciences

Moderation: Malaika Lauk (Lauk Ventures)

Aquarray GmbH
BioCopy Holding AG
credentis ag
Dermagnostix GmbH
FIAMI UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
KetoSwiss AG
Qaelon Medical

Cluster II: Green Tech

Moderation: Antoine Parmetier (SATT Conectus)

AquAero GmbH
greenventory GmbH
Grimm Water Solutions UG
heliopas.ai GmbH
Zubrod Environmental Data Science




Session II: Fostering & Promoting the Innovation Ecosystem

Workshop 1: 


Informing, connecting, communicating – building up a platform for
entrepreneurial activities

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Martin Haimerl                         

(University of Furtwangen)

Workshop 2: 

Student Club: 

Sending out the Spirit of Entrepreneurship                       

Moderator: Helena Bresser, Caroline Hein 

(Foundersclub Freiburg)


Workshop 3: 


International Entrepreneurship – The Drivers and Challenges for Going International                               

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Harald v. Korflesch           

(University Koblenz Landau)

Workshop 4: 


New Flame of Innovation in SME

Moderator: Dr. Hans Jürgen Lesser (A. Raymond, St. Louis)

Marcus Neubronner (Sick AG, Waldkirch)



Conclusion and Look-out



Portraits: Keynote, Startups and Workshops of the 2nd Day

Michael Lauk is a serial entrepreneur focused on medical devices. He has 25 years of experience in business as well as research in the healthcare field. In 2016 he co-founded neuroloop GmbH, a spin-off from the University of Freiburg designing an active implant to lower blood-pressure.

Besides neuroloop, he co-founded several other start-ups in Europe and the US, where he worked in different management and board positions. Michael earned his PhD in physics in Freiburg and Boston.

Moderater: Malaika Lauk

She is Chief Executive Officer of the Lauk Ventures GmbH and she has been building new ventures and actively helping to successfully manage companies and develop and introduce new products in the life sciences for over 20 years. For this purpose she worked in Germany and the USA as life science company builder such as for seleon GmbH, TNI medical AG and respEQ Inc.. She lives in Freiburg and is engaged in the field of digital technologies in healthcare and improving conditions for start-ups.


Moderator: Dario Meyer

Dario is a research associate at University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Northwestern Switzerland. His research focuses on business model innovation, entrepreneurship and its ecosystem. He is a PhD-Candidate at the University of Essex. He had previously started his own companies and has been a business mentor, mainly in Southern and Western Africa, for over five years.


With the droplet microarray technology, Aquarray GmbH has brought a new, innovative product onto the market that has the potential to become a game changer in the field of high-throughput cell screening, drug discovery and, at the same time, sustainability through lower reagent consumption. Our products can be applicable in the pharmaceutical, diagnostics, biotechnology and chemistry sectors. Particularly in relation to cell screening and its application in the field of personalized medicine, an automated screening system will be available to oncologists in the future. [LinkedIn]


BioCopy is a spin-off of the University Freiburg. Our core technology is the biomolecule copier. Basically we take DNA from solution, make monoclonal pixels and copy them with the right biochemsitry and surfaces into DNA, RNA or proteinarrays. Such copier can be used for many many applications. We proposed already 2015, that it may help to find vaccines in case of pandemics (https://youtu.be/g3QOD37tT5g). We like to show “how we hunt” now SARS-COV2 mutants. [LinkedIn


credentis – Innovations for tooth preservation: credentis is breaking new ground in keeping teeth healthy and protecting them. In odontogenesis, the three-dimensional amelogenin matrix enables crystallisation and orderly crystal growth of calcium phosphate. Science needs strong partners. credentis can count on a university network and is in constant exchange of knowledge with leading institutes of dentistry in Europe and the USA.


We are Dermagnostix, an interdisciplinary team of dermatologists, biologists and engineers and we are the first to offer comprehensive molecular diagnostics of skin diseases. New and highly effective therapies need modern diagnostics to help patients in the best possible way. We have identified markers that will allow precise diagnosis and prediction of therapy response. Our microfluidic tests automate all steps from sample preparation to analysis in a cost-effective and user-friendly manner. 


FIAMI – Find a Midwife is an online platform that connects midwives with pregnant women for personal care before and after birth. FIAMI started the service around Karlsruhe, where they could already help hundreds of pregnant women. For midwives the app makes the daily planning of their own capacities much easier. FIAMI offers this service to any pregnant woman who can support it in the form of a voluntary payment. The expansion across the state is currently in planning.


KetoSwiss is a Swiss biotechnology start-up that develops “brain fuels” as 1) nutraceuticals (/supplements) and 2) pharmaceuticals for the therapy of migraines (“MigraKet”), which are efficacious and close to the root cause of migraine, but without adding intolerable side effects. In later stages of development, the portfolio can be extended to other neurological diseases characterized by metabolic dysfunction, such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). [LinkedIn] [Facebook]


Qaelon Medical is a Spin-off from IHU Strasbourg, and laureate of 22nd Edition of iLab innovation competition. Qaelon Medical is a startup company that was born in the surgical environment and nurtured by surgeons. We embrace innovative design in the development of medical solutions that address unmet clinical needs in the domain of surgical leak detection and management. Our intraoperative leak detection system provides reliable measurement of the integrity of organ closure after a surgical procedure to improve patient safety by preventing leaks.


SPARTHA Medical is a Deeptech company from INSERM 1121. It is specialises in the development of multifunctional coatings for medical devices. Our patented coatings have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects while avoiding bacterial resistance. We develop customised, implant-specific coatings that reduce implant-related complications. The coatings are intended for almost all complex surfaces of a wide range of medical devices (implants, dressings, surgical materials, …). [LinkedIn]

Moderator: Antoine Parmentier

Antoine Parmentier is the external relations manager of the TTO SATT Conectus Alsace. 

An experienced professional tech transfer, international marketing, institutional relations, and business development in industrial and high-tech environments, he has over 20 years of professional experience and had lived abroad 10 years, and is bilingual in French and English.

A transverse thinker with a strategic mindset, he has a wide range of interests in all facets of innovation, in particular green technologies and the ongoing ecological transition.


Moderator: Philipp Rottmann 

By founding two startups in the media/digital sector together and through his time in the startup office at the University of Freiburg, Philipp can competently advise startups. He knows the work of large accelerators from the startups’ point of view and thus brings in essential impulses for the program design.Philipp is familiar with financing issues in detail and is a pre-seed professional.  At >SMART> GREEN ACCELERATOR, he manages and designs the programmes with a focus on green energy and green industry.


Today, in industrialized countries, 12– 25 % of the total industrial energy consumption is used for material drying, mainly driven by fossil fuels at the cost of gigantic CO2 emissions. AquAero has developed a drying technology able to reduce the energy consumption by up to 70% and to cut the CO2 emissions by up to 95% while maintaining high product quality and productivity at the same time. The innovation merges a superheated steam dryer with a mechanical vapour recompressor for heat recovery.


BLACKLEAF makes today graphene affordable for the industry, at the most competitive price. Thanks to an ecofriendly water-based process, BLACKLEAF has developed a disruptive way to produce large graphene quantity in a cheaper, faster and greener way, with proven record concentrations (up to 800g/L) and with a high level of quality. The price of graphene is not any longer an issue as BLACKLEAF turns this 2D material into a real competitive perspective for the European industry. To implement this FLG in a smart way, BLACKLEAF holds in parallel two proprietary patents to realize innovative graphene-based coatings on all materials and geometries bringing higher performances for various applications (electrical conduction on polymers, anti-corrosion or surface heating) with a lower environmental footprint and at a better competitive cost.


ConstellR is a space data and services company leading the way in delivering daily, global land surface temperature maps for the Agritech industry. ConstellR provides the fundamental global data for smart crop monitoring, identifying changes in crop health days to weeks before they become visible and enabling farmers to react early to problems. To achieve that, ConstellR operates a swarm of small satellites, precisely measuring the actual temperature of crops at a sub-field level on a daily basis on a global scale.


Imagine the google maps of energy. It is a map, it calculates the best way to reach your destination and it dynamically adjusts with new information. greenventory is that solution for cities, energy utilities and grid operators. Our product is a SaaS solution for the automated, digital mapping of energy systems and the route planning to transform them into carbon neutral systems.

greenventory is a high-tech start-up and spin-off of the Fraunhofer ISE and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. [LinkedIn]


GWS is a high-tech start-up and innovation driver in the field of Smart Water Cities. As an agile technology company, GWS contributes to the success of the digital transformation in the water industry and ensures resource-efficient and competitive operations. Using state-of-the-art technologies and AI methods, GWS increases the security of supply and resilience of municipalities, water utilities and industry in the face of the challenges of climate change, the energy transition and urbanization.


Heliopas.ai GmbH was founded in the environment of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and became known through the product WaterFox. This enables hundreds of farmers to get detailed information about the situation on their fields on a daily basis. For this purpose, measurements from satellites, weather stations and many other sensors with BigData data volumes are analyzed using the company’s own artificial intelligence.


As the company parking lot continues to fill up, it is becoming essential for companies to integrate the impact of daily commute into HR. How to meet the legal obligations of mobility & CSR, while saving man time is now a daily challenge. Oxycar is the innovative solution for company carpooling & biking with cost and time savings for both employees and employer. Our system will directly match drivers with passengers for a successful carpool and HR will have access to a complete CO2 & CSR report. 


Zubrod Environmental Data Science, based in Landau, Germany, provides support for all questions relating to the acquisition, analysis and presentation of environmental data. Whether it is a question that can be answered with classical statistical methods or those that require the use of modern machine learning classification methods, whether static visualisations or live dashboards are needed: here, customers find solutions to optimally use and present their environmental data.

What is necessary for developing a successful start-up? Of course, it is about good ideas, innovative technologies, and entrepreneurial spirit. But, it also requires basic knowledge about setting up a start-up and a broad network of valuable partners. This workshop wants to find out which tools help to achieve this. It discusses ideas for establishing a central platform providing important bits of information and enabling communication with peers, investors, and other potential partners. 


Prof. Dr. Martin Haimerl 

Martin Haimerl received his diploma in Computer Science as well as his PhD from the University of Karlsruhe. His PhD thesis addressed modality-specific processing of medical images. In 2003, he joined Brainlab and worked in different roles in the field of image guided surgery. Since 2016, he is a Professor for medical technology at the University of Applied Sciences in Furtwangen (Campus Tuttlingen) as well as the scientific director of the Innovation and Research Center Tuttlingen.

How can we promote the start-up culture at universities? One key to more entrepreneurship is the students themselves. In this workshop, the Foundersclub Freiburg, a university initiative of students from all disciplines at the University of Freiburg, will show how much startup culture should already be present in the study programs, how important networking is also outside of the university, and how it is ultimately possible to spread you the “Spirit of Entrepreneurship”.

Caroline Hein

As a member of the Foundersclub Freiburg, a student initiative for entrepreneurship, Caroline Hein loves to organize events with the team for other students with her great passion for digital products, innovative business models and sustainability. Caroline studies Embedded Systems Engineering and loves to exchange and study internationally, establish relations and partnerships with other students and initiatives to cooperate on projects.

Internationalisation of business activities obviously provides many growth-related opportunities, be it for established firms or start-ups. During this workshop, firstly we will discuss your insights and experiences into this topic. Secondly, we will also reflect the internationalisation potential of the Upper-Rhine Region by looking at commonalities and differences between Swizerland, France, and Germany. Thirdly and lastly, we will systematically summarise our results and conclude with further action needs.


Prof. Dr. Harald v. Korflesch

Dr. Harald von Korflesch is an entrepreneurship professor at the University in Koblenz and Director of a central research institute on entrepreneurship and international transfer. His background is in business administration and organisation design. He founded the School of Entrepreneurial Design Thinking at the University in Koblenz and supported more than 100 entrepreneurial teams with his team. One of his research foci is on international entrepreneurship. [Photo: Henriette Kriese ]

The ability of companies to innovate has never been as important as it is today. However, how do innovations enter the company, how can employees be involved in this process and what role does the company’s own corporate culture play? In this context, intrapreneurship is one approach to promote innovative ability in the company. Together with two experienced innovation managers, Dr. Hans Jürgen Lesser from A. Raymond and Marcus Neubronner from SICK AG, we discuss the possibilities of bringing innovation into the company in this workshop. 


Dr. Hans Jürgen Lesser

Hans-Jürgen Lesser joined ARaymond in 1988 with responsibilities in Quality and R&D. Since 2008 he is Chief Innovation Officer for the ARaymond Network. In 2012 he has been nominated as Co-Gérant of the ARaymond Innovation Hub in Saint-Louis, France. His main mission at ARaymond is to develop an Innovation Culture all over the company. From 2018 until 2020 he was the Chairman of the University Council of DHBW Lörrach. From April 1st 2021 he can enjoy the retirement and exploring a wide-open future.


Marcus Neubronner

After completing his studies in “Mechatronics Trinational” at the DHBW in Lörrach in 2002, Marcus Neubronner started as a Key Account Manager at Rietschle Thomas in Schopfheim. Since 2007, he has been with SICK AG in Product Management and Business Development for Asia Pacific. In 2018, he became head of the SICK Startup Initiative Customer Trainings developing and implementing methods and business models to build the competence for employees and customers around I4.0 and digital transformation.


We want to bring innovation actors together and build a creative and open network in the Upper Rhine region! We are looking forward to creative startups from the region, researchers interested in transfer, motivated students, networking intermediaries, innovation-focused companies and other interested actors who want to help push our innovation network.


Our keynote speaker Gunther Wobser, CEO of Lauda, a medium-sized company in Middle Franconia and manufacturer of temperature control units, has completed an “apprenticeship year” in Silicon Valley. In his keynote, he reports on what motivated him to think outside the box, what valuable experience he gained and why he advises every entrepreneur to leave the “comfort zone” for a change. Last October, based on his experiences, his book “Reinventing: What SMEs Can Learn from Silicon Valley” was published.

Our guests on our panel on the first evening include the Lord Mayor of Freiburg, Martin Horn, who is committed to an innovative metropolitan region on the Upper Rhine and bringing Eucor cities and universities to the table. Michel de Mathelin, Vice-Rector and Professor of the University of Strasbourg, will explain how the research achievements of universities can become a benefit for society and the economy. Swiss company Endress + Hauser provides insight into how it collaborates with external startups and in-house “corporate startups” to bring new technologies and know-how into the company. The campus Manager of the private, French Ecosystem Kilomètre Zéro (KMØ) in Mulhouse, Fabienne Buhler, shows how an innovation hub of startups, SMEs and academies can succeed on an old industrial site of 11,000 sqm. The Basel-based startup Resistell is not only among the top 10 of the Swiss StartUP Awards 2020, but also took second place in the Swiss Innovation Challenge in the same year. The co-founder, Danuta Cichocka, reports on the startup’s future plans and tells us why the border triangle is the optimal location for the spin-off. The Foundersclub Freiburg has set itself the task of igniting a spirit of entrepreneurship at the university. The student initiative is committed to realizing the dream of one’s own company with a colorful program of events and workshops.


Our Startup Showroom will be opened by a keynote speaker who manages to juggle many jobs at the same time and knows the startup world inside out from different perspectives. Michael Lauk is a physicist (educated at the University of Freiburg), himself the founder of eight companies in the medical technology sector, a business angel, “on the side” still voluntarily involved in several associations and a big fan of the Upper Rhine region, whose potential he would like to further enhance in cooperation with other network partners in the future.

Our region is full of innovations and good ideas. That’s why we are giving our regional startups a platform in two selected showrooms “Health – Life Sciences” and “Green Tech” to present themselves here, to network with companies and to continue thinking together about the idea of an Upper Rhine innovation ecosystem. We are looking forward to entertaining pitches, new partnerships and creative ideas for the region.


Of course, our KTUR partners are also represented at the “KTUR Startup & Innovation Nights”. Four workshops give the opportunity to get in direct contact with KTUR networkers. We present our platform “Guideline GO”, give the opportunity to get to know the creative projects of the Foundersclub Freiburg and to get involved in the student network, dedicate ourselves to the topic of internationalization of startups and discuss with experienced companies how innovative thinking can be activated in SMEs.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Note: The event will be held virtually. You will receive the dial-in details for the virtual event on April 20, 2021.

Dr. Frauke Lorenzen

Project Manager “Startups Upper Rhine“

E-Mail: frauke.lorenzen@zv.uni-freiburg.de

Britta Laskowski

Marketing & Events

E-Mail: britta.laskowski@zv.uni-freiburg.de

Copyright Picture: istock.com/Rawpixel

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