07. May 2021

Two start-up teams from the University of Bonn win the NUK business plan competition Two start-up teams from the University of Bonn win the NUK business plan competition

ClingTechBionics and RecaPen take first and second place

A successful evening for start-up projects from science. These are the words to describe the 26th NUK Business Plan Competition, which took place in Cologne at the beginning of May 2021. The two teams ClingTechBionics and RecaPen, with members from the University of Bonn and closely supervised by the advisors from the Transfer Center enaCom, won first and second prize. Their business plans and highly competent teams convinced the jury. RecaPen also won the audience award for the best pitch.

The team of ClingTechBionics, Dr. Petra Ditsche and Christian Grünewald, together with the moderator Anna-Lena Kümpel at their award ceremony at the NUK business plan competition.
The team of ClingTechBionics, Dr. Petra Ditsche and Christian Grünewald, together with the moderator Anna-Lena Kümpel at their award ceremony at the NUK business plan competition. © Screenshot Youtube-Kanal NUK
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"A great success. A great evaluation by the jury. This really promises excellent development." With these congratulations, NRW minister and NUK patron Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart awarded the first prize of 7,500 euros to Dr. Petra Ditsche and Christian Grünewald from ClingTechBionics. The jury also praised the innovative product and the "excellent business plan". In addition, the team impressed the jury by explaining complex topics in a way that was understandable even to non-experts.
ClingTechBionics internationally markets a bionic high-tech suction cup that enables strong, reversible attachment even to rough, textured surfaces. Applications are diverse, including attachments in swimming pools, on rough tiles, in industrial production or for marking whales for research purposes. At the University of Washington, Petra Ditsche researched the biomechanics of the ventral suction cup of the Northern Clingfish, which can attach itself to rough rocks in the surf zone, and transferred the principle to an engineered suction cup. Last summer, the scientist recruited Christian Grünewald to join the team as a materials scientist, and both are currently developing the suction cup further into a finished product for series production as part of an EXIST start-up grant at the Nees Institute at the University of Bonn in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. "The next step will be the founding of the company very soon," Petra Ditsche revealed the next steps for ClingTechBionics.

Second place and audience award for medical product


The jury was also "completely convinced" by RecaPen's business plan and awarded the four future founders the second prize of the competition, endowed with 3,000 euros. According to the jury's assessment, the team had convincingly conveyed the customer benefits even to people outside the field. Praise also came from the laudator Rainer Virnich, Chairman of the Board of NUK e.V., who was "100 percent convinced" that the project would be a success. With the RecaPen, the team of three medics and one economist (Moritz Breuer, Max Luckmann, Felix Klingbiel, Lukas Overkott) has developed a product for reliable and at the same time inexpensive monitoring of skin blood flow during and after operations, e.g. in plastic surgery. Now the RecaPen is to be certified and launched on the market.
The RecaPen team also demonstrated their ability to present the medical expertise surrounding their product in a clear, realistic and understandable way during the live pitch and convinced the audience during the voting. In addition to second place in the main competition, the four also won the audience prize of 250 euros. "We had a lot of great experiences here at the whole competition," says team member Max Luckmann happily. And thus sums up a successful evening.

The founding team of RecaPen in their introduction video at the NUK business plan competition.
The founding team of RecaPen in their introduction video at the NUK business plan competition. © Screenshot Youtube NUK

Here is a video of the whole event.

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