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University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 041/2021, 08 April 2021

Two EXIST start-up scholarships for the University of Bayreuth

As part of the EXIST start-up scholarship programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, co-financed by the European Social Fund, the University of Bayreuth has received two EXIST start-up scholarships worth € 279,000 in total. The two start-up teams “Myriad” and “DataQ Intelligence” will be funded by these grants. The “Myriad” start-up team is developing intelligent indoor vegetable cultivation systems, while the creators of “DataQ Intelligence” are working on methods of quality testing, trouble-shooting, and error correction.

“We are very proud that the University of Bayreuth has been awarded two EXIST grants. And we at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation are happy for the two start-up teams, because EXIST offers great financial help, especially in the early phases of a start-up”, explains Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Isidor, who is Chair of Human Resource Management & Intrapreneurship and Director of Intrapreneurship at the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innnovation at the University of Bayreuth. “The success of these young entrepreneurs is an inspiration to everyone at the Institute, and shows that it was the right decision to expand our offerings in start-up consulting even further.”

The Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University of Bayreuth – only formally founded in December 2020 – is unique in the way it combines the fields of research, teaching, and knowledge transfer. It represents a veritable start-up hub for all interested parties, providing access to the future-oriented topics of entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, and innovation. Moreover, the Institute and its entrepreneurial spirit are set to extend their network, not just on campus, but across the region.


Part of the Myriad founding team: Miriam Martín González and Yannic Hönle.

„Myriad“ develops intelligent systems for growing vegetables indoors

The “Myriad” project, which started at the beginning of March, is about developing an intelligent indoor garden. It will enable users without previous experience in gardening to grow a wide variety of fruiting vegetables, herbs, and medicinal plants in a small space. The plants will flourish without the use of pesticides right on the user's premises, and be available fresh all year round. EXIST scholarship holder Miriam Martín González, Yannic Hönle and Christian Sutter are supported by their mentor Prof. Dr. Stephan Clemens. Clemens is Chair of Plant Physiology at the University of Bayreuth and is Founding Dean of the new Faculty VII of Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition & Health at the Kulmbach campus.

“Success like this gives us a boost in our development work in the field of food. And the emergence of a start-up culture in the area of nutrition, both in Bayreuth and at our new faculty in Kulmbach, is something we definitely embrace”, explains Clemens. Myriad founding team member Yannic Hönle adds: “EXIST will make the production of Myriad prototypes possible without the need to attract investors. After all, even small series production by deep-tech start-ups typically cost several tens of thousands of euros. What’s more, thanks to the funding, we can clarify legal questions concerning data protection, for example, which plays a central role in data-driven business models. And of course we are also very happy to have our own office and workshop.”


“DataQ Intelligence” develops methods for quality assessment

Dr Julian Henn, Dr Sławomir Domagala and Petrick Nourd are working on data quality for diffraction data and developing innovative methods of quality testing, trouble-shooting, and error correction. The team aims to identify and correct errors in the scientific datasets of diffraction experiments via “software as a service” with a server that is accessible 24/7 worldwide.

“We are very proud that we were able to acquire this considerable funding with the support of the University of Bayreuth. This is a great opportunity for our young founders”, says mentor Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Isidor. “Our team is highly motivated and looking forward to what the funding period will bring”, adds Julian Henn. As part of his position as a University of Bayreuth postdoc with DFG third-party funding he acquired independently, founding team member Julian Henn has had the opportunity to immerse himself most profitably in the topic of “Systematic Errors in Diffraction Data” while working on his habilitation thesis. “In the process, I realized that this topic is not only of scientific importance, but also of practical and economic significance. We now need to tap into this – and thanks to the EXIST programme, we can give it our undivided attention.”

EXIST - start-ups from science

EXIST is a funding programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), the programme supports start-ups from science sector. “One of the purposes of EXIST is to improve the start-up environment at universities and non-university research institutions. The aim is to increase the number and success of technology-oriented and knowledge-based start-ups”, says BMWi. The programme supports university graduates, researchers, and students in preparing their technology-oriented and knowledge-based start-ups. In addition, EXIST promotes a lively and sustainable start-up culture at public and private universities by means of competitions. EXIST funds teams of up to three people for twelve months: doctoral students receive € 3,000 per month, graduates € 2,500 per month, and undergraduates € 1,000 per month. In addition, teams are provided with € 30,000 in material resources, and € 5,000 for coaching. Applications for funding can be submitted at any time, and the application is made by the university.

For further information, see: www.exist.de/DE/Programm/Exist-Gruenderstipendium



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