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Do you have a great idea? Then the yearly-run UniKat Ideas Competition is the place to be at Kassel University. Run as part of the Open Innovation project, The UniKat Ideas Competition is designed to support the incubation of innovative ideas from the whole of Kassel University.

Entrants compete against each other to win prizes, including extra consultancy services from Kassel University’s Incubator Service, access to business networks, and cash prices. And to draw on the university’s latent innovation capability of over 22,000 students and more than 2,500 employees, students, employees and alumni from all faculties are all invited to participate.

All ideas are evaluated regarding their innovative and entrepreneurial potential, with entrants pitching their ideas to successful entrepreneurs from the regional business network. The jury then selects from the ten most promising ideas, with the winning ideas announced at the awards ceremony.

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Participants discussing their ideas.

On July 2nd, prospective entrepreneurs met on a ship on the Fulda River to discuss their business ideas, to network, and to prepare for the entry deadline at the end of July. The team at Kassel University’s Incubator Services talked with already registered and prospective participants, as well as answering questions regarding the competition. Perhaps more importantly, the ship was an ideal place to connect with other creative and innovative people.

This year’s UniKat Ideas Competition is the continuation of competitions run in 2011 and 2012. Last year, 76 employees and students of Kassel University submitted their ideas to the competition. The winning idea was for a suit simulating the movements of older people in order to allow the specific development of tools and services for older people.

Meanwhile, the special prize for technology was awarded for the concept of the SQUID, an autonomous robot system that runs on ceiling-mounted guide wires enabling new operational scenarios. Demonstrating the quality of the UniKat Ideas Competition, SQUID then later won the international ideas competition “Converge Challenge Open Innovation” at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh for the “Best Open Innovation Idea”.

The results for UniKat 2013 will be announced at the award ceremony on October 10th, 2013.

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