In just four short years, three graduates of the Technical University of Munich have made their IT company the world market leader. Celonis GmbH has now received TUM's Presidential Entrepreneurship Award in recognition of this success story. The start-up company developed a tool known as process mining software to enable companies to analyze and visualize their IT-based processes, which in turn gives them better insight into their business processes. Robot builder Magazino and vaccination developer ImevaX were also nominated.
Companies' IT systems conceal endless quantities of data on the daily processes that take place in the different areas of the organization. Process mining, otherwise known as automated business process discovery, is the method by which this process data can be brought out into the open and analyzed in order to bring greater transparency into the complex business processes, thus enabling them to be improved.
This is exactly the type of technology that Martin Klenk, Bastian Nominacher and Alexander Rinke developed – based on research results they had worked on as students of Informatics, Finance and Information Managements and Mathematics at TUM. Their software can be deployed in all systems and can analyze company processes in real time. The graduates founded Celonis in 2011, and the start-up is already the world's number one in process mining. Companies from a dozen industry sectors and several different countries number among their customer base, including major global enterprises. Celonis has seen its revenues more than double every year and currently employs a staff of around 60.
The Celonis team received support from TUM's start-up consultation service and funding from an EXIST start-up grant under which the university provides a mentor and a number of workstations. It wasn't only in the start-up phase that the entrepreneurs were closely involved with the university; they are still in touch with various institutes and departments today. They are also involved in several TUM programs on entrepreneurship and career guidance, where they are also role models for students considering founding their own company.
Magazino and ImevaX nominated
Magazino GmbH builds robots that use 2D/3D cameras to measure and detect objects, as well as grasp them securely. The robots are therefore capable of being deployed in warehouses where they can autonomously bring various different items together – a task still done exclusively by humans to date. Nikolas Engelhard, one of the company's founders, studied Informatics at TUM. Besides receiving EXIST assistance, the team was supported by UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation, and benefited from the "Design Enterprise" program of the TUM Chair for Industrial Design.
ImevaX GmbH develops highly specialized vaccinations against infectious diseases that are prevalent around the world. The company focuses on the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which can cause gastric ulcers and stomach cancer. The team headed by Markus Gerhard, Professor at the TUM Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene, received support from the TUM's start-up consultation service.
TUM Presidential Entrepreneurship Award
TUM presents its Presidential Entrepreneurship Award every year to one outstanding spin-off from the fields of information and communication technology, MedTech, CleanTech or life sciences. The winner is chosen from among companies whose business concept is mainly built on research outcomes produced at TUM. Other criteria include high growth potential and secure early-stage funding. The award is endowed with a 10,000 euro cash prize. The prize money is donated by the TUM's "Bund der Freunde" (Friends of TUM). Vice President Dr. Evelyn Ehrenberger presented the award at yesterday's TUM Entrepreneurship Day, a forum providing the opportunity for those with an interest in start-ups to get together and talk to TUM advisors and start-ups.
The award is a part of TUM's entrepreneurship strategy through which the university strives to motivate students and academics to become entrepreneurs. Together with UnternehmerTUM, the university's Center for Innovation and Business Creation, it supports new firms throughout all phases of starting up their business. Since 1990, more than 700 companies currently providing some 14,000 jobs have been spun-off from within TUM. According to the latest "Start-up Radar" published by Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, the business community's innovation agency for the German science system, TUM supports start-ups better than any other major university.