TUM IdeAward Terms and Conditions of Participation

1. Entry Conditions and Restrictions

  • The IdeAward is aimed at scientists, graduates (Bachelor, Master, PhD), employees and alumni (up to 5 years after graduation) of the Technische Universität München (TUM) with technologies and ideas from science and research.
  • The participation in the competition can be done as an individual or a team. Only one idea can be submitted per person and team. 
  • A team must consist of 50% TUM scientists and/or graduates. The other 50% can be students or external members. In case of an individual, it must be a TUM scientist, employee and/or graduate.
  • The competition is thematically open.
  • The application deadline is 05 July 2020. Applications received after this date will not be considered.
  • Ideas that have already been implemented in existing companies or companies where related business activities have already been initiated, are excluded from entry. This condition also applies if the company was founded outside Germany. 
  • Furthermore, ideas are excluded which are already financed by funding programmes such as EXIST or similar.
  • Reapplication is possible.
  • Founding may not take place until the prize is awarded.
  • Legal recourse is excluded.

2. Organizers

The organizers of the IdeAwards are the Technische Universität München, UnternehmerTUM GmbH, and the Zeidler Research Foundation, henceforth referred to as the “organizers”.

3. Registration and Application Phases

  • To participate in the IdeAward, an application is required.
  • The application proceeds in two phases:

Phase 1 (15.06.-05.07.2020):

For the first phase please submit:

  • A short description of the idea using the online application form for IdeAward 2020.
  • The online form TUM Start-up advising - TUM IdeAward

After an initial selection, the best ideas and projects will be admitted to phase 2.

Phase 2 (28.07.-10.09.2020):

The selected teams will be invited to submit the following documents and take note of the following dates:

  • Clarification of the patent situation and requirements via TUM ForTe Patents & Licenses with deadline 10.09.2020
  • Idea Draft to be sent as a PDF to  ideaward(at)tum.de including:
    • ten-page detailed draft of the idea 
    • CVs of the team members as an attachment to the idea draft
    • A profile sheet on which the idea is presented (Format: DIN A0; this should function as a teaser, and not be a promotional poster). Please note: The final version of the profile sheet must be agreed before publication at the award ceremony with patents and licenses by the beginning of November
    • Other attachments will not be considered
  • Participation in a one-day pitch training, led by an external coach



  • Throughout phases 1 and 2, all teams should be available to answer any questions by phone or email.
  • The following formalities apply: Arial font, font size 11, line spacing 1.5 
  • The rules to be observed when preparing the competition entry are described in the registration form on the IdeAward website.
  • Only competition entries filed to deadline in the given periods of Phase 1 and Phase 2, and which are formally correct and on the specified media will be considered.
  • Competition entries will not be returned after the competition close.

4. Awards and Prizes

  • The sketches of ideas submitted in phase 2 will be submitted to a jury. These sketches of ideas will be evaluated by the jury in the four categories: Innovation content and state of the art, market and competition, team and implementation perspective. In addition, all participants in phase 2 will present their ideas to the jury members in a short presentation followed by a question and answer session. The short presentation is also included in the evaluation of the ideas.

  • The composition of the jury will be announced at the short presentation.

  • The awards for the three best ideas will take place on 26 November 2020. The first place winner will receive prize money of € 15,000.00. Second place will receive € 12,500.00 and third place € 10,000.00.
  • The three winners of the IdeAward also receive individual consulting services from TUM Gründungsberatung. These are recorded in a start-up roadmap for the next steps of the idea development. 
  • The prize money is to be used for the further development of the idea. There are no concrete guidelines for its use. It is usually paid out in two stages. The first half of the prize money is paid out directly after the award ceremony, the second half after the interim presentation.
  • By accepting the prize money, the teams commit to holding an interim presentation for representatives of the organizer, approximately 3 months after the award, and a final presentation to present the project's progress after 6 months.
  • In the absence of prize-worthy entries, the awards ceremony will be waived.

5. Cancellation of Competition

The organizers reserve the right to cancel the contest without prior notice or obligation. Participants retain no claims to any specific prize.

6. Confidentiality and Data Protection

  • The ideas and documents submitted by the contestants will be treated confidentially and used exclusively for the purposes of the competition.
  • The participants agree that their submitted documents and data will be forwarded to the jury. The organizers agree not to redistribute the submitted short descriptions and idea drafts to third parties without the consent of the participant. This applies both to the duration of the competition as well as the period thereafter.
  • Competitors consent to the publication (TUM publications, press releases) of the submitted ideas admitted to Phase 2.
  • All documents and data, if not permission is not explicitly refused, will, after the conclusion of the competition, be included in the database of the TUM start-up network for the purpose of possible subsequent contact. In the event of refusal of permission, the data will be deleted after the contest.

7. Liability

  • The organizer shall be liable to the competitors for damages only if they have been caused intentionally or through gross negligence. Liability for lost profit is excluded. The limitations do not apply for damages resulting from injury to life, limb, or health.
  • Participants exempt the organizer from all possible claims by third parties that could be derived from any violations of copyrights, industrial property rights, trade secrets, or other rights due to the documents submitted.
  • The organizers assume no liability for the correctness of the statements made by judges and other persons participating in the competition.

8. Miscellaneous

  • Ideas and inventions that have arisen in the course of employment at TUM are to be treated in accordance with the TUM IP Policy (Intellectual Property Strategy) (see also: www.forte.tum.de/technologietransfer/tum-patentpolitik/)
  • The judges’ decision is final.
  • Should individual provisions of these terms and conditions of participation be or become wholly or partly invalid, the validity of the remaining provisions shall not be affected.