TUM – Technical University of Munich Menu
Prototyp des Flugtaxis von Lilium Aviation.
So könnte die Zukunft des Verkehrs aussehen: Prototyp des Flugtaxis von Lilium Aviation. (Bild: Lilium Aviation)
  • TUM in Rankings

Six TUM spin-offs represented on the "Forbes 30 under 30 Europe" list

Europe's most innovative young entrepreneurs

As many as six spin-offs from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) appear on this year's "Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe" list. The US magazine ranks 300 particularly innovative personalities under 30 years of age. Among the ideas developed by the entrepreneurs are a wheelchair control unit operated by head movements and a lightweight vertical take-off aircraft. At the same time the German commercial daily "Handelsblatt" has included five TUM spin-offs in its selection of "100 German Innovators". All the start-ups were supported by the TUM.

Glasschair: Controlling wheelchairs with the nod of a head

The majority of students assigned to come up with new mobility services in the Information Systems seminar concentrated on automobiles. But Claudiu Leverenz and two classmates chose a different vehicle: the wheelchair. They asked themselves how they could improve mobility for people with extensive paralysis. Their answer is an application for smart glasses making it possible to control an electric wheelchair with head movements and verbal signals alone. The commands are passed, via a Bluetooth connection, on to an adapter that connects to the external control port of most conventional wheelchair models.

Today Leverenz (27) is busy preparing to found Glasschair as a spin-off and is on the Forbes list in the category "Science and Healthcare". His team has already established a major network including users, medical supply stores, clinics and wheelchair manufacturers. After clinical testing and certification as a medical product, the intelligent wheelchair app is expected to enter the market at the beginning of 2018.

KONUX: Using artificial intelligence to maintain industrial facilities

Where is a machine not operating ideally? When will a switch have to be repaired? KONUX lets companies stay constantly informed about their industrial facilities and rail infrastructures. Sensors detect the condition of the systems, while artificial intelligence predicts future maintenance requirements and plans repair tasks. The analyses can be accessed from a cloud at any time and any place. This helps companies avoid outages and increase the service lives of their devices.

KONUX CEO Andreas Kunze (25), production manager Dennis Humhal (27) and Vlad Lata (26), in charge of technology development at the company, studied at the TUM Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Informatics, Mechanical Engineering and the TUM School of Management and founded the start-up in 2014. Today KONUX has already won renowned companies as customers, has completed several financing rounds, has opened an office in Silicon Valley, and is among the Forbes Top 30 in “Industry”.

Lilium Aviation: An air taxi for the daily commute

Reaching your destination at 300 kilometers an hour in an air taxi with no traffic jams, while using climate-friendly energy at the same time. The TUM spin-off Lilium Aviation has just presented a prototype which can make this vision a reality: An ultralight jet aircraft that takes off and lands vertically, powered by a total of 36 propellers in the wings. The engines are driven by six rechargeable batteries said to give the aircraft a range of 300 kilometers. The two-seater is not only quiet, it is also twice as efficient as current electric car models.

Matthias Meiner (29), one of the four founders of Lilium Aviation, is listed in the "30 Under 30" category "Industry". After earning his master's degree in Mechatronics at TUM, he conducted research at the DLR, Germany's federal aeronautics and space research center. He is currently in charge of flight control and aviation electronics at Lilium. The start-up recently succeeded in acquiring 10 million Euros in venture capital.

unu: Through the city on electric scooters

unu co-founder Elias Atahi (28) is also following new and environmentally friendly paths towards mobility. The electric scooter he and the founding team at unu developed is based on a vehicle whose gas-powered powertrain has been replaced with an electric one. Atahi and his colleagues have developed a modular, portable battery concept for the scooter, with a rechargeable battery that can be charged at any wall socket.

The first model of the scooter has been on the market since 2014. unu sold 4000 units in the first year alone, has in the meantime become the German market leader and is currently expanding to the Netherlands and France. Atahi is responsible for brand and product development at unu and was listed by "Forbes" in the "Industry" category. He studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at TUM.

99chairs: Interior design online

Julian Riedelsheimer (28) and the start-up 99chairs, an online platform for interior design, have entered the market and gone straight to a Forbes top ranking in the category "Retail & Commerce". In a "style-check" customers can specify their personal tastes and then receive an individual room concept from a designer. The furniture in the proposal can then be ordered through 99chairs.

Riedelsheimer earned his Bachelor's degree in Information Systems at TUM and founded 99chairs in 2014 together with TUM graduate Frank Stegert.

Celonis: Making business processes visible

At the age of only 26 Alexander Rinke is already one of the "All-Star Alumni", having already been listed in "Forbes 30 Under 30" last year as well. In 2011 Rinke, who studied Mathematics, joined two other TUM graduates in founding Celonis. The team developed what is a process mining software product which lets companies evaluate and visualize their ongoing business processes and improve them based on the results. Today Celonis is the world market leader in process mining.

Coaching, high-tech workshop and financing

Lilium Aviation (with founder Daniel Wiegand) and Celonis (with founder Martin Klenk) are also on the list of "100 German Innovators". The German daily "Handelsblatt" has also done a feature on Georg Schroth of NavVis, Thomas Kirchner of ProGlove and Christian Deilmann of Tado. NavVis has developed a navigation system for indoor spaces. ProGlove makes gloves with a built-in scanner that saves factory workers hundreds of hand movements. The digital control unit from Tado reduces the energy consumption of heating systems.

All these teams have received or are receiving long-term support from TUM’s start-up advising service. Thus for example Glasschair is currently planning its corporate founding in the "Incubator". Here the university provides office and work space – right next door to the scientists of the Entrepreneurship Research Institute, whose research results greatly help the entrepreneurs.

Glasschair constructed its prototype in the high-tech workshop "MakerSpace" at UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation. UnternehmerTUM has invested in KONUX using its own venture capital fund. Several founders have also completed the UnternehmerTUM coaching program "Manage & More" or "Kickstart", which prepares entrepreneurs for market entry.

Additional curriculum at the Center for Digital Technology and Management

Elias Atahi, Vlad Lata, and Georg Schroth are graduates of the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM), which TUM operates jointly with LMU. The CDTM offers an additional curriculum in which the students design new technologies in interdisciplinary teams, develop actual products based on them and are then prepared to found a start-up.

Since 1990 more than 800 companies have been generated by TUM. The "Start-up Radar" of the German business community's innovation agency ranks TUM number one among major German universities. 

More Information:

Corporate Communications Center

Technical University of Munich

Article at tum.de

Forscherinnen und Forscher der TUM sind am EIT KIC Urban Mobility beteiligt.

Innovation network: TUM shapes the mobility of the future

The European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) has announced the winner of the competition for the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) in the area of urban mobility. The EIT chose the consortium "MOBiLus",...

Martin Klenk, Bastian Nominacher und Alexander Rinke

The first “unicorn” from TUM

Celonis has taken its place among the “unicorns”, as the world's most successful start-ups are known: The spin-off from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has been valued by investors at 1 billion dollars. Celonis...

Das Sieger-Team von NavVis mit TUM-Vizepräsident Thomas Hofmann. (Bild: U. Benz / TUM)

Navigating indoors

The 2018 Presidential Entrepreneurship Award of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) goes to NavVis. The company develops applications for mapmaking and navigation in interior spaces, exact to the centimeter. NavVis was...

Celonis-Gründer Martin Klenk, Bastian Nominacher und Alexander Rinke

Film about start-up founders from TUM

Founded in 2011, an office in the USA in 2012, today a "unicorn": a company with a market value of over one billion US dollars. Celonis, founded by three TUM graduates, is one of the start-ups chronicled by the documentary...

TUM Vizepräsident Thomas Hofmann (r.) überreicht den Presidential Entrepreneurship Award 2017 an Andreas Kunze, einen der drei Gründer von KONUX.

Everything under control with smart sensors

KONUX began with the development of a sensor for monitoring industrial facilities. But the second step was the difference maker: combining hardware with software-based analytics. This permits such applications as real-time...

TUM Vizepräsident Thomas Hofmann (r.) überreicht den Presidential Entrepreneurship Award 2017 an Andreas Kunze, einen der drei Gründer von KONUX.

Everything under control with smart sensors

KONUX began with the development of a sensor for monitoring industrial facilities. But the second step was the difference maker: combining hardware with software-based analytics. This permits such applications as real-time...

Daniel Wiegand

Daniel Wiegand of Lilium is "Innovator of the Year"

The company itself shows the same vertical take-off potential as its planned flying taxi: Lilium GmbH, a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has been sweeping the start-up awards. The latest honor was...

Daniel Wiegand

Daniel Wiegand of Lilium is "Innovator of the Year"

The company itself shows the same vertical take-off potential as its planned flying taxi: Lilium GmbH, a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has been sweeping the start-up awards. The latest honor was...

Europa-Flagge

A week for the European idea

The European Union is essential for peace and prosperity on the continent. Nevertheless, the EU is increasingly questioned in recent times. Therefore, the TUM School of Management will hold the first „European Week“ from...

Ein Stand auf dem TUM Entrepreneurship Day 2015.

Brave new working world

Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a vital role in the start-up scene. A panel of representatives from the sciences, start-ups and major companies will have a look at the opportunities and challenges associated with AI at...

Die Konux-Gründer Denis Humhal (links), Andreas Kunze (mitte) und Vlad Lata.

Promising tech pioneers

Every year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) publishes a list of 30 promising young tech companies. In 2017, this group of technology pioneers included a start-up founded by three students from the Technical University of...

Manuel Stöffler und Michael Ziegler behaupten sich mit Grillido auf einem umkämpften Markt.

TUM spin-off wins German Entrepreneur Award

The start-up Grillido has won the German Entrepreneur Award. The Technical University of Munich (TUM) spin-off has developed a range of sausage products that contain significantly less fat than conventional sausage. The...

Jakob Bitner und das VoltStorage-Team bei der täglichen Teambesprechung.

"We need people who are better than we are"

Hire acquaintances or a grueling recruiting campaign: How do start-ups find their first employees? What makes them attractive when they can't offer much in terms of pay? Does a start-up boss have to hold an impassioned...

Naturwissenschaftlerin im Labor

TUM named best German university in QS Ranking

For the third time in a row, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has topped the German table in the “QS World University Ranking”. The list is seen as one of the world’s most prestigious university ranking systems. TUM...

Eine Drohnenaufnahme des Bildungscampus Heilbronn.

TUM goes to Heilbronn

At the initiative of the Dieter Schwarz Stiftung, a German non-profit organization, the Technical Universtity of Munich (TUM) and the TUM School of Management will get involved in the Bildungscampus Heilbronn. The three...

Sven von Alemann, Markus Demirci und Adriaan Schakel von rfrnz

Prizes for visionary start-up founders

For the first time, spin-offs from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have won all three "VisionAwards". The awards honor companies that "make their mark with a new business idea". The jury selected start-ups that...

BWL-Studierende auf dem Campus

Students give TUM very good marks

Students at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have bestowed excellent marks upon their university for the Business Administration and Information Systems programs. This is the result of the latest ranking by the...

Eine Frau und ein Mann konzentrieren sich im Büro auf einen Text

Harnessing ADHD for business success

The symptoms of ADHD foster important traits associated with entrepreneurship. That conclusion was reached in a study conducted by an international team of economists, who found that entrepreneurs with ADHD embrace new...

Gründungsberater

TUM ranked best start-up promoter

At the Technical University of Munich (TUM) students and researchers receive optimum support when founding their own companies. This conclusion was confirmed by the new "Gründungsradar" ("Start-up Radar") of the business...

Das Team von mk2 Biotechnologies bei der Verleihung der TUM IdeAwards.

The researcher as entrepreneur

Three teams received the TUM IdeAward last night for their business ideas: a new method for synthesizing peptides, a disposable sample holder which speeds up laboratory work and an electric car for rural regions in Africa....

Entrepreneurship Center auf dem Campus Garching

UnternehmerTUM declared a Digital Hub

UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at TUM, has been declared Digital Hub Mobility by German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel. UnternehmerTUM is thus one of the first five...

Vizepräsident Thomas Hofmann gratuliert den Gründern Andreas Schuster, Andreas Sichert und Richard Aumann.

Achieving start-up success with recycled energy

Converting waste heat to electricity: With a new technology this process is no longer limited to large power plants, but can also be achieved in systems at lower temperatures and in vehicles. Not only did scientists of the...

Die Cevotec-Gründer Felix Michl, Neven Majic und Thorsten Gröne vor dem Prototypen ihrer Produktionsanlage.

Double win for spin-offs of TUM

Two spin-offs of the Technical University Munich (TUM) are among the winners of the start-up contest "Weconomy": Cevotec is bringing a new technology to market that makes the production of carbon components more efficient....

Das ParkHere-Team freut sich über den Sieg im Businessplan-Wettbewerb.

A guide to free parking spaces

ParkHere, a spin-off company of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has won the 2016 Munich Business Plan Competition. The start-up has developed off-grid sensors which are able to recognize free parking spaces and...

Prof. Hana Milanov, Vizepräsidentin der TUM, und INVENOX-Geschäftsführer Martin Hammer

“A young company is like a white canvas”

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) perceives itself as an entrepreneurial university that places great importance on fostering young entrepreneurs. Since 1990 there have been over 700 spinoffs. In an interview, Martin...

Sie gehören zu den Top "30 Under 30": Alexander Rinke (Celonis), Sinan Denemec, Moritz Knoblauch und David Fehrenbach (iuvas)

Young innovators from TUM are tops in Europe

US magazine Forbes has published a list of outstanding achievers in science and healthcare under the age of 30. On the top 30 Under 30 Europe list are four entrepreneurs whose start-ups have received or are currently...

TUM-Vizepräsidentin Ehrenberger (r.) zeichnet das Celonis-Team mit dem Entrepreneurship-Award der TUM.

TUM venture is Germany's fastest-growing tech start-up

The TUM start-up company Celonis is the fastest-growing technology enterprise in Germany.  In recognition, the start-up has been honored by the management consultancy Deloitte with the Technology Fast 50 Award. Celonis...