Something that does not yet exist: HHU students and researchers have amazing ideas and want to implement them. This year's idea competition of the Center for Entrepreneurship Düsseldorf (CEDUS) showed this once again. At the grand finale on July 13, the following prevailed: An innovative test procedure for mushroom poisoning, an efficient fertilization process using phosphorus, a companion service for streaming movies, the use of AI-based tools in cancer therapy and brain aneurysms, and the development of a new drug to improve heart function after a heart attack.
For the twelfth time, the Center for Entrepreneurship (CEDUS) organized the HHU Idea Competition. More than 80 start-up ideas from the two categories of study and research were submitted and evaluated for feasibility, degree of innovation and potential for success.
The award ceremony took place on July 13 at the PopUp coworking containers. The six teams nominated by a jury of experts from the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Law pitched live in the open air in front of a large audience.
Prizes totaling 4,200 euros were awarded for the first three places in the ideas competition in the two categories of students and researchers. In addition, the special sustainability prize of the Heine Center for Sustainable Development was awarded for the first time. Traditionally, the public decides directly and live at the award ceremony which concept has gone down best with them.
1st place, endowed with 1,000 euros, went to "FastFungiFinder", 2nd place with 600 euros to "Fungilyzer" and 3rd place with 300 euros to "MyFilm". The money can be used for start-up and project-related expenses.
1st place: FastFungiFinder
The team led by Isabella Rotthäuser, Ria Choi and Sabrina Kemeny from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (Math.Nat.) has developed a test procedure that can be used to detect fungal poisoning at short notice. In this way, a reliable diagnosis can be made. The basis is a test, similar to already known corona or pregnancy test procedures. The test procedures with a simple test strip are to be established with the (family) doctor.
2nd place & sustainability award from HCSD: Fungilyzer
The basic idea of the iGEM Düsseldorf team - also from the Math.Nat. - is an efficient fertilizing of crops with phosphate. The Fungilyzer is essentially a fungus that aims to solve several problems at once: buffering phosphate during nutrient-rich times and releasing phosphate to the crop during nutrient-poor times, as well as preventing phosphate from being washed out of the soil and thus polluting groundwater. To do this, the mechanism of action of the fungus must be interfered with.
The team also received the award from the Heine Center for Sustainable Development for the most sustainable idea and thus participation in the annual conference of the Council for Sustainable Development in Berlin (including train journey and overnight stay) for two people.
Happy about the award: Yannik Grans, Piravinth Paraparan, Niklas Küppers, Merve Seker, Maurice Groß, Lena Hebe, Julia Smoluk, Julia Kainzmaier, Joëlle Boecker, Ilayda Azapoglu, Deniz Karagöz, Ben Lenkewitz, Antigoni Mouratidou, Alexander Flosbach and Aamir Munir.
3rd place: MyFilm
Henryk Schönborn and Anton Pfeifer from the Faculty of Law have developed a companion service for streaming films. Whether alone or with several, one should get an overview of all offered films from all streaming services via MyFilm. Decision support for a film is possible via ratings from 1-10 across 10 possible genres. In case of doubt, the app suggests a change of provider and indicates a possible saving. There are watchlists and you are supposed to be able to share these with friends. MyFilm is free; revenue comes via data analysis.
The 1st place is shared by "AneurysmAid" and "MONTI - the monitoring system". Both teams will receive the prize money of 1,000 euros. Third place with 300 euros went to "Cytokimera".
1st place: AneurysmAid
Basic idea of Dr. med. Marius Vach, Prof. Dr. med. Dipl.-Inform. Julian Caspers and PD Dr. med. Christian Rubbert is the development of an AI-based assistance system for the detection of brain aneurysms in MRI images. The corresponding MRI images are automatically sent to the AI tool and processed. An AI algorithm processes the images and the detected aneurysms are marked and the images with markers are sent back to the image viewing system. Then a radiologist can make a decision. According to the team, the use of the AI system brings optimization in terms of a false positive rate and processing speed.
1st place: MONTI - the monitoring system
In order to improve cancer therapy, the team around the physicians Prof. Dr. med. Guido Kobbe, Dr. med. Malte Jacobsen, Prof. Dr. Markus Kollmann, Lars Müller as well as Luca Happel also relies on AI. The core of the idea are wearables (small portable sensory devices for recording vital parameters), which in combination with an AI monitor cancer patients, especially during outpatient therapy. The goal is to detect complications due to e.g. chemotherapy, at an early stage. Conventional approaches so far have been frequent visits to the doctor or telemedical care.
MONTI also won the audience award and can also look forward to a 100 euro Mensa voucher.
3rd place: Cytokimera
Dr. Puyan Rafii of Math.Nat. is on track to develop a drug that can be administered after a heart attack to restore heart function. Existing drugs sometimes have significant side effects, according to the team.
As a solution, the team is introducing three synthetic cytokines that have shown promise in mouse models. The team has patented the cytokines and is seeking to start a company. Cytokines are proteins that regulate the growth and differentiation of cells.
The award ceremony for this year's Ideas Competition also marks the end of the Campus of Ideas, which promotes inventiveness, innovation and networks across disciplines, faculties and status groups at HHU during the summer semester.
HHU Ideas Competition - hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship Düsseldorf
The HHU Ideas Competition is designed to raise awareness at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf of the career options of self-employment and starting a business, and to arouse curiosity about exciting alternatives to the typical work biography. In doing so, the competition supports the goal of creating a creative start-up culture and awakening and supporting entrepreneurial thinking and action among everyone at HHU at an early stage. The ideas competition was held for the twelfth time in 2023.
The HHU Ideas Competition is organized by the Center for Entrepreneurship Düsseldorf (CEDUS). At the CEDUS, all measures of the HHU in the promotion of start-ups are bundled. Whether in a consultation hour or a speedback session, whether in a classic start-up consultation or at one of the numerous events: CEDUS is the contact for all questions concerning self-employment and business start-up.