University of Bremen: Senator for Economic Affairs informs herself about startups

Startups are an important source of inspiration for the economy – especially regionally. That is why Bremen’s Senator for Economic Affairs, Kristina Vogt, found out about startups from the University of Bremen and support offers from the BRIDGE university network during a virtual visit.
With her visit, the Senator ran “open doors”, so to speak, because the University of Bremen has had an excellent start-up climate for years and is the most active federal state after Berlin in terms of population size. “Both in teaching and beyond, there are many activities related to start-ups at the university. It runs through all departments, ”said the Vice Rector for Research, Young Academics and Transfer, Professor Jutta Günther, when she welcomed the event.

Two successful startups from the university presented themselves to the senator as examples: Ubica Robotics GmbH and smart insights GmbH. What both have in common is that they have taken advantage of different programs from BRIDGE and from the Bremen start-up ecosystem – from the BRIDGE StartUp workout to the CAMPUSiDEEN competition to the federal funding program EXIST. Ubica Robotics is currently funded as part of an EXIST research transfer; smart insights received an EXIST start-up grant in 2012/2013.

Introduced: Ubica and smart insights
Ubica Robotics GmbH (Ubica for short) is a technology spin-off from the university. The founders Ferenc Bálint-Benczédi, Georg Bartels, Alexis Maldonado and Jonas Reiling are funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of an EXIST research transfer as a research assistant in the working group for artificial intelligence (AGKI) headed by Professor Michael Beetz. Ubica develops autonomous scanning robots that use camera systems and artificial intelligence to create digital twins of retail stores. In other words: The robots record which product is where and in what quantity in a store. This can optimize processes, reduce missing products, save costs and improve the shopping experience for customers.

Smart insights GmbH was founded in 2012 by Dr. Tobias Recke and Dr. Fabian Stichnoth was founded as an independent, owner-managed market research institute with the core business areas of market research and brand research. After completing their studies at the University of Bremen in 2010, both did their doctorate on the subject of brand positioning at the chair for innovative brand management (LiM®) at the University of Bremen. The founders were funded in 2012/2013 as part of an EXIST start-up grant from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. As a full-service institute, smart insights GmbH today accompanies and advises its international, national and regional customers on all aspects of the research areas of brands, customers, employees and members.

“Advancing the start-up location”
Senator Kristina Vogt was impressed by the start-up successes of this kind. “The universities in the state of Bremen produce excellently trained graduates who we have to support in implementing their start-up ideas. BRIDGE does a great job of accompanying founders from the university environment on their way to self-employment. The close cooperation between BRIDGE and the Starthaus and the future partnership in the Digital Hub Industry show that Bremen is pulling together here in order to further advance the founding location. “

Martin Heinlein, BRIDGE managing director and head of UniTransfer, emphasized the importance of young startups for Bremen. “The universities are an important source of innovation. Thanks to the wide range of offers from UniTransfer / BRIDGE, we are an important factor in helping you get started. Every year around 20 successful start-ups from the Bremen universities confirm our activities. “

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