Photo: Keyvan Bamdej

DTU start-up wins top Venture Cup prize

Friday 25 Jan 19

Contact

Kristoffer Buch
Project Manager
Office for Innovation and Sector Services
+45 21 18 00 63

The five category winners

  • Products & Design: Atlant 3D Nanosystems (DTU / CBS)

  • HealthTech: Invena Flow Supervisor (DTU)

  • GreenTech: CheeseItYourself (DTU)

  • NextGen Logistics: BringBike (DTU / CBS)

  • Service Innovation: Auralis (SDU) 

Learn more on Venture Cup's website: https://venturecup.dk/idea-competition/

Start-ups with DTU students on board yesterday won four out of five Venture Cup categories, including the overall prize of  EUR 14,000.

Silence fell over the assembled audience as the moderator went up on stage with a golden envelope in his hand to announce the winners of the main prize of EUR 14,000 (DKK 100,000) for this year’s Venture Cup Idea Competition.

“Before we reveal the winner, I would just like to say that it has been a very tight race with only a few votes separating the winners and the runners-up, so it really matters which team you voted for,” he said.

Participants as well as spectators had just submitted a slip of paper with the name of the start-up which they felt presented its business idea most effectively. They could choose between five teams, which a panel of judges had selected earlier in the day as the best in their respective categories.

“Congratulations to Invena Flow Supervisor from DTU!” shouted the moderator, at which point a group of students leaped up from the audience and ran towards the stage to receive their trophy and the big cheque.

Jacob Juel, who proudly received the cheque and showed it off to the cheering spectators, is studying for an MSc Eng in Design and Innovation.

“I really had butterflies in my stomach when they said that it had been such a tight vote. I voted for another team, and my teammates had threatened to thrash me if it cost us the victory,” he says laughing.

Jacob Juul is one of the five-strong team behind the start-up Invena Flow Supervisor. They are trying to use the Internet of Things (IoT) to create a system which can automatically monitor hospital patients’ treatments with intravenous (IV) infusion therapy, and transmit data about the treatment directly to the nursing staff.

“IV infusion therapy is widely used worldwide, but there are a lot of challenges associated with the method because nurses have to continually monitor it to avoid mistakes being made. We want to design a solution that frees up time for nurses to do other tasks,” says Jacob Juul.

"DTU has worked tirelessly to develop a start-up culture, and then of course it’s just part of an engineer’s DNA to create viable solutions."
Kristoffer Buch, project manager, DTU

Collaborating on solutions
One aspect that the jury panel highlighted as one of Invena Flow Supervisor’s main strengths was that they are creating a comprehensible and practical solution to a specific problem—an approach that is a typical success factor in start-up competitions.

“Invena Flow Supervisor appealed to both people’s hearts and minds by presenting a simple and immediately realizable solution that supports nurses in their work, improves the IV treatment, and saves money in a healthcare system burdened with challenges. The team was very good at communicating this, so I can certainly understand why they won first prize,” said Kristoffer Buch, one of the Venture Cup judges and the start-up coach at innovation hub DTU Skylab.

DTU wins fours out of five catagories
Invena Flow Supervisor was, however, far from the only DTU team to have learned how to develop good ideas and pitch them in front of a large audience. Four of the five teams that won each of the categories—Product & Design, HealthTech, GreenTech, NextGen Logistics, and Service Innovation with prizes of EUR 1,400 (DKK 10,000)—had DTU students on board.

“DTU has worked tirelessly to develop a start-up culture, and then of course it’s just part of an engineer’s DNA to create viable solutions. Half of the teams with DTU participation also had members from other universities, and we want to see even more inter-university cooperation in future, simply because it results in better projects and more experience,” says Kristoffer Buch, and mentions that two of the winning teams were a collaboration between students from DTU and Copenhagen Business School (CBS).

The experience one gains from working with fellow students on different study programmes was also something that Jakob Juul from Invena Flow Supervisor emphasized as one of the most important aspects of participating in the Venture Cup.

“We’ve learned a lot by participating in the Venture Cup, but we still have a long way to go. So, before our product hits the market, we first need to develop it, test it, and learn from our mistakes, and then we need to build a new version, and test it again.”

In addition to Jacob Juul, Invena Flow Supervisor comprises Hamid Reza Pieki, who is studying for an MSc in Mechanical Engineering, Lukáš Bátrla, who is studying for an MSc in Digital Media Engineering, Ali Saleem Aljsine, who is studying for an MSc Eng in Mathematical Modelling and Computation, and Mathias Petersen, who is studying for an MSc in Computer Science and Engineering.

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19 FEBRUARY 2019