KIT Gründerschmiede

upCAT #5

Twelve weeks, three key events, six teams: The best teams work on their value proposition, business model and on speeding-up the market entry – together with mentors, experts and coaches. At the end of the program at the demo day you will pitch in front of business angels and investors.


Kick off Week

The Kick Off Week (KOW) takes place from the Dezember 5 to 9, 2016. You will concentrate on the value proposition, the key to every business. You will learn about methods and experiments of the lean statup approach. Also you will learn about a different approach design thinking and how to empathize with your customers. Together with mentors, who are entrepreneurs from Karlsruhe as well, you work on your business model so it can establish in the market.

upCAT follows a simple structure: You are getting input of methods, have practice sessions about your business ideas and check with the mentor every day. Social events help you build your own network with a peer group, but also with your mentors and the startup community of Karlsruhe. Meeting with other founders from Karlsruhe completes the first week.

Focus Week

The Focus Week (FOW) takes place from January 6 to 10, 2017. It is a deep dive into different functional topics including: setting up sales channels, proper management of intellectual property (IP), establishing a financial plan and identifying the right financing strategy. Furthermore, you learn about marketing (strategic position towards your competitors) and in an operational sense about communication.

In the Focus Week you will work with each of your respective mentors in the same way you did during Kick off Week: input to methods, practice sessions on your business ideas and check with the mentor every day. An interactive pitch training and "meet the founder" round up the focus week. Needless to say that the social events won't come off badly. We will have experienced founders from karlsruhe as guest speakers, that will report about their practical experiences.

upCAT Demo Day

On March 21, 2017 is the rehearsal for your pitch. Together we work on your presentation and the onepager for potential investors. All upCAT teams present their business case on March 27, 2017 in front of investors and business angels at the Demo Day – the pitching event of upCAT.

In-between the meetings you have time to work on your business idea. To stay in touch and motivating you to work on your idea we have two progress pitches after the KOW and the FOW, during which you will present the progress you make. Those intermediate steps are meant to lead you slowly to the final event, the Demo Day. There you have the chance to pitch you business idea in fron of investors and receives valuable feedback or the possibilty to start into the fist financing stage. Mentors provide support for the teams throughout the whole upCAT. The team learn with and from each other.

An overview of the most important dates:

  • 09/28/16 Information evening
  • 10/17/16 Application Deadline
  • 12/05/16 to 12/09/16 Kick off Week
  • 01/16/17 and 01/23/17 Progress Pitches
  • 02/06/17 to 02/10/17 Focus Week
  • 02/15/17 and 02/24/17 Progress Pitches
  • 03/06/17 and 03/13/17 Pitch Training
  • 03/21/17 Demo Day Rehearsal
  • 03/27/17 Demo Day