This was HMI 2024 

Michelle Kolodziej

This year’s HANNOVER MESSE 2024, which was held under the motto “Pioneering the Green Industrial Transition”, once again attracted a large number of visitors and exhibitors. As Partner Country, Norway – known for its leading role in sustainable energy solutions – presented exciting innovations in the fields of energy, manufacturing and digitalisation. With more than 4,000 participating companies, the trade fair demonstrated how climate neutrality can be achieved through electrification, digitalisation and automation in a networked industrial ecosystem.

The KIT-Gründerschmiede, with team member Rolf Blattner and team members from new KIT start-ups, was also at the centre of this global stage. Here are some impressions of an eventful week full of exciting innovations and interesting dialogues.

Day 1: Kick-off in Exhibition Hall 2

On the opening day of the HANNOVER MESSE, we presented innovative KIT spin-offs in the Startup Area through our teams from FORMIC Transport Systems and Spotium GmbH. Both Dr Benedikt Klee from FORMIC and the duo Lisa Raab and Nico Bartelt from Spotium GmbH were able to inspire a broad audience of experts with their presentations. Both start-ups benefited from the funding provided by EXIST – Start-ups from Science, and FORMIC also benefited from the “Helmholtz Enterprise Spin-off Programme” of the Helmholtz Association and the “Young Innovators” programme of the state of Baden-Württemberg.

The visit by Prof. Otmar D. Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association, together with Franziska Broer, Managing Director, Dr Andreas Bergner, Head of Transfer and Innovation, and Prof. Thomas Hirth, Vice President for Transfer and International Affairs, underlined the importance and innovative character of the projects presented and rounded off the first day of the fair perfectly.

Day 2: Intensive discussions and visits from political representatives

On the second day, our EXIST-funded teams, PHABIOC with Jannik Jungmann and FORMIC Transport Systems with Benedikt Klee, were in the spotlight. The visit of Oliver Hunke, head of the EXIST department at the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, came at just the right time. It was an excellent opportunity to discuss the successes achieved so far and the future direction of start-up support in Germany with the teams and our Vice-President, Prof. Thomas Hirth. Another highlight of the day was the surprise visit by Dr Anna Christmann, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Start-ups at the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in the afternoon . She was impressed by the innovative power and the start-up culture at the KIT!

Day 3: Triumph at the Pitch Competition

The third day brought another change in the stand setup: the next EXIT-funded teams from the KIT with nanoshape GmbH represented by Litsy Hüschelrath and Patrick Doll and Valoon with Marvin Rosianstanden were put in the focus. The teams performed impressively in the pitch competition on the Industrial Startup Stage and not only won the day, but also qualified for the final. Prof Michael Decker, Business Unit Manager at KIT, took the opportunity to congratulate the successful teams on site and wish them all the best for the final round on Friday, where they had the chance to win the main prize.

In the evening, we were delighted to be visited by Dominik Riemer and Philipp Zehnder from Bytefabrik.AI GmbH as well as Robin Göbel and Max-Felix Müller from Inventife, with whom we rounded off another successful day.

Day 4 and 5: Successful acquisition and a successful ending of the trade fair week

On Thursday, other EXIST-funded start-ups were again very active in acquiring customers at our stand – Phytonics with Selina Weeber and Andreas Bauer and RevoAI GmbH with Gustav Nils Basedow. We were also delighted to welcome Dominik Burkert and Jonas Wilz from puerro, who are new additions to the KIT-Gründerschmiede.

Friday brought a great end to the trade fair week with the teams from Varmo, represented by Felix Kottek and Leonard Franke, and Rement with Felix Baur, Robert Schleinhege and Adrian Neukirch. Our direct stand neighbour Dr Tim Rietz from Respeak, an EXIST alumni team from KIT-Gründerschmiede, also stopped by.

The closing highlight, however, was the final of the pitch competition on the “Industrial Startup Stage”, excitingly moderated by Benny Ge, who kept the atmosphere high and ensured that the teams, the jury and the audience had a lot of fun throughout the week. At this point, many thanks once again to the organiser Hannah Berkemeier from PIRATEx, who ensured that everything was running smoothly.

The HANNOVER MESSE 2024 was a complete success for the KIT-Gründerschmiede and our teams. In addition to the impressive presentations and high-level dialogues, the trade fair provided an excellent opportunity for networking and the presentation of groundbreaking innovations. A big thank you goes to everyone who made this success possible. Last but not least, we would like to thank Ina Goerzen from Deutsche Messe AG, who provided us with outstanding support in the planning and realisation of the HANNOVER MESSE 2024.

We are already looking forward to the HANNOVER MESSE 2025 and are excited to see what new ideas and developments will be presented by then.

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