Essen and Kreuztal, Germany, 24 May 2022 Last Thursday, the startup elite of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) gathered at Campus Buschhütten in Kreuztal. The event was hosted by RWTÜV GmbH – which operates through its Telecommunications & IT, Energy & Environment, and Insurance Services business units. A total of 150,000 euros was awarded to three young entrepreneurs for their innovative business ideas. The occasion marked the 150th anniversary of the Essen-based Group, which was founded in Siegen in 1872.
House of Plasma GmbH, represented by CEO Dr. Moritz Oberberg, collected the trophy for first place and prize money of 70,000 euros. “I am thrilled and speechless,” he beamed from the stage. “This is a great award and an incredible amount to receive!” Oberberg was the first winner to speak in front of the 50 invited guests, including the Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy in the State of NRW, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart – who acts as patron of the prize – and first deputy mayor of the city of Siegen, Angela Jung.
House of Plasma is the developer of a multipole resonance probe, which enables industry-compatible plasma diagnostics with real-time-capable electronics and evaluation. The measuring technique permits a significant improvement in the quality of plasma surface treatments in industrial manufacturing processes. Applications include the surfaces of solar cells, ophthalmic and optical lenses, PET bottles and electronic devices. Fabian Fechner, Managing Director of RWTÜV, summarised the jury’s view: “The ability to measure production parameters in plasma applications is real Industry 4.0 from NRW and is worthy of our highest award!”
The second winner, with an award of 50,000 euros, was Terranigma Solutions GmbH, based in Aachen, for their cloud-accelerated solution for designing digital geological modelling workflows. In third place was Better Bau GmbH, from Essen. They offer software for architecture and engineering firms that digitalises and massively simplifies code and regulatory compliance in the construction industry, especially for fire protection regulations.
RWTÜV announced the Startup Prize in January under the patronage of Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, who helped present the awards in Buschhütten. More than 60 applications were received from the fields of environment, IT, construction, quality management and STEM. An expert panel – comprising representatives from the research and business communities as well as RWTÜV – chose the three winners. “The winners impressed us because they immediately thought about the economic potential of their technical innovation, and developed it as a viable support for industry. This shows business acumen and a culture of innovation that we consciously want to promote here in NRW, our home region for 150 years,” says Thomas Biedermann, Managing Director of RWTÜV.