From insect meal to musical interludes

Brilliant ideas at the 2023 Ideas Competition at the University of Bayreuth

At the beginning of December, founders, creative people and interested parties met for the eventful pitch finale of the 2023 ideas competition. This is held annually by the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University of Bayreuth. Innovators from the region were invited to submit their promising business ideas and win up to 1,000 euros.

In the ideas competition organized by the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (IEI) at the University of Bayreuth, creative people from Franconia and Upper Palatinate submit innovative business models that represent a feasible solution to a social problem. A total of eight teams competed in the pitch final.

Pirmin Hinderling sicherte sich den ersten Platz beim Ideenwettbewerb 2023

Juicy success story

Before the winner was announced, Simon Debade, social entrepreneur and well-known founder from the Tv Show “Dragons´Den”, stepped up to the microphone. The founder, who comes from Benin, presented his founding story, characterized by success, failure and a lasting vision. The computer scientist studied why tons of cashew fruits end up in the trash in his home country, even though a tasty juice could be produced from them. But consumers don’t know the juice and only want the familiar cashew nuts. His idea: press a juice out of the fruit, improve the income of the local farmers through the second product and at the same time bring a vitamin bomb with a taste reminiscent of apple onto the market: Akoua was born. His vision worked: Although he didn’t get a deal for his appearance at “Dragons´Den”, the cashew juice was sold out immediately. He has now quit his job and will concentrate entirely on his start-up Akoua from 2024. This is how it can work: Sometimes you come away empty-handed at first and later have the success you hoped for.

“This story should encourage all participants,” says Leonie Gärtner, organizer of the ideas competition. “Not all teams can win today, but that doesn’t mean these ideas don’t have potential. On the contrary, this year the pre-selection was very difficult for us.” And so that is perhaps a small consolation for those who were not among the best this year.

The click for musicians

Then the three winning teams of the 2023 ideas competition were presented: The victory went to Pirmin Hinderling, whose performance will be remembered for a long time thanks to his musical performance. Without further ado, he stood in front of the audience and started trumpeting, repeatedly interrupted by the sheet music turning over. This initially irritated those listening, but the passionate hobby musician later explained: Turning pages with annoying pauses is no longer necessary, thanks to his invention, the TapTurner: a small ring through which the notes on the iPad can be turned over with one click. The audience liked it, as did the jury, and so the young inventor won the 2023 ideas competition and was happy about the prize money of1,000 euros, sponsored by the Bayreuth Business Juniors.

The other prizes went to the RetroFoam project, founded by Nicolas Drack and Rouven Kerner. The aim is to prepare hardly available spare parts for classic and classic cars by using molded foam for the digitalization of components and then produce them using the 3D printing process. Third place went to the ReFeed project by Maximilian Stolze, Christopher Pögl, Christina Peter, Henric Förster and Felix Kroiß. Their idea: Do something about food waste and use food waste to produce high-quality insect meal as a sustainable source of protein for animal feed.

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