Students presented their Start-up ideas
Twelve student teams from eight nations from all four faculties of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences presented their ideas for innovative products or business start-ups on 22nd of February 2021 as part of the StartGlocal project. The concepts were as diverse as the presenters themselves: Three-wheeled electric vehicles, modern bee hotels, UV-C disinfection solutions, worm composters or 'floating gardens' were presented. Almost 140 spectators followed the pitches digitally live and voted for three winning teams.
The "Demo Day" is the final event of the StartGlocal Academy, where students and alumni of the university receive know-how for starting up a business. After a ten-week workshop program, all participants presented their product or start-up idea to an audience, which in turn selected the winners in a live voting. These are:
1st place: "Ways4Water - Floating Gardens" by Blanca Paschen (Biological Resources student, M.Sc.), Francisco Javier Silva Deco (Sustainable Agriculture student, B.Sc.).
2nd place: "Cheetah - Electronic Vehicle" by Arun Ramaswamy & Tarun Ravindra (both Mechanical Engineering students, M.Sc.), a three-wheeled electric vehicle with smart tracking and fleet management and a customizable cargo space for package delivery to solve the "last mile" problem of package deliveries,
3rd place: "Mystery Travel - live adventure game", a virtual and mystical puzzle travel game for all ages by Clara Wollny (Sustainable Tourism student, B.A.).
"Ways4water - floating gardens" selected as the best idea
The idea of 'floating gardens' came to Blanca, when she as a student of the Faculty of Life Sciences was investigating houseboats. She was looking for a solution to clean up water areas, a sustainable solution to clean up and restore the natural ecosystem: "Lakes tip over when they are overloaded with nutrients. This can be due to overfertilization of fields or the influx of nutrients from wastewater. The result is that algae growth is stimulated, and when biomass decomposes, additional oxygen is removed from the water area, causing it to become unbalanced. My 'floating gardens' are designed to protect water areas from this problem.
Enclosed in a six-sided framework, plants absorb the 'excess' of nutrients (e.g. nitrogenous substances or phosphates) and ensure a balance in the water body. Equipped with water sensors to monitor water quality and a biomimetic drive, the 'floating gardens' control themselves and also do not interfere with boat traffic," the student says about her idea. The 'floating gardens' can be used for local community water areas, as well as in private gardens or farms. Blanca´s idea is in the final stages of development, and the master's student is now hoping to find engineering expertise to put her product idea into practice.
Thanks to Fördervereine
The first three places are awarded with 300, 200 and 100 euros. The university would like to thank to all StartGlocal Academy participants, mentors and experts, and especially the three sponsoring associations - Campus Cleve e.V., Campus Camp-Lintfort e.V. and the Förderverein Hochschule Rhein-Waal - for providing of cash prizes.