Munich Student Startup Konux Doubles Up with $100k Grant

By David Knight |

It’s been quite a month for Konux – having emerged victorious in the cyber-physical systems final of the Idea Challenge, the Munich-based startup has now been announced as one of ten winners of a $100,000 (€74,000) grant from, an investor and company building program for student entrepreneurs from around the world.

Consisting of four students from the Center of Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) in Munich, the Konux team is planning to create an optical measurement solution for mechanical sensors.

With the help of a patent-pending light filter, it will be able to measure up to ten different mechanical measuring units and convert it to a digital signal. By changing the position of the filter, the light changes and provides the relevant information to reconstruct the movement of the object. The modular design of the angle, the pressure, the slip angle and position sensors, and the use of simple electronics enables them to reduce costs and complexity.

And Konux was one of just three teams from Europe – and the only one from Germany – to bag the $100k grant for the Paris-based’s incoming second-year class of 2015. was founded in 2012 as a non-profit by serial entrepreneur and former VC Michael Baum, the founding CEO of Splunk, a pioneer in big data. It works with leading educational institutions in North America and Europe to advance student entrepreneurship.

Baum said the ten winners had been chosen from nearly 1,000 applications and 600 live presentation, and added: “The quality of the ideas and the enthusiasm this year has been impressive and very inspiring. Our partner schools are nurturing amazing innovations and entrepreneurs.”

The other winning ideas included 3D body scanning, air cleaning biowalls, standing wheelchairs and wearable keyboards. Universities represented alongside CDTM include Harvard, Stanford, NYU, KTH in Sweden and University College London.

Konux can add their prize money to the €40,000 from the Idea Challenge, which also came with coaching and mentoring from the contest’s organiser EIT ICT Labs, integration into its big network and office space for six months.

After their Idea Challenge win earlier this month in Munich, Andreas Kunze, head of business at Konux, said: “We will accelerate our product development with the prize money, and we are looking forward to creating new possibilities and a great future together with the EIT ICT Labs network and in the offices.”