Founders' Journal: Two Tales from EY Startup Academy

Day 1 at EY Startup Academy

In early October, seven fledgling companies from all over Germany began their EY Startup Academy education. This year’s class is made up of a wide mix of startup business ideas. These startups were selected after competing in a pitch competition in September. From 13 only seven made it into the EY program:

Founders will now learn about everything from legal regulations, taxes, negotiation, IT compliance, financing and pitching – all of which will culminate in a final pitch ‘Demo Day’ on 12 November at TechQuartier.

Following the Story

The magic of startups and the pursuit of an idea can seem to be impossible to understand or even start. Where do ideas come from? What makes a founder successful? Can success be easy? During the six weeks, we will follow two different startups each traveling a similar path.

First, we’ll introduce you to a design company called suprtrue, followed by Sooqua. Over the following week, we’ll track their progress and ask questions about their past, present and future.


>> Read Week One

Meet Laura Haberkorn. She is the co-founder of suprtrue, a web shop (in the making) for simple, sustainable packaging.

According to Laura, suprtrue is a collaborative project initiated and held by Packaging Circus, a packaging design agency founded by Laura, her sister Sandra Tennemann and Kolossum, which was in turn founded by Digital Entrepreneur Florian Krebber.

“Through our long-time agency experience and our cross-functional knowledge in design & packaging engineering, we have seen that there is a huge demand for an easy access to sustainable packaging solutions, which can be customized and purchased in small quantities. A user-friendly online shop with classical and special designs is our response to the need of the market.”

Think Moo for package designs. Everyone from a creative director at Adidas to a small-batch jam maker would have access to individual packaging designs available to large and small quantities. Designers and non-designers will save time finding beautiful and sustainable packaging components for large or small orders.

“We believe we can all do better and incorporate a more environment-conscious way of living by choosing quality products and packaging solutions with an eco-friendly approach – therefore we carefully source suitable packaging and pack components and create new coherent and attractive packaging ranges for various industries such as fashion, food, cosmetics and lifestyle. Our pack designs can be embellished with a business logo or an individual layout which can be previewed with the help of a 3D mockup before placing the order.”


>> Read Week One

“Sooqua is a Predictive-Maintenance-Tool that analyzes sensor data within (water) supply networks using machine learning algorithms and thus localizes leakages in an early stage, shows the networks status in real-time as well as predictions of pipe bursts. Our SaaS-solution makes repairs plannable and cost efficient and thus enables the supplier to maintain a reliable and sustainable pipe network.”

Sooqua is a young team made up up graduates from Technische Universität Darmstadt and University of Trento. This team was named “People’s Choice” winners during the pitch competition last September.

Christopher Dörner: Co-Founder with a MSc in Industrial Engineering from TU Darmstadt and is the deal-maker. He is responsible for the business part of the startup and organizes everything from customer acquisition and marketing over financing to strategic topics. Chris has already worked in a Software-StartUp.

Valerie Fehst: Co-Founder with a MSc in Physics from TU Darmstadt and the Gyro Gearloose. She is responsible for developing the product and basically doing the innovative part. She is transferring the real-world problem into a mathematical and physical model. Valerie has already worked in an IoT-StartUp.

Tri-Duc Nghiem: Co-Founder with a MSc in Software Engineering from Uni Triento (Italy) and the code-runner. He is responsible for implementing the product into code and making the software run smoothly. With more than 7 years of experience in implementing Machine Learning algorithms, he is an expert in his field. He also loves to run marathons. Duc has already worked in corporates and IoT StartUps

Photo Gallery: Demo Night Look Back