loader image

Santander Cooperation

Winning Projects

Welcome to the page of our winning projects!

Here, the winners of the last cooperation rounds introduce themselves and report in an interview how the cooperation has helped them.

Alex Babicz

Founder and experience creator at the Funkentruhe

With interactive experience boxes and ideas, we help parents of elementary school children bond better with their child, enjoy precious family time, and create memories for the ages.

How did you use the money you won?

I used the prize money primarily for performance marketing (i.e. specifically Facebook Ads) as well as consulting services and design assignments. This laid important foundations and led to the first branding successes.

How did you come up with your start-up idea?

The idea for the Funkentruhe came about while reading together with young schoolchildren from Bochum in an honorary capacity. Every week, I read a children's newspaper with young people and experienced a great deal of appreciation. I also wanted to support parents and other caregivers in this experience, and so I created the interactive experience box for more family time together.

How has your idea / team developed since the competition?

I have gained many new experiences, learned a few things, expanded my own network and worked on the product. The website and the webshop are already created and the marketing is running.

Dr. En Ning Saw, Dr.-Ing. Matthias Bartelt,
Markus Fidelak

Founder at PhycoSystems

Through an innovative photobioreactor design, PhycoSystems technology enables microalgae to be cultivated industrially. The core of the innovation is a completely new illumination concept. In combination with a high degree of automation, microalgae can be produced with maximum quality at low cost. The closed photobioreactors allow the cultivation of any algae strain under individually optimal growth conditions.

We are the project PhycoSystems from Bochum. Phyco stands for the Greek word algae. Our goal is to revolutionize and industrialize the production of microalgae. With our innovative reactor concept, microalgae can be cultivated highly efficiently. Currently we are in the development and scaling of prototypes.

How did you use the money you won?

From the prize money we won, we financed additional components for the photobioreactor that is currently being developed. For example, we were able to improve our light control. We also used it to build up our network.

How did you come up with your founding idea?

The founding idea developed in the course of En Ning Saw's research or work at the Chair of Analytical Chemistry II, where he had already come across the potential of microalgae. Together we developed the idea further and set up our goal of producing microalgae on an industrial scale.

How has your idea / team developed since the competition?

We expanded our founding team at the beginning of 2021 with Matthias Bartelt as an engineer and have been funded with the EXIST-Gründerstipendium since August 2021.

As of January 2021, we participated in Batch 4 as a Create-Up at the Impact Factory from Duisburg and are also looking forward to being part of the Feeding the City incubation programme at Impact Hub Berlin until September 2021.


Founders at Dormciety

How did you use the money you won?

The prize money helped us a lot, especially in the initial phase. We were able to use it to pay our first start-up costs, such as the notary fees.

How did you come up with your start-up idea?

In the module "Developing and implementing business ideas" offered by the Wiwi faculty of the Ruhr University Bochum. Our co-founder Carina knew some of the challenges in the student halls of residence, as many of her friends lived in the halls. This resulted in a first idea that was further elaborated within the module. As part of the module, we also conducted a survey that confirmed the desire for an app for networking in the halls of residence. So it was clear to us that we should actually implement the idea.

How has your idea / team developed since the competition?

After the competition, we were able to expand our team with another developer. This way we could ensure that we had enough forces to sit down to the development of the app. After developing a concept, a design and a roadmap, we were also able to enjoy further funding such as the Gründerstipendium.NRW and participation in the WERK X incubator of Wirtschaftsentwicklung Bochum. This funding has enabled us to work efficiently on the app, so that we can already present a finished product today.

Santander Cooperation


Dr. Anna Talmann
Head of Communication and Transfer

Room GD 03/173
Phone: 0234 32-26969
E-Mail: anna.talmann@rub.de
Office hours: currently by appointment only