From PhD student to founder
When I started my research in 2015 as a PhD student at Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart, I had no idea what would come from this eight years later. My scientific project work first led to a patent, and then came my idea to make the invisible visible with measurement technology and use this as a basis for optimizing processes. Fraunhofer IGB has supported me on this path from the very beginning. With the support of the Fraunhofer Venture program and funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) EXIST program, I founded Variolytics GmbH in 2020. During this time and even beyond this, we have been able to make use of spaces and technical infrastructure at Fraunhofer IGB – without which we could not have developed our first prototypes or tested them for our targeted applications.
Since then, my two co-founders and I have been working in a team of ten on our vision of contributing to a climate-neutral future with our measurement technology. Our patented EmiCo system helps wastewater treatment plant operators to better understand their processes, enabling them to use energy more effectively and reduce environmentally harmful direct emissions.
Variolytics is a prime example of how real products can be developed from research and brought to market.
I can only encourage today’s emerging talents at Fraunhofer IGB to take the step towards a spin-off. I hope that my journey to becoming an independent entrepreneur serves as an example of how to successfully make your ideas a reality and achieve the dream of self-employment and independence. Wishing every success to all the future founders out there!