Start-ups EyeV from Worms and Refundrebel from Ludwigshafen won over the jury. Young entrepreneurs from Rhineland-Palatinate have been competing in the Pioniergeist (pioneering spirit) contest for the best start-up ideas and most successful business models—and for a five-figure amount in prize money—for the last 20 years. This year, a total of five founders received their awards in the Südwestrundfunk (SWR) foyer.
Secretary of State Daniela Schmitt and ISB Chairman Ulrich Dexheimer presented the first prize to SCAFFEYE GbR from Longuich, for master scaffolder Jeanette Spanier’s business idea to digitally record, monitor, and manage the assembly and safety of scaffolding.
EyeV, who developed an eye-tracking method that allows people with reduced mobility to operate computers with eye movements, came in second. “EyeV is already being tested at two special needs schools and is compatible with all operating systems. The market launch will be at the beginning of 2019. The jury is convinced that EyeV will launch successfully and establish a supply chain in the long term,” said Armin Bork, board spokesman of Volksbank in Alzey-Worms, explaining the decision. Founders Mathias Anhalt, Jonas Kuntze, Jens Platz and Konstantin Wachendorff are now moving from Hochschule Worms (Worms University of Applied Sciences) to private company premises. The third prize went to CompActive from Neustadt.
Refundrebel won the Business Angels Rheinland-Pfalz special prize for the best business idea. Founder Stefan Nitz has developed a website where train passengers can obtain refunds for cancellations and delays in a simple and straightforward manner. “Refundrebel’s innovative approach has transformed an everyday nuisance into a business idea. In particular, the courage to take on a company with more than 300,000 employees for the benefit of consumers must be rewarded,” said Klaus Wächter, chairman of Business Angels Rheinland-Pfalz e.V., in praise of the unconventional business idea.