№ 263/2013 from Sep 10, 2013
A project supported by Profund, the Start-up Support of Freie Universität Berlin, recently won an award from the German Federal Ministry of Economics. The award was presented to the project called "makeapoint" at the Berlin International Radio Exhibition (IFA). It was chosen as one of the most innovative business ideas in the information and communication technologies (ICT). The team designed a video discussion platform suitable for debates and use in e-learning. This project is one of two in Berlin that won an award in the Federal Ministry’s "Start-up Competition – Innovative ICT." There were 259 entries from all over Germany. The award comes with a prize of 6,000 euros. All of the winners will also receive support from the nationwide network of experts involved in the start-up competition. A total of 13 business ideas won awards.
The technology of makeapoint makes it easier to carry on discussions on the Internet through an application for smartphones, tablets, and PCs. The asynchronous video discussion of the start-up combines the advantages of face-to-face video chats with those of time-independent and unrestricted numbers of participants in online forums. To do so makeapoint makes the structures of common thinking processes visible by visualizing the course of discussions in dialog form. The software supports a results-oriented culture of discussion. The team sees the e-learning market as a particular field for applications. The founding team consists of three students from Berlin, Markus Gilles, Andreas Pursian, and Jonas Brandau, along with Mathias Sauvestre from Montpellier, France.
At the beginning of September the team started their work at Freie Universität Berlin, supported by an EXIST start-up grant from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The scientific mentor of the founders is Professor Robert Tolksdorf, head of the Networked Information Systems Group at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Freie Universität Berlin.