The finalists of the UNICA Entrepreneurship Competition 2011: Where are they now?

It's been almost 2 years since the final of the 2nd UNICA Entrepreneurship Competition, sponsored by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation. Back then, at the Award Ceremony organised at Tallinn University in the framework of the UNICA General Assembly 2013, the teams endorsed by Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin won the first two prizes in the Competition. 

For their business plan "Upcload", Sebastian Schulze and Asaf Moses from Humboldt Universität zu Berlin were awarded the first prize and an award of € 20,000. Two months later, they have won the contest for Germany’s Start-Up of the Year (Start-up des Jahres 2011). Their software allowing to get clothes measurements vwith a help of a simple web cam was described by the Wall Street Journal, Daily Mail, and Der Spiegel.

At the time of the competition, most of the project was still an idea. We were about to finish the development of the measurement application and were working intensively on the development of an algorithm that would recommend the right size based on the user’s measurement data. Today, it’s become a reality, says Sebastian Schulze, co-founder and managing director of Upcload.

The runner-ups of the Competition were Philip Paar and Timm Depper from Freie Universität zu Berlin, who received a prize of €10,000 for their project "Laubwerk: Powerful 3D Plants Solutions for Architecture, Media, and Entertainment".

Established in 2010, Laubwerk specializes in developing solutions for the digital representation of vegetation in architecture, media and entertainment. It offers a line of easy-to-use software extensions for architects and CG artists requiring a variety of authentic-looking plants for their 3D scenes. In January 2013, Laubwerk moved their headquarters from Berlin to nearby Media City Babelsberg in Potsdam. Soon after, the Investment fund “Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg” (BFB), issued by the German state of Brandenburg's investment and development bank “Investitionsbank” (ILB) has invested in Laubwerk's 3D vegetation software,

With the funds from BFB, as well as additional capital raised from a private investor, Laubwerk will rapidly expand their product line as well as accelerate development of their own core technology for use in a wide range of diverse industries.

Philip Paar, founding director of Laubwerk GmbH, explains: Plant depictions in films, architectural visualizations and video games are ubiquitous. Digital plant solutions have to face increasing visual and technical requirements. Our interdisciplinary team has succeeded in simulating convincingly real plants in 3D, while minimizing the time and effort needed by users to render our realistic 3D trees. We are confident that we will benefit from the extensive experience of the bmp team and their excellent network to support our business development.

Together with founder and technical director Timm Dapper, Philip Paar is actively planning for the company's expansion in the coming years, including an increase in the number of Laubwerk employees.

We would like to thank warmly the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation for their considerable support and for promoting the idea of entrepreneurship among young people.


(The article is based on press releases of Upcload and Laubwerk)