After completing her mechanical engineering studies at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) Katharina Kreitz was virtually flooded with job offers from renowned companies. But instead of accepting one she decided to found her own company for developing precise and individual flow probes, which are used among other things in Formula 1 racing.
Katharina Kreitz came up with the idea of founding her own company as the result of dissatisfaction: During her studies, which focused on aeronautics and space technologies, she frequently worked with flow measurements.
"I was constantly irritated by the technology of the conventional flow sensors available in the market," she recalls, adding that it "simply wasn't good enough". Kreitz decided to solve this problem: She wanted to develop small, stable and individually adaptable flow sensors and to market them with her own company.
Demand for these products is high. For example, automobile manufacturers install the probes and investigate the aerodynamics of their prototypes in the wind tunnel. Measuring flows is also necessary when making air conditioners, exhaust hoods and drones. And it's not always air that's flowing in all the applications – gas, water and oil flows can be measured as well.
However, if the sensors are too large, they develop their own resistance properties and distort the measurement results. And in the past there were no sensors that could withstand extreme temperature conditions. Kreitz saw the solution in 3D print: This technology can be used to individually adapt sensors to meet the specific needs of each customer.
Supplementary Business Economics studies in Paris
The young entrepreneur founded Vectoflow GmbH in April 2015, together with Dr. Christian Haigermoser, also a TUM graduate. She turned down plenty of job opportunities at various leading companies in the market and rigorously pursued her own objective.
Kreitz and Haigermoser applied for an EXIST start-up grant from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy – and were successful. However, the decision-makers on the EXIST program side wanted to see a business economist on board the team. Kreitz then quickly completed a one-year supplementary curriculum at the Collège des Ingénieurs in Paris. This is where the third partner joined the team: Florian Wehner.
Probes are used in Formula 1 racing
Prof. Christian Breitsamter of the TUM Chair of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics took on the role of mentor in the context of the EXIST start-up grant, and the Chair of Turbomachinery and Flight Propulsion provided the start-up founders with an office.
The team also received assistance from the UnternehmerTUM Center for Innovation and Business Creation: The "XPRENEURS" program prepared them for market entry, and "Techfounders" put them into contact with potential investors and customers. They also received 25,000 Euros in seed funding and were able to use the high-tech workshop "MakerSpace".
In the meantime Vectoflow has seven permanent employees and customers located around the world – including in China, India, Saudi Arabia and the USA. Among other things the start-up immediately supplied its probes to several racing series, including Formula 1. Kreitz: "We already turned a profit last year, after only two years in business."
Successful support at TUM
According to the current "German Startup Monitor" TUM generates more start-up founders than any other German university. Every year about 70 companies are spun off at TUM. The outstanding support is recognized by the "start-up radar" of the German business community's innovation agency Stifterverband for German Science, which rates TUM in 1st place among major universities.
Dr. Ulrich Marsch | Technische Universität München
Magnets for the second dimension
12.11.2019 | ETH Zurich
Aachen becomes a center of excellence for optics production
01.10.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT
If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.
Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...
Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...
In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.
An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...
An international research group has observed new quantum properties on an artificial giant atom and has now published its results in the high-ranking journal Nature Physics. The quantum system under investigation apparently has a memory - a new finding that could be used to build a quantum computer.
The research group, consisting of German, Swedish and Indian scientists, has investigated an artificial quantum system and found new properties.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have reported a new mechanism to speed up the charging of lithium-ion...
05.11.2019 | Event News
30.10.2019 | Event News
02.10.2019 | Event News
12.11.2019 | Machine Engineering
12.11.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering
12.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy