“First Ventures” grant from the Gebert Rüf Foundation for BFH start-up

05.09.2022 The start-up Power Up! aims to develop adaptable and collaborative robotic systems. It is now being funded by the Gebert Rüf Foundation as part of the “First Ventures” programme.

Their idea proved convincing: Lucas Renfer, Christian Wyss and Charly Blanc were awarded a grant of CHF 150’000 from the Gebert Rüf Foundation for their start-up Power Up!. Their aim with Power Up! is to develop a flexible and collaborative automation system for companies manufacturing products in small quantities and in many different variants. Such compagnies often still use manual labor, as traditional automation solutions are not financially viable. An adaptable and easily programmable robotic system has the potential to reduce production costs while expanding employee skills and job scope.

Monitoring by robotics expert

The three founders have already been involved in similar projects as research associates in the Laboratory for Computer Perception and Virtual Reality of the Institute for Human Centered Engineering HuCE. Their current project is monitored by robotics expert Sarah Dégallier-Rochat.

Business training and coaching programme

Power Up! is funded as part of the “First Ventures” programme of the Gebert Rüf Foundation. The programme supports bachelor’s and master’s students from universities of applied sciences who are developing an innovative business idea in their final-year thesis. It gives them the chance to turn their idea into new products or services. In addition to financial support, the funding includes individual business training and a coaching programme, which should equip the founders in the best possible way for the successful implementation of their business idea.

A man programmes a gripping robot for small parts in the laboratory
An easily programmable robotic system has the potential to reduce production costs and expand the skills of employees.

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