Ideas, inventions and achievements

Many developers’ and inventors’ success stories, whose ideas went on to become hits, began at the iENA.

Pal Molnar with Anima Nova 

Pal Molnar presented his invention, the height-adjustable carbon sound post for stringed instruments, for the first time at the 2015 iENA.

How did you come up with the idea?

I’ve been engaged with the repair and tonal adjustment of stringed instruments for over 35 years. In the process I became aware of the sound stock’s special significance for an instrument’s tone and I looked for ways to optimise the tone. The iENA was the first fair at which I presented my invention to the public. 

What happened with your invention after the fair?

My invention was awarded the iENA Gold Medal and the Special Prize of the Croatian Inventor’s Society, which I was able to make very good use of for marketing purposes. I regularly exhibit at trade events and receive a lot of encouragement from violin makers and musicians. In the meantime, Anima Nova is available at over sixty violin makers in 14 countries. Even a Stradivari cello is equipped with Anima Nova.

Alexander Bayer and Niklas Gutsmiedl with “Blindbot”

The two students presented their invention, an electronic walking aid for people with vision impairment, for the first time at the 2016 iENA.

How did you come up with the idea?

Through two blind classmates we experienced the kind of everyday problems visually-impaired people have to grapple with. A white cane is useful, but isn’t able to navigate, and a guide dog is not everyone’s cup of tea and also time-consuming and costly to train. We wanted to help construct a walking aid that is easy to use and also inexpensive to manufacture. After two years of development, the prototype was ready – with which we took part in the “Young People Research” competition. Our “Blindbot” assistance system combines artificial intelligence with 3D scanners and a GPS system.

How was your invention received by the trade?

At the iENA we could win over both visitors and the professional jury with our invention. We received an iENA gold medal for it and also a special honour from the European Inventor’s Association – the highest prize awarded at the iENA every year. In the meantime, a patent has been filed for our invention and we are taking part in the “Young People Establish” competition with the “Blindbot”. There’s a business plan already too.

Roland Bachstein

Roland Bachstein first presented his invention, the holistic mental relaxation and regeneration system, which enables rapid mental relaxation based on the principle of monotonic stimulation of the sensory organs, at iENA 2017.

How did you come up with the idea?

Due to the permanent sensory overload and the demands of daily life, I felt an increasing inner restlessness. During more frequent train rides, I made a groundbreaking self-observation: I noticed the gentle, monotonous car vibrations. In this atmosphere, I began to drift off in my thoughts after only a few minutes. Inside, I felt a euphoric lightness, a sense of complete relaxation. This experience stimulated me, it created the need to experience this form of relaxation in everyday life as well. The idea of lounge8 was born.

To what extent did the iENA help you bring your invention to market/find investors or similar?

The IENA 2017 was an ideal platform for us as a small startup company to present our new development to a good mix of experts from business, industry and research. We were able to have very good and constructive discussions and received a lot of feedback. We made valuable contacts that have already led to initial sales partnerships. Also very positive for us were the advertising effectiveness and PR activities through media and press work in the run-up to and during the IENA 2017 (published articles in TV and print media) as well as the silver medal award in the IENA Inventors' Competition.

What happened next with your invention after the trade show?

After patent grants as well as first innovation awards and remarkable effects & results of the lounge8 system in psychotherapeutic work, with top athletes and in top management, we are now in the go to market phase. A first small series has already been produced and most of it has been sold and is being tested by potential cooperation partners.

Our main activities are now focused on building up sales in German-speaking countries and subsequently on the European and international market. At the same time we are preparing the second production series lounge8. lounge8 AG, located in CH-9445 Rebstein, was established in 2017 with a team of 3 people. 2018 year already 12 people are working for lounge8 AG.

Hans-Jörg Licha with the SoftAirSeat

How did you come up with the idea?

I travel a lot for work to faraway countries and I was always struggling with back pain on those long flights. I started looking for a seat cushion which would alleviate my pain and tried all sorts of cushions, but none of them helped me. So I decided to design a cushion myself and, after two years of preparation, we were finally able to launch the SoftAirSeat.

What happened with your invention after the fair?

During the fair we were able to make many interesting contacts and even sell some cushions already. We’re particularly thrilled that we received one of the coveted iENA gold medals and that we were honoured with a special prize, which helps us to uncover more contacts and marketing opportunities. In the meantime, we’ve transformed our small firm into a limited company which is in contact with many large corporations. They help us with our marketing and put our product to use.

Bernd Schairer with his Shoot Protector (a guard for forest plants made of wood)

How did you come up with the idea?

We’d been looking for a long time for alternative protective products for our forest plants which weren’t made of plastic or chemical-based. Then we had the idea of making something out of wood ourselves – and since then we’ve been able to sell over 50,000 units of the product already.

What happened with your invention after the fair?

The iENA really helped me in terms of marketing. There were visitors from every sector of the economy, who we were able to introduce to the product and describe its benefits. This experience helps us to this day in the marketing of the product.
Demand is rising steadily – in 2018 we’re hoping to crack the 100,000 unit mark. We’d definitely like to keep production in Southern Germany. To be sure, the pressure in terms of price is very great, but I hope that customers will see the benefits for the environment and thus the added value for everyone.