Consistency: Knee and Hip Pain? These Konstanzers have something against – and they get 100,000 euros for it

Ever had knee pain? Or did he twist in the hip? And couldn’t the doctor or physical therapist really help at first? But do you usually wear shoes? Then it says: Welcome to the 14 million club.
Many Germans have problems like the ones mentioned at the beginning and still don’t have a solution for them. This is what four young entrepreneurs from Constanta say, and they have also studied the numbers. And now we want to turn it into a business. They calculated that if they only reached five percent of the target group, they would have 700,000 customers.

Their business idea: a new type of shoe insole made with modern digital technology and thus a remedy for hip pain ...
Their business idea: a new type of shoe insole made with modern digital technology and thus a remedy for hip and knee pain. | Image: Rau, Jörg-Peter

Four founders Maximilian Starkmann, David Melzer, Julia Zimmermann and Timon Sutter have just renamed their company, which started as Solemate, to Eversion Technologies, and this week they have overcome a major obstacle.

Mindelsee concession awarded for the first time

With their business idea, they obtained a loan of 100,000 euros, the so-called Mindelsee grant, which the still young but very committed association of Konstanz, which calls itself (that’s right) entrepreneurs for founders (UfG), has promised.

At the end of the Mindelsee scholarship, engaged with more women in business (from left) the founder Sylvia Kalocsai, MdB Lina ...
At the end of the Mindelsee grant, founder Sylvia Kalocsai, MdB Lina Seitzl, Rebecca Off of the start-up initiative Kilometer 1, MdB Ann-Veruschka Jurisch, Christina Groll of the start-up center of Constance Farm, Antje, committed to other women in business (from left) Freyth of the UfG initiative, founder Julia Zimmermann, Beate Behrens head of the city’s economic development department, graphic artist Beate Reichel and entrepreneur Dagmar Schmieder. | Image: Rau, Jörg-Peter

And what convinced the jury in a close final of three business ideas? Of course, the broad target group and the in-depth market analysis. Almost everyone has joint problems. And the response of the four young graduates.
They have already built the prototype of a sole that analyzes the wearer’s individual gait during extended periods of use and works in conjunction with the mobile phone. With this data, ideally linked to other health information, a new sensation of walking can then arise.


Name employer for a new start-up financing offer: The Mindelsee near Allensbach.  Founder Sylvia Kalocsai has a close ...
Name employer for a new start-up financing offer: The Mindelsee near Allensbach. Founder Sylvia Kalocsai has a close relationship with this special piece of land. | Image: Robert Hahn Bauer

This can start simply with buying shoes that are the right size (many people don’t) and can also be an insole that has been assembled and manufactured using new methods. Thus medicine meets mechanics, digital technology meets a fundamentally analogous product such as an insole.
And there’s a bit of lifestyle too: Starkmann, Melzer, Zimmermann and Sutter want to make the pursuit of well-being when walking a little cool by including a sleek app and virtual assistant for personal contact.

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Everything under one roof: what really happens in the “Farm”, the starter center of the city of Konstanz?
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The decision will be made in the final

When the young team presented this business idea and all the preparatory work done to the jury, it was clear that they were tense. You are a health IT specialist or an industrial engineer and a lot of money is at stake in the Farm starter center on Bücklestrasse in Konstanz.
Entrepreneur Sylvia Kalocsai wants to promote new retired business ideas and launched the Mindelsee Scholarship, named after the founder’s Allensbach origins. You had read in the SÜDKURIER that there were many young people with ideas but without starting capital.

Sylvia Kalocsai is sponsor of the 100,000 euro loan that Mindelsee subsidizes for start-ups in the area ...
Sylvia Kalocsai is the sponsor of the € 100,000 grant offered by the Mindelsee grant for start-ups in the Constance area. | Image: Esteban Waid

So Sylvia Kalocsai did what she always did. She took action and, together with UfG, initiated the financing, which consists not only of money but also of consultancy services and other support. In the last round, three startups had the opportunity to present their business ideas. And all those who witnessed it were impressed. A lot of pioneering spirit, a lot of confidence in one’s idea, a lot of knowledge and preparation: a ray of hope in dark times.
And so the consultant Antje Freyth and the former CEO of SÜDKURIER Rainer Wiesner, both volunteers at UfG, think that initiatives like Eversion Technologies (until recently they were called Solemate) are needed more than ever. Yes, there is also great concern for world peace on the evening of the final and Wiesner receives spontaneous applause for the required minute of silence.

There is a lot of potential in Constanta

But he and mayor Uli Burchardt also point out: without further sustainable development of the economy, even without a successful business location in Constanta, the problems will get bigger and not smaller. Antje Freyth summarizes the experiences with the Mindelsee scholarship in one sentence: He is excited about the “foundation and innovation potential in this locality”.

The Unternehmer Initiative: innen für Gründer: innen (UfG) in Konstanz organized the Mindelsee grant for the first time.  To the final ...
The Unternehmer Initiative: innen für Gründer: innen (UfG) in Konstanz organized the Mindelsee grant for the first time. At the end, (from left) founder Sylvia Kaloscai and UfG board members Antje Freyth and Rainer Wiesner welcome. | Image: Rau, Jörg-Peter

Uli Burchardt has a wish especially for the pioneers of the insoles and the other two finalists: “Stay with us in the region”. behind there is a company in Constance when people can say in the future: my hip or knee problems are gone.

The other finalists

There were three start-up teams vying for the Mindelsee grant. In addition to the group that ultimately won, there were two other finalists. The jury also thanked them and at the same time gave them a lot of courage for further business success:

They build a program that automatically creates texts describing products in online stores, for example: The founders of ...
They build a program that automatically creates texts describing products in online stores, for example: startup founders Constance Xanevo, Jan Kaiser, Jeffrey Lim and Timo Tzschetzsch (from left). | Image: Rau, Jörg-Peter
They are programming a smartphone app that relieves firefighters of a lot of paperwork and at the same time documents operations better than before: ...
They are planning a smartphone app that relieves firefighters of a lot of paperwork and at the same time documents the operations better than before: the two pioneers of the FWApp, Pascal Steinmüller and Andreas Barasicz (from left). | Image: Rau, Jörg-Peter

Founders, startups and new ideas

The SÜDKURIER reports regularly on the young companies in Konstanz. In the “Gründerzeit” series, people and their ideas are presented in detail.

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