Aquarray is a spin-off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, founded in early 2018 by Konstantin Demir, Gunter Festel, Michael Grunze, Pavel Levkin, Anna Popova, Jörg Vienken and Simon Widmaier.
The core technology was developed by Pavel Levkin in his role as Professor at KIT together with Anna Popova as senior scientist and Konstantin Demir as engineer in his working group. Gunter Festel as founding angel and serial entrepreneur and Simon Widmaier as CEO joined the team. Michael Grunze, Professor for Applied Physical Chemistry at Heidelberg University, and Jörg Vienken, R&D Director in the Biosciences Department of Fresenius Medical Care, formed the advisory board.
Important milestones were the EXIST Forschungstransfer grant and the SME Instruments grant by the European Commission which enabled Aquarray to further develop the technology. Wolfgang Sipos, former head of purchasing at Roche Diagnostics in Mannheim, as new CEO led Aquarray through this period of technological development.
In late 2022 he handed over the CEO position to Tim Friedrichson, a former Max-Planck scientist and Management team member at Jado. To speed up the commercialization process, Harry Böltz, co-founder and former CEO of Dispendix, which was successfully sold to Cellink, joined Aquarray in early 2023 as head of sales.
Dr. Tim Friedrichson has more than 20 years of experience in and with biotech startups. He holds degrees in biochemistry and cell biology. After his PhD, he held various positions in a biotech startup company and worked for Max Planck Society. He is co-founder of two startups and focuses on new technology implementation, product development and business management.
Dr. Tim Friedrichson
Harry's focus and passion is the commercial implementation of disruptive technologies. He has a deep understanding of the European life science market (academic & clinical research, biotechnology, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals) and has proven ability to uncover business opportunities at C-level.
Konstantin is co-founder and Production Manager of Aquarray. He is working on the DMA Technology since 2014 and was highly involved in its development. He has a technical background in biology and is responsible for all technical aspects regarding the DMAs.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Gunter Festel is co-founder of Aquarray. After a professional career with Bayer, Arthur D. Little and McKinsey, he founded his own investment company FESTEL CAPITAL and has (co-) founded 15 biotechnology companies. He has various university degrees in natural & social sciences including a PhD in chemistry and a PhD in economics. Furthermore, he is professor for High-Tech and Life Science Entrepreneurship at the Technische Universität Berlin.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Gunter Festel
Dr. Wolfgang Sipos studied chemistry and microbiology in Heidelberg. He was head of the purchasing department of Boehringer Mannheim/Roche Diagnostics before founding several companies and joining AppliChem GmbH. Together with his partners he sold the company successfully to ITW at the beginning of 2012. Since then he has invested in several start-ups helping them with regard to sourcing and business development.
Dr. Wolfgang Sipos
Prof. Dr. Levkin is head of the Biofunctional Materials Systems research group at the Institute of Biological and Chemical Systems (IBCS-FMS) and Institute of Organic Chemistry (IOC) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany. He graduated from the Institute of Fine Chemical Technology, Moscow and obtained his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Tübingen in Germany, followed by postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the cofounder of Screenfect Gmbh and Aquarray GmbH.
Prof. Dr. Pavel Levkin
Jörg Vienken is on the advisory board of Aquarray. He holds a Doctoral degree in Biophysics & Bioengineering from the Technical University of Aachen. He was appointed “Associate Professor” at the Institute for Biotechnology of Würzburg University and has over 30 years of experience in Biosciences, working in companies such as AkzoNobel and Fresenius Medical care. He has published more than 300 scientific publications, 60 book chapters and 9 books. Since January 2016, he works as a Freelance Consultant for the International Medical Device Industry.
Prof. Dr. Ing., Prof. h.c. Jörg Vienken
Dr. Michael Grunze is the Emeritus Chair of Applied Physical Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg and Fellow of the Max Planck School "Matter to Life". After a successful career in Surface Science he changed his research focus to coating of medical devices and the the design and characterization of bio-interfaces. Dr. Grunze published over 430 papers in peer-reviewed journals and 122 patent applications, and cofounded 3 successful companies.
Prof. Dr. Michael Grunze
Anna is co-founder of Aquarray and was involved in developing the DMA technology at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), where she is a head of biological group in the Multifunctional Materials Systems research laboratory. Furthermore, she is leading the projects related to further improvement of miniaturized high-throughput screenings on DMA chips. After getting her Master's degree at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia, she later obtained Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology in at University of Heidelberg, Germany.