2nd place in the Business Ideas category
+ Special website award
Patavinus Moritz Armbrust, Marc Gerken, Sebastian Mildenberger & Steffen Kirschner
Every day, people lose valuables such as keys or wallets. Often, you are lucky, and people find them and hand them in. Around 250,000 lost items are handed in to Deutsche Bahn alone every year. But the process of getting them back to their owners is a long one. Storage, registration and returning the item is expensive and time-consuming. It would be much easier if the objects could be returned to their owners directly, avoiding any indirect route, thought Moritz Armbrust, Sebastian Mildenberger, Steffen Kirschner and Marc Gerken from the University of Bremen. Behind Patavinus, which was named after Antonius Patavinus, (Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of lost things), there is now software that should provide a remedy: Valuables can simply be provided with a tag or sticker designed by artists that says “contact owner” and is registered with iOS or Android. Using a QR code, the finder can immediately enter into an (anonymous) chat with the owner of the lost item and organise the return quickly and easily.
“We carried out an initial test at the Breminale” says Moritz Armbrust. “…and out of ten ‘lost’ keys, we actually got seven back.” Armbrust jokingly refers to himself a “loser” because his own experience with losing important things gave rise to the idea for Patavinus. Now the app is fully programmed, the pre-test was successful, and there is a producer – so Patavinus could now get started. However, what is missing is start-up funding. Through cold calling, the team was able to convince a bank to use Patavinus as a promotional item. “This is a positive start” says Armbrust. And he is confident that they will find other interested parties. After all, having your lost item returned in an uncomplicated way is something that everyone wants.