FASTTRACK is and even more so will be about partnerships and bridging gaps between high-tech B2B startups and family-owned companies. To continue the successful collaborations of Batch #1, we have implemented our lessons learned to make Batch #2 even more professional and goal-oriented.
Innovative ventures focusing on robotics, data analytics, supply chain solutions, new materials, sensors & actuators and additive manufacturing technologies preferably from all over Europe were invited to apply for joint projects with Hirschvogel Automotive Group, HOERBIGER and Max Aicher Group – all family-owned hidden champions out of southern Bavaria.
Munich Network e.V. was asked to support us with the screening & scouting activities. They reached out to innovation hubs spread across the globe to reach the most interesting ventures. Five weeks prior to the Pitch Days the submission was closed, registering roughly 100 applications for Batch #2.
The 20 following startups from Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland and Switzerland gathered one of the sought-after slots for the FASTTRACK Pitch Days on 15th and 16th of October:
3D Strong, Azeti Networks, deevio, drag & bot, Eiratech Robotics, EPM Riga, iiMES, IMSystems, InLable, Kinexon Industries, KOJON Network, KOMP-ACT, Locomotec, Nano Join, Neuron Soundware, Magazino, Opiliones, SK – Technologies, SquadTec, Trovus Tech.
The Pitch Days kicked-off with an individual briefing session with selected representatives of the three partners and Ceravis on Monday afternoon. The session was intended to give startups a vast idea on which use-cases to focus on in order to maximize the chances of success when pitching their technology to selected German engineers and decision makers the following day.
The first day was topped off with a well-deserved networking dinner with founders and representatives of the three FASTTRACK partners in the Industrial Makerspace next to the FASTTRACK HQ in Landsberg. Time to reflect upon the real live needs of the three partner companies, exchange personal experiences and discuss business opportunities.
The 2nd day started with a short introduction of the three FASTTRACK partner companies given by their management. Bastian Burger, blik’s CEO, shared his experiences as participant of Batch #1 with the audience and prospective startups of Batch #2. He vividly explained which upfront expectations of the program he had, how they were fulfilled and which challenges along the way had to be mastered.
“To make the most out of FASTTRACK, don’t just find any stakeholder to conduct the joint project with you – put in effort to find the right one, someone with a clear need for your solution who can help you improve it based on practical experience.”
That being said, we made sure our startups would have plenty of opportunities to find suitable stakeholders for their desired pilot projects. More than 50 Managing Directors, key decision makers, engineers and plenty more representatives from Corporate and Advanced Engineering, Quality Management, Production Planning, Product Design, Business Development, IT Services and Logistics Department were eager to meet the founders in person.
We put an emphasis on personal exchange rather than monotonous pitches. The startups were thus given six minutes to teaser their technologies and get business units interested for personal exchange in the afternoon sessions.
On the one hand, startups exhibited their technologies and live demos for a more tangible user experience at the fair. On the other hand, moderated round-table sessions sparked detailed discussions. These sessions turned out to be really fruitful and laid the basis for collaboration on joint projects. Together with interested business units from all three partners, startups discussed technology aspects in detail and elaborated on use cases and which steps to take on next.
“I’ve never been in one room with dozens of German engineers – quite a drill session, quite an experience!”
Hands-on and straight-forward – that’s how our partners determined in a typical family-business manner, which startups would be selected into Batch 2. Congrats Azeti Networks, KOMP-ACT, IMSystems, InLable, Locomotec, Nano Join and Trovus Tech.
They will kick-off a total of 9 pilot projects with our partners, starting in January 2019. An additional 4 startups got leads for business opportunities.