Member Profile: Field Buzz

Member Profile: Field Buzz

Meet Field Buzz, a new TQ member since the first of September. Co-founders Alexis Rawlinson and Habib Ullah Bahar started the company in 2015 with the goal of creating smartphone-based software “to reach the invisibles in the last mile in emerging markets.” These so-called “invisibles” are the 4 billion farming smallholders, small shops, low-income consumers and unbanked globally whose profiles and transactions with the rest of the world are currently recorded on paper only. Because these people do not have electronic track records with the many companies and organizations that are working with them, there is no way for the companies to know systematically that they are trustworthy and active. So they never get offered all kinds of services and products that would help them to grow out of poverty, such as credit, insurance, training, targeted business or agronomy services.

Field Buzz bridges that gap by helping companies to replace paper records with smartphone-based transactions in the “last mile” in countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Uganda and Kenya. The cash-positive startup already has large clients including Danone, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe, BRAC Microfinance and Welthungerhilfe. But to reach scale, they have been moving beyond customized projects for large clients, converting to a modular software-as-a-service platform suitable also for many smaller organizations.

To keep growing, they have been signing software-distribution partnerships with mobile network operators in emerging markets; and longer-term, they hope to offer profiles & ratings of the previously “invisible” for third-party financial service providers. Field Buzz are looking for like-minded investors to expand their operations and help reach more people in more countries around the world.

For more information about Field Buzz: https://field.buzz or simply say hello to Alexis Rawlinson at his desk at TechQuartier on the second floor.


Founders' Journal: suprtrue - EY Startup Academy

Founders' Journal: Two Tales from EY Startup Academy

Laura Haberkorn of suprtrue

Following the Story

In early October, seven fledgling companies from all over Germany began their EY Startup Academy education. This year’s class is made up of a wide mix of startup business ideas. These startups were selected after competing in a pitch competition in September. From 13 only seven made it into the EY program.

Over the following five weeks, we’ll track the progress of two startups from the group – suprtrue and Sooqua. We’ll ask the founders questions about their past, present and future.

>> Sooqua – week one

meet suprtrue

Sisters Laura Haberkorn and Sandra Tennemann are the co-founders of suprtrue, a web shop (in the making) for simple, sustainable packaging. According to Laura, suprtrue is a collaborative project initiated and held by Packaging Circus, a packaging design agency founded by Laura, Sandra and Kolossum, which was in turn founded by Digital Entrepreneur Florian Krebber.

Week One – Q&A

Q: What does your startup need now?

A: We have already future-minded suppliers on board, but of course we would like to get more inspiring businesses involved. We want to be a game-changer and make the world of packing more sustainable and eco-friendlier. Apart from that, we appreciate the support we get from the EY startup academy in giving a framework of how to bring our business successfully to life on a structural level. Tax, legal, financials – these topics are of course very interesting for us. Since our backgrounds are in design, branding & communications, it is good to get a better understanding of what we need to prepare for rolling out our business.

Q: What inspires your team to continue?

A: The idea to really make a difference in the world of packaging, to break with conventional structures and to be an inspiration or a trigger for the entire value chain to finally work and adapt a more resourceful way of packing and move towards a circular economy. This is fantastic motivation and worth the effort. 

Q: Do you all think that you have personality traits that will help you be successful?

A: We have a vision and see the bigger picture when it comes to solving problems. Creativity is certainly one of our strengths.

Q: What is your general outlook about suprtrue today?

A: We want to become a benchmark in the field and are open for collaborations & partnerships on various levels. Eventually the platform should grow into a curated marketplace with a huge information and innovation hub for producers, brand owners and end-users alike. There are no limits.

Q: How does an idea become a business and what do startups really need help as they grow?

A: The people behind the startup are just as important as the idea. Without a good team that is passionate, curious and open to explore, there is no chance to grow. You have to be bold to do the unimaginable. That’s the spirit we like to incorporate. We hope to find a strategic partner who will support our aspirations.

About suprture

“Through our long-time agency experience and our cross-functional knowledge in design & packaging engineering, we have seen that there is a huge demand for an easy access to sustainable packaging solutions, which can be customized and purchased in small quantities. A user-friendly online shop with classical and special designs is our response to the need of the market.”

Think Moo for package designs. Everyone from a creative director at Adidas to a small-batch jam maker would have access to individual packaging designs available to large and small quantities. Designers and non-designers will save time finding beautiful and sustainable packaging components for large or small orders.

“We believe we can all do better and incorporate a more environment-conscious way of living by choosing quality products and packaging solutions with an eco-friendly approach – therefore we carefully source suitable packaging and pack components and create new coherent and attractive packaging ranges for various industries such as fashion, food, cosmetics and lifestyle. Our pack designs can be embellished with a business logo or an individual layout which can be previewed with the help of a 3D mockup before placing the order.”


Founders' Journal: Sooqua - EY Startup Academy

Founders' Journal: Two Tales from EY Startup Academy

Christopher Dörner of Sooqua

Following the Story

In early October, seven fledgling companies from all over Germany began their EY Startup Academy education. This year’s class is made up of a wide mix of startup business ideas. These startups were selected after competing in a pitch competition in September. From 13 only seven made it into the EY program.

Over the following five weeks, we’ll track the progress of two startups from the group – suprtrue and Sooqua. We’ll ask the founders questions about their past, present and future.

>> suprtrue – week one

Sooqua

“Sooqua is a Predictive-Maintenance-Tool that analyzes sensor data within (water) supply networks using machine learning algorithms and thus localizes leakages in an early stage, shows the networks status in real-time as well as predictions of pipe bursts. Our SaaS-solution makes repairs plannable and cost efficient and thus enables the supplier to maintain a reliable and sustainable pipe network.”

Week One – Q&A

Q: What does your startup need now?

A: Right now we need legal and tax advices most urgent since we are about to found our own GmbH end of this year. So far we had two legal coaches who helped us a lot to know the potential difficulties that we could face during this process. We just got pre-seed financing, so our search for financial resources is not very urgent. We use the pitch training to be prepared for investor/vc-talks in the beginning of next year. We’d also like to have an external point-of-view about our business idea and want to profit from EY’s international knowledge and network.

Q: What inspires your team to continue?

A: We would like to help solve one of the biggest upcoming problems for our society. Due to population growth, urbanization and climate change, an increasing number of cities and regions will suffer from water stress in the next decade. The UN expects, that by 2030 the possible water supply will be 40% below the actual necessary demand. That’s why we want to help find a solution for this problem, increasing the efficiency of utilities and thus making water supply more sustainable.

Q: Do you all think that you have personality traits that will help you be successful?
A: We do think that we are an interdisciplinary and international team with complementary knowledge and personality traits. We are all very ambitious and are working hard to bring the project into reality. We motivate each other and push ourselves while still having fun working with each other and not taking life too seriously.

Q: What is your general outlook about Sooqua today?

A: We would like to develop a predictive maintenance tool, which sets new standards within pipe monitoring. We do not only want to develop our solution for just water utilities, but also for gas/oil-pipelines, district heating and the producing industry that uses pipes.

About the Founders

Sooqua is a young team made up up graduates from Technische Universität Darmstadt and University of Trento. This team was named “People’s Choice” winners during the pitch competition last September.

Christopher Dörner: Co-Founder with a MSc in Industrial Engineering from TU Darmstadt and is the deal-maker. He is responsible for the business part of the startup and organizes everything from customer acquisition and marketing over financing to strategic topics. Chris has already worked in a Software-StartUp

Valerie Fehst: Co-Founder with a MSc in Physics from TU Darmstadt and the Gyro Gearloose. She is responsible for developing the product and basically doing the innovative part. She is transferring the real-world problem into a mathematical and physical model. Valerie has already worked in an IoT-StartUp.

Tri-Duc Nghiem: Co-Founder with a MSc in Software Engineering from Uni Triento (Italy) and the code-runner. He is responsible for implementing the product into code and making the software run smoothly. With more than 7 years of experience in implementing Machine Learning algorithms, he is an expert in his field. He also loves to run marathons. Duc has already worked in corporates and IoT StartUps


Recap: Growth Alliance - The AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator

Recap: Growth Alliance - The AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator

Growth Alliance - The AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator: Startup BEEsharing won 5000 € from Rentenbank.

A look into the future of agriculture in Germany: The Agricultural Minister, bees & lavender-scented pig stalls

For the second year in a row, 10 startups in the AgTech (and introduced this year, FoodTech) development sectors participated in Growth Alliance: The AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator, a business bootcamp co-created by Rentenbank and TechQuartier. The program took place at TechQuartier in Frankfurt from 7-11 October.

More than 35 startups originally applied to be part of this accelerator. From that initial group, only 10 were invited to a week of intensive startup development.

  1. Fliegende Wildretter: Before a farmer mows a field, drones are used to scout for baby and small animals to prevent needless deaths.
  2. BEEsharing: Pollinators are shared between beekeepers and farmers on an online platform. Bees can be ordered and transported to fields in Germany. If you don’t have a field, you can always buy honey products directly from producers.
  3. Cepri: Germany’s first smart insect farm producing mill worms and mill worm flour for high-protein food production.
  4. Vineyard Cloud: With software and an app, a winemaker can monitor and plan everything from pest-control to the grape harvest.
  5. Opal Operational Analytics: The Baker-Planner app uses gathered information – from inventory to sales – to forecast future needs.
  6. SprayPatternator: From snow machines to pesticide applications, coverage is optimized using a new technology that reports efficient spray delivery patterns.
  7. Farmerscent: Keep animals healthy and calm with a diffuser that sprays antibiotics and natural lavender and eucalyptus oil in stalls.
  8. ag.supply: An online shop for all things agriculture and farming.
  9. Seperight: Liquid manure can be used sustainably to produce electricity and water.
  10. Traplinked: With an app, digitally monitor mouse and rat traps.

The week culminated with a Demo Day on Thursday 10. October. More than 150 people at TechQuartier watched each of the 10 startups present their idea in a 5-minute, well-rehearsed presentations. The big winner was BEEsharing (Otmar Trenk and Nils Gerber), which won € 5000 from Rentenbank. Second place went to Traplinked and third to Farmerscent.

“Two years ago, Rentenbank approached us to help create an accelerator for the emerging AgTech and FoodTech in Germany,” said. Dr. Thomas Funke, TechQuartier Co-Director. “Our goal for the accelerator program is to give startups an alive and dynamic way to connect with corporates, funding and networks, so founders can continue to develop and grow their ideas.”

Germany’s Food and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner

Meeting the Minister

Germany’s Food and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner was a guest at TechQuartier and interacted with each startup founder during a roundtable discussion about digital agriculture. She promised to continue to fund startups and digital experimental fields on farms and in rural areas nationwide.

“Der Vorteil von start ups ist es, das ist Vor- und Nachteil, beides, dass sie nicht die Riesentanker sind, sondern klein und schnell, und unkonventionelle Ideen haben. Der Nachteil ist, dass sie noch nicht in irgendwelchen Strukturen sind, Förderstrukturen etwa, oder in Netzwerken, wo Selbstverständlichkeiten sich ergeben, und das muss man zusammenbekommen,” Minister Klöckner said to the startups.

(English translation: “The advantage of start ups is that they are not giant tankers, but small and fast, and have unconventional ideas. The disadvantage is that they are not yet in any structures, such as funding structures, or in networks where obvious things arise, and we must come together.”)

By 2022, 50 – 110 million euros have been earmarked for digitization and modernization in agriculture. promised Minister Klöckner. She also invited all three top contenders (BEEsharing, Traplinked and Farmerscent) to this month’s “Politischen Erntedank” in Berlin and present their ideas to policymakers.

Mentors + Speed Dating

Throughout the week, startups took part in hands-on courses to perfect their brand story and pitches, learn about investment readiness, marketing, ecosystem intelligence and go-to-market prep from mentors with startup successes to share.

The mentors included:

  • Bianca Praetorius, Startup Pitch Coach & Public Speaking Trainer
  • Julian Reitze, Founder and Managing Director of rezemo GmbH
  • Bettina Gereth, Independent Financial Advisor
  • Dagmar Bottenbruch, General Partner DC&F Capital Partners Management GmbH
  • Philip Groth, Founding Partner PSG Rechtsanwälte
  • Simone Bach, Senior Associate Baker & McKenzie
  • Dr Murat Ünal, Chief Intelligence Officer & Founder SONEAN

Accelerator startups were also matched with established corporations for a Business Speed Dating afternoon. Essentially, each founder had 5 minutes to meet with representatives from corporations in a quick networking session.

“I think the most important part is to keep on building connections, bringing people together and open a chance for someone who is not in the startup ecosystem, first time founder to build his/her network,” ag.suppy co-founder Sebastian Schauff said about TechQuartier’s role in supporting German startups.

Demo Day + Workshops

Press Coverage


Founders' Journal: Two Tales from EY Startup Academy

Founders' Journal: Two Tales from EY Startup Academy

Day 1 at EY Startup Academy

In early October, seven fledgling companies from all over Germany began their EY Startup Academy education. This year’s class is made up of a wide mix of startup business ideas. These startups were selected after competing in a pitch competition in September. From 13 only seven made it into the EY program:

Founders will now learn about everything from legal regulations, taxes, negotiation, IT compliance, financing and pitching – all of which will culminate in a final pitch ‘Demo Day’ on 12 November at TechQuartier.

Following the Story

The magic of startups and the pursuit of an idea can seem to be impossible to understand or even start. Where do ideas come from? What makes a founder successful? Can success be easy? During the six weeks, we will follow two different startups each traveling a similar path.

First, we’ll introduce you to a design company called suprtrue, followed by Sooqua. Over the following week, we’ll track their progress and ask questions about their past, present and future.

suprtrue

>> Read Week One

Meet Laura Haberkorn. She is the co-founder of suprtrue, a web shop (in the making) for simple, sustainable packaging.

According to Laura, suprtrue is a collaborative project initiated and held by Packaging Circus, a packaging design agency founded by Laura, her sister Sandra Tennemann and Kolossum, which was in turn founded by Digital Entrepreneur Florian Krebber.

“Through our long-time agency experience and our cross-functional knowledge in design & packaging engineering, we have seen that there is a huge demand for an easy access to sustainable packaging solutions, which can be customized and purchased in small quantities. A user-friendly online shop with classical and special designs is our response to the need of the market.”

Think Moo for package designs. Everyone from a creative director at Adidas to a small-batch jam maker would have access to individual packaging designs available to large and small quantities. Designers and non-designers will save time finding beautiful and sustainable packaging components for large or small orders.

“We believe we can all do better and incorporate a more environment-conscious way of living by choosing quality products and packaging solutions with an eco-friendly approach – therefore we carefully source suitable packaging and pack components and create new coherent and attractive packaging ranges for various industries such as fashion, food, cosmetics and lifestyle. Our pack designs can be embellished with a business logo or an individual layout which can be previewed with the help of a 3D mockup before placing the order.”

Sooqua

>> Read Week One

“Sooqua is a Predictive-Maintenance-Tool that analyzes sensor data within (water) supply networks using machine learning algorithms and thus localizes leakages in an early stage, shows the networks status in real-time as well as predictions of pipe bursts. Our SaaS-solution makes repairs plannable and cost efficient and thus enables the supplier to maintain a reliable and sustainable pipe network.”

Sooqua is a young team made up up graduates from Technische Universität Darmstadt and University of Trento. This team was named “People’s Choice” winners during the pitch competition last September.

Christopher Dörner: Co-Founder with a MSc in Industrial Engineering from TU Darmstadt and is the deal-maker. He is responsible for the business part of the startup and organizes everything from customer acquisition and marketing over financing to strategic topics. Chris has already worked in a Software-StartUp.

Valerie Fehst: Co-Founder with a MSc in Physics from TU Darmstadt and the Gyro Gearloose. She is responsible for developing the product and basically doing the innovative part. She is transferring the real-world problem into a mathematical and physical model. Valerie has already worked in an IoT-StartUp.

Tri-Duc Nghiem: Co-Founder with a MSc in Software Engineering from Uni Triento (Italy) and the code-runner. He is responsible for implementing the product into code and making the software run smoothly. With more than 7 years of experience in implementing Machine Learning algorithms, he is an expert in his field. He also loves to run marathons. Duc has already worked in corporates and IoT StartUps

Photo Gallery: Demo Night Look Back


TechQuartier announces collaboration with  Fraunhofer  Venture

TechQuartier announces collaboration with  Fraunhofer Venture and Europe’s Most Impactful Science Incubator, AHEAD 

Collaboration will focus on acceleration of deep-tech startups 

Frankfurt am Main, September 27th – Fraunhofer Venture, the tech-transfer department of the Fraunhofer GesellschaftEurope’s biggest research organization for applied science, is collaborating with Frankfurt-based innovation hub TechQuartier to host entrepreneurial workshops and events as well as provide market access to emerging new technologies and ideas. 

’Fraunhofer is one of Europe’s strongest deep tech powerhouseThis collaboration will bring our network extremely solid teams with promising technologies, which can help connect to market through our corporates,” says Thomas Funke, Co-director at TechQuartierTheir vision of developing tangible innovation that impact people’s lives aligns perfectly with TechQuartier’s mission.’’  

One of the main aspects of the partnership centers around the Fraunhofer Tech-Transfer Program AHEAD (« AHEAD »). The goal of Fraunhofer’s flagship program, managed by Fraunhofer Venture, is to build future business models and startup teams around Fraunhofer technologyDuring their incubation at AHEAD, those venture teams, like any other startups, need to validate their concepts and business models on the market. This bridge will be facilitated through the collaboration. 

“Fraunhofer is interested in having corporate partners who can give hands-on help and share their expertise, market access capabilities and network in their respective verticals,” says Thorsten Lambertus, initiator and head of the Tech-Transfer Program AHEADThis gives vital input to AHEAD-teams, especially in terms of identifying market needs and thereby aiding teams in developing the right product/application and business model. TechQuartier’s programs and network will enrich our existing bridge to the market.” 

In addition, this collaboration will allow AHEAD-teams direct access to the local startup community through TechQuartier’s space and industry specific networking events and workshops. 

___________ 

About Fraunhofer Venture
Fraunhofer Venture is a central department of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and partner for founders, start-ups, Fraunhofer institutes, industry, and investors. By providing access to Fraunhofer technologies, infrastructure, and know-how with more than 6800 patent families, it offers start-ups the possibility to faster and better establish their products on the market. 

The range of services of Fraunhofer Venture includes comprehensive support and consulting from the idea to the start-up, assistance for finding financing solutions to a possible sale of the company and is backed by different development programs and additional services. 

About TechQuartier
Founded in December 2016, TechQuartier (TQ) is a Frankfurt-based startup hub and cross-industry innovation platform. Now established as the main access point to the local FinTech cluster, it is the reference point both for local startups wishing to grow their business and for corporates aiming to collaborate and leverage their disruptive potential. TQ offers a complete innovation experience made of flexible coworking spaces across 4 locations, acceleration programs, community events, matchmaking with corporates and investors and access to an international network of partner hubs. 

TechQuartier and Frankfurt were together named Germanys Fintech Hub as part of the Digital Hub Initiative (de:hub) run by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. For more information: https://techquartier.com. 

PRESS CONTACT – TECHQUARTIER 

Hugo Paquin,
Marketing ManagerTechQuartier
Email : paquin@techquartier.com
Phone : +49 178 218 4576 

 

FRAUNHOFER VENTURE
Lui Herz M.Sc.
Strategisches Marketing und Innovationsmanagement
Fraunhofer Venture

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V.
Hansastraße 27c, 80686 München, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 1205-4538
Mobil: +49 (0) 160 / 96433315 

Email : lui.herz@zv.fraunhofer.de
http://www.fraunhoferventure.de 


Thomson Nelson

Member Profile: Fincite Ventures

Member Insights: Three tips to attract VC

Member Insights: Fincite Ventures give three tips to attract VC

Meet Thomson Nelson, Senior Manager Digital Ventures at Fincite Ventures.  The company is about four years old and generally has two or three venture projects going per year with big success and a notable equity portfolio of leading European tech companies. Their portfolio focus on scaleups, and all of them have raised capital and demonstrate rapid growth.

A mainstay of the ecosystem in Frankfurt, Fincite Ventures acts as a technology co-founder, servicing early stage startups in Tech for Equity deals. They provide experience and insights into efficient building and scaling web platforms and business models with a focus on building startups in digital asset management services and marketplaces verticals. 

“We know that overall our selection process of ventures is superior to what the current market standard is. The reason for that is that we take risk factors out of the equation. The results prove us right. All our ventures are doing great and we have not lost a portfolio company so far,” Thomson said. He is an expert on identifying and nurturing fintech startups especially focusing on raising venture capital.  He has developed some insights and tips applicable to startups in all sectors that are looking for funding.

Thomson’s first area of focus is looking at a founder’s leadership qualities. Can he/she attract talent with a compelling story? Can a founder endure the obstacle run of growing a company? Can he/she lead teams? Do he/she foresee the future of where markets are going? Can he/she inspire a team, customers and investors – even when the going gets tough?

The first tip – Co-founder/Market Fit

Thomson advises founders to think like a venture capitalist. Ask the question “How is this team best suited to implement this idea?”

“A VC’s evaluation will focus on the team. They know that ideas are not proprietary. In fact, VCs assume that there will be many founders and companies pursuing the same idea.”

According to Thomson, the biggest risk in B2B ventures is often the execution risk. Often there is inherent product/market fit as most ideas stem from experiencing problems first-hand in the industry. In B2B startups it is often important show to the investors that the execution risk is mitigated with co-founding team expertise.

“Funding teams need to show their unique characteristics. Ask the questions: How has the founding team experienced the problem? How can the founder mitigate the technology risk of execution, how is the founder team positioned to acquire end customers easily, because in B2B case-customer acquisition is not only costly but time consuming. How is the co-founding team best suited to tackle this problem?”

The second tip – Product Idea Process/Problem fit

Thomas knows that VCs evaluate the founder’s idea maze. What was the founder’s process to get to his/her current product idea?

“It’s the process of idea maze that is better predictor of the founder’s success than actual product idea itself is. You need to showcase how the product vision is best suited for the problem and why your execution strategy will differentiate from the competitors. Often understanding the current process of how it is done now and then making process efficient is the key differentiator for forming the ideal product maze. Developing customer journey maps and how you envision the new customer journey helps.”

Thomson’s inside knowledge often helps in this development. It’s also important to understand in B2B context when you are selling your product to a corporate.

“You need to figure out how much effort the corporate would need to do in order to fit your product efficiently within their setup. Sometimes product implementation costs for the customer might be a deterring fact. These are also equally important points to be considered when designing the product.”

Finally – Market size:

What if your market is too small? Size does matter in this case. Thomson advises that VCs are looking for big market size opportunities for their investment.

“Sometimes your business model is profitable, your team is really good and the product idea is perfect, but market size isn’t big. That means equity value of the business is often capped, because the market size isn’t big and hence sometimes VC’s reject you.”

But market size should not limit your idea. Sometimes a dedicated, smaller target group is worth investment.

“There are smaller VC funds that invest very early in companies and their business model is to exit companies through acquisitions at lower ultimate end valuations. This might be the VCs you should pursue.”

A final nugget of knowledge from Thomson is about pitching to the right investor.

“Certain opportunities are not relevant for a particular investor. It is important to match the investor-problem-co-founder fit. Many founders oversee that. They make finding an investor a large number game. This does not work well when applying for a job, so why should it work with finding an investor?”

 

Thomson Nelson

About Thomson Nelson

Before joining Fincite Ventures, Thomas worked as Senior Engineer in Energy industry in the United Arab Emirates. His love of finding venture capital angels and product development is a thread in his career. He has a masters degree in Management focused on Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Technical University of Munich and Bachelor’s in Engineering from India. He also has visited 10 counties, lived in 6 and worked in 4 countries.


Recap: Accelerating the Frankfurt Startup Ecosystem

Recap: Accelerating the Frankfurt Startup Ecosystem

On 26. August Hessen’s leading startup and business advocates gathered at TechQuartier to learn about the current state of the area’s ecosystem and future needs for growth. Among the participants were representatives of Hesse Trade and Invest, of the Ministry of Economy, Goethe University, Science Park Kassel and Werte-Stiftung.

From the Startup Genome side, JF Gauthier (in attendance along with his co-founder Marc Penzel and Adam Bregu) presented his company’s research and findings in “Accelerating the Frankfurt Startup Ecosystem into an Engine of Economic Growth.”

The overarching message focused on the need for all the regional factions to work together to grow the current ecosystem. The recommendation is to become ambidextrous – using both “hands” (the first hand is traditional innovation clusters driven by corporations with universities represent, while the second is the startups ecosystems). The two hands need to work together to increase the number of entrepreneurs, and what Genome calls the ‘lab-to-startup performance.’

The Strategy

“Within 20 years, startups will become the largest single sector of the world’s economy and have become the No. 1 engine for job creation.”

According to Mr. Gauthier, Frankfurt’s ecosystem value and startup output is much lower than those of the top 30 global ecosystems. To create a real economic engine, he advises that the region triple the number of startups to 1200 by 2024. Of course, quality of startups is important, but sheer size is also a critical factor.

To reach this goal, Frankfurt must focus on its strengths, which it already is doing by betting on FinTech. But that cannot be the only locomotive. The city and surrounding region now needs to focus on Deep Tech, namely Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Life Sciences and Cybersecurity. Building on existing strengths creates the foundation upon which to start building new sub-sectors up.

The final recommendation is too close the success-factor gaps. For the Frankfurt ecosystem, this means helping startups to think globally instead of thinking only about markets, funding and collaborations within Germany. Germans generally stay in Germany. Increasing seed money and all early-stage funding is critical to growth, too. Without support in the early stages, startups die and founders go elsewhere for their next idea.

“About 92% of startups are doomed because of a lack of funding. They have to bootstrap. Many think they have to stay in Germany first because they lack funding,” Mr. Gauthier said about seed funding in the startup ecosystem. “You need to grow. Creating a strong center that supports startups, like TechQuartier.”

The Tactics

Mr. Gauthier shared the example of University of Waterloo in Canada. “Waterloo has high rates of startup creation because of it created an entrepreneurial culture starting with its universities.” Waterloo has a startup creation rate of 947 per million people, while Frankfurt’s rate stands at 67 per million people. Granted, Waterlook is a more mature ecosystem, with the Waterloo University creating startups since 1997, but the metropolitan Frankfurt is rich in higher education resources and should be able to do more.

The first step to building a successful student-to-founder paradigm is to engage PhDs, recent graduates and students and make them entrepreneurs. With more than 17 region universities teaching entrepreneurship, the talent in Frankfurt is potentially large, but students are not being engaged as startup collaborators and founders. Instead, students are being absorbed into the corporate culture and comfort.

“It’s about creating soft clusters, physical clusters and really having this clusters not only be about technology. Create clusters that are not just one university or one large corporation. Start building a cluster that has two or three universities, several large corporations and hundreds of startups. Start a program to create startups and not create technologies. It’s a totally different mindset and different people usually.”

Tactics to engage and welcome new startups includes:

  • Tech Transfer, promoting company formation and funding,
  • Student Competitions, creating of technologies and products,
  • STEM Education Focus, increase and promote diversity,
  • University SSOPs, places for entrepreneurial minds to learn and share,
  • Co-Op Programs, especially in SMEs and startups and
  • Entrepreneurship Curriculum, make it an explicit career path and start educating.

 

Regional Input

A discussion followed the presentation and regional policymakers, educators and startup experts shared their thoughts on the emerging Hessen startup ecosystem.

Dr. Andreas Hackethal, Professor für Finanzen am House of Finance der Frankfurter Goethe Universität: “What is missing is a clear-cut story. The power of a story that unites institutions is something we cannot overestimate. Now what is our story? This is the biggest challenge in my view to come up a story that pulls everyone together.”

Dr. Sebastian Schäfer: “We have a strong industry base, but our challenge here is really how to help industry and help new centers to develop. For that we have to take action. It’s really about getting out of this traditional economy class. We want to secure future welfare. We are at the heart of the financial part of the country, so we could lead the way.”

Dr. Thomas Funke: “We have 17 universities that have so much talent and researchers, but we are missing ways to brings these ideas to market and to startups. To grow the number of startups this the core issue. We need to activate all the students.”

What is the ideal governance architecture for the Frankfurt startup ecosystem? How do we build a world-class governance ecosystem?

The final consensus was that Frankfurt is rich in opportunity and the next step is designing a governance to help build together and engage students and professors to develop entrepreneurs, who in turn will take the leap of entrepreneurship and start their own ventures.


TechQuartier and Deutsche Bundesbank

Deutsche Bundesbank Becomes TechQuartier’s First Institutional Partner

TechQuartier and Deutsche Bundesbank

Dr. Jens Weidmann, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, and Dr. Thomas Funke, Co-Director of TechQuartier.

Deutsche Bundesbank wird erster institutioneller Partner von TechQuartier

FRANKFURT AM MAIN / 28. August 2019 – TechQuartier hat heute seinen ersten institutionellen Partner bekanntgegeben, die Deutsche Bundesbank. Mit dieser Zusammenarbeit wird das Netzwerk für Innovationen in Deutschland verstärkt und weiter ausgebaut.

Die Partnerschaft mit der Deutschen Bundesbank bietet verschiedensten Unternehmen eine gemeinsame Grundlage, um zusammen innovative Lösungen für kommende wirtschaftliche, soziale und ökologische Herausforderungen zu entwickeln und umzusetzen.

„Dies ist ein bedeutender Meilenstein auf unserem Weg, tiefgreifenden und nachhaltigen Wandel durch Innovationen zu gestalten‟, sagt Dr. Thomas Funke, Co-Direktor von TechQuartier. „Als eine der renommiertesten Institutionen Deutschlands bietet die Deutsche Bundesbank TechQuartier eine einzigartige Perspektive auf die Mechanismen und Regulierung der Finanzmärkte, und ihr Engagement in unserem Netzwerk ist äußerst motivierend. Wir freuen uns sehr darauf, die Zusammenarbeit aufzubauen.‟

Im Rahmen der Zusammenarbeit wird TechQuartier seine Expertise für zukünftige Innovationsentscheidungen einbringen, indem es globale Technologietrends und geeignete Technologien (z.B. KI, Big Data) in der FinTech-Landschaft findet und bewertet. Dazu gehört auch die Suche nach und Beurteilung von disruptiven Marktentwicklungen und die Analyse ihrer Auswirkungen.

Durch diese Partnerschaft werden gemeinsame Ressourcen geschaffen, die eine bessere Vernetzung von regionalen und nationalen Startups und Universitäten ermöglichen und den Zugang zu Finanzierungsplattformen und -möglichkeiten verbessern. Im Gegenzug wird die Deutsche Bundesbank an globale Gründernetzwerke, Partner-Hubs, junge Talente und das umfassende Startup-Netzwerk von TechQuartier angebunden.

Die Deutsche Bundesbank erhält einen Sitz im Lenkungsausschuss von TechQuartier und hat damit strategische Mitsprache bei der Ausrichtung des Innovation Hub. Zu den Gesellschaftern von TechQuartier gehören die Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, die Technische Universität Darmstadt, die Stadt Frankfurt und die WIBank.

Über die Deutsche Bundesbank
Die Deutsche Bundesbank ist die unabhängige Zentralbank der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Zentrales Geschäftsfeld ist die Geldpolitik des Eurosystems. Zu den weiteren Aufgaben gehören das Finanz- und Währungssystem, die Bankenaufsicht, der unbare Zahlungsverkehr sowie das Bargeld.

Über TechQuartier
TechQuartier ist ein 2016 gegründetes und in Frankfurt beheimatetes Startup Hub, eine Cross-Industry-Innovationsplattform. Inzwischen hat sich TechQuartier als lokales FinTech Cluster etabliert und ist der Referenzpunkt für lokale Startups, die wachsen möchten, und für Unternehmen, welche nach Möglichkeiten zur Zusammenarbeit und zur vollen Ausschöpfung ihres Potentials suchen. TechQuartier bietet eine komplette Innovationserfahrung mit flexiblen Coworking Spaces an verschiedenen Standorten, Accelerator-Programmen, Community Events, Matchmaking mit Unternehmen und Investoren sowie Zugang zu einem internationalen Netzwerk von Partner Hubs.

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Deutsche Bundesbank Becomes TechQuartier’s First Institutional Partner

FRANKFURT AM MAIN / 28. August 2019 – TechQuartier announced today that Deutsche Bundesbank will become the startup hub’s first Institutional Partner. This collaboration will help continue to build a stronger, more connected ecosystem for innovation in Germany.

The partnership with Deutsche Bundesbank will provide a common foundation for a variety of businesses to work together to develop and deliver innovative solutions to upcoming economic, social and environmental challenges.

“This is a very important milestone on our journey to create deeply impactful, long lasting change through innovation,” said Dr. Thomas Funke, Co-Director of TechQuartier. “As one of Germany’s most prestigious institutions, the Deutsche Bundesbank brings to TechQuartier a unique perspective on how financial markets operate and are regulated, and their involvement in our ecosystem is extremely encouraging. We are very much looking forward to establishing the working relationship.”

As part of the collaboration, TechQuartier will lend its expertise to future innovation decisions by finding and rating global technology trends and appropriate technologies (e.g. AI, big data) across the FinTech landscape. This includes the discovery and assessment of disruptive market forces and evaluating the relevant impact of innovations.

Shared resources created by this partnership will allow greater connectivity for regional and national startups and universities plus increase access to funding platforms and opportunities. In return, Deutsche Bundesbank will gain global connectivity with founder ecosystems, partner hubs, developing talent and TechQuartier’s comprehensive startup network.

Deutsche Bundesbank will have a seat on TechQuartier’s Steering Committee, gaining a strategic voice on the innovations hub’s orientations. TechQuartier’s shareholder roster includes the Goethe University Frankfurt, TU Darmstadt, the City of Frankfurt and WI Bank.


About Deutsche Bundesbank
The Deutsche Bundesbank is the independent central bank of the Federal Republic of Germany. Eurosystem monetary policy is the Bundesbank’s core business area. Other core business areas including financial stability, banking supervision, cashless payments and cash operations.

About TechQuartier
Founded in December 2016, TechQuartier (TQ) is a Frankfurt-based startup hub and cross-industry innovation platform. Now established as the focal point for  the local FinTech cluster, it is the reference point for local startups wishing to grow their business and for corporates, universities, investors and other institutions aiming to collaborate and leverage their disruptive potential.

TechQuartier and Frankfurt were together named Germany’s Fintech Hub as part of the Digital Hub Initiative (de:hub) run by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Press Contacts:

Susanne  Kreutzer
Deutsche Bundesbank
Stv. Abteilungsleiterin Externe Kommunikation
Tel.: 069 9566-4231
susanne.kreutzer@bundesbank.de

Hugo Paquin
TechQuartier
Marketing Manager
Tel: 0178 218 4576
paquin@techquartier.com


techquartier agtech

The Future of Food: AgTech & FoodTech Outlook with Dr. Murat Ünal

techquartier agtech

The Future of Food: AgTech & FoodTech Outlook with Dr. Murat Ünal

Sign Up to Join the Event

For a network scientist like Dr. Murat Ünal, the AgTech sector is like a giant food buffet. The number of possible combinations and opportunities is seemingly endless and, in the end, you should have something delicious on your plate.

Founder of SONEAN, he is one of the inspiring  experts who is mentoring participants in this year’s “Growth Alliance – The AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator”  presented by TechQuartier and Rentenbank on October 7- 11.

Dr. Ünal is touting the increasingly important role of global food production as one of the driving forces pushing high-tech innovations and fundamentally changing this ancient necessity of human survival. Modern farming.

“The average age of a farmer in Japan is 65,” Dr. Ünal said. In Europe, about two-thirds of agricultural workers are between the ages of 40 – 64 according to the European Commission on Agriculture.

These stats lead to the question: “Who will grow our food in the future?”

The answer is human-led technology. Sunlight-powered robots farming fields in Africa and driven by a human team in Singapore who can exactly pinpoint the optimal time to water to produce a larger crop yield? Why not?

This is where Dr. Ünal’s expertise and imagination step into the picture. His company SONEAN “launched a unique service called ‘Ecosystem Intelligence’ and runs the largest private social network analytic capability in Europe.” He is interested in connecting the dots (or in network science terms the “nodes”) across fields, countries, beliefs and politics to create a realistic, real-time 360-degree outlook that can help AgTech and FoodTech startups weigh the competition and forecast success.

Helping Startups

“We want to give startups a very good idea of the AgTech space. Not only what we are doing, but more importantly the very relevant developments we see on a global scale,” Dr. Ünal said about the upcoming event. “We want them to benchmark their startups with what is going on across the world. With a mouse click, we can tell them what other companies are doing and give them realistic feedback. Are they really on to something different from other companies?”

Participants in the TechQuartier five-day free program “Growth Alliance – The AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator” will have access to some of Germany’s best coaches including:

Five-Year Outlook

In addition to encouraging German startups to think about organically growing their ideas on a worldwide scale, program coaches will offer insights into the near future of Europe’s AgTech and FoodTech scene.

Here is Dr. Ünal’s five-year outlook the European AgTech industry focuses on the following:

  • There most likely will be a lot of breakthroughs in automation.  Robot or remotely-driven tractors are on the horizon.
  • The death of the combustion engine used in farming equipment is imminent as we move away from fossil fuels. Hydrogen, electricity and sunlight are all possible energy sources for new engines.
  • Crops will become more organic – weeds and bugs might be removed by robot “hands” and the use of chemicals will become more pinpointed in their application.
  • Data delivery will be important. A bee-sized drone flown by a remote human pilot could zoom between plants and collect information about crop health. Using improved, faster WiFi technology, a “farmer” can adjust watering schedules, fertilizer applications or pesticide information immediately on a micro or macro scale.
  • Food security and job retention is also important, according to Dr. Ünal.
    “Food production is a very basic industry that sets the standard for many other industries. Because, not just from a food security point of view, but if 70% of your people are working in agriculture like in some emerging markets, you want to keep these people employed or you want to train them. This is vital for so many countries.”

The New Farmer

These innovations are exciting to a young class of startup founders and students who might not considered about farming as a career, but want to create robots to aid in crop production or use machine learning (artificial intelligence) to predict needs.

“There’s a new generation of people developing ideas that will change the industry for good.”

About Dr. Ünal

Dr. Ünal graduated from the University of Adelaide/Australia with a B.Com degree. He holds an M.B.A degree from Kellogg/USA and WHU/Germany and its network programs at Tel Aviv Uni/Israel and Hong Kong Uni of Science and Technology/China SAR. Murat further has a LL.M. degree from the School of Law at Northwestern Uni in Chicago and a Doctorate in Business Administration from IE Business School in Madrid specializing in social network analysis (SNA). He regularly lectures at leading universities globally focusing on the unique application of SNA.

About TechQuartier’s Growth Alliance – The AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator

“The AgTech bootcamp offered us, not only professional input from highly competent experts and experienced companies, but above all the opportunity to network with other technology-oriented startups as well as the agricultural and food industries. This constellation is unique in Germany,”  said Dominik Ewald, Co-Founder of Monitorfish. His pitch was voted best pitch of Demo Day during last year’s inaugural AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator.

Topics covered in this five-day bootcamp include “Investment Readiness,” “Pitching & Storytelling” and “Governance.” Plus a business speed dating event will connect startups with investors and a demo day to introduce projects to the public.