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Virtual Demo Day – new innovations and future tech-trends

Virtual Demo Day – new innovations and future tech-trends

TechFounders Virtual Demo Day brought entrepreneurs together from around the globe to see new innovations and share thoughts on future tech-trends and current crisis’ effects on entrepreneurship. 

This spring has really shown how well we all adapt to change. A few months ago, everyone’s lives changed from meeting face-to-face to behind the screen, and so did our program for Batch #11. In the past months, all coaching and mentoring sessions were held online and the pilot projects between our corporate partners and the startups continued remotely. It was an obvious decision that, to keep all the participants safe, our program’s highlight event – the Demo Day – would also have to take place virtually.

Last week, the anticipated Virtual Demo Day finally took place in a live broadcast form. After a short welcome by our Managing Partners and event moderators Miki Yokoyama and Heiko Huber, the startups presented their pitches in front of over 400 live-viewers! After this unusual spring, we were thrilled to see the progress our eight startups had made with their pitches and companies. All the innovations to digitalize operations and to fight for a more sustainable tomorrow showed us that supporting startups means building the future as well.

After the pitches and short Q&As from the audience to the founders, it was time for the moderated talk lead by Sebastian Matthes, Deputy Chief Editor & Head of Digital at Handelsblatt. The special guest to join was Andreas von Bechtolsheim, a successful entrepreneur and one of the first investors in Google. In this rare video interview, he shared his thought-provoking viewpoints on entrepreneurship, investing and the current crisis’ effects on entrepreneurship. Throughout the interview we got to know what motivated him to start his own companies one after another and what his predictions on future tech-trends are.

We want to thank everyone who participated on our Virtual Demo Day! We were pleasantly surprised by the number of viewers at our first online event ever and how engaged the audience was during it. If you missed our livestream, don’t worry – you can watch the recording of the broadcast here or on YouTube. 

Great thanks to all our Batch #11 startups for participating in our program. We can’t wait to hear the success stories that these startups will turn into. We would also like to thank all our corporate partners for supporting our program.

 

Alumni Startup arculus raises €16 million funding!

We are beyond excited that our alumni startup arculus raised impressive €16 million Series A funding! Arculus was founded in 2016 and was part of TechFounders program’s Batch #5 in 2017.

The Germany-based startup is revolutionizing the traditional manufacturing with their modular production platform. It transforms the one-dimensional assembly line into scalable and flexible assembly modules. By using AI-powered software and autonomous mobile robots, arculus brings assembly lines into the 21st century. According to TechCrunch’s article, Arculus claims that with their technology companies can reduce space consumption by 20 % and increase worker productivity by 30%.

Leading the Series A funding round was European venture firm Atomico, with participation from Visionaries Club and previous investor La Famiglia VC. As part of the investment, Atomico partner Siraj Khaliq is joining the Arculus board.

Adapting to change, managing complexity and increasing productivity while reducing costs have been the main goals of arculus’ platform solution. And it seems their innovation has proven its utility: arculus already works with some of the leading manufacturing companies across a range of industries, including Siemens, Viessmann and Audi. The company plans to use the funding to strengthen their product development, broaden customer base and prepare for their global rollout.

Congratulations to arculus, and we wish to hear more from you in the future!

Alumni Startup Toposens raises a new round of funding

Toposens logo

Our Alumni Startup Toposens from Batch #3 has raised a new round of funding. The round was led by their existing investor ALPANA Ventures and joined by new investors Basinghall Partners and In-Q-Tel, Inc.

The company has developed the world’s first 3D Echolocation Sensor for emerging technologies, such as autonomous driving, robotics and smart buildings.  The sensor system perceives its environment via the principle of echolocation, similar to the techniques used by bats. Toposens is the first company to bring this type of sensor system with 3D capabilities to the market, and it has been sold to more than 100 customers globally across multiple industries. The company has implemented and tested their technology in various projects with customers like BMW, Continental, and Daimler.

The startup plan to use the additional investment to enhance their technology and software, develop new partnerships, and launch new use cases based on their technology. The startup was founded in 2015 and is based in Munich with a presence in Sunnyvale, California. They took part in TechFounders program in 2016.

Read their full press release here: https://toposens.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2020-05-06_Press_Release.pdf.

Learn more about their tecnology and innovation on their website: https://toposens.com. 

Congratulations to Toposens and we wish to hear more from you in the future!

New Survey Shows: Almost 90% of Startups Think About Sustainability

With the climate strikes and Greta’s rallies for climate protection in 2019, the public debate about climate change and sustainability issues has picked up tremendously last year. As the world is currently getting used to a new reality, the topic of sustainability will become all the more important to secure competitiveness and the long-term success of any business with a view to the longer-term future.

How relevant is the topic of sustainability for startups? What challenges are they facing to integrate social and environmental concerns into their products, principles, and value chains? And further, what are relevant catalysts for the whole industry to become more sustainable and how are startups – already today – working on sustainability in their companies?

Dr. Thomas Melde, Managing Partner at akzente & Miki Yokoyama, Managing Partner at TechFounders

TechFounders, the Startup Accelerator Program of the entrepreneurship center “UnternehmerTUM” and the sustainability consulting company akzente have examined these and other questions in a European-wide survey and have published the results in their first Whitepaper “Sustainability in Startups”.

You can find the full press release on the Whitepaper here. (German only)

You can download the full Whitepaper “Sustainability in Startups” here.

Over 500 completed applications for Batch #12!

Incredible! The application phase for our upcoming Batch #12 closed with 511 completed applications. Many thanks to all applicants for your trust in our program. We are very proud to attract startups from all over the world:

EU (w/o GER) = 244

Germany = 170

USA = 36

Israel = 24

Others = 37

What happens next? We will very carefully review each application together with our corporate partners. Dozens will have the chance to convince TechFounders and our market leading corporate partners in interviews and pitch events – We can’t wait for it!

Alumni Startup Wisefood receives a seven-digit financing!

Our batch #10 alumni startup Wisefood has successfully completed their Series A financing round!

The company receives a seven-figure sum from several private investors. Wisefood intends to use the funding to expand their plastic-alternative product portfolio to other sustainable items in addition to their edible drinking straws. Last year they replaced more than 50 million plastic straws with their edible “Superhalm” straws which are made completely out of renewable materials. During our program the company worked together with our corporate partner ALDI and they have continued their cooperation since – Superhalm straws can be found in more than 4,200 ALDI Nord and ALDI SÜD branches throughout Germany! The company is now planning to export to other countries as well.

Congratulations to Wisefood and all the best for their future!

Read @Munich Startup’s article about Wisefood’s financing round and future plans here (in German): https://www.munich-startup.de/58993/series-a-finanzierung-wisefood/

And more about Wisefood’s products here: https://www.wisefood.eu/

INFORMATION FOR STARTUPS IN FINANCIAL CRISIS DUE TO COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the majority of Europeans to stay home. Already now, the economic impact of the crisis is leaving startups agitated about how to financially survive during this time. We have collected useful information and links about which actions are being taken (in Germany) to help startups to survive and where you can seek financial support during this crisis. Please take in notice that this post has been written based on the current released information and can change over time.

MEASURES BY THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT

The German government acts against the economic impact of the coronavirus with measures to protect jobs and to support companies. The goal is to equip businesses with enough liquidity that they will be able to make it through the crisis in good shape.

Find the summary about the current and planned measures here: Government_measures_Financial_Aid

MEASURES BY THE STATES

Some states have taken additional measures or facilitated access to loans to support local companies. You can read the about the state measures here: State_measures_Financial_Aid

GERMAN STARTUP ASSOCIATION

The Bundesverband deutsche Startups e.V. keeps startups updated regarding best practices and financing and liquidity support. They are also organizing online Q&A sessions and roundtables for startups.

Alumni Startup GBatteries receives up to $3million in funding

Photo by Mark Holleron

Congratulations to our Alumni Startup GBatteries from Batch #6 for receiving impressive seven-figure funding through the Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada program!

GBatteries uses artificial intelligence to optimize a battery’s rate of charge, and their mission is to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, by enabling electric vehicles to charge as fast as it takes to fill a tank of gas. Their drive towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions has even been noted by Bill Gates on Twitter.

Alumni Startup Passage AI acquired by ServiceNow

Congratulations to our alumni startup Passage AI from Batch #9 for being acquired by ServiceNow!

ServiceNow has signed an agreement to acquire Passage AI, a conversational artificial intelligence platform that lets clients build chatbots in multiple languages. The platform gives ServiceNow an automated way to respond to customer inquiries.

ServiceNow expects to complete the acquisition by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Kick-off Pitch Event

On Wednesday our eight new startups pitched for the first time in front of our TechFounders mentors. Audience was clearly impressed by the interesting and groundbreaking developments and inventions that the teams presented, from solutions that enable hydraulic systems to be replaced by electromechanical ones to AI-powered software for improved recruitment processes . After the presentations, the startups had the chance to network with the guests and find mentors to help them on their startup journey.

From this basis, we will work together to polish these pitches into diamonds for Demo Day in May, where the startups will present their companies in front of 250+ investors, industry representatives and the press. It has been an exciting week and it’s only the beginning: in the upcoming 20 weeks the teams will get into different trainings and coachings to build their business model, improve their marketing strategies, learn more about HR and IP topics, and connect with successful CEOs and CTOs.”