Summary EVM Stuttgart at EY
On May 18th our 27th EVM
was hosted by EY
in their Stuttgart headquarters.
We were honoured to host our EVM for the second time in Stuttgart at the spacious EY offices!
The European Venture Market (EVM) is a networking conference for investors, corporates, service providers, start-ups early/expansion stage from different areas of industry. Held in several cities around Germany, the participants meet, network, discuss and further develop business ideas and projects. During the event the participating entrepreneurs will be able to pitch their business projects for around 5 minutes to a crowd of investors, incubators & accelerators, corporates and service providers. The program also includes keynote speeches, specific industry presentations, occasions for one-to-one meetings, coffee and lunch breaks. We gladly offer you extensive support service before, during and after the event.
Stuttgart and its surroundings are one of the core regional areas of German industry. The area has a very high density of very successful SMEs and also major automotive players, i.e. Daimler and Porsche, and their suppliers. As in other areas in Europe, EY is very involved with its Start-Up-Initiative (http://start-up-initiative.ey.com/) showing the young companies what benefits the cooperation with a global service-provider can have as the Start-Ups build their businesses and how established companies can benefit from the innovative forces of Start-Ups!
If you have questions regarding EY Stuttgart’s outstanding services please contact Marco Koch +49 (711) 9881 19298 for detailed information – he and his team are looking forward to hearing from you!
After the opening by Marco Koch from EY and Markus Kuntze as the organizer of the EVM, we started right away with a very important legal issue “General Data Protection Regulation – Impact on Start Ups” presented by Dr. Moritz Hüsch from Heymann & Partner. Heymann & Partner is a boutique law firm founded in April 2005. Today, they are 17 lawyers of which 8 are partners. The core areas of Heymann & Partner Rechtsanwälte are M&A, private equity, venture capital, restructuring, technology, intellectual property and outsourcing.
Dr. Hüsch outlined the upcoming much stronger requirements for data protection and the corresponding laws and urged the participants to make sure to comply since the penalties are quite rigorous. If you have any questions regarding the issue please give Moritz Hüsch a call +49 (69) 768063453
Afterwards Markus Lichtenheldt, Partner at Evolvice, outlined the "Pros and Cons of Outsourcing”. Evolvice Group is a technology service provider offering IT resources that help transform businesses. Even in Ukraine, Evolvice works in accordance with German standards, a transparent approach, an agile mindset – offering software development and IT recruitment for enterprises and startups. Markus spoke out of his own positive experience as an entrepreneur using Evolvice services. It convinced him to partner up with the team! With questions please contact Andreas Ganswindt +49 (711) 21955920
Then we went into “medias res” with the first company presentations block: moderated by Holger Michael Wagner form EnBW Ventures. His fund is an evergreen fund concentrating on the energy sector (e)-mobility, storage, - smart home and connected devices, smart city, virtual power plant and all related topics like security, data analytics etc.
Holger moderated already last year, so he had no problem guiding the companies and managing the Q&A-rounds: thank you very much for your support
spoteffects is a software-as-a-service solution that allows TV media planners to optimize TV advertising campaigns for online shops and other websites, based on the number of immediate website visits and conversions generated by each broadcasting of the TV commercial, rather than planning campaigns only based on the size of the target group audience reached. This is possible, because spoteffects bridges the technical gap between TV and web by matching TV and web data using an elaborate algorithm. The clients are advertisers who include a call-to-action into their TV advertisement, and their TV media agencies. There were >2.250 such brands in Germany in 2016, but the market is the world market: spoteffects already analyzes TV advertisement in India, Australia, USA, Morocco, Turkey and almost all European countries.
TridShops provides a complete Omni-Channel retail solution, via 3D digital stores, designed to enhance the unique visitor's sensory and social experience. EACH uploaded store is PERSONALIZED and tailored to the unique visitor and/or social shopping group's wants and needs, while reducing navigation and prolonging exploration time spent in the store. The personalized shopping experience is designed to Increase:
- Link's visit duration-getting consumers to engage with the brands more often and longer.
- Click--through rate-convert "flyby"visitors into regular ones.
- Sales conversation- gain loyalty and convert them into buyers.
The 3D shop integrates advertising boards enabling brands to stand out and create a buzz!
POMM – Privacy On My Mind. The slogan says it all: in today’s world of data sharing the security demands of many users and especially corporations in exchanging information are often not matched at all. POMM thinks that the mere encryption is not safe enough and developed a hardware that encrypts data before they leave the individual device and thus can’t be traced. Nothing is completey safe but the separation of the encrypted data from the device makes it much harder for hackers! The technology eventually will be included in cases for smart-phones.
During the following well deserved networking break you could already see participants – investors and companies and service providers - in engaged conversations!
We continued with a Panel Discussion "Start-ups made in Germany - local heroes or ready to conquer the world?"
Peter E. Braun from EBAN was so kind to moderate and invited Adrian Thoma from Pioniergeist GmbH, Katrin Redmann from SAP, Titus Walek from Heymann & Partner, Sohaila Ouffata from BMW iVentures, Dr. Claus Schmidt from CSInnoConsultants, Robert Gallenberger from btov Partners and Nir Ofer from Gold Ventures International to join him on the podium.
Since the panel was quite diversified, an interesting discussion emerged, especially stressing that German companies are pretty much forced to focus also on international markets since the German market alone is probably too small for most products and services. It was also most interesting to hear what the participants thought about the difference between corporate venture and classic venture. It seems that all discussants agreed that even the corporate venture arms should simply focus on the actual equity investment and not put pressure on Start-Ups or try to outsmart them. This could be the case when a corporate is concentrating on eventually including Start-Ups in its own operations.
The legal aspects and the necessity to seek advice before going abroad were discussed as well as the possibility to cooperate on an international basis. Nir used the example of Israel with its small market where companies are forced almost right away to go international, and he stressed that because of the small but technologically very advanced market, Israel can be a very good test market.
All participants agreed that Germany developed positively in the last years and that there is more capital available, but that there is still a large gap especially compared to the US.
Thanks Peter and all participants for a lively discussion and good insights!
Then the EVM followed with the second company-session moderated by Thomas Oehl, Vito Ventures. Vito Ventures is a venture capital firm based in Munich. As a European early stage investor, Vito Ventures invests in start-ups and technologies enabling the digital transformation of enterprises and infrastructure. Following the fundamental values of its slogan "German Engineering Capital", Vito Venture’s main focus sectors are the Internet of Things, Industry SaaS, B2B Marketplaces and Energy Tech. Apart from venture capital, Vito Ventures offers founders direct access to industrial SMEs. With the Viessmann Group supporting the first fund as a limited partner, portfolio companies benefit from the close ties Vito Ventures maintains with the Group and its industrial network.
shipcloud is an easy to use cloud based shipping platform - solving retailers' problems. Thanks to the advanced and award winning technology, shipcloud is part of the digitizing revolution that is imminent in the logistics sector. And one of the hotspots of the DACH start-up scene according to Oliver Wyman—on its way to become what stripe is for payment: the Shipping Service Provider. The modern RESTful API is designed to be connected to the customers’ shop-/ERP-systems very easy, saving time and money. shipcloud is even pre-integrated into 33 shop-/ERP-systems, allowing for a plug-and-play connection and automated national and international shipping within minutes. TAM of more than 5 billion shipments per year in Europe with online shopping growing by six percent year by year. Sales potential of more than 3 billion consignments shipped by our main customer group of SME web shops. Targeted SOM of 60 million shipments per year.
APPbyYOU offers an individual customizable "Business Messenger as a Platform", called COMPANY-MESSENGER. The customer can install this solution in their IT-landscape. The existing backend system can be integrated to the platform of the messaging system. In addition the IT specialists of the customer or the APPbyYOU sales partner can further develop needed "ChatBots". APPbyYOU sells not only the software license of the B2B Company Messenger, but will also provide a Mini-App-Store for selling widgets, chatbots and AI-bots to the messaging system in the future. It is a huge new market for the chat app era.
The ONE PPS generates a new market for primary packaging and extraction/injection/device-systems. This modular packaging and injection system basically leads to a late stage drug product diversification. “The ONE Primary Packaging System” shows that only one primary packaging can be used in all stages of drug product development, commercialization, and thus can change drug product development paradigms. Benefits of “The ONE Primary Packaging System” are the reduction of drug product development complexity, drug product development costs, drug product development risks, drug substance and drug product needs for development and an increase of development flexibility for pharmaceutical companies, flexibility for decision makers and patients and market potential of the drug product due to functional flexibility.
Nexolink offers its customers a solution that can be used to trigger orders for consumables or recurring services simply by pressing a button. For this purpose, they have developed a combination of hardware and software that works completely independently of an existing infrastructure (via mobile network) and can be easily integrated into existing customer systems (shop, fulfillment partner, etc.). The solution is interesting for all companies that offer recurring products or services.
Nexolink is currently working on various products in this area, of which the first ones have already been delivered and will be available in the coming months in relevant quantities for the final consumer. Project examples are:
- Order coffee capsules at the push of a button
- Lotto play at the push of a button
- Order of the favourite meal by the push of a button
- Get your razorblades from Gillette by the push of a button – a deal just closed!
Dresden Microdisplay GmbH with its SVPOxxx series is offering a family of OLED-based microdisplays showing images, videos or any graphical information in near-to-the-eye applications. In addition Dresden Microdisplay with its LCoS family of microdisplays is addressing the customer needs for high resolution displays, where a very high brightness is needed. To enable customers a very fast time-to-market Dresden Microdisplay is also offering optical lenses, optical modules (housing with microdisplays and lenses and in case of LCoS also LEDs and their driver electronics) as well as fully developed binocular and monocular electronic modules containing the microdisplays, the optic as well as all needed driving electronics to connect any of these systems using either standard RGB/Cinch video cables or HDMI. Microdisplays have been used in rear projection televisions, are actually used in projectors, viewfinders, thermal cameras… and are key components in glasses for Virtual & Augmented Reality.
Thomas did a great job introducing the companies and conducting the Q&A session – thanks a lot!
After a well-deserved lunch, we continued with another Panel Discussion moderated by Stefan Fazekas from WARP-Innovation: By conducting WARP-Innovation (WI) Boost-Camps with start-ups, spin-offs and corporate teams WI enables up to 10 teams per camp to boost their biz idea up to a go2market roadmap in co-working mode amongst each other and together with WI as their facilitators. WI-Boost-Spaces aim at win:win oriented collaboration between established and emerging organizations, related services and investors.
Stefan's partner on the panel were Curt Gunsenheimer from Iris Capital and Sebastian Fittko from RWE Innogy. The points to be discussed were outlined as
- VC investment criteria
- Interacting market partners
- Traditional vs corporate VC
And since the last point was already an issue in the morning, Stefan asked Sohaila Ouffata from BMW iVentures to join the round. And he also asked Jasper Sasse from spoteffects on stage to include the Start-Up view. It was again interesting to hear about the investment criteria, which of course are different, especially when it comes to the investment stage: Curt, for example outlined why he thinks that VCs are not really the best investors for early stage, it was also clear that there are a few things all investors have in common like the focus on a good team and leadership! It was also discussed in detail how different services in the market-place can help companies to become VC ready and improve on their presentation and communication skills. And with the last issue it was also made clear that the corporates today are much more involved and have money, so the advice was to approach them, but also traditional VCs to ensure independence.
Thanks to Stefan and his panel participants for another lively round!
Now we were all keen to hear from Uwe Horstmann partner at Project A about:
"Venture Capital in Europe - lessons learned from ten years in a weird industry"
Uwe had his start in the industry at Rocket Internet and after 5 years founded Project A with his partners. Project A not only invests but offers Start-Ups support by its network of service professionals to assist in all fields of activity and boost the business as fast as possible. Since he comes from the State of Baden-Württemberg, he is eager to see possible investments in the area and Project A is willing to invest substantial amounts in the Stuttgart region: So, Start-Ups, persuade them!
He also had a few “frustrating” messages, especially hinting that the VC-businesses worldwide are sometimes not as profitable for the LPs as hoped for: One statistic he pulled up showed that only a fraction of all transactions and exits have been really profitable for investors. He also mentioned that Sequoia Capital is one of the very few that have been invested in 20 of the most successful deals. His general remark: the times for VCs to collect their fee and hope for the best are over. Now it’s time to deliver real returns!
Good news for Start-Ups: Project A thinks that the investors have to pitch the companies to persuade them of their superior service! A very nice and fresh view! We wish him and for his participations all the best!
Thanks Uwe for the great insight and presentation!
Lots of animated discussions during the following coffee break and many participants trying to get a word with Uwe Horstmann!
Once we re-joined, Marco Koch our host from EY and the partner at EY responsible for the Start-Up-activities in the region, spoke about „Innovation powered by EY“. A lot of younger companies would probably be hesitant to give EY a call to ask for their help, but Marco Koch made it very clear that he and his colleagues are eager to help and have put together various packages for Start-Ups that make it easier and actually very attractive to talk to EY: it is not only the nicely priced services in the beginning, it is also the enormous expertise and the worldwide network of 220.000 people EY has to offer! Marco gave a few examples where companies benefitted very quickly from EY’s supervision and expertise! So don’t hesitate, give them a call with your questions and test them! You can reach Marco Koch under +49 (711) 9881 19298.
And then we were ready for our last companies session moderated by Ertan Can from HR Ventures. HR Ventures is the venture capital company of the Hahn Air group based in Dreieich, near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Founded in 2012, HR Ventures focuses on early-stage investments in cutting-edge and scalable technologies.
Cloud Invent develops Software for the CAD (Computer Aided Design) industry. The patented technology is the innovative constraints solver for parametric CAD applications. It allows design and modify-constrained models containing thousands times more geometric and dimensional constraints than the models resolvable by commercial constraints solvers available on the market. The CAD market is a big software market (about $10B). The biggest player is Autodesk with approx. 1/3 of the market and about $3B revenue. Three more big players are – Dassault Systems, Siemens and PTC, together controlling 3/4 of the market. Cloud Invent’s main path to the market is B2C in not competing with the major players, but offering their solver as an add-in for CAD applications of these CAD vendors. Thus Cloud Invent adds value to these applications - both CAD users and CAD vendors will be interested in it. Besides this Cloud Invent is going to offer their solver as a cloud service (for CAD users) and as a SDK (for CAD developers).
VEHICULUM is an Automotive / Fintech offering car fleet management for SME's. The core of such management is efficient sourcing of leasing cars: this means offering SME's a digital platform which compares credit terms across all leasing banks (including the captives or 'OEM Banks') and discounts offered Germany-wide with only a few clicks. Ordering takes a few more clicks, irrespective of which dealer delivers the car from anywhere in Germany. USPs are:
- the real-time showing of monthly rates from captives
- cross brand comparison based on individual requirements
BLACKPIN offers Digital Communication in the Mobile Market with a b2b communication app.
Market potential: The B2B mobile communication market in Germany is not developed yet. There is no app on the market right now, which fits the needs of secured mobile intelligent team-communication. BLACKPIN’s App solution is developed and hosted in Germany, and the data are also stored in Germany. This huge USP will offer Blackpin a wide potential in all branches.
- first level: medical care sector >> Health
- second level: banking sector, tax consultants as well as auditors >> Finance/ Insurance,
- third level: other sectors,
- fourth level: international market
FREE LINKED is specialized in data transfer via ultrasound. The first product "Buddy-Watcher" is a communication & navigation system for scuba divers, free divers and snorkelers. Buddy-Watcher includes a call function that allows the diver to get attention of his/her buddy by pressing a button which causes a vibration-alarm. Further functions are distance measurement - a vibration alarm when a defined distance between the divers is exceeded - and navigation - navigate and display the direction to your buddy or boat at a distance of up to 300m. The vision is to upgrade the ultrasound data transfer technology and make the technology applicable in outdoor activities and to industries such as oil, gas and automotive. In the next 3 - 5 years FREE LINKED’s focus is on underwater sportsmen. Around the globe, there are 50 Million underwater sportsmen: The classification: 25 Mio. divers, 25 Mio. snorklers and around 200.000 free-divers. FREE LINKED wants to become the market leader in communication & navigation systems for underwater sportsmen before entering new markets.
smoope GmbH offers “messaging as a service”. Its communication technology allows businesses to build conversational interfaces right into their media: a website, portal or a mobile app gets its very own messaging feature, today's preferred way to communicate. Once in place this solution not only enables a broad range of human to human interactions (such as customer service, recruiting, colla-boration), it can also be used to automate standard processes by adding artificial intelligence (such as chatbots, self-services, robo-advisors). smoope's main USPs are:
- fast and easy onboarding,
- flexible and scalable infrastructure,
- individual branding and features,
- complementary technology partnerships,
- high security and privacy standards (already used by banks).
smoope's current focus lies on enterprise level customers with sensitive data exchange (e.g. finance, insurance) in the EU. 1-2 new businesses are onboarded/acquired? each month at currently zero marketing expenditure. The main reason is that smoope's technology enables businesses to significantly increase customer satisfaction and retention rates, to digitize their operations faster and last, but not least work more efficiently (e.g. compared to calls, email). All main competitors (e.g. Twilio, Intercom. io, Pypestream) are located outside the EU and struggle to meet both the strict EU privacy and security standards as well as other industry specific regulations (e.g. BAFIN). Future growth will come from opening up for a broader range of industries (e.g. health) as well as additional use cases (e.g. internal communication). Additional revenue streams can be realized by charging fees per each completed transaction (e.g. push notification to customers with request to confirm current address).
Ertan did a great job introducing the companies and moderating the Q&A session: Thank you very much!
And then the Stuttgart EVM was almost over! We saw not only very interesting companies, stimulating keynotes and two great panel but noticed that the interaction in the networking breaks was initiated by all sides: investors who wanted more answers after the questions already asked in the sessions, companies actively seeking the contact with investors and services approaching possible partners with their extensive experience and their networks!
We met in the lobby of the impressive facilities of EY and let the day fade out with a glass of wine or a local “Tannenzäpfle”-beer still exchanging business cards and ideas! Another very interactive and stimulating EVM in Stuttgart at EY!
Thanks again to all of you and especially the EY-Team for making the EVM again a very amiable and interactive event! Please let us at CONTINUA GmbH know if you need support and assistance since as we as the host of the EVM can help you in developing your business plan or improve your presentation and last but not least introduce you directly to investors. Call us anytime +49-30-440386-0 to discuss your options and of course if you need help approaching other participants!