Bringing two champions together: #STARTUPNATION TO MITTELSTAND unites Israeli startups and German SME - The official launch - STARTPLATZ

Bringing two champions together: #STARTUPNATION TO MITTELSTAND unites Israeli startups and German SME – The official launch

13. November 2019, 17:48 :: Accelerator | Corporate Services

Autor: Olga Rube

It finally happened: With the official launch of the remote accelerator program named #STARTUPNATION TO MITTELSTAND, the groundwork for strengthened business ties between Germany and Israel was laid. The project that was initiated by STARTPLATZ, the Israeli Innovation Authority and The Israel Economic and Trade Mission in Berlin, kicked off with the Opening Event on 30th October in Cologne, bringing the top 1 % of Industry 4.0 startups from Israel to the industrial stronghold of Germany. The 10 startups showcasing their disruptive solutions in front of 140 representatives of manufacturing companies, industrial leaders and special guests like Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, minister of economic affairs, made for a successful kick-off and an even more promising outlook for the upcoming months to follow.

“Let’s make this a fruitful cooperation!” The words of Dr. Lorenz Gräf might have resonated with the majority of the guests present at STARTPLATZ Cologne on this very special evening, in particular given the topic Doron Abrahami continued to elaborate on shortly after. As Head of Economic and Trade Mission at Embassy of Israel in Berlin he gave interesting insights into the development of the Israeli economy and ecosystem of innovation, explaining how and why Europe became the most important trade partner to the European Silicon Valley. 


“Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Further, Ofira Engelberg, Marketing & Business Development Executive at Israel Trade Center talked about Tel Aviv as the leading innovation tech center & growth engine for economy and the fact that many renowned companies like Siemens and SAP have research & development centers in Israel.

“The main drivers of innovation in the country also known as Startup-Nation are highly educated migrants such as scientists and engineers, but also broad policy lines for enhancing innovation in the private and financial sector, which probably led to Israel creating its own technology instead of relying on others early on,“ says Engelberg. 



Doron Abrahami, Alon Brandman and Ofira Engelberg


“We have to change our minds and the way we address things.”

How can we match startup competences with industry needs? Attempting to answer this question, Prof. Dr. Volker Stich from FIR (Research Institute for Rationalisation) at RWTH Aachen University held an inspiring keynote on the topic of Digital Transformation, focussing on the chances that technologies hold. “We need to evaluate how we educate those who do not yet exploit the full potential of IT in their businesses. Especially engineers will quickly learn that it’s not enough to build machines, fire and forget. What the customers of today and tomorrow want and need is the creation of true value – smart data can tremendously support us in this endeavour.”  Speaking of value, Stich provided the perfect transition to the 10 startup pitches that were about to follow.  


Prof. Dr. Volker Stich from FIR at RWTH Aachen


The 10 startups that flew in from Israel and left the audience speechless 


1) CoreTigo

“The industrial space we see today is bound by kilometres of cables that are connecting machines with sensors, actuators, controllers and all kinds of different devices. Cables, by definition stand for limited flexibility and prevent factories from automating their processes.”

Instead of using wires, CoreTigo calls for robust wireless systems, addressing the true need for communication of sensors, actuators and devices in the field of factory automation. The end to end industrial-grade solution that is backed by investments of over 12 mio. dollars increases flexibility and mobility, thus reducing deployment complexity and maintenance. 


“Prevent accidents and injuries before they even happen.“ The mission of Dror Barak and Haim Srur is the rock-solid foundation upon which the founders built the SaaS solution of GOARC. Designed to help industrial organizations decrease work-related accidents, save lives, reduce costs, and empower safety compliance. GOARC already partners with companies like Teva Pharmaceuticals, Bromine Compounds Ltd., Shufersal and Carmochrome, as well as DEKRA that uses the technology of GOARC to distribute its safety intelligence platform to its global customer base. 

3) 3D Signals

Mercura Capital GmbH just recently invested 8,5 mio. dollars in 3D Signals – managing director Ingo Jacoby is impressed by the way the technology helps its customers to become significantly more productive with a simple, clever and fast-to-implement solution. The APM solution not only accelerates digital transformation of manufacturers to the Industry 4.0 era, the solution also enables immediate visibility into production floors, through the quick, non-invasive, and machine agnostic deployment of a wide range of sensors. The platform has been proven to significantly improve machine productivity and OEE within 3 months of installation.


„Our system can be trained by a non-expert to inspect almost any product in just few hours, and…the longer it works the smarter it gets.“ provides manufacturers with fully automated visual inspection solutions that consistently find defects that are often missed by human inspectors, while providing powerful insights that help boost quality and operational efficiency. The technology already attracted renowned companies like Siemens AG, HAHN Group, RTC Vision, Contel Technologies, Cobot Team, Kasion Automation Limited, Luxon Data, ELAS Kft., ECA and CPS-IEP.


Unsure how to apply industrial 3D printing to the production processes of your manufacturing company? The variety of 3D printing services likely just adds to the complexity of deciding on the right material. While introducing the crowd of the #SNTM Opening Event to CASTOR as the Manufacturers‘ Gateway to 3D Printing, Omer Blaier, Co-Founder & CEO, proposes a remedy to this issue: “We allow manufacturers to decide whether to prefer 3D printing over traditional manufacturing methods and therefore to save time and money.”
The software of CASTOR analyses the overall production machines and identifies every element that can be reproduced by 3D printing technologies and also suggest which material to use. 

Time for a networking break and a guest of honour 

While indulging in delicious snacks and insightful conversations, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Innovation, Science, Research, and Technology, showed his appreciation for the program of #SNTM by explaining the importance of initiatives like #SNTM for medium-sized companies regarding the promotion of digitalization and innovation processes, before giving the starting signal for the 5 remaining startup teams to pitch their business ideas. 



Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Innovation, Science, Research, and Technology


6) VocalZoom

How can we do things faster? With his extensive experience of more than 18 years in executive management and engineering, Tal Bakish asked himself this question over and over and might have found the answer. As Founder & CEO of VocalZoom he developed ultra-small, low-cost, non- contact vibration laser sensors that can be connected to industrial IoT applications. The company’s sensors are designed to enable faster and easier deployment of predictive maintenance solutions with minimal integration costs and downtime, making it suitable for different use cases and a variety of industrial machinery. The groundbreaking technology of VocalZoom is backed by over 25 mio. dollars in investment by Motorola Solutions, OurCrowd, Maayan Ventures, Radiant Venture Capital and SilverFish. 

7) Fieldbit

The SaaS-solution of Fieldbit Ltd. is a Collaboration Platform for Field Services. The multi-source augmented reality knowledge platform offers users rich, real-time information and remote assistance through interactive collaboration with experts and digital resources with application possibilities in machinery, health, energy & more.

8) Cymplify

“No one should have an IoT device that is not protected from cyber attacks, that not only cause the loss of money but also lasting damage to companies in terms of reputation and corporate secrets.” 

Ram Yonish, one of the cyber security specialists of Cymplify, explained how their embedded on-device software solution blocks attacks before they can cause damage. Unlike network-based security solutions, Cymplify focuses on identifying and mitigating attacks at the device level, by enabling security-by-design. Being device-agnostic, it runs on any Linux (and some RTOS) and is easy to use.

9) Nanofabrica

Jon Donner, CEO and Eyal Shelef, CTO founded Nanofabrica, both with an PHD in Nanooptics developed an additive manufacturing for precision engineering, which is changing the way things are made. They deliver patented printers, which have ultra high resolution develop their own unique materials. Their main advantage is to enable mass manufacturing of complex small and precise parts. Nanofabrica already cooperates with well-known companies such as Siemens, i3 Equity Partners, The Junction and Israel Innovation Authority.

10) Visual Factories

“When you know better, you do better.” Matti Piano, CEO of Visual Factories, takes this principle to heart and applies it to his business. With Visual Factories he developed a Digital Performance MonitoringTM platform for discrete manufacturers, from any industry, to see what’s going on in their factory’s operations.


The 10 top-notch startups from Israel


1-on-1 sessions seal the deal

Further complementing the well attended Opening Event, structured 1-on-1 sessions the following day gave both startups & industrial companies the chance to deepen their conversations and tie the knot for potential business relations. In a total of 17 sessions á 15 minutes, the 10 cohort startups partook in intensive discussions with industry leaders of  22 manufacturing companies such as Bayer, Covestro, Henkel, Hydro Aluminum and Oerlikon Textile. The companies were left extremely impressed of the well-advanced technologies and the added value that each of the startups can deliver to the corporates. 

How to join the program of #STARTUPNATION TO MITTELSTAND

In the meantime, we have set up an internal area, where we continuously provide information and materials and the upcoming events of the program. Here you can get access to all slide-decks of the 10 startups, widen your network and safe yourself a spot for the next 1-on-1 session on December 9th at STARTPLATZ Düsseldorf. The 5 corporate workshops and a roundtable session in November and December aim at introducing corporates to the advantages of the startup scene using the example of Israeli startups. Among other topics, the workshops focus on rapid digital development, building an innovative ecosystem, and making corporate venture capital work successfully. Interested? Click here for the event overview. 

A special thanks goes out to our partners who are part of this unique program and made the official launch possible: Kölnbusiness Wirtschaftsförderungs-GmbH, NRW.INVEST GmbH, FIR an der RWTH Aachen, Uniper , EY , Wirtschaftförderung Düsseldorf, Stadt Bedburg, Israel Trade Center Berlin, Embassy of Israel and AHK Israel. We invite you to take a look at the pitch decks of the 10 cohort startups and gain detailed insights in the innovations they work on. 


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