#STARTUPNATION TO MITTELSTAND: Second Batch Kick-Off - STARTPLATZ

#STARTUPNATION TO MITTELSTAND: Second Batch Kick-Off

25. August 2020, 14:14 :: Corporate Services | News

Autor: Arne Gonschor

Solving industry challenges in German Mittelstand companies with technologies from Israeli startups – This was the second batch of #STARTUPNATION TO MITTELSTAND.
In recent weeks, starting on May 27, the second remote batch of #STARTUPNATION TO MITTELSTAND took place – an initiative of STARTPLATZ in cooperation with the Israel Economic and Trade Mission in Berlin, the German-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, START-UP NATION CENTRAL and KölnBusiness with the goal of promoting strategic collaborations between Israeli Industrie 4.0 startups and German SMEs.

The current pandemic shows us one positive thing for sure: technology can make a lot of things possible, including matching seven German SMEs with 25 Israeli startups in total, completely remote. Over the past weeks the program of the second #SNTM batch included five virtual sessions with the ultimate goal of bringing together the seven German companies Bayer Crop Science, Toyota Tsusho, Covestro, Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products GmbH, Gira, Suez and YNCORIS with top-notch Israeli Industrie 4.0 startups that deliver a direct strategic fit to the current individual innovation challenges of each company.
 

The challenges of German industry companies

 
The batch kicked off with a session, in which all seven participating companies presented themselves and their individual challenges. Due to the different industries and departments represented in the batch, we heard quite a variety of challenges and search fields with the potential of being solved in cooperation with startups. Taking Bayer Crop Science as an example, the Innovation Sourcing Team is looking for tailored solutions in order to sustainably manage resources and improve productivity around agriculture:

  1. Detection and identification of volatile organic compounds in the field
  2. On-crop sensors to help farmers identifying threats to the crop in advance
  3. Tool to search, aggregate and visualize information on a specific topic on sharepoints

 

Laura Hofmeister, Innovation Sourcing at Bayer Crop Science

 
Also, the remaining six companies gave insights into their innovation fields showing a wide spectrum of possibilities for Israeli startups to collaborate on. The waste management company is interested in every technology in combination with recycling, Toyota Tsusho is looking for partners involved in emission free vehicles and emission free lifecycle and Covestro is, among other technologies, searching for predictive maintenance approaches.
 

The Israeli innovation landscape

 
Why is Israel such a role model for innovation and startups?
Why are Israeli startups so interesting to the German manufacturing industry?
How do you find the right startup?
Those and more questions were answered in the next session, giving the German companies deeper and exclusive insights into the Israeli startup ecosystem. The session was led by STARTPLATZ Founder Dr. Lorenz Gräf and Ofira Engelberg from the Israel Economic and Trade Mission, who outline the importance and role of the Israeli military when it comes to the origin of new innovations.

“The Army gets access from the Ministry of Education and gets to pre-select the most promising young talents in israeli High Schools, have them tested and then put into very unique courses. These courses actually train them to be the future of Israeli Innovation.”

 

Ofira Engelberg from the Israeli Trade Mission speaking about the Israeli startup ecosystem

 

Bringing the two worlds together – virtual matchmaking day

 
After elaborating on what challenges German industry companies are facing when it comes to innovation and outlining the role that Israeli startups play in this context, it was time for the core of the #SNTM program – the actual matchmaking.

Each of the individual innovation challenges from the German side have been the scouting basis to find potential collaboration partners within the Israeli ecosystem. Together with our ecosystem partners, we have been able to find three startups for each of the German companies and brought them virtually together at one matchmaking day.
The structure of the session was as follows: Each german company has met one startup within a 30 minutes slot. The startups prepared their presentations according to the specific challenge of the German corporate they have met. This way, both parties were able to quickly dive into the conversation in order to see if they are synergies.
With Israeli startups, such as Addionics, Atiko, BotanoHealth, ChakraTech, Databin, H2Pro, HailoAI, HaloDigital, Inspekto, Mobideo, PlasticBack, Qsee, FireDome, SAM Seamless Networks, Equalum and Iguazio, we have managed to acquire a wide range of Israels’ top startups coming from different fields, assuring each German company a potential cooperation partner.
 

The next steps

 
In one of the final sessions, we followed-up with the participating German companies about the progress they had made in their corporations and what their next steps would be.
Each company will have further discussions with at least one startup they have met.

As #SNTM batch 2 has reached an end, we would like to use the opportunity to thank all the participating companies for sharing their challenges with us and being open to engage within our program. Also, we would like to thank all our partners who brought us all one step further in closing the cultural gap between the two economic forces of Germany and Israel.

Our appreciation goes out to: KölnBusiness Wirtschaftsförderungs-GmbH, City of Düsseldorf – Office of Economic Development, Start-Up Nation Central, German-Israeli Chamber of Industry & Commerce – AHK Israel, Founders Foundation gGmbH, EY, CMS Hasche Sigle Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater, FIR an der RWTH Aachen, NRW.INVEST.
 

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