HighTech Venture Days
Starting point for the development of our annual program, with the investor´s congress HIGHTECH VENTURE DAYS (formerly known as Innovationswerkstatt Kapital) as its focal point, was the observation that the research-intensive regions in the newly-formed German states with their research institutes and universities provide an outstanding environment for innovation. They are betting more and more on the transfer of their scientific results through spin-offs. Start-ups are fundamentally changing established business models with creativity and rapidity – in an undreamed-of range. But often they suffer from a lack of capital to develop prototypes, for the market entry or their internationalization. The reason is a lack of private venture funds and wealthy individuals locally, who invest as angel investors or growth investors in these start-ups: an excellently equipped education and research area faces a serious lack of capital. That´s what we want to change with the HIGHTECH VENTURE DAYS.
So far, we have organized the event for the third time and are proud to announce that 10% of the companies participating have found an investor through one of these events.
Once a year Hellerau runs out of parking spaces. When we invite regional tech companies to the Innovationswerkstatt Wirtschaft everybody gathers in the Riemerschid room in the buildings of the Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau. Since February of 2012 we bring together start-ups and SMEs at this event and pick up cross-cutting issues – e.g. technical sales, personnel recruitment and retention, or product design. The speakers are experienced entrepreneurs themselves and talk about their personal experiences – not only in the 20-minute keynote speeches, but also in the following discussions with the participants. 3D Micromac, DAS Environmental Expert, Elaskon and XENON Automation are just some of the companies who gave an insight into their own practice as a part of this format. The speakers themselves are so thrilled about the format that they attend as guests next time or send representatives of their company to network with other innovators or exchange information about relevant topics for their business development. Now you know, who will steal your parking slot next time the Innovationswerkstatt Wirtschaft comes around.
There are some topics and questions out there young entrepreneurs would like experienced people to give advice on. Due to the positive development of our association many established entrepreneurs approached us to get involved in the regional start-up ecosystem. That’s why we bring both of these sides together in an intimate format since 2015 – the MentorsClub. Three start-ups from the network introduce themselves to up to 10 entrepreneurs who we invite to this format three times a year. Each company gets one concentrated hour to discuss their business model, strategy, sales, personnel and other relevant topics with these mentors. Where else do you get the chance to benefit from more than 200 years of industrial experience and profound knowledge of the market for 60 minutes? During that hour you get knowledgeable, constructive and in particular open feedback. Whoever participates should be prepared to receive questions that hurt most, but those are conversations you can only benefit from. Our mentors look forward to meeting you and who knows: maybe you may meet your mentor, sparring partner or business angel in this circle.
Since September 2012 we welcome founders not only in our premises but we are also on the road touring through the start-up scene. Within our Roadshow we stop at the start-ups and important players from the scene. The monthly network meeting is an informal one – because networking can best be performed in jeans, enjoying beer and buns.
To simplify matters, we provide the conversation starter introducing the host himself as well as ongoing developments in the topics founding and entrepreneurship. These initial presentations cover all kinds of subjects from financing (crowdfunding, investment criteria for VC’s, tax hurdles for start-ups) to legal aspects (patents, cooperation contracts) and technical topics (e.g. prototyping) also including vivid insights into the founding history of start-ups (e.g. Qpoint Composite or 3d:it). By now, our members truly appreciate this format; which reflects in the high number of 30 to 50 participating start-ups and enthusiasts. Besides loyal regulars you can always meet new faces, which makes the Roadshow an essential event within the ecosystem. Keeping that in mind: let’s have a beer next time at the Roadshow.