Young entrepreneurs meet investors: Under the motto “Enter the next level”, this year’s Investor Days Thuringia kicked off today with 55 applicants and another 600 participants from Germany and abroad. In the new multifunctional arena in Erfurt, the innovative young and growth companies present themselves to potential investors in order to inspire them with their business model.
At today’s Thuringian Elevator Pitch, 21 selected start-ups presented their innovative business concepts to a broad audience and took the opportunity to network with business partners and investors. Like in a lift pitch where there is little time, the start-ups had the opportunity to convince investors of the uniqueness of their innovation with their 3‑minute pitch. Another 22 start-ups were able to present their business concepts in the Innovation Arena. The selected pitchers included not only projects from Thuringia and all over Germany, but for the first time also from Israel, Brazil and Russia. This takes the Investor Days Thuringia to a new level and offers cross-border opportunities for new business and cooperation.
“The Elevator Pitch is a direct and very effective way for young companies to attract venture capital,” said Thuringia’s Minister of Economic Affairs Wolfgang Tiefensee. “Thuringia is an excellent location for innovative start-ups, not least because private and public equity capital reinforce each other here.” To welcome the audience, Economics Minister Tiefensee spoke on the topic of “Opportunities for innovative start-ups in Thuringia”. As part of the coffee talk, the Foundation for Technology, Innovation and Research Thuringia presented the founders of CrowdArchitects GmbH with an exclusive invitation to Silicon Valley.
Following the pitch presentations, there was inspiring input from keynote speaker Benedikt Böhm, the risk-taker and successful entrepreneur. Again this year, investors and guests took advantage of the audience vote and invested their notional investment amount of €500,000 in what they considered the most convincing start-ups. Prior to the event, a policy talk conducted by the Fraunhofer IMW took place in which experts from the venture capital industries discussed new ways of connecting innovators with capital providers at an early stage.
At the end of the evening, prizes were awarded for the five best pitches:
- Main prize of STIFT and bm|t (in the amount of 3,000 euros).
The main prize went to Pamyra UG from Erfurt. The company has transferred the concepts of online comparison platforms and ride-sharing services to logistics and combined them into an easy-to-use online platform. Pamyra is the first independent price and service comparison of transport companies — “the booking.com of logistics”.
- Prize from Ernst & Young GmbH (non-cash prize worth 2,000 euros) and audience prize from StartupCon (Early Stage Stand at StartupCon).
The two prizes went to Heyfair from Weimar. The project has developed the first short-term visible hand disinfectant with the aim of establishing it as a new standard for professional hygiene requirements. The colouring makes it easier for the user to ensure complete wetting and disinfection is carried out more regularly.
- Prize from GRUENDELPARTNER Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater Wirtschaftsprüfer (lawyers, tax consultants, auditors) (non-cash prize worth 2,000 euros)
The prize went to Forexfix from Berlin. The project hedges companies against exchange rate fluctuations and thus takes the risks out of transactions in foreign currencies. This solution is the first offering that makes it possible to hedge currency risks completely online — and to do so easily and quickly.
- Prize from APROPRO (non-cash prize worth 2,000 euros)
The prize was awarded to Lean Plastic Technologies (LPT) from Ilmenau. The project deals with plastic powders for industrial 3D printing. The new LPT process makes it possible to produce considerably more cost-effectively and to tap the industrial potential of 3D printing via new plastic powders.
Under the motto “Scaling-up”, the second day, 14 June, will focus on innovative and technology-oriented growth companies. Among the investors present are not only early-stage investors, but also other financiers from the private equity, family office and corporate venture sectors. The presence of numerous business representatives promotes stronger networking and enables the start of cooperations. Afterwards, participants will have the opportunity to develop their business model internationally and make valuable contacts in various workshops on the target markets of Hong Kong, Great Britain and Israel.
The Investor Days Thuringia are an initiative of the Foundation for Technology, Innovation and Research Thuringia (STIFT) as part of the project “ThEx innovativ” and beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh (bm|t) to bring innovative start-ups and growth companies together with potential cooperation partners as well as investors and business angels. ThEx innovativ is part of the Thuringian Centre for Start-ups and Entrepreneurship (ThEx) and is specifically geared towards innovative start-ups and is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and state funds.
More information on the Investor Days Thuringia 2017 at: