bm|t newsletter Q1 2023
During the first quarter, we were fortunate to join a Thüringen political and economic delegation to Silicon Valley, during which we met with many leading tech companies and received surprisingly intimate access to high-level management. Although we have been to The Valley many times, it had been over five years since our last trip, and we were deeply impressed by many breakthrough technologies that are developing at lightspeed and unleashing a powerful wave of new products and solutions that will dramatically impact the technology landscape.
In this Newsletter
Because of their extremely deep and broad reaching applications and implications, two companies stood out in our mind as clearly revolutionary and with relevance for the Thüringen innovation ecosystem: Jabil Systems and Nvidia.
Normally it would be unusual to say that a contract manufacturer like Jabil Systems would be revolutionary. However, after seeing how Jabil is assimilating the newest manufacturing technologies (3D Printing, New Materials, Smart Components, etc.) into all of its customers’ products and thus creating radically new product capabilities and economics, we are convinced that Jabil is changing the rules of the game. With companies like Jabil possessing such deep tech capabilities, the days of outsourcing a product so someone else can handle the boring manufacturing part are long gone. Jabil is also a product designer and accelerates time-to-market for its customers dramatically; however, Jabil’s power extends way beyond those benefits. Because Jabil has incredibly deep knowledge of how to seamlessly integrate a vast array of cutting-edge technologies into products, companies that partner with Jabil receive a fundamentally enhanced product, which can open up significant new business opportunities. Jabil has an innovation office here in Jena for its Jabil Optics division and offers innovative optical companies here in Thüringen, of which we have many, an excellent opportunity to accelerate product development and enhance their offering.
Nvidia is more of a disrupter in the classic sense that its own products and software stack are revolutionizing the world, although Nvidia’s GPUs are, of course, a key building block for many world-changing developments being led by other companies, such as many AI models and applications. Nvidia originated as a graphics card company for the gaming industry, but has adeptly built on its expertise in parallel processing to expand into many new fields. Being a German delegation, we were treated to a stunning example of how Nvidia’s Omniverse platform is being used to develop an extremely life-like digital twin of the entire Deutsche Bahn train network (down to the last screw on every train!). This Newsletter does not have enough space to expound further on Nvidia’s impressive tech and applications, but we encourage all tech investors to research its Omniverse and intelligent video capabilities, as their impact will be revolutionary.
For our investment activities in Thüringen, we returned from this trip with exhilaration and also with increased clarity of how our Investee-Partners can also capitalize on the major new technological developments rapidly reshaping the world. In many cases our expertise and high-tech products can be enhanced by integrating these new technologies and/or building high-value and end-market specific solutions on top of or in collaboration with these platforms. Key to successfully achieving this positioning is keeping an open and alert mind to be acutely aware of just how these technologies are developing and which implications (especially the massive opportunities!) they hold for our endeavors.
To continue the California theme, to create great value from the excellent tech we are blessed with in Thüringen, we must catch the fast-moving tech waves and be positioned correctly on the waves to surf them well.
Let’s go surfing now, everybody’s learning how! – The Beach Boys
Your bm|t Team
Everyone knows that you do not make money with printers; you make it with the ink (consumables). Ilmenau-based Lean Plastics believes that the same phenomenon will play out in 3D printing and has consequently focused on optimizing plastic consumables for 3D printing. The company already has a strong venture investor with excellent expertise in the field of 3D printing, and we are extremely optimistic that Lean Plastics will play a significant, and highly-profitable, role in the additive manufacturing revolution. With this seven-figure series A investment co-led by a private institutional investor and bm‑t, Lean Plastics is well-funded and positioned for large-scale market entry with its innovative plastic powders.
devie Medical is is developing a drug-eluting catheter-delivered heart valve for the treatment and prevention of bacterial endocarditis (BE). The company is pursuing a similar development as observed in the vascular stent market, where drug-eluting stents significantly reduced vascular restenosis and replaced surgery. Analogously, a drug eluting valve aims to reduce the need for open heart surgery in BE cases. devie medical has already made excellent progress and this seven-figure round led by bm‑t and joined by multiple private investors will allow for concept freeze and position the company well for a Series B to fund initial clinical trials.
Heyfair is dedicated to revolutionizing the way disinfection works. The company’s innovative technology makes the application and coverage of disinfectants visible to users and observers, ensuring optimal sanitation practices. Throughout its development, Heyfair has discovered numerous promising applications for this technology, such as verifying proper disinfection of surfaces, human skin, and medical devices. The company possesses strong IP around the integration of unique coloration systems that make proper disinfection visible with a vibrant color during the cleaning process. Heyfair has successfully built partnerships to commercialize its technology and with this investment from bm|t, a family-office, and several business angels, Heyfair is now well-equipped to expand its unique technology across multiple high-value medical applications, ultimately enhancing safety and hygiene standards in healthcare settings worldwide.
Investor Days Thüringen — Save the Date!
In less than two months, on June 14th and 15th, Investor Days Thüringen (IDT), the premier early- and growth-stage pitch event in middle Germany, will welcome over 500 participants, with approximately 60 start-ups presenting their innovations and visions. After last year’s energetic return to a live event, we are again excited to offer our guests great live pitches, beers & brats and much more! Mark your calendars – we will see you in June!