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bm|t newsletter Q1 2019

For the major­ity of com­pa­nies, the clear­est path to cre­at­ing addi­tional value is grow­ing the size of their busi­ness – more sales, more cus­tomers, more employ­ees, more loca­tions, etc. How­ever, for some com­pa­nies, espe­cially those that have a high degree of tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion, the way to max­i­mize value is often less clear. These com­pa­nies face impor­tant and chal­leng­ing deci­sions regard­ing which devel­op­ment paths cre­ate the most value.*

In this Newsletter 

Growing Businesses vs. Creating Value

In cer­tain cir­cum­stances, expand­ing a busi­ness in the tra­di­tional sense can actu­ally limit value for a com­pany whose technology’s great­est poten­tial is as an enabler. An enabling tech­nol­ogy is a tech­nol­ogy that may have dif­fi­culty suc­ceed­ing in the mar­ket­place on a stand­alone basis, but can sig­nif­i­cantly increase the per­for­mance of another tech­nol­ogy or com­pany when combined.

Com­pa­nies pos­sess­ing enabling tech­nolo­gies must, of course, prove their tech­nol­ogy is effec­tive, per­haps through clin­i­cal tri­als, beta cus­tomers, or tech­nol­ogy part­ner­ships. For these com­pa­nies, invest­ing heav­ily in sales efforts or grow­ing their geo­graphic foot­print may even be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive. Often these com­pa­nies are well advised to focus the major­ity of their efforts on fur­ther devel­op­ing their core tech­nol­ogy and increas­ing its attrac­tive­ness for inte­gra­tion into exist­ing prod­ucts as opposed to build­ing out a stand­alone business.

We believe that there is an inher­ent founder and investor bias toward “com­pany build­ing”, largely because that kind of progress is more eas­ily mea­sured (sales, cus­tomers, employ­ees), and both founders and investors can find it dif­fi­cult to rec­og­nize and prop­erly assess progress that is less eas­ily mea­sured (patents, new dis­cov­er­ies, advanced know-how, learn­ings from a test). At bm|t, we rec­og­nize this bias and work closely with founders to prop­erly eval­u­ate their unique oppor­tu­nity set to col­lab­o­ra­tively reach an opti­mal out­come. This requires that the founders and investors share a vision and estab­lish a trust that allows for pur­su­ing paths that might be less mea­sur­able but more value cre­at­ing.

Our appre­ci­a­tion for com­pa­nies with less mea­sur­able paths was recently rein­forced, because two of our most suc­cess­ful investee-part­ners did not gen­er­ate sub­stan­tial rev­enues but pos­sessed tech­nol­ogy that was so unique and highly pro­tectable that the com­pa­nies dra­mat­i­cally increased their value with­out sig­nif­i­cantly expand­ing their busi­ness in the tra­di­tional sense.

With our under­ly­ing goal of cat­alyz­ing Thüringen’s econ­omy, bm|t invests across the full spec­trum of inno­va­tions – those that should indeed be the basis for large, stand­alone enter­prises as well as enabling tech­nolo­gies. What­ever each company’s opti­mal path may be, we look for­ward to the shared journey.

Your bm|t Team

* Our use of the term value in this newslet­ter is intended to be inter­preted more broadly than sim­ply share­holder value, as we appre­ci­ate that there are many aspects to value creation.

Welcome to the Family

evan.network has devel­oped a user-friendly and flex­i­ble soft­ware plat­form that uses the ben­e­fits of blockchain tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate trusted envi­ron­ments for a wide-vari­ety of busi­ness appli­ca­tions. The com­pany already has top-tier cus­tomers that employ the evan.network for a vari­ety of objec­tives, such as sup­ply-chain man­age­ment, dig­i­tal book­ing and insur­ance envi­ron­ments for machine rental, and smart con­tracts, to name some of the early devel­op­ments on the plat­form. The sys­tem ele­gantly com­bines the advan­tages of pub­lic blockchain envi­ron­ments (Etherium) with the advan­tages of pri­vate envi­ron­ments, with each node-owner able to con­struct and struc­ture its own net­work. evan.network is designed for indus­trial uses, and we strongly believe the com­pany will strike a rich vein with Ger­many Inc., which will greatly ben­e­fit from evan’s technology.

LAXXON is pur­su­ing its inno­v­a­tive and unique 3D screen print­ing tech­nol­ogy to develop novel phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal dosage forms. The company´s addi­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing process allows for the pro­duc­tion of mul­ti­lay­ered drugs with novel geo­met­ric struc­tures, enabling a con­trolled release of active com­po­nents. Impor­tantly, the company’s tech­nol­ogy also allows for high-through­put print­ing so that its pro­duc­tion capa­bil­i­ties are almost as inter­est­ing as the tech­no­log­i­cal pos­si­bil­i­ties regard­ing effi­cacy and safety aspects of con­ven­tional drugs. These include opti­miza­tion of drug release by het­ero­ge­neous dis­tri­b­u­tion within the sys­tem improv­ing treat­ment suc­cess and patient com­pli­ance as well as water­mark­ing to com­bat coun­ter­feit­ing. Given the sub­stan­tial med­ical improve­ments and the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal industry’s strong inter­est in pro­long­ing the patent life of key drugs, it is hard to imag­ine a tech­nol­ogy with more poten­tial than mass-pro­duced 3D phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal print­ing. We are extremely excited about our invest­ment in LAXXON and see Jena as the per­fect place for the com­pany to advance its tech­nol­ogy given its strong life sci­ences clus­ter, which was a key rea­son for the company’s choice to bring its prod­uct and tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ment to Thüringen.

Follow-on Investments

Mas­ter­PIM con­tin­ues to gain trac­tion with its sleek and cloud-based Prod­uct Infor­ma­tion Man­age­ment (PIM) soft­ware that allows man­u­fac­tures, traders, retail­ers, and mar­ket­places to eas­ily man­age com­plex prod­uct infor­ma­tion datasets and effort­lessly project the processed data into online shops and cat­a­logues. Cur­rently, over 90% of mid-sized man­u­fac­tures do not have a PIM solu­tion, so the mar­ket is largely a green­field oppor­tu­nity. One of the key rea­sons that a large por­tion of the mar­ket has not adopted a PIM sys­tem despite the increas­ing demands of sales partners/channels on prod­uct data is that tra­di­tional PIM solu­tions are heavy, hosted soft­ware with expen­sive and inva­sive instal­la­tions. MasterPIM’s cloud-based plat­form allows cus­tomers to be online with an effec­tive PIM sys­tem within hours and at a frac­tion of the cost of the old PIM sys­tems on the market.

JeNa­Cell has won many awards for its inno­va­tions in bio­log­i­cally derived wound healing/management prod­ucts. The company’s base tech­nol­ogy lies in the use of microor­gan­isms to cre­ate strong, flex­i­ble, and mois­ture-retain­ing sub­stances ideal for wound and cos­metic appli­ca­tions. The com­pany is also devel­op­ing a translu­cent ver­sion of its flag­ship prod­uct, Epicite, which will allow for wound mon­i­tor­ing with­out the removal of the cov­er­ing – a major improve­ment for patients and med­ical staff. bm|t acted as a co-investor to a strate­gic in this financ­ing round, which will be used to fur­ther expand the company’s pro­duc­tion capa­bil­i­ties and salesforce.

Zeilen­wert has over 5,000 rela­tion­ships with pub­lish­ers and has rights to over four mil­lion e‑books, mak­ing it the e‑book provider with the largest selec­tion world­wide. The com­pany has also devel­oped many mar­ket lead­ing assets for the con­ver­sion of paper books to e‑books, the seam­less dis­tri­b­u­tion of e‑books, and unique e‑book dis­cov­ery chan­nels. bm|t and other share­hold­ers made this invest­ment to fur­ther com­mer­cial­ize sev­eral of the company’s new and high-poten­tial technologies.

JenID is focused on the ID ver­i­fi­ca­tion mar­ket and has devel­oped sev­eral prod­ucts that help com­pa­nies ver­ify cus­tomer iden­tity before com­plet­ing a trans­ac­tion. The company’s tech­nol­ogy has been used to greatly reduce fraud/theft in the rental car space, and it has tech­nol­ogy ide­ally suited for purely dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions, such as onboard­ing cus­tomers com­pletely online. JenID was recently named one of Germany’s 100 hottest start-ups by The Hun­dert. bm|t and other share­hold­ers made this invest­ment to ramp sales of the company’s MobileID product.

oncg­nos­tics’ Gyn­Tect test allows women who have tested pos­i­tive for HPV to quickly gain valu­able infor­ma­tion regard­ing the degree of seri­ous­ness of their diag­no­sis. Gyn­Tect is able to detect even early stages of DNA methy­la­tion that are the first signs of can­cer devel­op­ment.  Ear­lier detec­tion of can­cer devel­op­ment allows physi­cians to treat patients sooner, which can often be life­sav­ing. Addi­tion­ally, and very impor­tantly, most HPV infec­tions resolve with­out pro­gres­sion to cer­vi­cal can­cer, mean­ing unnec­es­sary oper­a­tions, treat­ments, and men­tal stress can be pre­vented if it can be demon­strated that a HPV infec­tion has not caused DNA methy­la­tion. This invest­ment was a sec­ond clos­ing of a round led by bm|t and includ­ing many busi­ness angels from the life sci­ences com­mu­nity. oncg­nositcs will use the pro­ceeds for mar­ket­ing activ­i­ties and the fur­ther devel­op­ment of addi­tional bio­marker-based tests for other forms of cancer.

Investor Days Thüringen 2019

We are thrilled to again be co-host­ing Investor Days Thürin­gen with the STIFT on June 18th and 19th, 2019. Please mark your cal­en­dars and join us in see­ing over 60 inno­v­a­tive startup and growth com­pa­nies. This year, all the com­pany pitches and pre­sen­ta­tions will take place on June 18th. The fol­low­ing day, June 19th, will be ded­i­cated to work­shops for com­pa­nies and investors. We encour­age all par­ties inter­ested in dis­cov­er­ing com­pelling, under-the-radar invest­ments to join us in Erfurt for IDT 2019! More details will be forth­com­ing on our web­site and LinkedIn & XING pages – if you are not yet con­nected with bm|t please link up with us!

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