Kopfbild des bm|t-Newsletters

bm|t newsletter Q4 2018

We recently watched a video on LinkedIn that showed two mar­bles rac­ing from an iden­ti­cal start­ing height down dif­fer­ent paths to the same fin­ish line. One mar­ble trav­eled a straight line the entire way and the other mar­ble trav­eled on an expo­nen­tial curve, first falling rapidly and then flat­ten­ing out its trajectory.

In this Newsletter 

Momentum and Nonlinearities

In the exam­ple men­tioned above, the mar­ble that more quickly trans­formed its poten­tial energy into kinetic energy was able to carry its gained momen­tum through the flat sec­tion and won the race. We quickly drew par­al­lels to the busi­ness world and the impor­tance of momen­tum and non-lin­ear approaches to reach­ing the ulti­mate goal. To para­phrase Isaac New­ton, busi­nesses at rest tend to stay at rest, and busi­nesses in motion tend to stay in motion.

While momen­tum plays a crit­i­cal role for all busi­nesses, startup momen­tum is per­haps the most inter­est­ing phe­nom­e­non, as a small group of pas­sion­ate peo­ple is tasked with not just keep­ing a busi­ness mov­ing but start­ing it from a stand­still point of zero iner­tia. Big vision. High poten­tial energy. No kinetic energy.

Quickly gen­er­at­ing kinetic energy is essen­tial for most star­tups not only to grow and pros­per but also to avoid com­pletely los­ing momen­tum when the busi­ness encoun­ters the inevitable bumps in the road. Many strate­gies and tac­tics are employed to cre­ate this momen­tum: hir­ing more key employ­ees than the cur­rent busi­ness size might war­rant; sign­ing up beta cus­tomers at low, zero, or neg­a­tive mar­gins in order to accel­er­ate learn­ing and mar­ket accep­tance; engag­ing in bold part­ner­ships or acqui­si­tions to trans­form a tech­nol­ogy offer­ing; rais­ing more cap­i­tal than a lin­ear tra­jec­tory would require, etc. We at bm|t greatly admire entre­pre­neurs who can trans­form energy and cre­ate busi­ness momen­tum, and we aim to play a sig­nif­i­cant role in cat­alyz­ing the needed momentum.

We believe the key is rec­og­niz­ing when lin­early boot­strap­ping a busi­ness is indeed riskier than con­sciously cre­at­ing (indeed some­times forc­ing) momen­tum – maybe even more than one can com­fort­ably con­trol. Of course, each busi­ness is unique and the art surely lies in know­ing when is the right time to gen­er­ate greater momen­tum – cer­tainly one wants to be on an expo­nen­tial curve, not just falling off a cliff. We, at bm|t, believe we can help young busi­nesses prop­erly time and plan their accel­er­a­tions in order to have the great­est prob­a­bil­ity of being on the right growth curve.

Like entre­pre­neurs, investors can also cap­i­tal­ize on the phe­nom­ena of momen­tum and non­lin­ear­ity. In 2018, bm|t worked dili­gently to trans­form the pow­er­ful 2017 events of fayteq’s sale and InflaRx’s Nas­daq IPO into broad-based energy for all investee-part­ners and Thürin­gen. The results were out­stand­ing, as our investee-part­ners raised over 100 Mio. EUR in cap­i­tal, and we were able to gain a record num­ber of 16 new investee-part­ners. You can read fur­ther about the strong momen­tum in 2018 here.

Before pre­sent­ing the quarter’s invest­ment activ­ity and other sig­nif­i­cant news, we would like to offer a big THANK YOU to our great investee-part­ners and co-investors. Work­ing with such bril­liant, moti­vated, vision­ary peo­ple is the fuel that pro­pels us forward!

Your bm|t Team

Welcome to the Family

Smart­Dye­Liv­ery devel­ops func­tion­al­ized nanopar­ti­cles in which ther­a­peu­tic com­pounds are enveloped and safely trans­ported to spe­cific organs, which the med­i­cines are tar­get­ing. This patented plat­form deliv­ery tech­nol­ogy can be uti­lized in a wide range of ther­a­peu­tic appli­ca­tions and also allows for a unique ther­a­nos­tic use case. Cur­rently, the Smart­Dye­Liv­ery team is focus­ing on a ther­apy for sep­sis-induced liver fail­ure with the goal of reduc­ing the mor­tal­ity rate of such cases by 90%. With this multi-mil­lion invest­ment from bm|t, a renowned fam­ily office, the STIFT, and sev­eral savvy busi­ness angels, Smart­Dye­Liv­ery is well posi­tioned to take its unique nan­oth­er­apy through phase one clin­i­cal trials.

Jena based TrophoSYS is devel­op­ing a new inno­v­a­tive method for the gen­der-spe­cific selec­tion of pro­duc­tive ani­mals, which could dra­mat­i­cally improve pro­duc­tiv­ity and enhance food secu­rity, all while mak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the eth­i­cal han­dling of ani­mals.  Impor­tantly, the inno­va­tion is based solely on the phys­i­o­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences of the cell sur­faces and allows for the gamete sep­a­ra­tion with­out any manip­u­la­tion of genetic mate­r­ial.  Devel­op­ment of the tech­nol­ogy is ongo­ing and, when suc­cess­ful, will no doubt make a tremen­dous impact on the pro­duc­tive ani­mal sector.

read more ›

Erfurt based Smart­platz has an ambi­tious plan to take on com­pa­nies like Ama­zon by enabling local­i­ties to regain phys­i­cal retail cus­tomers from the online world.  The com­pany has devel­oped a sleek app and back­end inter­face that allows cus­tomers to quickly peruse local offer­ings and expe­ri­ence the ease and serendip­ity of the online expe­ri­ence to locate and dis­cover desired prod­ucts and ser­vices.  Smart­platz has inte­grated a unique incen­tive pro­gram that keeps cus­tomers engaged and links local busi­nesses together in new ways.  The topic is timely, the mar­ket is huge, and if Smart­platz achieves crit­i­cal mass, the rewards for cus­tomers, retail­ers, and the com­pany will be great.

Follow-on Investments

Leyh Pharma has an attrac­tive busi­ness model that is only address­able by pharma indus­try experts.  The com­pany pur­chases off-patent or over-the-counter (OTC) med­ica­tions, gen­er­ally from larger pharma com­pa­nies that are nar­row­ing the focus of their port­fo­lios, and cre­ates value by extend­ing the mar­ket reach and life of the prod­ucts with renewed focus.  The busi­ness is well man­aged and highly pre­dictable, and the com­pany has a suc­cess­ful track record with its strat­egy.  bm|t invested via its Mit­tel­stands-Fonds Thürin­gen (MFT), which is focused on financ­ing estab­lished com­pa­nies on strong growth paths.

Jena based mi2-Fac­tory is one of the deep­est tech com­pa­nies in bm|t’s port­fo­lio.  The com­pany is spe­cial­ized on phe­nom­e­nally accu­rate and struc­tured ion implan­ta­tion in sil­i­con car­bide wafers, which dra­mat­i­cally enhances the per­for­mance of the microchips.  mi2-Fac­tory already col­lab­o­rates with many of the top chip man­u­fac­tur­ers on cut­ting edge R&D projects.  The signs are good that the mar­ket will move to sil­i­con car­bide chips in the future for cer­tain appli­ca­tions that require high volt­ages, such as many renew­able energy and e‑mobility appli­ca­tions.  mi2-Fac­tory is extremely well posi­tioned to con­tribute sig­nif­i­cantly to and cap­i­tal­ize greatly on the rise of sil­i­con car­bide chips.

read more ›

BAND Membership

For our early-stage invest­ments, busi­ness angels have become our num­ber one source of co-invest­ment over the last years.  bm|t and our investee-part­ners ben­e­fit tremen­dously from the expe­ri­ence, guid­ance, and net­works that these investors bring to the table.  We have had great results work­ing with the ded­i­cated and pas­sion­ate busi­ness angels who we cur­rently have as co-investors, and we are mak­ing a con­certed effort to fur­ther expand our angel net­work.  We are con­nect­ing to var­i­ous angel orga­ni­za­tions around the DACH region, includ­ing BAND (Busi­ness Angel Net­work Deutsch­land) where bm|t is now a full-pledged mem­ber.  Our goals are clear: increase the amount of pri­vate cap­i­tal invested in Thürin­gen and fur­ther improve the strate­gic fit between angels and investee-part­ners.  We are look­ing for­ward to meet­ing and work­ing with many more great busi­ness angels in the years ahead!

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, and 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!

If your part­ners or col­leagues might be inter­ested in our reg­u­lar updates,
please don’t hes­i­tate to share this link.