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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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