News › DOCTER OPTICS · Start-ups and medium-sized com­pa­nies jointly open up new markets


The Jena-based start-up IDloop has been sel­ec­ted by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion for a grant of 10 mil­lion euros. This secu­res the deve­lo­p­ment to mar­ket matu­rity of the world’s first 3D scan­ner that cap­tures fin­ger­prints wit­hout cont­act and with micro­sco­pic reso­lu­tion. The coope­ra­tion with the medium-sized com­pany Doc­ter Optics from neigh­bor­ing Neu­stadt an der Orla has played a part in this suc­cess story. But why is this coope­ra­tion so spe­cial and what distin­gu­is­hes it from other suc­cess stories?

»In my opi­nion, invest­ments are made in start-ups at far too late a stage,« says Mar­tin Enen­kel, the CEO Doc­ter Optics Group. Cor­po­ra­ti­ons and lar­ger com­pa­nies hardly take any more risks with invest­ments and usually only sup­port start-ups or ideas in the expan­sion stage. Espe­ci­ally in rural areas, foun­ders often look in vain for sup­port, for exam­ple from busi­ness angel inves­tors. The sup­po­sed risk for SMEs to get invol­ved finan­ci­ally and in the form of a part­ner­ship is too great. Howe­ver, inves­t­ing in the early phase of a start-up has clear advan­ta­ges for both sides bey­ond the purely finan­cial aspects. All it takes is a little cou­rage and a keen sense of markets.

Espe­ci­ally in the seed phase of start-ups, the focus of the new foun­ders (m/f/d) is usually on con­cre­tiz­ing the idea, pro­duct deve­lo­p­ment, rese­arch and buil­ding the busi­ness con­cept. Chris­tiane Kilian, direc­tor of the Foun­da­tion for Tech­no­logy, Inno­va­tion and Rese­arch Thu­rin­gia (STIFT), knows what start-ups lack: »Not all start-ups manage to enter the mar­ket on their own. They may have the ideas, the brains and the high speed, but the alre­ady estab­lished com­pa­nies have well-deve­lo­ped struc­tures, expe­ri­ence, exis­ting manu­fac­tu­ring pro­ces­ses and, above all, access to markets.«

And there is a lack of cou­rage on both sides: On the part of the foun­ders (m/f/d) to approach SMEs directly and actively ask for sup­port; and on the part of SMEs to see more in a start-up than »just« a finan­cial invest­ment with risk.

STIFT is working inten­si­vely in Thu­rin­gia to dove­tail both worlds and offers sup­port to both sides with various programs.

The col­la­bo­ra­tion bet­ween IDloop and Doc­ter Optics is a prime exam­ple of the sym­bio­sis of start-up and SME. Doc­ter Optics not only inves­ted mone­ta­rily in a busi­ness idea, but also con­tri­bu­ted to the part­ner­ship with know­ledge trans­fer, know-how and expe­ri­ence in trans­fer­ring high-tech pro­ducts to a very con­ser­va­tive and spe­cia­li­zed mar­ket. IDloop was able to rely on its more than 30 years of expe­ri­ence as a spe­cia­list in the deve­lo­p­ment and indus­trial pro­duc­tion of opti­cal sys­tems. With the secu­rity of an expe­ri­en­ced busi­ness part­ner at its side, the young com­pany was thus able to devote its­elf to what is important at the begin­ning of the start-up: the opti­miza­tion and final deve­lo­p­ment of the pro­duct. In this way, at IDloop, the trans­fer of the pro­to­type to series pro­duc­tion was included in the design at a very early stage of the pro­ject and opti­mi­zed for mar­ket entry.

This in turn streng­thens and con­cre­ti­zes the busi­ness plan and helps with the initial mar­ke­ting of the idea. It’s a con­cept that is now bea­ring fruit for ID Loop, ope­ning up new mar­kets for Doc­ter Optics and pro­vi­ding the oppor­tu­nity to par­ti­ci­pate in indus­try inno­va­tions. For cus­to­mers, it offers access to inno­va­tive and future-proof mar­ket solu­ti­ons – mutual lear­ning with bene­fits and vision.

»When you work tog­e­ther openly, honestly, loyally and trans­par­ently, that’s the ideal basis for suc­cess sto­ries,« says Chris­tiane Kilian.

About Doc­ter Optics

More than 30 years of expe­ri­ence in the manu­fac­ture and deve­lo­p­ment of cus­to­mi­zed opti­cal com­pon­ents, opto­me­cha­ni­cal and opto­elec­tro­nic sys­tems have made Doc­ter Optics a lea­ding OEM part­ner in a wide range of industries.

The com­pany has refe­ren­ces in various indus­tries such as auto­mo­tive, light­ing optics, digi­tal pro­jec­tion, bio­me­trics, prin­ting, security/surveillance, machine vision and medi­cal devices.

In the auto­mo­tive sec­tor, Doc­ter Optics pro­du­ces opti­cal com­pon­ents up to com­plex sys­tems for auto­mo­tive head­lights, and its indus­trial deve­lo­p­ments make a signi­fi­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the fur­ther deve­lo­p­ment of the latest light­ing solu­ti­ons in auto­mo­tive technology.

Doc­ter Optics also manu­fac­tures com­plex opti­cal and opto­elec­tro­nic sys­tems on behalf of cus­to­mers and addres­ses addi­tio­nal appli­ca­tion fields such as DIAGNOSTICS and ANALYTICS (e.g. fluo­re­s­cence micro­sco­pes), SECURITY (e.g. fin­ger­print scan­ners) and INDUSTRIAL SENSORS (e.g. optics for machine vision). With the aid of a ready-mol­ding pro­cess directly from the still-liquid glass, Doc­ter Optics is also able to pro­vide glass com­pon­ents for non-opti­cal appli­ca­ti­ons for a wide variety of indus­tries. Last but not least, Doc­ter Optics Express Glass Ser­vices sup­plies semi-finis­hed tech­ni­cal glass pro­ducts to cus­to­mers throug­hout Europe using modern, in-house deve­lo­ped 5‑axis CNC centers.


Doc­ter Optics SE
Kath­rin Scheffler
Cor­po­rate Marketing
Mit­tel­weg 29
07806 Neu­stadt an der Orla
Phone: 49 36481 27–105
E‑mail: moc.scitporetcod@relffehcs.nirhtak