News › Winners of the Investor Days Thuringia 2023 have been selected
UNDER THE MOTTO »WHERE INNOVATION STARTS« 32 STARTUPS PRESENTED THEMSELVES TO THE INNOVATION COMMUNITY ON THE FIRST DAY OF INVESTOR DAYS THURINGIA
From biotech to VR and automation solutions to greentech – 32 future technologies were presented by startups in Erfurt on today’s Investor Days Thuringia Pitch Day. The most convincing five startup projects were awarded prizes. In addition, the founders were able to hold numerous discussions with investors and expand their networks. As one of the largest startup events in Germany, the Investor Days Thüringen annually bring together actors of the innovation ecosystem, startups, growth companies, investors and industry to drive innovation.
On June 14, 2023, Olga Röder and Andreas Sonnefeld from the Foundation for Technology, Innovation and Research Thuringia (STIFT) opened the 8th edition of the event at the Steigerwald Stadium in Erfurt and guided the guests through the day. The attendees were then welcomed to the joint event by Christiane Kilian, Executive Director of STIFT, and Kevin Reeder, Managing Director of bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh. Thuringia’s Minister of Economic Affairs Wolfgang Tiefensee then addressed the audience with a welcoming speech.
»Founders from Thuringia are regularly represented in the annual ranking of Germany’s TOP-50 startups,« the minister referred to the Free State’s successes as a startup state. Thus, since 2017, a total of eleven startups from the Free State have made it into this top group. This is also due to the fact that the state offers a wide range of funding and financing instruments for start-ups: »Thuringia has the best framework conditions for bringing good business ideas to marketability quickly,« said Tiefensee. He referred in particular to bm‑t as the state’s investment company, which according to an analysis by startupdetector.de is one of the most active public investors for start-ups in Germany. In addition, the »Investor Days Thüringen« have become an internationally successful presentation format that allows founders to quickly and effectively raise venture capital for their companies.
This year’s Investor Days Thuringia again attracted a great deal of interest. Around 70 pitch applications were received this year from all over Germany, Belgium, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland. From the applications, 20 startups were finally selected to present their innovations on the big stage on today’s Pitch Day. As usual, the spectrum of topics and industries was broad: MedTech, BioTech, GreenTech, Security and Automation Technology, Virtual Reality, SpaceTech, AI solutions and much more. Five promising startups from the Thuringian Regional Innovation Program (TRIP) also presented themselves among the pitchers. As the Free State’s accelerator program, TRIP brings its participants to investment readiness at full speed each year, creating a solid foundation for market entry.
Pitches were held in two blocks. In between, the event offered plenty of space for sharing experiences, inspiration and networking. In addition, guests and investors were able to discover the 20 pitch projects and 12 other startup innovations at their booths in the adjacent Innovation Arena and exchange ideas with the founders.
In addition, there were exciting impulses around the topic of smart manufacturing as well as courage to innovate and the startup spirit in Israel. Afterwards, Martha Wenzel, co-founder of E‑Terry GmbH, told the story of her startup after the pitch on stage at Investor Days Thuringia 2020 and which path E‑Terry is taking today to sustainably work on the company’s success story.
Applause for the pitch winners!
The presentation of the Pitch Awards was a highlight of the event. To honor the most convincing pitches, the jury of investors and the audience selected a total of 5 winners in a live vote. Congratulations go to:
Prize of STIFT & bm|t: Xsight Optics GmbH
Cash prize: € 3.000
Prize from EY: openUC2 GmbH
Non-cash prize: € 2,000 consulting services
Prize from LeoBlu Patentanwälte: plasmotion GmbH
Non-monetary prize: € 2,500 consulting services
Prize of GRÜNDELPARTNER legal advice: Valoon
material prize: € 1.500 consulting services
Audience Award of Apropro Haarbeck: FreeMOM
Material prize: € 1.500 consulting services
The second event day at Egapark in Erfurt is dedicated to the exchange between investors and Thuringian growth companies. Under the motto »Invest beyond the crowd«, 19 selected growth companies will present themselves to an exclusive round of investors. The companies‹ pitches provide the basis for an exciting exchange about future-oriented technologies and allow investors to take advantage of their investment opportunities. The day also provides ample space for networking.
The Investor Days Thuringia are an initiative of the Foundation for Technology, Innovation and Research Thuringia (STIFT) and beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh (bm|t) to bring together innovative startups and growth companies with potential cooperation partners as well as investors and business angels every year in June. Since 1993, STIFT has been promoting science, research and technology along the entire educational and economic development chain. In individual cases, STIFT itself also acts as a financial backer and invests as an early-stage and side investor in promising Thuringian start-ups. STIFT is involved as a co-organizer of the Investor Days as part of the ThEx innovativ project, which is supported by the Thuringian Ministry of Economics, Science and Digital Society with funds from the European Social Fund Plus. The bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh (bm|t), based in Erfurt, is the first address for venture capital investments in Thuringia, Germany. bm|t currently manages eleven investment funds with a total volume of EUR 415 million and invests in innovative companies with strong growth potential across all industries and all phases of the company life cycle.