Product Booster 2020 – six corporate partners want to pilot with B2B startups!

Startup meets industry partner

The Up2B Product Booster connects IT and high-tech startups with medium-sized and international companies and helps them to successfully launch their product or service on the market. This year, the program of the state accelerator “Up2B” will once again act as a digital problem solver. The next Product Booster will be launched on 26 October 2020.

“Especially in challenging times like these, many companies ask themselves where they could digitize and how they could best implement their digitization wishes. This is where the Product Booster can help,” says Paul Becker, project manager in the Up2B Accelerator.

A prerequisite for the successful implementation of the program is the precisely tailored networking of established companies and start-ups. “The first step is to identify the challenges that the companies want to meet with smart start-up solutions. This is followed by an intensive search for start-ups that can solve these digital problems”. At times, this is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

“In addition, we have found that nothing moves early-stage startups forward more than direct customer contact. Developing products without customer contact is like poking around in a fog – only by chance is the result a product that is actually needed. Developing the product together with the customer is much more target-oriented. This is where we help start-ups to find the right business partners,” says Paul Becker.

In the past, the Up2B-Accelerator has already succeeded several times in bringing companies and start-ups together for successful development cooperation. One example is the startup sentin GmbH, which was able to start a cooperation with IDS Innovation GmbH via the Product Booster. IDS has succeeded in expanding its product range within the scope of the cooperation with sentin – from a pure hardware manufacturer to a full-service provider of industrial solutions. The company uses sentin’s software for this purpose. Conversely, sentin uses the industrial cameras from IDS – a cooperation from which both sides benefit.


Product Booster 2020: Problem solver for digital challenges

For the next Product Booster, which starts on 26 October and will run for five weeks this time, well-known industrial partners have again registered. “Among the participants are BASF, Freudenberg, IDS Innovation,” says Paul Becker.

Startups interested in the Product Booster can obtain information and register on the following website:

The Up2B Accelerator is a joint project of Technologiepark Heidelberg, Startup Mannheim and innoWerft Walldorf and is financed by the state of Baden-Württemberg and the European Social Fund (ESF).


Up2B Firecamp Batch #6: Corporates, Investors and Mentors in five days

Up2B Firecamp batch #6


Five-day intensive program supports twelve IT and high-tech start-ups with contacts to experts, investors and established entrepreneurs, thus facilitating their successful market entry. The highlight of the Firecamp was the finale with the presentations of the start-ups in front of more than 60 guests, including a total of 25 investors and a three-member jury. The winner of the competition is the Berlin-based start-up AUCTA.

It was the first firecamp that took place completely online. “It’s the same program, the same high quality of start-ups and mentors, and the same networking…only digital,” says Paul Becker from the Up2B Accelerator Team.

Twelve IT and high-tech start-ups from five different countries had the chance to present their business ideas to investors. It’s often all or nothing for these start-ups. Only if they manage to convince investors, they can continue their activities and realize their ideas. 4 days of intensive work with experts and mentors preceded the final.

Dima Sarle, Managing Director of ArcticStartup from Helsinki, gave the start-ups their first impulse on Monday. Sarle, himself the founder of five companies, accompanied the start-ups throughout the entire week of the firecamp as a mentor for presentations to a very specific target group – the investors. Colin Bennett, who has been a trainer for business people for 20 years, also gave pitch training on the first two days. Monday concluded with a virtual beer tasting with Ben Vivell from the Taproom in Mannheim.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the start-ups received qualified and individual feedback on their solutions and business models in one-on-one coaching with 16 mentors. On the final day the company day took place in the morning. The founders were able to establish personal contacts with company representatives and talk to them about their business model in ten minutes each. In the afternoon, the start-ups made their grand entrance in front of guests from politics, business and culture as well as a jury.

AUCTA, the Berlin-based start-up, won the Up2B Firecamp. The three founders Henri Huselstein, Elías Alonso and Daniel Seiler are developing a program that enables companies to create immersive employee training using virtual reality. The special feature is that this allows knowledge to be passed on to each employee on a large scale and this is platform independent.

Matthias Hornberger, Managing Director at Kizoo Technology Ventures, explained the decision: “AUCTA gave a presentation that meets all criteria with a product that seems to be absolutely ready for the market and that appeals to attractive segments right now… As the winner AUCTA will take home a cheque for 1,000 Euros. The prize money was provided by the Techniker Krankenkasse.
“The Rhine-Neckar region is a great place for start-ups. This is one of the many reasons why we are so happy to have the Up2B Accelerator, to bring all the companies here, all the research institutes, universities and great people into a program for start-ups from all over the world, and of course to bring great ideas and talent to this region,” explains Thomas Prexl, head of the start-up office in the Technology Park and one of the brains behind the Up2B Accelerator. The participating start-ups all develop products and services for the business customer segment (B2B).
Second place went to the start-up Neutroon, which provides private 5G networks. This enables companies to make the leap into Industry 4.0, as they own the infrastructure themselves and manage and use all data from the IoT provisioning themselves. Third place went to AiZUBI, which develops learning machines for industrial applications. They can learn tasks like people by observing and interacting with experienced employees.

The winners of the Up2B Firecamp:
1st place: AUCTA
2nd place: Neutroon
3rd place: AiZUBI

The following start-ups participated in the Up2B Firecamp:
AiZUBI (Bielefeld), Neutroon (Barcelona, Spain), STATISTANCE (Berlin), CROVE (Berlin), AICOACHING (Königswinter), panda (Helsinki, Finland), AUCTA (Berlin), CYBERPHYSICS (Moscow, Russia), machinesees (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia), KOKORO (Vienna, Austria), GIRI (Stuttgart), Virtual Fort Knox (Heidelberg)
The following companies were involved:

IDS Innovation, Gelita, SAP, ABB, EnBW, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, BASF, INTER Insurance Group, ADM Wild, Pepperl & Fuchs, edataconsulting
About the Up2B Accelerator

The Up2B Accelerator is a joint project of Technologiepark Heidelberg, Startup Mannheim and innoWerft Walldorf and is funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg and the European Social Fund.

Virtual Up2B Firecamp program starts with 12 B2B startups

Virtual Up2B event #2: The Up2B Accelerator kicked off its 5-days program to connect startups with our industry in BaWü, with investors and mentors.

Dmitri Sarle and Colin Bennett started to prepare the startups for their pitch in front of investors and customers on Friday.

Plus, we had a virtual beer tasting with Ben from the taproom in Mannheim. Actually, it´s the same program, same high quality of startups and mentors, same beer drinking and networking…just digitally!

Thanks to Tammy Bieth from Die Techniker for the partnership and for supporting our tech-startups again!

Selected Startups Up2B Firecamp 2020

Lockdown does not stop Up2B – virtual Breakthrough 2020 completed!

The Lockdown does not prevent us from running our accelerator program and supporting startups.

The wrap-up after six weeks of digital work: The digital program works as good as a live program!

After six weeks of work, intensive coaching with B2B experts and networking, today the startups had the opportunity to pitch and to convince investors and business partners at the Breakthrough Finale. All participating startups were able to show what they have learned a lot in the past six weeks and put their know-how into practice.

And of course the winners of today are:
1️⃣st place: Level 3
2️⃣nd place:
3️⃣rd place: Orgflow

Up2B Product Booster completed. Startups found corporates for pilot projects.

Pilot projects with companies made possible – ten start-ups develop solutions in only three weeks

Three-week program links ten IT and high-tech startups with medium-sized and international companies and helps them to successfully enter the market. The highlight was the finale with presentations in front of more than 100 guests, 23 companies and a four-member jury in the new Business Development Center Heidelberg.

A tailor-made and solution-oriented networking between start-ups and companies from Baden-Württemberg took place in November as part of the state-funded accelerator “Up2B”. “It was partly a search for the needle in a haystack. The actual work took place before and not during the program,” explains Paul Becker, project manager in the Up2B Accelerator. “Two points were essential for a perfectly fitting network. First, identifying the challenges that companies currently face and want to address with smart startup solutions. Second, an intensive search for startups that can solve the challenges.”

Ten startups from all over Germany were networked with five companies in this way before the start of the three-week programme. The aim was to improve the start-ups in the further development of their products and to support them in successfully entering the market. Additionally

At the final of the program, the guests were welcomed by André H.R. Domin: “With the Up2B Product Booster, we have succeeded in finding perfectly fitting start-ups and networking them with companies from the region for pilot projects. These cooperations were very intensive and the applications, which were developed in three weeks, are now being implemented quickly. In all cases, the contacts we made led to an exchange from which both start-ups and established companies benefit”.

The jury awarded the startups KimoKnow from Karlsruhe and Plasmion from Augsburg as winners of the Up2B Product Booster. Klaus Schimmer, Open Innovation Chief Architect, explained the decision: “The Plasmion and KimoKnow start-ups exceed the precision of the human senses and at the same time support people in their everyday working lives. We were convinced by the wide range of possible applications for the solutions in industry”.

The technology of the start-up company Kimoknow can automatically recognize objects using artificial intelligence, revolutionizing quality assurance and employee support.
Plasmion has developed “electronic nose sensor” that monitors odours of volatile and organic compounds in real time and in almost any industrial environment.

Lukas Kriete from KimoKnow sums up: “It was an enrichment to be part of this program. We received great coaching, were prepared for working with companies and were able to present our product to many companies and have promising discussions. As the winner, the start-up company takes home a cheque for 500 euros. The prize money was provided by the Techniker Krankenkasse.

The Up2B Accelerator is a joint project of Technologiepark Heidelberg, Startup Mannheim and innoWerft Walldorf and is financed by the state of Baden-Württemberg and the European Social Fund (ESF).

The participating startups
RabbitAI (Heidelberg), sentin (Bochum), ZReality (Kaiserslautern), urobots (Pforzheim), Lexatexer (Berlin), Sooqua (Darmstadt), KimoKnow (Karlsruhe), Plasmion (Augsburg), Semron (Dresden), Isarsoft (Munich/Karlsruhe)

The partner companies
KSB SE & Co.KG (Frankenthal), IDS Innovation GmbH (Obersulm), Gelita AG (Eberbach), Digital Agency Heidelberg and City of Mannheim

The Jury
Dr Philipp Vorst (ABB AG Research Center), Dr Bernhard Buck (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG), Klaus Schimmer (SAP SE), Lone Aggersbjerg (Tink Tank GmbH)