The aim of the program is to bring these established, medium-sized companies into exchange with young, innovative startups. The companies defined common challenges in advance. They then got to know innovative startups for these predefined challenges. This is intended to create connections that bring added value for all participants and through which joint solutions can be developed.
The companies benefit from the innovative ability of the startups and their potential to provide creative approaches to solving familiar challenges. In turn, the startups are given the opportunity to network and enter into direct, personal contact with established companies, which is otherwise often difficult to establish.
The five companies met nine national and international startups: Circular Tree, etalytics, lemonbeat, Makersite and envoria from Germany, Circular IQ from Holland, tide ocean materials from Switzerland, METRON from France and OtaliO from Israel.
The matchmaking event focused on the topic of sustainability. Beforehand, the companies had agreed on sustainability challenges for which they wanted to find answers together with the startups. These include climate neutrality at company level, CO2 backpack of individual products, social supply chains, circular economy as well as emissions and (energy) efficiency in the use of products.
Based on this, the event began with content-related input on the topic of sustainability from scientists Prof. Dr. Thomas Göllinger (Konstanz University of Applied Sciences), Prof. Dr Alexander Sauer (University of Stuttgart) and Prof. Dr. Claus Lang-Koetz (Pforzheim University). The focus was on climate neutrality, sustainable value creation and business models for the circular economy.
The idea is that the startups' solution approaches will be further developed in collaboration with the companies and harmonized with the needs of the respective businesses. In this way, answers are to be found to challenges in the area of sustainability. Ideally, this will also lead to long-term partnerships between startups and larger companies.