It’s all in a name. Deep tech start-up is the new term for a start-up founded on the basis of a breakthrough technology or science. The start-up’s product or service often revolves around a disruptive innovation. The development cycles they are involved in are often longer and more capital-intensive than with the products found in other sectors of industry. The European Union has spotted this and is now funding a European accelerator programme called DeepTech4Good. The initiative is part of Horizon 2020, the European Union Research Framework Programme, and the aim is to help start-ups raise their market profile and become a driving force in the Internet of Things (IoT) market. Five European start-up events will be organized under the programme, each resulting in the selection of eight start-ups to receive coaching on growing their business from the project partners of DeepTech4Good. The first finalists have already been chosen at the first two events called DeepTech4Good#Paris and DeepTech4Good#Stuttgart. DeepTech4Good#Stuttgart was organized by the project partners, S2i and Photonics BW.
DeepTech4Good is being coordinated by Cluster Systematic Paris-Region. Under the initiative, eight partners from Germany, France, Austria, and Spain will receive approximately €1.5 million from the EU and will be charged with acting as official EU ambassadors for the Startup Europe initiative. Based on a vision that deep tech is good for society, the program focuses closely on four IoT sectors: Smart Cities, Smart Mobility (modern travel solutions), Industry 4.0, and Health & Well-being. In total, 200 high-potential start-ups from four European hubs will be helped to forge networks with relevant stakeholders with the aim of initiating innovation projects. This should make it easier for them to access funding and gain further support in raising their profile. One of the overarching aims of the programme is to network and connect up hubs within Europe.
Eight start-ups receive awards at the pitch in Stuttgart
The DeepTech4Good#Stuttgart event in late 2018 was an opportunity for 23 young European enterprises to make a 5-minute pitch and inspire investors with their ideas. Eight winners were chosen after winning over the jury: Adlatus Robotics, AScon Systems, HD Vision Systems, INERATEC, skinmade, and Vialytics (all from Germany), Mobility Work from France, and EET from Austria. The winners are now eligible to receive personal coaching and may progress to the accelerator programme. Gaining access to a Europe-wide network and receiving input from experts will help the start-ups scale up their business and provide welcome support with innovation initiatives – ideal prerequisites for evolving into future deep tech unicorns in Europe.
The role of Baden-Wuerttemberg as a start-up hub
“Deep tech start-ups will increase in significance for Baden-Wuerttemberg in the coming years. It’s particularly important to recognize and promote the scale-up potential. Events like DeepTech4Good#Stuttgart make a crucial contribution in this respect. With powerful sponsors like bwcon, Start-up BW, Agorize, VentureZphere, the Stuttgart stock exchange, and the StartupEurope initiative organized by the European Commission, the event provides an ideal network and it’s sponsors like these that will secure Baden-Wuerttemberg’s position as a future hub for start-ups,” says Dr. Petra Püchner, Commissioner for Europe of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour, and Housing Baden-Wuerttemberg, summarizing the exceptional importance of the event. “This support already starts on the doorstep at our events. For example, the start-ups receive specific training on the best way to sell themselves and different ways to network and embark on a collaboration with partners from industry,” adds Samantha Michaux, who as a project manager and Startup Europe Ambassador at S2i is responsible for supervising the project.
The next DeepTech4Good Business Event will take place in Graz in Austria on March 26, 2019.