From researcher to entrepreneur
The foundation and establishment of a successful company requires more than an innovative idea or technology.
As a partner of start-up companies, Fraunhofer institutes, the industrial sector and investors, we support foundation-willing scientists from the Fraunhofer environment with our know-how and utilize our network for a successful technology transfer.
Financing the Seed Phase – Fraunhofer Venture and High-Tech Gründerfonds Cooperate
- Dr. Alex von Frankenberg, Managing Director of High-Tech Gründerfonds
- Thomas Doppelberger, Head of Fraunhofer Venture
From now Fraunhofer Venture and High-Tech Gründerfonds will extend their collaboration. The aim is to develop new possibilities for seed financing, that is the financing at an early stage of start-up projects. Thomas Doppelberger, head of Fraunhofer Venture, and Dr. Alex von Frankenberg, managing director of High-Tech Gründerfonds, explain how spin-offs are realized in the future through early investment.
What are the new possibilities that come with the cooperation – for Fraunhofer Venture and High-Tech Gründerfonds?
Doppelberger: In line with our new spin-off and investment strategy we would like to motivate possible founders and establish spin-off processes within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft with a sustainable effect. So naturally there is a great need for financing especially in the seed phase. And together with High-Tech Gründerfonds we are in the position to support even more spin-off projects. Furthermore, High-Tech Gründerfonds has a large network from which Fraunhofer may also benefit when it comes to follow-up investment or completing the management team for example.
von Frankenberg: At the moment we have a network of more than 1,200 different investors involved in present or past joint investment projects. And we can use it to support Fraunhofer spin-offs when looking for financing possibilities. At the same time we are always looking for exciting investment possibilities. And with its focus on applied research, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft produces numerous fantastic technologies and also start-up personalities.
Doppelberger: In the end it is about benefitting from each other’s know-how. With this joint pool of knowledge and experience we are in a better position to judge which ideas are really marketable and which still need to be improved. That means for example that together we are better able to tell which projects should possibly be sped up to leverage the first mover advantage. Eventually, all three partners are in a win-win situation – Fraunhofer Venture, High-Tech Gründerfonds, and the spin-off.