From deep-sea diving drones to artificial intelligence to a cosmetics revolution - it couldn't be more diverse!


This year’s Munich Investment Forum 2018 offered an intensive exchange between high-tech founders and early-stage investors once again. The event thrives on the dynamic cooperation between the initiator, Fraunhofer Venture, and the three business incubators of Munich's universities, the LMU Entrepreneurship Center, the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship and UnternehmerTUM. The interaction of the four institutions makes it possible to get to know a considerable number of innovative high-tech start-ups with the entire spectrum of technologies year after year. On November 20th, 28 start-ups presented themselves to a selected audience of more than 80 investors. "Rarely will one get to know so many, still young technologies in a relatively familiar environment in 4 hours. I think the broad technology spectrum, the early phase and the solid technological basis offer real added value for business angels and early phase investors," says Dominik Malter, co-organizer of the event.

© Fraunhofer Venture

High-tech start-ups in a head-to-head racing: For the 5th time in a row, the Munich Investment Forum offered an intensive exchange for founders and investors in a compact event format. In just 4 hours, the 28 carefully selected start-ups presented themselves to the investors and presented exciting business ideas. Some of the founding teams were still at an early stage. Often the start of series production or market entry is the next milestone to be financed. This is a good time for real early-stage investors to get involved and to professionalize the start-ups as well as push ahead with commercialization. 

The event was opened by Alexander Müller, CEO and owner of GEDANKENtanken. With his lecture on exciting and diverse experiences from Silicon Valley, he succeeded in preparing the audience for the upcoming social challenges of digitization. The afternoon's moderator was Tobias Ranzinger, BR's moderator with many years of experience and an affinity for technology. He skilfully led with little anecdotes about the blockchain technology, innovative life-sciences products to the deep-sea diving drone fleet.

Innovations and ambitious founders: diversity of ideas

As innovative and trend-setting the entrepreneurs were, as diffrent were their business ideas, which were presented in startup pitches or as 90-second speed pitches. The following Fraunhofer start-ups were represented:

  • The start-up Volterion specializes in the development and sale of redox.floe battery stacks (RFD) for the industrial storage of large quantities of renewable energy at the lowest possible storage costs.
  • The start-up company CrocoDisp also wants to position itself in the energy market through innovative product manufacturing. The focus of the business idea is the planning, construction and marketing of production plants as well as corresponding subcomponents in the solar energy sector.
  • PerioTrap presented itself as an up-and-coming start-up in the field of medical technology: the founders develop highly selective and novel antibiotics for the treatment of periodontitis and other infectious diseases. The great added value compared to conventional drugs is reflected in the avoidance of side effects and resistance.
  • VesselSens also presented itself in the field of medical products: The start-up company develops and markets implantable sensor technology and aims to optimize the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. The implanted stents are equipped with sensors that are able to detect constrictions in the vessel at an early stage and thus reduce risks.
  • Skinmade positions itself as a brand with biophysically personalized skin care products. The special feature of Skinmade is that the ingredients and concentrations are individually matched and the products can be purchased both from stationary retailers and via e-commerce.
  • The start-up MonitorFish offers aquaculture companies with an AI-supported IoT control system specific instructions on how to improve animal welfare. Based on sensor and image data, the fish farmers can react faster to negative changes in the stock, reduce costs and increase productivity. The founding team was already able to convince at the Fraunhofer Venture TandemCamp in April 2018 and secured first place.
  • In addition, Aronnax presented its business idea specialized in maritime robotics. The focus here is on developing difficult-to-access deep-sea areas using modern robotic systems and making exploration and inspection possible.
  • As a further start-up, Psoido offers innovations for the privacy engineering market by decoupling real identities from virtual IDs. The aim of the company is to allow a differentiated data analysis that guarantees no conclusions about their real data source.


MonitorFish wins Speed Pitches

Just 90 seconds to communicate the messages and get excited about the business idea: This year 13 founding teams competed against each other in a tough competition and tried to convince the audience of their skills in the speed pitches. With play money, the so-called Ven talers, the spectators could evaluate the pitches and thus invest as imaginary investors in their favourite start-up. The Fraunhofer-funded start-up MonitorFish collected the most play money with its fish farming system. Second place went to ChargeX - a start-up of the SCE - which wants to bring a modular and cost-efficient charging system for electric cars into the market. The charging technology allows several vehicles to be charged at the same time and is specially designed for multi-storey car parks. UnternehmerTUM's start-up Retorio secured third place. With the help of artificial intelligence, the personality and communication behavior of people is analyzed from video data. Interactive and flexible digital offers can be used to train interpersonal interaction.