CHEManager Report on 5-HT X-Linker 2021
5-HT X-Linker 2021: digital innovations in the field of chemistry
Record attendance at Germany's largest international bootcamp for digital chemistry startups
03/17/2021 - After the two 5-HT X-Linker Bootcamps in 2019 and 2020, the success story continued virtually in 2021.
We are very pleased about the article on the 5-HT X-Linker 2021 in CHEManager (online article dated 17.3.2021).
Read the full article (in German) here, which can also be read below.
The 5-HT Digital Hub Chemistry & Health is part of the Digital Hub Initiative (de:hub) initiated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to promote digital innovation in Germany. The goal is to build an international ecosystem of startups, investors and companies to drive digital innovation in the chemistry and health sectors. As a central platform, 5-HT offers players the opportunity to network, cooperate and develop together.
At the beginning of February, the bootcamp of the 5-HT Digital Hub Chemistry & Health accompanied ten national and international start-ups from the field of digital chemistry with a focus on the digitalization of Research & Development, Smart Production and Sustainability. During the nearly one-week program, the start-ups received individual coaching as well as professional pitch training.
"A network thrives on the multitude of participants, because innovations are best driven forward collaboratively. That's why we are especially proud to expand our network day by day," said Marco R. Majer, Head of Ecosystems at 5-HT and moderator of the X-Linker event (see large photo).
471 attendees from the 5-HT community dialed in to the grand X-Linker finale on February 5 to watch live how digital innovations are being driven in the field of chemistry. This marked a record attendance for the virtual event. Participants included more than 50 companies along the chemical value chain, more than 25 investors, several universities and research institutions, and numerous other guests from across the ecosystem.
On the final day of the 5-HT X-Linker Bootcamp, the excellently prepared startups Arcstone, ChemAlive, Carbon Minds, Circulor, iDA, ClimateTrade, ScienceDesk, Inniti, Metron and Simreka had the opportunity to pitch and present their business models to the 5-HT community.
The event was opened by Hans Ulrich Engel, CFO/CDO of BASF, which is also a shareholder of 5-HT. Right at the start, he emphasized the benefits of digitalization in the field of digital chemistry, thanks to which innovations can advance at an increasing speed. Engel praised the work of 5-HT and encouraged the young entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity and expand their network with the support of 5-HT to jointly drive innovation.
Thomas Jarzombek, Member of the German Parliament, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Start-ups and Coordinator of the German Government for Aerospace, picked up on the same theme and referred to the need for new players to promote digital chemistry in his opening message. He went on to thank the team at 5-HT for their outstanding work in the field of start-up promotion and referred to an extensive support program of the German government, the Future Fund. With several billion euros, this is the largest start-up funding package in Europe.
The jury, consisting of Marie Asano (European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, ECBF) and Tom Rausch (BASF), gave the founders a once-over after their respective pitches and provided them with valuable feedback and practical suggestions.
Afterwards, the founders enjoyed an exclusive corporate speed dating with industry giants from the chemical industry. In virtual rooms, the start-ups had the opportunity to meet company representatives from BASF, Braskem, Daikin, Endress + Hauser, Evonik, Gelita, Henkel, Merck, Pepperl + Fuchs and SAP, to conduct in-depth dialogs and discuss options for further collaboration. In recent years, this part of the bootcamp in particular has resulted in numerous projects and further measures between startups and chemical companies. Initial feedback this year also indicates a high number of follow-up discussions between the participants.
"We enjoyed being part of the community, interacting and sharing our thoughts on each other's companies," said Ilham Barrachid, Co-Founder of startup iDA, "In the end, we were just blown away by how we managed to put down a 4-minute speed pitch and connect with so many different chemical industry players in a short amount of time."
Arne Kätelhön from start-up Carbon Minds is also thrilled, "The 5-HT X-linker was a great event for Carbon Minds. We had the chance to present our pitch to a new audience and initiate collaborations with leading companies that are addressing the impact of chemicals in their supply chains," he praised the team from 5-HT after the event and looks forward to future projects.
The setting was embedded in a virtual event space including an exhibition area to showcase the range of services offered by the participating start-ups, which allowed the audience to be fully immersed in a 3D virtual environment.
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