Reaching a record number of virtual visitors, the 5-HT takes place for the third time
Laura Reich Diez
For the third time in a row, the 5-HT X-Linker took place with the aim of connecting promising startups with corporates and advancing digital solutions in the chemical industry. The focus was on the digitalization of research and development, smart production and digital sustainability. Due to the pandemic, the week-long bootcamp took place in virtual form for the first time this year and immediately reached a record attendance. 471 participants from the 5-HT community dialed in to the grand finale on February 5 to watch live how digital innovation is advancing the chemical industry.
We accompanied ten national and international startups from the field of digital chemistry from February 1st to February 5th , 2021. During the one-week program, they received individual coaching and professional pitch training to prepare them for the final day.
Getting-to-know and individual mentoring
On monday the startups were introduced to the program by Marco R. Majer, Head of Ecosystems at 5-HT and presenter of the bootcamp. After that, all startups introduced themselves and pitched their business idea for the first time. This gave everyone a chance to get to know each other and got them in the mood for the coming days. In the further course of the week, all startups received individual mentoring, pitch training and technical training in order to optimally prepare for the final day.
Finaltag des 5-HT X-Linker
We are very pleased that Dr. Hans-Ulrich Engel, CFO/CDO of BASF, who are also our shareholders, and Thomas Jarzombek, Member of the German Parliament, Commissioner for the Digital Industry and Startups and Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, praised the work of the 5-HT Digital Hub as an important pillar for actively promoting digital innovations in the chemical and healthcare industries. In his opening words, Jarzombek explained the need for new players to promote digital chemistry and referred to an extensive support program of the German government, the Future Fund. With several billion euros, this is the largest startup funding package in Europe. We are proud to contribute to digital innovation in Germany and look forward to expanding our international ecosystem of startups, investors, and companies in the future.
Startup Pitches inclusive Q&A
After the inspiring opening speeches, the excellently prepared startups had the chance to prove themselves in a pitch on the final day of the X-Linker Bootcamp and present their business models to the 5-HT community. The jury consisting of Tom Rausch (BASF) and Marie Asano (European Circular Bioeconomy Fund) felt out the founders after the respective pitch and gave the startups valuable feedback and suggestions. The previous training sessions were worthwhile and have been incorporated into the presentations, some of which have undergone major changes.
Corporate Speed Dating
Once again this year, we managed to bring together renowned industry giants and the startups for a Corporate Speed Dating. After the open audience part in the morning of the final day, the young entrepreneurs could then look forward to an exclusive corporate speed dating with industry giants from chemical industry. In virtual rooms, the startups had the opportunity to meet with company representatives from BASF, Braskem, Daikin, Endress+Hauser, Evonik, Gelita, Henkel, Merck, Pepperl+Fuchs and SAP and explore points of contact for further cooperation. In recent years, this part of the boot camp in particular has resulted in numerous projects and further measures between startups and chemical companies.
We are very pleased that initial feedback indicates a high number of follow-up conversations from stakeholders again this year.
The following 1o startups were part of the 5-HT X-Linker:
- Arcstone Pte Ltd. – Singapore/SGP
- Carbon Minds – Cologne/DE
- ChemAlive SA – Lausanne/CHE
- Circulor – London/GB
- Inniti – Copenhagen/DEN
- Simreka – Düsseldorf/DE
- ClimateTrade – Valencia/ES
- iDA – Frankfurt am Main/DE
- Metron – Paris/FR
- ScienceDesk – Freital/DE
The setting was embedded in a virtual event space including an exhibition area to showcase the range of services offered by the participating startups, which allowed viewers to fully immerse and interact in the 3D virtual environment.
"We are overwhelmed by the unexpectedly high number of attendees and are pleased to receive so much positive feedback. We hope that through the 5-HT X-Linker many promising contacts have been made again and that concrete projects will result from them," said Frank Funke, Managing Director of the Hub, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
Marco R. Majer, Head of Ecosystems at 5-HT and presenter of the X-Linker, looks back on the successful bootcamp with satisfaction and is looking forward to further cooperation with the startups: "A network thrives on the multitude of participants, because innovations can best be driven forward collaboratively. That's why we are especially proud to expand our network day by day!"
All startups expressed their gratitude for the valuable support. "We enjoyed being part of the community, interacting and sharing our thoughts about each other's companies," said Ilham Barrachid, Co-Founder of startup iDA, "In the end, we were just thrilled how we managed to put down a 4-minute speed pitch and connect with so many different players in the chemical industry in a short time."
Arne Kätelhön from the startup Carbon Minds is also thrilled, "5-HT X-linker was a superb event for Carbon Minds. We had the chance to present our pitch to a new audience and kick off collaborations with more leading companies who are looking at the impact of chemicals in their supply chains.", he praised the team from 5-HT after the event and looks forward to future projects.
Willson Deng, CEO and Co-Founder of the startup Arcstone is impressed: "A wonderful event pulling together some of the world’s largest chemical companies dedicated to digital transformation. It was an honor for Arcstone to be part of a cohort focused on optimization, transparency and sustainability as we take the chemical industry forward with unique and innovative solutions from around the world.
The corporates also expressed their appreciation for the event. We are very happy about the positive feedback we received from all sides for our event. The X-Linker provided valuable impulses for all participants.
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