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On May 31 – June 1, 2023, the ESA BIC Northern Germany attended the Startup Days event in Lübeck. The event welcomed a diverse range of participants, including entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts and aspiring startups. The gathering served as a melting pot of innovation and expertise, offering an ideal environment for networking and collaboration. The ESA BIC Northern Germany was there to connect with attendees and promote the incubation programme for young startups with a space connection.
Day 1: A Gathering of Innovators
On the first day of the event, participants stepped into a world where ideas met opportunity. Participants engaged in conversations with entrepreneurs, gaining valuable insights and forming strategic partnerships that could shape their startup journeys. The event provided unique networking opportunities, allowing attendees to connect with potential mentors, collaborators, and investors, igniting their entrepreneurial ambitions.
Day 2: Empowering the Next Generation of Startups
The second day of the event was focused on mature startups and their different experiences. It was here that Inge Heydt (Starthaus) and Carolina Gomez (AVIASPACE BREMEN e.V.) presented the ESA BIC Northern Germany business incubation programme. The aim of the programme is to empower and accelerate the growth of young startups and help them thrive in the competitive startup ecosystem. The incubation programme focuses on three pillars of support: technical, financial, and business support.
Technical: The ESA BIC Northern Germany incubation programme boasts a team of seasoned experts well-versed in cutting-edge technologies and industry best practices. Startups can tap into this knowledge, receiving guidance in areas such as product development, consultancy in intellectual property rights and technology assessment.
Financial: Recognising the critical role of capital in a startup’s growth, the ESA BIC Northern Germany outlined its commitment to providing access to funding opportunities. Along with its offer of up to 50,000EUR non-equity financial support, the incubator has cultivated relationships with potential investors and supports startups in securing grants and accessing various funding sources.
Business: Beyond technical and financial aid, the ESA BIC Northern Germany recognises the significance of solid business foundations. As a partner to the incubation programme, Inge Heydt from Starthaus Bremen spoke about the different services offered to potential startups to help them successfully establish a company. Startups can access mentorship programmes, workshops and training sessions focused on market research, business development as well as customer acquisition.
Of course, the true testament to the ESA BIC Northern Germany incubation programme lays in the success stories of its incubatees. Two current incubatees Trilitec and CoherSense talked about their startup journey and their incubation experience. The first startup, Trilitec showcased their industrial sensor technology, which aims to revolutionise various sectors. From material analysis to obstacle detection, Trilitec hopes to provide innovative solutions for industry and agriculture, enhancing quality control and production line monitoring. The second startup, CoherSense presented their motivations for applying to the incubation programme. Their enthusiasm and determination were evident, highlighting a vision that aligned perfectly with the programme’s objectives. The session concluded with a Q&A where members of the audience could ask Carolina and Inge from the incubator and both incubatees questions about their different perspectives and experiences within the programme.
About ESA BIC Northern Germany
The Incubation Centre of the European Space Agency in Northern Germany (ESA BIC Northern Germany) is headquartered jointly with the Bremen aeronautics and space industries association AviaSpace Bremen at the BITZ, the largest innovation and technology centre for high-tech companies and startups in Bremen. The ESA BIC Northern Germany brings new startup opportunities to the region and thus strengthens the aeronautics and space sector in the German federal state of Bremen. AVIASPACE BREMEN e.V. supports the incubatees with its network, public relations work and targeted coaching not only during the incubation period, but also afterwards as alumni. Starthaus is the central point of contact in the Bremen startup ecosystem and supports the startups on all issues relating to business development and financing. The ESA BIC Northern Germany is managed by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), an international networking and branding company for the European space programmes that also manages ESA BIC Bavaria with three locations in southern Germany.
Since 2021, ESA BIC Northern Germany has also been offering its service to space-related startups in Schleswig-Holstein. The Technikzentrum Lübeck with GATEWAY49, AviaSpace Bremen and AZO jointly operate this extension of ESA BIC Northern Germany. There are also plans to extend ESA BIC Northern Germany to the northern German federal states of Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Berlin-Brandenburg.
The technical Support of the ESA BIC Northern Germany, is offered by Fraunhofer IFAM, DFKI, AWI, Bremen University, ZARM, Airbus, ArianeGroup, AES, DSI, and OHB