Whether it be through new 3D printers, innovative materials, or intelligent software solutions; the novel and sustainable business ideas of innovative, young companies are shaking up the additive manufacturing (AM) market. The international Formnext Start-up Challenge, now in its fifth year, aims to recognize this. Applications are now being invited from companies that are no more than five years old.
The Start-up Challenge will take place at the Formnext, from November 19–22, 2019, in Frankfurt am Main, and is being organized in cooperation with the UnternehmerTUM Center for Innovation and Business Creation. UnternehmerTUM identifies innovative technologies and supports start-ups and applications in the field of AM at every stage of development.
According to Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President Formnext at the exhibition organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, “Over the past five years, the Start-up Challenge has evolved into an internationally acclaimed competition, attracting start-ups from all around the world.”
Accelerating business development
The Formnext Start-up Challenge has helped numerous young companies to accelerate their business development and successfully set course for the future. Former winners such as 3YOURMIND, DyeMansion, Sinterit, trinckle 3D and Xioneer have meanwhile made a name for themselves internationally and return to Formnext as established exhibitors.
Tobias Kuhl, member of the judging panel and Senior Project Leader at UnternehmerTUM, explains, “We are looking for companies that solve a genuine customer problem. This might be by delivering considerable time and cost savings, improving the quality of the end product significantly, or by increasing the user-friendliness and accessibility of AM.”
Exhibition and marketing package for the winners
The panel will select a total of five winners who will all receive an impressive Formnext exhibition and marketing package. At Formnext’s international Start-up Area, the winning start-ups will have the opportunity to meet potential customers, investors, or experts from all around the world seeking an early glimpse into the future developments of the additive manufacturing world. The winners’ package includes, among other things, a fully equipped 9 m² exhibition booth in the Formnext 2019 Start-up Area and inclusion in all relevant and worldwide Formnext marketing and communication activities. The companies will also have the opportunity to take part in a pitch event, at which they will give a short product presentation and receive business coaching.
The panel of high-profile representatives from the media, industry, investment and research sectors includes Kristian Arntz (Managing Director and Partner, ACAM), Stefanie Brickwede (Head of 3d printing@DB and Managing director of “Mobility goes Additive”), Arno Held (Chief Venture Officer, AM Ventures), Tobias Kuhl (Senior Project Leader, UnternehmerTUM), Alexander Oster (Director Additive Manufacturing, Autodesk), and Michael Petch (Editor-in-Chief, 3D Printing Industry). The winners will be announced in the fall of 2019. The closing date for entries is June 30, 2019.
Any up-and-coming company with a product or service that is market-ready in terms of customers, product status and revenue can take part, provided the start-up is not majority-owned by an established company and was founded after December 31, 2013.