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HIGH-TECH.NRW supports hardware-oriented start-ups in the field of key technologies in successful first program

The first HIGH-TECH.NRW program came to an end on November 13, 2020 with the virtual closing event, Demo Day:
the first business accelerator for hardware-oriented high-tech startups in North Rhine-Westphalia.

In addition to the presentation of the 12 participating startups in front of an expert audience from business and science, a discussion round with Dr. Johannes Velling, Head of the “Start-ups, Digital Impetus, Financing” Group of the Ministry of Economics and Digital, NMWP.NRW Cluster Manager Dr.-Ing. Harald Cremer and the three founders Dr. David Dung (Midel Photonics), Christoph Seidenstücker (Pixel Photonics UG) and Professor Dr. Niels Benson (airCode UG) discussed the challenges for founders in the high-tech sector under the moderation of Dr. Heinz Brückelmann. The focus was on the integration of founders into start-up ecosystems, the importance of strategic intellectual property management and access to venture capital.

The state government has set itself ambitious goals: By 2024, we want to increase the number of start-ups from universities in North Rhine-Westphalia by 50 percent. The business accelerator HIGH-TECH.NRW specializes in supporting technology-oriented startups and thus fills an important gap in the accelerator landscape in North Rhine-Westphalia. It is characterized by intensive cooperation with the leading startup universities in North Rhine-Westphalia – first and foremost the Excellence Startup Centers. I’m impressed with the great teams that presented at Demo Day. This underscores the strength of the startup ecosystem in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Minister of Economics and Digital Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart

Batch 2020

Based on the pitches given, the startups were evaluated by a jury of experts. At the subsequent awards ceremony, prizes were awarded to the three winners.
First place went to the founding team of LIDROTECfrom Bochum for the development of a laser system for high-precision cutting of high-tech materials, such as cell phone displays and microchips. The laser system combines ultrashort-pulse laser processing with the controlled use of fluids, allowing it to cut faster and more precisely than conventional techniques.
Second place goes to FreeD Printing, also from Bochum: The company is revolutionizing the implementation of additive manufacturing processes with a robot-based multidirectional modeling process that builds components from multiple directions with freely formed layers – making support structures superfluous.
Third place went to Midel Photonics from Bonn, Germany, for the development of high-quality laser beam-shaping elements that are particularly inexpensive and always tailored to the application thanks to their unique proprietary technology. This saves valuable resources in manufacturing processes in key sectors such as automotive, displays, semiconductors and clean energy.

Watch the panel discussion on YouTube.

The ’20 Batch on HIGH-TECH.NRW

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