Start-ups and business executives on equal terms

Start your business engine!

Are you

  • an innovative, technology-oriented start-up
  • not older than 5 years
  • have at least one female member in your founding team (Female Focus 2021)

and

  • headquartered in Germany?

Then apply between 1 May and 5 July for the 15th round of WECONOMY.

We look forward to receiving your executive summary (2 pages max) and pitch deck with the following content:

  • Problem and solution
  • Market and competition
  • USP
  • Technology
  • Business model and financial plan
  • Milestones and successes
  • Outlook
  • Team

Do not hesitate to send us any further documents, or possibly also a video link.

If you have any queries or uploading difficulties, contact us by mail at unternehmertum@wissensfabrik.de

Your WECONOMY year

We cross our fingers that this will be your year – your WECONOMY year!

  1. The period of application begins in 2021 on 1 May and ends at midnight on 5 July. You can use the button provided on this page to directly submit your application.
  2. If your start-up is one of the Top 20, you will be invited to the Jury Pitch on 14 September. Then it is up to you: Seize the opportunity to convince the jury of you and your business model. You find out on the same day whether you are among the winners.
  3. You made it? Congratulations! Look forward to the exciting WECONOMY kick-off event with the leading managers of the WECONOMY partners! On 14 and 15 October you will discuss with them in an exclusive atmosphere the development of your company, your business model, financing possibilities, marketing strategies, and much more – in short, everything that moves you. In doing so, you enhance your network with contacts that money cannot buy.
  4. This is followed in the spring by three two-day workshops on the topics of market and business development, distribution and negotiation as well as growth strategies. These feature experienced specialists and managers from the partner companies as well as external speakers. In addition, you have sufficient opportunity to hold discussions with the other winners and expand your network in the community. The workshops take place alternately at the sites of the WECONOMY partners.
  5. An experienced UnternehmerTUM coach supports your preparations for the kick-off event as well as the WECONOMY Days. On request, you can obtain a mentor to help get your business up and running.

The WECONOMY jury

After a pitch round, experienced venture capitalists, founders and experts select the Top 20 WECONOMY winners.


Catharina van Delden
innosabi GmbH

Catharina van Delden
innosabi GmbH

Catharina van Delden is CEO and Co-Founder of innosabi GmbH. innosabi is a leading provider of software for ideas and innovation management. With her commitment to the BITKOM presidium, she represents the interests of the digital industry. Since April 2017 she is also a member of the Advisory Board (South) of the Deutsche Bank AG. As a regular keynote speaker and author of the book “Connect the Dots”, she shares her knowledge from her daily work in the areas of digitisation and innovation.


Claudia Frey
UnternehmerTUM GmbH

Claudia Frey
UnternehmerTUM GmbH

is managing director of UnternehmerTUM GmbH. The Centre for Innovation and Foundation initiates and supports technology-based start-ups in their growth. UnternehmerTUM offerings include i.a. the Digital Product School, MakerSpace, XPRENEURS incubator, TechFounders accelerator and UnternehmerTUM venture capital funds.


Daria Saharova
Vito ONE

Daria Saharova
Vito ONE

Daria is managing partner of Vito ONE. Vito ONE is the first European venture capital fund focusing on PropTech and ConstructionTech. Since 2015, Daria and her Munich-based team have been investing in B2B and B2C start-ups that have the potential to become the next “big players” in Europe. Daria is also an advisor to the European Commission and a co-founder of the 1E9 Denkfabrik, the new tech media platform ran by the former WIRED Germany team.


Dr. Andreas Siebe
ScMI AG

Dr. Andreas Siebe
ScMI AG

Founding initiator of ScMI Scenario Management International (a spin-off of Paderborn University in 1998). He holds several teaching positions, is (co-) author of several books and lectures on the topic of The Future.


Dr. Axel Krieger
Digitalplus GmbH

Dr. Axel Krieger
Digitalplus GmbH

Axel Krieger is managing director and co-founder of Digital+ Partners, a growth equity fund with focus on B2B software in the industrial environment. He gained 15 years’ experience in strategy consulting with McKinsey. There, as a partner, he was responsible for the automotive and industrial sector, most recently in China, and from there for the northeastern USA (New York, Boston). Digital+ Partners specialises in the fields of autonomous driving/Robotics, IoT and Industry 4.0, Virtual and Augmented Reality as well as AI.


Dr. Christiane Zedelius
Dentons Group

Dr. Christiane Zedelius
Dentons Group

Dr. Christiane Zedelius is a partner in the Munich office of Dentons. She has many years’ experience in the areas of distribution and commercial law, with special focus on consulting businesses in the consumer goods sector for the development of international multi-channel distribution systems, including online distribution. She advises companies on franchise, agency and licensing agreements as well as sourcing and quality agreements. Christiane Zedelius has extensive experience in the establishment of selective distribution systems for luxury brands, including management of European brands in Asia.

Three years ago, she founded the mimeno health start-up.


Dr. Ingmar Hoerr
Founder of CureVac, WECONOMY winner in 2007

Dr. Ingmar Hoerr
Founder of CureVac, WECONOMY winner in 2007

Founder and chairman of the supervisory board of CureVac AG, WECONOMY winner in 2007


Dr. Iris Liliana Bleck
Silicon Valley Bank

Dr. Iris Liliana Bleck
Silicon Valley Bank

Iris Bleck belongs to the management of the German branch of the Silicon Valley Bank, a bank that provides financial support to innovative growth companies and their investors. The services offered by the Silicon Valley Bank in Germany include lending financial support to technology and life science companies during their growth phase as well as financing takeovers, buyouts and providing working capital..


Dr. Lukas Günther
Sofinnova

Dr. Lukas Günther
Sofinnova

Partner at Sofinnova. His focus lies on healthcare and technologies. Previous to this, the former surgeon held the position of investment director at Wellington Partners.


Hans-Jürgen Jakobs
Handelsblatt Media Group

Hans-Jürgen Jakobs
Handelsblatt Media Group

Joined Handelsblatt in 2013. Since 2016 he holds the position of senior editor.


Prof. Dr. Burkhard Schwenker
Roland Berger GmbH, chairman of the jury

Prof. Dr. Burkhard Schwenker
Roland Berger GmbH, chairman of the jury

Steering committee member of the Wissensfabrik, chairman of the WECONOMY jury and Senior Fellow of Roland Berger

FAQs

The initiative is aimed at innovative, technology-oriented start-ups that

  • are not older than 5 years,
  • are headquartered in Germany and
  • have at least one female member in the foundation team. (Female Focus 2021/22)
This year WECONOMY would like to offer more visibility to women, in particular, and their innovative ideas. Female founders benefit from the support of the high-caliber WECONOMY network as well as the prospect of better access to decision-makers and venture capital. To achieve this objective, this year we are explicitly addressing start-ups with at least one female founder and thus ensuring new role models in the medium term.

Innovative, technology-oriented start-ups can use the button provided on this page to apply during the period from 1 May to 5 July.

We look forward to receiving your executive summary (2 pages max) and your pitch deck with the following content:

  • Problem and solution
  • Market and competition
  • USP
  • Technology
  • Business model and financial planning
  • Milestones and successes
  • Outlook
  • Team

Do not hesitate to send us additional documents, possibly also a video link.

You have already applied – but were not (yet) among the winners? No problem – a lot can happen in one year! Convince us of your further development and that you are now among the winners.

The jury bases its evaluation on the following criteria:

  1. Market: target audiences, scalability (additional markets), risk and competition analysis, marketing and distribution
  2. Product/service: customer benefit (evidenced in pilot projects), USP, technology, degree of innovation, competitive advantages, application possibilities, realisation perspectives and future prospects
  3. Business model: customers, Go-to-Market strategy, scalability, profitability, company success to date, turnover
  4. Team: skills, foundation and business experience, heterogeneity, coherence of the team composition
  5. Finances: financial planning, economic attractiveness, capital requirement & financing
  6. Motivation for application to WECONOMY: expectations, fit with WECONOMY/sponsors, potential benefit from WECONOMY
  7. Personal impression/ Presentation in front of the WECONOMY jury: presentation of product/ services, personality and performance of the founder, power of conviction and passion for the start-up/idea, structure and content of the presentation, answering of questions

Catharina van Delden
innosabi GmbH

Catharina van Delden
innosabi GmbH

Catharina van Delden is CEO and Co-Founder of innosabi GmbH. innosabi is a leading provider of software for ideas and innovation management. With her commitment to the BITKOM presidium, she represents the interests of the digital industry. Since April 2017 she is also a member of the Advisory Board (South) of the Deutsche Bank AG. As a regular keynote speaker and author of the book “Connect the Dots”, she shares her knowledge from her daily work in the areas of digitisation and innovation.


Claudia Frey
UnternehmerTUM GmbH

Claudia Frey
UnternehmerTUM GmbH

is managing director of UnternehmerTUM GmbH. The Centre for Innovation and Foundation initiates and supports technology-based start-ups in their growth. UnternehmerTUM offerings include i.a. the Digital Product School, MakerSpace, XPRENEURS incubator, TechFounders accelerator and UnternehmerTUM venture capital funds.


Daria Saharova
Vito ONE

Daria Saharova
Vito ONE

Daria is managing partner of Vito ONE. Vito ONE is the first European venture capital fund focusing on PropTech and ConstructionTech. Since 2015, Daria and her Munich-based team have been investing in B2B and B2C start-ups that have the potential to become the next “big players” in Europe. Daria is also an advisor to the European Commission and a co-founder of the 1E9 Denkfabrik, the new tech media platform ran by the former WIRED Germany team.


Dr. Andreas Siebe
ScMI AG

Dr. Andreas Siebe
ScMI AG

Founding initiator of ScMI Scenario Management International (a spin-off of Paderborn University in 1998). He holds several teaching positions, is (co-) author of several books and lectures on the topic of The Future.


Dr. Axel Krieger
Digitalplus GmbH

Dr. Axel Krieger
Digitalplus GmbH

Axel Krieger is managing director and co-founder of Digital+ Partners, a growth equity fund with focus on B2B software in the industrial environment. He gained 15 years’ experience in strategy consulting with McKinsey. There, as a partner, he was responsible for the automotive and industrial sector, most recently in China, and from there for the northeastern USA (New York, Boston). Digital+ Partners specialises in the fields of autonomous driving/Robotics, IoT and Industry 4.0, Virtual and Augmented Reality as well as AI.


Dr. Christiane Zedelius
Dentons Group

Dr. Christiane Zedelius
Dentons Group

Dr. Christiane Zedelius is a partner in the Munich office of Dentons. She has many years’ experience in the areas of distribution and commercial law, with special focus on consulting businesses in the consumer goods sector for the development of international multi-channel distribution systems, including online distribution. She advises companies on franchise, agency and licensing agreements as well as sourcing and quality agreements. Christiane Zedelius has extensive experience in the establishment of selective distribution systems for luxury brands, including management of European brands in Asia.

Three years ago, she founded the mimeno health start-up.


Dr. Ingmar Hoerr
Founder of CureVac, WECONOMY winner in 2007

Dr. Ingmar Hoerr
Founder of CureVac, WECONOMY winner in 2007

Founder and chairman of the supervisory board of CureVac AG, WECONOMY winner in 2007


Dr. Iris Liliana Bleck
Silicon Valley Bank

Dr. Iris Liliana Bleck
Silicon Valley Bank

Iris Bleck belongs to the management of the German branch of the Silicon Valley Bank, a bank that provides financial support to innovative growth companies and their investors. The services offered by the Silicon Valley Bank in Germany include lending financial support to technology and life science companies during their growth phase as well as financing takeovers, buyouts and providing working capital..


Dr. Lukas Günther
Sofinnova

Dr. Lukas Günther
Sofinnova

Partner at Sofinnova. His focus lies on healthcare and technologies. Previous to this, the former surgeon held the position of investment director at Wellington Partners.


Hans-Jürgen Jakobs
Handelsblatt Media Group

Hans-Jürgen Jakobs
Handelsblatt Media Group

Joined Handelsblatt in 2013. Since 2016 he holds the position of senior editor.


Prof. Dr. Burkhard Schwenker
Roland Berger GmbH, chairman of the jury

Prof. Dr. Burkhard Schwenker
Roland Berger GmbH, chairman of the jury

Steering committee member of the Wissensfabrik, chairman of the WECONOMY jury and Senior Fellow of Roland Berger

Each year high-profile Wissenfabrik member companies support the initiative. In 2020/21 these are

The partners benefit from the close exchange with the start-ups. They learn at first-hand about relevant trends and technologies. In contact with the founders they obtain new, creative impulses that inspire changes in the company.

In order to protect the founders, all parties concerned sign a confidentiality agreement before discussions begin.

The media report about the WECONOMY winners. The products and services respectively are named. The start-ups decide the level of detail.

For one year you receive access to the high-caliber WECONOMY network as well as support and know-how from top managers, coaches, experts and mentors in the realisation of your business idea. You get to know other founders and become part of the network.

The mediation of investors and customers is not an explicit focus of the programme.

Applications for WECONOMY can be submitted online from 1 May to 5 July. The jury meets on 14 September 2021 at Roland Berger in Berlin, the WECONOMY kick-off meeting with the top managers is held on 14 and 15 October 2021.
The WECONOMY Days usually take place during the spring (January to May).

 

Jury session:

  • You are reimbursed travel expenses for one person up to € 200.

WECONOMY kick-off and WECONOMY Days:

  • You are reimbursed travel expenses for two persons up to € 200 per event.
  • Expenses for overnight accommodation and meals are covered.

Personal meeting with mentor or coach:

  • You must pay your own travel expenses.

Do you have more questions?

To the contact form

Kontakt


Steffi Blumentritt

Head of entrepreneurship
+49 151 52802451
steffi.blumentritt@wissensfabrik.de

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