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Mittweida opens the door to Silicon Valley

vor 1 year | from admin
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International cooperation aims to grow innovations from the region

Mittweida University of Applied Sciences, Volksbank Mittweida eG and Teleskopeffekt GmbH Mittweida agreed their collaboration with the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Center (BITZ) Oberschneiding of Deggendorf Institute of Technology (THD) on 28.02.2023 at the Mittweida Innovation Center Werkbank32.

Behind the title of the agreement "Cooperation within the framework of the Silicon Valley School to support companies in acceleration and scaling" stands for nothing less than paving the way for innovations from the Mittweida region to Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley is not just a place, but stands for a principle, a mindset. The American understanding of innovation and start-ups differs fundamentally from the German or European start-up mentality with its customer orientation. The customer advances from a simple target group to a stakeholder whose feedback is essential for the further development of a product.

Professor Peter Schmieder, founder and director of the BITZ Oberschneiding, says: "Countless innovations never see the light of day. With our Silicon Valley Program, we combine the best of two worlds, the German inventive spirit and the Silicon Valley mindset."

The BITZ has strong partners in the USA, including Santa Clara University in California, and has raised numerous innovations and start-up teams to an "investable" level since 2014 in order to successfully establish their products on the market. The Mittweida region, in turn, offers an established ecosystem for innovation with the Mittweida University of Applied Sciences and its partners Volksbank Mittweida and Teleskopeffekt.

Professor Volker Tolkmitt, Rector of Mittweida University of Applied Sciences: "Our close regional cooperation between science and business has proven in recent years that we are able to turn knowledge into impact. Now we are going a big step further and adding scaling, i.e. the transfer and transformation of start-ups into the growth phase, to this ecosystem."

Promising ideas and start-ups from the world of science often do not make it past a certain threshold in Germany: research projects come to an end, funding programs expire, teams disband before the idea can be decisively developed further or the start-up can establish itself.

"Potential for the future development of the region is being lost here", says Professor Leonhard Zintl, member of the Board of Management of Volksbank Mittweida. "With this international partnership, we are now creating conditions in which start-ups can scale. I am convinced that the cooperation within the Silicon Valley School will create a future for Central Saxony!"

The SVP: scientifically supported transformation process

The core of the collaboration is the nine-month Silicon Valley Program (SVP) of the BITZ, which is geared towards markets and investors. The SVP is a scientifically based transformation process developed by international investors and prepares ventures for market entry and subsequent scaling in global markets. Experienced mentors from the BITZ network and thus in future also from Mittweida accompany the venture teams individually in the execution of their tasks from the development of the business model, their go-to-market strategy to investment readiness. This 1:1 mentoring is an elementary part of the concept alongside bootcamp sessions, interactive workshops and pitch sessions - also in Silicon Valley.

The program is open to teams that (1) have a minimum viable product (MVP), (2) have identified a market with a sufficiently large volume to make the venture attractive to investors, and (3) have a scaling mindset with a clear vision.

The measurable output and aspiration of the program is (1) to qualify the ventures for a pre-seed investment (EUR 500,000 to EUR 1,000,000), (2) to connect them with suitable investors, (3) to accompany them until the financing round is completed and (4) to provide qualified and resilient networking beyond that.

Mittweida University of Applied Sciences

Looking ahead, seeking challenges and implementing new solutions pragmatically: This is what characterizes the people at Mittweida University of Applied Sciences. Driven by an interest in experimenting with future-oriented topics, scientists and over 6,000 students at Saxony's largest university of applied sciences work together to overcome disciplinary boundaries, think ahead and apply knowledge - including smart AI, cybersecurity, new mobility, blockchain and laser technologies.

Volksbank Mittweida eG

Volksbank Mittweida is one of the leading cooperative banks in Germany. The regional bank stands for innovation and further development.

Bucking the general trend, the bank is growing in terms of customer, revenue and employee numbers. In 2022, the bank was awarded the TOP100 seal for the fourth time as one of the one hundred most innovative companies in the German SME sector.

Teleskopeffekt GmbH

Teleskopeffekt GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volksbank Mittweida. It is regarded as a driver of innovation for banks, SMEs and start-ups. Teleskopeffekt is also the operator of the Werkbank32 innovation center, the place that gives room to innovation.

Mittweida/Oberschneiding, 28.02.2023