Ten project of the TRIP Accelerator Program pitched their innovations and development steps to the start-up community at the Digital Demo Day. Six of them received tickets for the Final TRIP Class, which will prepare them for VC investment.
Already since 2019, the Thuringian Regional Innovation Program TRIP offers innovation-driven projects and start-ups a very close-knit accelerator program with a focus on investment readyness and open innovation. TRIP was initiated by the Foundation for Technology, Innovation and Research Thuringia (STIFT) as part of the ThEx innovative project to strengthen the Thuringian start-up community, accelerate innovation and connect stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem.
The current season of the TRIP program runs entirely digital and with full success! Since fall 2020, 10 selected start-up projects have been working intensively on their strategies and disrupting their business models as part of TRIP Class 20/21. Their concepts are remarkably diverse, but they have one thing in common: they are dedicated to relevant future topics. From IoT, AI solutions and plastics innovations to SpaceTech and healthcare management – TRIP includes everything to shape the future.
For six months, the teams benefited from expertise, workshops and individual coaching on business model development, strategy, financing and internationalization. In addition, they received a budget of 4,000 euros and further support for project implementation. Despite the digital format of this year’s TRIP Class, the start-ups were networked with the innovation community in a targeted and multifaceted way. By means of digital networking events, meet-ups and the virtual exchange space, the teams were not only able to exchange ideas with each other on a regular basis, but also to establish new contacts with entrepreneurs, investors, SMEs and political representatives.
The final highlight of the six-month acceleration phase was the Digital Demo Day on March 17, 2021, which was attended online by around 80 representatives of the start-up community and TRIP partners. Christiane Kilian, project manager of ThEx innovativ/ STIFT and Andreas Sonnefeld, the TRIP co-initiator, opened the event, which was broadcasted live from the Erfurt Heizwerk. Afterwards, Valentina Kerst, State Secretary of the Thuringian Ministry of Economy, Science and Digital Society, welcomed the TRIP community.
“For years, Thuringia has been among the leaders nationwide in the quality of start-ups,” Kerst said. Start-ups in the Free State were particularly sustainable, more often located in high-tech areas (high and cutting-edge technology) than the national average, and more often started up with several employees at the same time. This was due in no small part to professional and broad-based start-up consulting and support, from the initial idea to the competitive company. “Successful start-up formats such as TRIP make a significant contribution to developing new start-ups and thus further expanding Thuringia’s position as a start-up state.”
Under the motto “Meet the TRIP Class – digital yes, endless no,” guests were able to watch the professionally recorded video pitches of the 10 TRIP start-ups. In the pitches, the teams presented their business innovations and showed which development steps they have completed within the last months at TRIP. In addition to the video pitches, participants were able to network with the TRIP Class and community partners at virtual tables in the digital networking space as during one-to-one conversations.
The day’s highlight was the awarding of the coveted tickets for the Final TRIP Class, which explicitly prepares teams for VC funding for an additional three months. Six start-ups from the accelerator program were delighted to receive tickets for the next TRIP round.
SPACEOPTIX GmbH, Polytives GmbH, AI-UI GmbH, Peeriot AG, the IGNITION project and the spin-off project Plasmaquelle of eCeramix GmbH will continue to receive intensive support in fine-tuning their business model with the goal of “Investment Readyness”. In the next three months, further workshops, coachings as well as the digital participation at the Hannover Messe are scheduled. At the end of the Final TRIP Class, the teams will pitch their concepts at the Investor Days Thuringia, which will take place as a Hybrid Edition in Erfurt on June 15-16, 2021. This is a unique opportunity for the TRIP projects to present their business innovations to around 600 actors of the international start-up community, investors and innovators and to establish new contacts.
The teams that were not selected for the final class received individual community tickets and will continue to be accompanied outside of the TRIP program.
The TRIP program has a large community of innovators, investors and established companies and is supported by strong partners such as EY, and German Accelerator as well as the sponsoring partner beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh. Through this collaboration, TRIP drives Thuringia’s start-up ecosystem and accelerates innovation.
TRIP is an initiative of STIFT as part of the ThEx innovativ project and is supported by the Thuringian Ministry of Economics with funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) and state funds.