Let's celebrate - 5 years of XPRENEURS
Back to 2017, where it all began
5 years have passed since XPRENEURS’s very first Batch. It all started back in May 2017 with 21 start-ups that have evolved into true success stories, such as Workpath, air up, or Capmo.
Over the past 5 years, these 21 start-ups from Batch #1 grew to a total of 174 start-ups across 11 Batches that we were able to support as an incubator. On their way to success, all these 174 teams have raised more than €870 M from VCs and business angels and created more than 2300 jobs! 9 of them have even made an exit. Just in the last month two teams have made it: DirectFEM was acquired by Hyperganic Group and Presize was taken over by Facebook parent company Meta.
This incredible number also reflects the trend that has swept through Germany in the past year. Start-ups in Germany received more venture capital in 2021 than ever before. This progress is what makes us proud and confident while looking into the future. Why? Because tech start-ups in particular have a significant influence on society and the future: New technologies make an important contribution to preserving a world worth living in for future generations and to mastering the great challenges of our time - from climate change to digital transformation. This can only succeed if start-ups make new technologies usable for the market through new products and services. That's why XPRENEURS exists. Every day, we do everything to make high tech start-ups market-ready so they can build the world of tomorrow.
Overcoming the 3 biggest obstacles for start-ups
Of course, start-ups have an unbelievable amount of challenges. We’re helping them overcome the three biggest hurdles to growing their business: Business model development, customer acquisition, and venture capital funding. The XPRENEURS team helps the start-ups to understand the ecosystem of business angels and VC's and we connect them to our strong network. We also have highly qualified mentors at our side, who support the start-ups with their expertise, networks, ideas and simply intrinsic contagious motivation. The start-ups learn from people who have already made it to the top: Germany's most successful start-up founders, well-connected business angels and executives with decades of experience in Germany's largest automotive, industrial and software companies. By focusing on these 3 key areas in particular, we have also been able to increase our own experience in working with our start-ups as well as with our mentors, investors and business angels.
Establishing and expanding a unique network
Over the past 5 years, we have managed to build up a strong and diverse network of mentors, investors, business angels and innovative companies. Our mentors work with start-ups on a voluntary basis sharing their knowledge, guidance and network to provide the most appropriate and relevant support. Thanks to our powerful network of VCs and business angels, we are able to give start-ups access to funding. Our events, such as XCONNECT, XCHANGES and XHIBITION, which we organize regularly, are a crucial part of this. Here we match the start-ups with our mentors, offer the teams the opportunity to pitch in front of investors, but also connect current teams with alumni, because the exchange among each other is also enormously important for start-ups. In fact, from whom else could a young start-up learn more, than from a team that has already reached the summit? Let’s illustrate that with Isar Aerospace, our most prominent alumni team. The start-up was founded by 3 students of TUM. To build their first prototypes, they used the Makerspace, they went through XPRENEURS, and they have received investment from UVC Partners amongst others. By now, Isar Aerospace is the fastest-growing space start-up in the entire EU. 4 years after the team participated in our program, the founders are still close in touch to our community and give back by mentoring the next generation of space start-ups in our program, e.g. Vyoma from XPRENEURS Batch #10. Together with the impressive UnternehmerTUM ecosystem we provide the perfect environment for start-ups to grow. Beyond the borders of UnternehmerTUM, we also have a growing international network that helps our start-ups to grow quickly. Throughout our programs that we run for partners like EIT Food, we have accelerated additional, international start-ups, and enabled the start-ups from the Munich ecosystem to tap into international markets and networks.
Empowering Female Entrepreneurship
What we have noticed in recent years, however, is that the number of female founders in our Batch was still quite low. In fact, Women in Germany found start-ups less frequently and still often get stuck in the first stages of founding. We have decided to change something about it as we are constantly striving to increase diversity in our teams. That is why we have started a joint mission with strong partners such as Women Start-up, UVC Partners, Nauta Capital, and the Female Investors Network. With the UnternehmerTUM Female Founders Office Hours initiative, we want to support female founders through the early stages. Our key focus is to support female founders with high-quality feedback and mentoring from top level experts in various areas. Female Founders can book a session with an expert in different areas where they need support. Besides that we have started an event series for female founders, where we’re bringing founders, investors and other important players in the ecosystem together to speak about what barriers especially female founders still encounter, what needs to be done to foster more diversity not only in gender, but also many other important aspects in the start-up ecosystem.
Looking back at the past 5 years, we’re seeing the success stories of start-ups that are enabling disruptive new technologies to come to life and change our world. Start-ups like Cliniserve from Batch #2, who are helping to fight the care personnel shortage by relieving the burden on nursing staff through their digital solutions. Or Orbem from Batch #5 by unleashing AI-powered imaging for everything and everyone. Their Orbem Genus enables fast, accurate, and contactless object classification and analytics which helps to prevent the unnecessary killing of billions of 1-day-old male chicks, reducing food waste and energy consumption along the way. Another example is Koralo from Batch #11 who are revolutionizing fish alternatives with the first ever carbon neutral, delicious and nutritious, vegan fish. These and many other success stories from the start-ups that have participated in our program in the last 5 years let us look to the future with excitement. Who’s gonna be the next rising start-up to create an impact in our world?
Are you the one? Get notified for our next application phase. The application phase for Batch #12 starts on May 30, 2022.