October 23, 2017

Recap: Focus Week on 3D Printing & Smart Materials hosted by BASF

Last week, STARTUP AUTOBAHN had its second Focus Week Program 3 with focus on 3D Printing and Smart Materials hosted by BASF; a week-long program designed to maximize deal flow and matchmaking in the corporate and startup ecosystems.

Here some insights in what happened in our co-working space in the ARENA2036 building and at the HQ of BASF in Ludwigshafen.

Wednesday was all about Mentoring. In the morning our startups got together and listened to an insightful workshop on “ICO’s as a fundraising tool for startups” by Ivan Labra (Silicon Valley based technologist). In the afternoon, we learned How Daimler as a venture partner works together with startups. Thomas Stark (Manager Innovation & Trends Industry 4.0 @Daimler) shared with the Program 3 startups what the 100-day journey of startup-Daimler cooperation looks like; learnings & highlights of previous batches and what happens with the PoC’s after the program is over.

Thursday was about 3D Printing, Smart Materials andStartup Autobahn‘s corporate partnerBASF. Where does toothpaste get its freshness from? And what actually makes sofas soft? we visited the world’s largest chemical complex ofBASF in Ludwigshafen and learned how chemistry enriches daily life.

On Thursday afternoon and in the evening, we concluded our focus week with its highlight: the Deep Dive Sessionand the Meetup, both focusing on the 3D Printing and Smart Materials. At the BASF event space in Ludwigshafen almost 300 interested guests from startups, corporates, VC’s, investors and mentors gathered to listen to some of the potential startups of program #4. Those were:



Smart Textile Sensors with patented smart pressure sensitive materials which will enable switches and sensors to be printed onto textiles. Sensors are ideally suited for use in the rapidly growing field of connected textiles, wearable technology and the Internet of Things. Based in: London, UK


Predictive Maintenance for automobiles. They create a self-diagnostic and predictive maintenance platform in the connected car space and provide dealers and service providers with customised lead generation. Through CARFIT PULSTM, our innovative car vibrations tracking device, we can help lower car maintenance costs, increase efficiency and gain transparency into vehicles. Based in: Portland, US


Easy to install hardware and app that turns “normal”/old cars into smart cars, by providing a whole range of real time information to your smartphone. They offer 9 innovative features that make driving less stressful, cheaper and safer. Based in: Karlsruhe, Germany


3D Hubs is an online 3D printing service platform. It operates a network of 6,370 3D printing services in over 150 countries, providing over 1 billion people access to a 3D printer within 16km of their home. The company facilitates transactions between 3D printing services (Hubs) and engineering/product designers that want to make 3D prints. Based in: Amsterdam, Netherlands


World leader in production innovation, Collider designs and develops technologies that advance and simplify the process of making things. They are able produce production quality parts made out of traditional manufacturing materials such as plastic rubber and metal using 3D printing: “The Future of 3D Materials”. Based in: Chattanoga, US


They provide a manufacturing management platform for the automation of business processes to reduce lead timer per product by 30% and to eliminate more than 90% of errors. By using Workflow, it is possible to connect people, machines and data using a single application to capture enterprise-wide metrics, reduce error, and ensure security and compliance. Based in: Baltimore, US


Load monitoring and lifetime prediction for components of mechatronic systems without the need of any additional sensors or hardware. Prizewinner of the “Gründerwettbewerb Digitale Innovationen” awarded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. Based in: Darmstadt, Germany


EngIneering venture that specialises on innovative lightweight and composite solutions. They develop lightweightht products and concepts with high performance finer-reinforced composites (e.g. CFRP, GFRP, AFRP) or in hybrid design. Based in: Stuttgart, Germany


Research and development of innovative materials at the convergence of art and new technologies. With BLINGCRETE, TOUCHCRETE and DYSCRETE, they have developed three novel standards of concrete, enabling this material to be light-reflecting, information-conveying, and energy-generating for the very first time. Based in: Berlin, Germany


Vectoflow makes customized measurement solutions to determine the state of a flow. Their 3D printed customised multi-hole-probes and systems measure the static and total pressure, the velocity and the angle of attack of a flow. The probes are easily adaptable in terms of geometry, size and material to specific requirements, due to the innovative fabrication method used. The latter also increases the robustness of the probes significantly, making them usable in harsh environments. Based in: Munich, Germany


Besides our corporate and ecosystem partners representatives of Linde Group, Heraeus, SGL Group, AGC Group, Evonik, MAHLE, Kaufland, etc. visited our Meetup on Thursday evening.

On top of that, keynotes byVolker Hammes, Managing Director BASF new Business & Leader Business Build-up 3D Printing Solutions, as well asJan Buchmann, Head of Digital Innovation Management at BASF Business Services provided some insights into the future 3D Printing and Smart Materials according to BASF’s vision. Also, Sascha Karimpour, Managing Director at Plug and Play Germany gave an introduction into what STARTUP AUTOBAHN is all about.

Besides the 10 potential startups of program 4, three startups from our current batch – Bleenco, ProcessGold and HD Vision Systems took over the stage and pitched their product in front of the audience.