- Henkel and RWE, Sigmund Kiener Foundation, Globumbus Foundation, Noerr, and ESMT launch joint platform for entrepreneurs
- Unique project brings together multinational companies, universities, startups, and investors to foster entrepreneurship in Germany
Although operating in different markets, the multinationals Henkel and RWE both aim to develop new business opportunities, especially those involving solutions for the customer. Michael Olosky, Head of Innovation Henkel Adhesive Technologies, explained, “On the basis of structured foresight management and scouting processes, we are constantly looking for promising startup companies because they give us early and effective access to the latest trends and technologies of the future. The close collaboration between startups and our R&D team supports our development of leading technologies that offer greater value to our customers, and at the same time, effectively fosters startups. Startups are a major driver of innovation, and GTEC is an important initiative for us to promote these companies in Germany.”
Dr. Inken Braunschmidt, Head of RWE Group Innovation: “RWE has placed Innovation at the top of its agenda. We are currently experiencing a very rapid transformation in the way energy is generated and consumed. We aim to respond to this by offering new products and services that our customers will love. In order to develop new business for RWE, we are also collaborating with partners and international networks. In the global competition for innovation we want to be there where ideas and companies meet. GTEC offers the ideal platform to do this.”
Dr. Alexander Ritvay, Co-Speaker of the law firm Noerr said, “GTEC is a very promising initiative. The startup scene in Berlin is growing exponentially, and the city is one of the most attractive locations worldwide. GTEC brings together entrepreneurs from all over the world, universities, incubators, and established companies, providing a new platform for innovation and entrepreneurship. This is an approach that fits Noerr. We have been active in this segment for years and are very happy to support GTEC with our know-how and venture capital expertise.”
In February GTEC will launch GTEC Open Lectures, a series of public lectures in which national and international experts come together with young entrepreneurs to share their experiences. In summer GTEC will officially open at Schlossplatz 1 in Berlin, the headquarters of ESMT. In addition to hosting the Berlin Startup Academy, an early-stage accelerator which will support newly founded companies, and TechStars, one of the best known accelerator programs in the world, the GTEC campus will include office space for independent startups and workspace for experts and mentors from large companies.
“We want to strengthen the collaboration between universities, startups, corporates, and foundations and thereby increase the chance of success for scalable technology startups in Europe,” said Benjamin Rohé. “We are looking forward to working together closely with additional universities in Berlin.” A proven entrepreneur, Rohé has founded and invested in many successful companies himself and also advised publicly traded companies. Additionally, he has lectured and developed course formats at academic institutions such as the Center for Digital Technology and Management Munich, Maastricht University, Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, and Zeppelin University and also helped to build up and structure an investment vehicle, ZU Micro Equity Fund, to support startups founded by students.
ESMT President Jörg Rocholl commented on the goal of ESMT, “Since our founding, we have strived to develop entrepreneurial leaders in an international environment. GTEC complements this part of our mission very well and will benefit entrepreneurs, established companies, and academics alike.”
More information: gtec.berlin
Henkel operates worldwide with leading brands and technologies in three business areas: Laundry & Home Care, Beauty Care and Adhesive Technologies. Founded in 1876, Henkel holds globally leading market positions both in the consumer and industrial businesses with well-known brands such as Persil, Schwarzkopf and Loctite. Henkel employs about 47,000 people and reported sales of 16.4 billion euros and adjusted operating profit of 2.5 billion euros in fiscal 2013. Henkel's preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX.
RWE is one of Europe’s five leading electricity and gas utilities. The Group’s expertise in oil, gas and lignite production, electricity generation from gas, coal, nuclear and renewables, energy trading, as well as electricity and gas distribution and sales, the company is active at all stages of the energy value chain. More than 60,000 employees supply over 16 million electricity customers and nearly eight million gas customers with reliable and fairly-priced energy. Group revenue in fiscal 2013 was €54 billion.
The company’s main market is Europe: in terms of sales, RWE is No. 3 in electricity and No. 5 in gas. In Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, the Group is among the largest suppliers of both fuels, and is No. 1 in the gas business in the Czech Republic. The Group also has leading positions in other markets in Central Eastern Europe.
RWE has taken on a leading role in shaping the future of the European energy market. The company is continuing to expand its international innovation network and engage in dialogue with external partners from the economic, research and academic spheres as well as the international start-up scene.
Noerr is one of the top European law firms with 500 professionals in Germany, Europe and the USA. The law firm delivers real value to clients by devising and handling the right solutions to complex and sophisticated legal matters. The Noerr difference is a unique combination of legal excellence, creative thinking, international experience and in-depth industry knowledge. Together with the tax advisors, auditors and management consultants, the lawyers also develop sustainable solutions for finance and management.
About the Sigmund Kiener Foundation
Sigmund Kiener is an entrepreneur from Baden-Baden. He actively supports entrepreneurship in Germany through the Sigmund Kiener Foundation and as an investor through his Family Office. After many years as a board member in the mail-order segment, in the mid-1990s Sigmund Kiener founded his own company group Infoscore. After building it up successfully, he then sold it to arvato/Bertelsmann. Since 2007 the Sigmund Kiener Foundation has supported not only entrepreneurial ventures but also cultural projects promoting early musical education and human medical research.
About the Globumbus Foundation
The Globumbus Foundation aims to support the education and empowerment of people as they strive for personal and business success. The foundation advocates the enablement of entrepreneurial solutions to societal problems in a global perspective and not simply consumable donations to the needy. To increase the effectiveness of the foundation’s measures, modern means of communication, especially the Internet, receive special consideration for support.