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Founding angels as new business model to stimulate the start-up scene
With the founding angel business model, support is given to interesting business concepts before the actual founding of the start-up, whereas Business Angels usually enter in already founded companies. The engagement of founding angels is compensated not monetarily but through an equity share of the new company as a member of the founding team. The background is that often a gap exists between academic research and the commercialisation of the results of the research, which in innovation processes represents a serious barrier. This gap can be best overcome in that founding angels, together with appropriate partners from research, found start-up companies to further develop the research results and later, alone or together with an industrial partner, commercialise the technology.
Four current examples where Gunter Festel is engaged as a founding angel show the possibilities of the founding angels' business model. Gunter Festel is responsible for the strategic and operational orientation of the business, the search for investors, the realisa-tion of a tax-optimised business structure and the building up of an operative efficient business organisation. Also in the early stage phase he is a member of the management team.
AlgMax GmbH / Zug, Switzerland (www.algmax.com)
AlgMax develops, commercialises and markets technologies for the sequestration of carbon dioxide using a special algae strain which requires very little light to grow there-fore realsing a higher acre yield. The algae biomass can be used as a raw material in biogas plants, for the production of biofuels and in food and feed applications. AlgMax is currently extending its research capacities and building a pilot plant together with a biogas plant operator.
Autodisplay Biotech GmbH / Dusseldorf, Germany (www.autodisplay-biotech.com)
The company is active in the area of autodisplay technology, which enables a cost effi-cient production of biocatalysts, pharmaceutical proteins and medicines. This technol-ogy enables the display of proteins on the surface of Escherichia coli. Advantages are that the proteins on the surface are immobilised and stabilised, fully accessible and the dimerisation/aggregation of multi protein complexes is possible. The technology can be applied in the field of biocatalysis, drug discovery, antibody development and bioanalytics.
BayGenetics GmbH / Bayreuth, Germany (www.baygenetics.com)
The company develops and commercialises new technologies for biocatalysis, protein production and animal vaccines using Bacillus subtilis. BayGenetics' technology real-ises cost savings of up to 80% compared to existing biocatalysts as well as the produc-tion of up to 40% recombinant protein of total protein without endotoxins and release of proteins from the cells into the surrounding medium. The vaccines are impervious to environmental influences (no cooling necessary), have a prolonged shelf-life and can be applied by adding to food or drinking water. BayGenetics is currently looking for additional investors to strengthen its research activities.
Butalco GmbH / Zug, Switzerland (www.butalco.com)
The company assesses and develops new production processes for second genera-tion biofuels and biochemicals based on lignocellulose. The core technology based on genetically optimised yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) enables increased yields in bioethanol production by using C5 sugars in the fermentation process. Furthermore, Butalco develops, together with partners in the field of lignocellulose hydrolysis and downstream processing, production processes for biobutanol. The research is ongoing and first results have been achieved. Current investor is the wind energy company Volkswind.
Further information on the founding angels' business model can be found at www.founding-angels.com
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