Schaeffler invited young companies to company headquarters in Herzogenaurach for the second time. 14 start-ups from four countries presented their business ideas there to Schaeffler specialists and representatives from top management. They have the opportunity of collaborating with the company as a partner or customer.
Fresh ideas and unconventional solutions
Schaeffler knows the great potential offered by young companies with convincing business ideas. The company began as a start-up itself more than 70 years ago. “Schaeffler does not just stand for quality and technology, but also for innovation”, says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Gutzmer, Chief Technology Officer and Deputy CEO at Schaeffler AG. “We are trying to find fresh ideas, new approaches, and unconventional solutions in conjunction with start-ups. Together, we are faster, more flexible, and bolder.”
Joint projects with the technology leader
In return, the young entrepreneurs receive the support of an established company and technology leader for implementing their business ideas. “We review which start-up is attractive for Schaeffler regarding technology, business model, and entrepreneurship”, explains Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tim Hosenfeldt, Senior Vice President Technology Strategy & Innovation at Schaeffler AG. “If everything is a good fit, we continue to develop the business idea together.”
The business ideas presented come from fields relevant for Schaeffler: Smart Factory/digitalization of production, mobility concepts, sensor solutions, data value creation, and new material solutions. The winners were selected in a preselection round from 113 applicants – from 24 countries from Asia, North America, Europe and Australia.
Participation as a passport to success
Participation in the Venture Forum and a focus on joint projects and developments can be a passport to success. It was a similar story with the IT company Autinity Systems from Chemnitz, which is now part of the global Schaeffler Group due to the successful collaboration. “The integration of Autinity has proved that this concept is effective”, says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Gutzmer. “We also want to find start-ups that we can integrate into Schaeffler at this event.”