Darmstadt is a city in the state of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine-Main-Area (Frankfurt Metropolitan Region). Darmstadt had a population of around 159, 000 in 2019. The Darmstadt Larger Urban Zone has around 501, 000 inhabitants. Darmstadt holds the official title “City of Science” as it is a major center of scientific institutions, universities, and high-technology companies. The most notable ones include; The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), as well as the GSI Centre for Heavy Ion Research, where several chemical elements have been discovered. Darmstadt is also the seat of the world’s oldest pharmaceutical company, Merck, which is the city’s largest employer.
With this background, Darmstadt has provided a conducive environment for the establishment of startup ecosystems. These startups are impacting the lives of the people of Darmstadt and the entire region of Rhine-Main-Area in a big way. Below we feature five startups and a few accelerator programs that you definitely should know.
The Merck Accelerator — Merck specifically has been instrumental in the startup scene. They offer great resources for startups in Healthcare, Biotech, and Life-sciences. The company just recently opened a new innovation center with huge laboratories (including 3D printing and laser-cutting. They provide all resources that young teams might need in their entrepreneurial pursuits. They also organize learning expeditions to China, including Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai for startups and entrepreneurs. If you are a founder and you have a passion for connecting the biological and digital world and data analytics then The Merck Accelerator is definitely a place for you.
We can not talk about the startup space in Darmstadt without mentioning the ESA Business Incubation Centre and Digitalhub Cybersecurity Darmstadt (Fraunhofer SIT). The two accelerators have been so instrumental in the startup scene around the region. While ESOC, ESA´s mission operation center, controls spaceships day-by-day they are just as enthusiastic about non-space related ventures as they are about rocket science. They definitely will provide you with great insights into your startup journey.
The Digitalhub Cybersecurity Darmstadt (Fraunhofer SIT) in Darmstadt is among the leading hubs for applied security research in Europe. They normally hold regular “Hub nights” where the latest insights into a myriad of topics (especially cybersecurity, though not limited to this) are shared with the interested public. These events provide a great opportunity for you to network, find investors, anchor-customers, as well as mentors within Darmstadt. First Momentum Ventures is a young innovative fund, with a special passion for young startups. Their main goal is to provide young inspiring startups with a first pre-seed investment and are always happy to get to know you and your ideas! Why not reach out!
Now onto our six startups!
Wingcopter is an award-winning German manufacturer of unmanned eVTOL aircrafts dedicated to improving the lives of people worldwide through meaningful commercial and humanitarian applications. The start-up focuses on the delivery of medical goods as well as parcels and food.
With its unique, patented tilt-rotor mechanism, Wingcopter by far exceeds the range and payload capabilities of commercial multicopter drones, achieving a new dimension of efficiency. The electrically powered Wingcopter aircrafts take off and land vertically like multicopters in the smallest of spaces and fly long distances as efficiently and quickly as fixed-wing aircraft. This enables ranges of up to 75 miles (120 kilometers) and a Guinness world record speed of 150 mph (240 km/h). Even in strong winds of up to 44 mph (70 km/h) or inclement weather, the Wingcopter flies autonomously and reliably.
Wingcopter is a winner of the German Aviation Innovation Award (IDL), winner of the Digital Logistics Award, the record holder of the “DroneMasters” drone marathon as well as SDG’s Spotlight Winner of the Japanese NTT Open Innovation Challenge. In 2019, co-founder and CEO Tom Plümmer was added to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
MagnoTherm Solutions is an emerging university spin-off from Technische Universität Darmstadt with world-leading expertise in permanent magnets and magnetic cooling. MagnoTherm Solutions GmbH was founded in 2009. Their technology, based on solid-state materials and water, is capable of replacing standard gas compression cooling or heating solutions in compliance with current and future F-Gas regulation standards. Their solutions are applied mainly in Battery Cooling, Heating Applications, Server Cooling, Transport Cooling, Wholefood Cooling, and Air Conditioning among others.
Stetic is a startup in the software and data industry that focuses mainly on data analytics. They provide Real-time Analytics for Web and Mobile Apps. With Stetic you can analyze the behavior of your users in real-time, to improve engagement and conversions. They help users with the Optimization of their Websites, Apps, and Conversions.
Gfnork is a startup in the Social & Leisure industry. Their main subdomain is in the travel industry, especially adventure. Gfnork develops smart applications for life. No child play, no fine prints. They value and build ideas that are hype-resistant, realistic & profitable. Their team consists of young professionals, who have graduated from the Darmstadt University of Technology, and are working in the field of IT, Telecommunication, Software development & Mathematics.
Consetto is a startup in the software and data industry. Their main subdomain is in Artificial intelligence (AI) with Natural language processing(AI) as their main tag. Consetto analyses customer interactions in social media and other sources of user-generated content by extracting frequent topics, questions, and issues. This gives marketing managers the possibility to track the needs of their customers and to make decisions about their next marketing steps. Additionally, the software supports digital publishers in producing relevant content depending on the reader’s needs. If you would like to start a machine learning project or you want to improve the usability of your SAP application then Consetto is the place to go. They will help you grow your amount and quality of data which will help you gain completely new business opportunities, processes, and help optimize your output.
Eperi GmbH is a startup in the software and data industry. They deal mainly with cybersecurity and cloud security as their main tag. The eperi Gateway secures the cloud by providing uncompromising data protection for every cloud. Their transparent gateway encrypts all sensitive data that leaves your company. Even Cloud-, IT- and database administrators are not able to decrypt and use the data. You may use the eperi Gateway without changing the existing IT infrastructure. More than 100 international companies trust the eperi Gateway.
There are many more startups and accelerators and we will be featuring more in the near future. Keep coming back for more.
SIX STARTUPS AND ACCELERATORS YOU SHOULD KNOW IN DARMSTADT was originally published in FrankfurtValley on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.