Our first “Meet a Founder” of 2021 features a very special guest. Someone we got acquaintance with in a delegation trip from HTAI some years ago to the London Ecosystem. Manquel is a serial founder in our ecosystem and involved in many projects, related for example in Robotics. In this interview we focus on his latest endeavor, the startup Hope Printer. Check it all bellow.
Manquel Tejeda, tell us a bit about yourself, you are from Chile but based in Frankfurt for years, right?
Yes, it is right. I was born in Chile. At the age of 1 year came to Germany with my family who were exiled from Chile. As a “Frankfurter-Bub”
I made my Abitur here. I studied at the Goethe-University, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the Universidad de Concepción. I graduated as Diplom-Kaufmann (MBA) and Diplom-Handelslehrer (Business Educator). Already in 2000 I was incubated in the Goethe Incubator with my first Startup. From there I graduated and followed the path of entrepreneurship in Chile, Taiwan and Germany. Currently I am back in Germany with a team of entrepreneurs from Chile and Taiwan doing our new Startup Hope Printer.
Can you tell us some of your experiences in the Entrepreneurship ecosystem in our region?
My first experiences in the region’s Ecosystem were in the year 2000 when the dot.com bubble exploded. There were about 100 technological start-ups in which we were one and there were some private incubators and the Goethe University Incubator. In 2002 there were no more private incubators and only about 10 startups. In 2006 we made another startup with the support of Goethe University Incubator (Unibator) and there were a few technological ventures in the region. With the Lehman-Crash in 2008 and 2009, only a few Sstart-ups survived. Only in 2011 the startup Ecosystem started to grow again. With the new instances such as the TechQuartier, there are already more than 200 start-ups in the region that have a network to exchange innovation and ideas and also of physical location. This has greatly improved the situation for entrepreneurs in the region. Even if we have the Corona crash, the publicly funded TechQuartier still exists.
What is interesting in the current ecosystem of the region and TechQuartier are the 3 strongest areas of entrepreneurship which are FinTech, GreenTech, Software & AI. And I think these areas are creating long-term sustainable networks. In my opinion this Corona crash will not be as strong for startups as it was with the dot.com Crash and Lehman-Crash.
Regarding Hope Printer, your latest project, can you tell us some details?
Together with my 3 Co founders experts in robotics, architecture and engineering we started the Startup „Hope Printer”.
We develop house 3D printers to provide 50 square meter social houses for 10000 Euro per house to the local governments through public tenders, so they can afford up to the double of social houses with the same budget.
We can do this 50% cheaper, faster and with less concrete compared to conventional house builders. So we save 30% of CO2.
Our solution has the potential to offer the first earthquake resistant 3D printed house and with our patentable special concrete mix we can print layer by layer.
Can you tell us the role for Founder Institute in your development?
The Founder Institute helped us to advance in areas of our startup that we hadn’t thought of, such as having a board of advisors and knowing our potentials better clients by interviewing them. It helped us to get a vision of how other people see our project and what they expect from it. In this way, we set new goals prepared to satisfy the requirements of our stakeholders. It has helped us to increase our traction and plan strategies to validate our market.
Do you want to highlight any particular milestone or success story from 2020?
It is very important for us to tell you that despite being a hardware startup that lived through corona restrictions, we managed to survive and continue with the development of our technology.
What are the next steps for your project Hope Printer and yourself?
For Hope Printer, the next steps are to validate the robotics technology by developing a high-tech prototype and validating the construction methods by building our fist storage room for tools and validating our B2G market by realizing our first cooperation with a local government to build and donate a sanitary cabin for a poor family.
How do you, your partners and stakeholders look into 2021? Is it possible to make predictions?
We think it will be a very good year for Hope Printer. The construction market has started to reactivate. Also, there is a search for more sustainable solutions. We will be ready to offer with our 3D printing technology more ecological and cheaper houses.
How can our network support you?
It can help us in many ways:
- to get access to talk to people to conduct projects with NGOs and local governments or governments in different countries;
- to deliver and exchange ideas that improve our project;
- to meet people for funding for our project.
- to find partners who can offer us complementary technologies and/or products for our start up, such as new materials;
- to build international relationships.