Hot Seat: Dr. Nikolaus Raupp | High-Tech Gründerfonds

Last updated on: 26 Jun, 2024

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Start-ups are often flexible and dynamic entities that can bring innovation to industry. This is why High-Tech Gründerfonds has been investing in such companies since 2005. Dr. Nikolaus Raupp explains exactly what HTGF does and tells us about our joint Chemistry Pitch Day 2024.

Dear Nik, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) has been investing in promising start-ups in the fields of digital tech, industrial tech, life sciences, chemistry and related business areas as a seed investor since 2005. Can you briefly introduce HTGF to our readers? What makes HTGF so special?

We have supported more than 750 start-ups since 2005, including numerous companies in the chemical and industrial biotechnology sectors. Including our fourth fund, we currently have around 1.4 billion euros “under management”. Our team has an extensive understanding of technology and a great deal of experience in supporting young companies in all challenges with know-how, entrepreneurial spirit and passion. We are a public-private partnership and our fund investors include the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, KfW Capital and 45 companies from a wide range of industries. This network is of great value to our portfolio companies.

On October 1, the HTGF is organizing a Chemistry Pitch Day together with Chemie-Cluster Bayern with the topic “Unleashing Sustainable Innovation in Chemistry & Biotech” in Nuremberg. Can you explain to our readers what the Chemistry Pitch Day is and what its aim is?

Our Pitch Days bring industry, venture capital and start-ups together. It’s not just about pitching, but above all about facilitating networks. Personal exchange is extremely important for the entire ecosystem. Ideally, the presenting start-ups will of course find suitable partners directly for their upcoming financing rounds or projects.

Which start-ups should take the opportunity to apply for the Chemistry Pitch Day? How does the underlying selection process work?

Our investment focus at HTGF is exclusively on start-ups at the beginning of their development, within the first three years of their foundation, or even before that, in the case of spin-offs from science, for example. However, all chemistry start-ups can apply for our Pitch Days, regardless of the stage of their development. We want to offer a program that is as varied as possible, after which we select around 10 start-ups on the basis of the documents submitted.

What can the lucky, selected start-ups expect at Chemistry Pitch Day?

Each selected start-up will get about 15 minutes for a pitch including a short Q&A session – and of course plenty of time to talk to the participants of the event.

Is there anything else you would like to pass on to our readers?

We look forward to receiving your pitch decks! Applications are open until the end of August.

Dr. Nik Raupp has been an Investment Manager at HTGF since April 2021 and is an expert in the commercialization of sustainable innovations in the chemical industry. Nik has many years of experience from various positions at BASF in Europe and Asia and has already invested in a wide range of chemical start-ups.