VC-BW, a joint project run by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finances and Economics and Stuttgart Financial is aimed at creating a common platform for existing business angel networks, VC forums, business development banks and VC companies. The overall goal of VC-BW is to make Baden-Württemberg more visible and attractive for investors from outside Baden-Württemberg. In addition, it will give start-up companies easier access to higher investment volumes of between 300,000 and 3 million euros. Interested parties are invited to submit their one-page representations to BIOPRO by 6th December 2012. The next pitch will be held on 13th January 2013.
Nils Schmid, Baden-Württemberg Minister of Finances and Economics explained: “The Baden-Württemberg government has the key political and economic goal of boosting Baden-Württemberg’s reputation as an attractive location for investors and start-up companies. The Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finances and Economics has therefore initiated a new start-up offensive aimed at developing high-tech companies in technological growth areas as well as improving the conditions for one-person and part-time enterprises.
The major elements of the BW-VC initiative are: improving consultancy services, innovation vouchers for high-tech start-up companies and easier access to VC capital. These elements are based on the Baden-Württemberg government’s existing start-up measures, business development banks and the large number of venture capital institutions. Baden-Württemberg is home to a vibrant community of business angel networks and regional events where there are opportunities to meet up and introduce themselves to each other. The Venture Forum Neckar, the Stuttgart Business Angels Region (BARS), the Cyber Forum in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg: Connected – bwcon, the Black Forest Venture Days in Freiburg, the venture capital fund of the city of Mannheim’s business development department and the annual Baden-Württemberg Business Angel Conference are just a few of the many venture capital investors and organised activities. However, their focus on specific branches and regions means that it is not easy to have a general overview of everything going on in the start-up community in Baden-Württemberg. This led to the idea of developing a platform that gives the start-up community in Baden-Württemberg a practical overview of all activities available.
The idea became the “VC-BW – Netzwerk für Beteiligungskapital”, which was jointly founded by ifex (Initiative für Existenzgründungen und Unternehmensnachfolge), the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finances and Economics and Stuttgart Financial with the stated aim of pooling the activities of numerous regional VC and start-up networks in Baden-Württemberg, as well as those of L-Bank, Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg and LBBW Venture.
The two key objectives of VC-BW are to make the Baden-Württemberg start-up community more visible and attractive for investors in Baden-Württemberg and elsewhere and increase the transparency of offers available for start-up companies in the different phases of company establishment. VC-BW thus hopes to help companies close the financing gap in the seed phase and facilitate access to venture capital. The network will provide start-up companies with a platform where they can present their business ideas to a wider range of business angels and venture capital companies. Besides central VC pitches and a website providing information about VC companies, upcoming events and information on company establishment, VC-BW also plans to use other formats to enable investors and company founders to meet in person and share knowledge and information, which is the initiative’s primary objective. The ultimate goal is to establish a comprehensive VC network within which large VC placements in the magnitude of between 300,000 and 3 million euros will also be possible.
As we move towards setting up an effective start-up community, we can use the experience gained from our 24h event “Gründerzeit Baden-Württemberg” held in Stuttgart on March 3rd 2012 which attracted 2,500 participants and at which, together with Stuttgart Financial, we also ran the first state-wide VC pitch with 14 start-ups. The positive feedback from investors as well as from start-up companies has motivated us to organise similar events in the future. The next large VC pitch will be held at L-Bank in late January 2013 and we will be working with the VC networks to organise the event. They will suggest companies from their particular sector and I am convinced that we will have the “Best of Baden-Württemberg” represented at the next VC pitch. Further information on the upcoming VC pitch is available at www.vc-bw.de.
I’d like to thank Stuttgart Financial for its initiative, all the partners in VC-BW for their active support and wish all start-up companies success in obtaining the financing they need and every success for the future.”
As a central partner to high-tech foundations and companies, notably in the field of biotechnology, BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg works closely with the new VC-BW - Netzwerk für Beteiligungskapital and supports the network’s objectives:
Start-up companies will be given greater possibilities to engage in direct dialogue with potential investors. Before any personal meetings are held, existing networks provide assistance in business plan preparation as well as offering other types of coaching.
Founders of high-tech start-ups have the opportunity to present their company at VC events and in one-pagers. They will get direct feedback from investors during the personal meetings. Immediate responses about how investors see their development opportunities are very valuable for company founders.
The next VC pitch will be held on 13th January 2013. Interested parties are asked to contact Dr. Barbara Jonischkeit, BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg (firstname.lastname@example.org). The relevant documents will then be sent to you.
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