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Bosch steps up open innovation

Bosch offers start-ups access to innovative technologies - Hardware accelerator program to be launched with UnternehmerTUM’s TechFounders

  • Wanted: innovative ideas and new applications for a high-precision laser module used for distance measuring
  • Start-ups to receive a development budget of 25,000 euros, access to a high-tech prototyping workshop, office space, coaches, and mentors
  • First round of the program set to begin in April 2015
  • Start-ups can apply until February 27, 2015

Stuttgart – Bosch and UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at Munich Technical University (TUM), are launching an accelerator program for start-ups that is based on Bosch technical innovations. The participating start-ups will receive exclusive access to innovative product platforms and professional support. As a result, they will be able to develop potential new products and business models faster than usual. In the past, such access was reserved to established customers. “Cooperation with the TechFounders accelerator program has opened up the possibility to make new Bosch product platforms available to selected start-ups,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “This open innovation approach is an extension of our internal research and development activities.”

Wanted: start-ups with innovative ideas in areas where high-precision laser modules for distance measuring can be applied
Bosch is launching the first accelerator program on April 20, 2015, and will be making a high-precision laser module for distance measuring available to the participating start-ups. This Bosch innovation has made it possible to enhance products with information on distance. The Bosch Power Tools division is currently using the technology in room measurement products for professionals and DIY enthusiasts. By cooperating with TechFounders, Bosch stands to gain access to applications in other sectors. For instance, new applications could be developed in areas such as robotics, sporting equipment, automation tools for industry, or gadgets for personal use. This is why Bosch has made the module for distance measuring available as an open development platform and opened up the module’s interfaces.

On offer: professional and financial support
Creative start-ups from any industry are invited to apply, provided that they recognize the potential of the technology and aim either to equip their products and technologies with it, or to develop new innovative applications. The start-ups will receive intensive support from TechFounders coaches, as well as from experienced Bosch mentors and entrepreneurs. In addition to this, the teams will be allocated office space and given access to TechShop, a high-tech prototype workshop. Bosch Power Tools will provide the required tools free of charge. Furthermore, start-ups will receive a development budget of 25,000 euros. The UnternehmerTUM program is unique because it does not require the start-ups to offer equity in their companies in exchange for participating. Interested start-ups can apply until February 27, 2015, at www.techfounders.com.

“Many of the innovations made by Bosch’s Power Tools division are not relevant for our market. However, they have the potential to enable solutions in other sectors that could set new standards. Together with TechFounders, we are looking for entrepreneurs that are willing to tackle this challenge,” says Henk Becker, member of the Bosch Power Tools executive management.

Robert Bosch Venture Capital
Bosch institutionalized its cooperation with start-ups and young entrepreneurs in 2007 with the founding of Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH. The subsidiary finances innovative start-ups that are strategically relevant for Bosch. “We look forward to cooperating with UnternehmerTUM and TechFounders. Over the course of the program, we will support the participating start-ups with our vast experience,” says Dr. Claus Schmidt, managing director of Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH.

UnternehmerTUM – Center for Innovation and Business Creation at Munich Technical University (TUM)
UnternehmerTUM supports start-ups and established companies in the process of setting up and expanding their businesses as well as with market entry. The UnternehmerTUM fund offers seed capital for promising young technology companies with international market potential. With more than 20 rapidly-growing spin-offs and over 1,000 participants in its training program, UnternehmerTUM plays a leading role in Europe.

TechFounders accelerator program
In launching the TechFounders accelerator program, UnternehmerTUM is pooling its strengths. For many years already, it has offered a platform for cooperation between established companies and start-ups, and TechFounders is the latest evolution of this platform. TechFounders offers start-ups access to a high-tech ecosystem, experienced mentors and industrial partners, as well as a development budget of 25,000 euros. Bosch is TechFounders’ second industrial partner, after the BMW Group.

Internet
TechFounders:
www.techfounders.com
UnternehmerTUM:
www.unternehmertum.de
Robert Bosch Venture Capital:
http://www.rbvc.com/en/startpage/startpage_page.html

Tags: Bosch, open, innovation, startup, start-up, access, launch, launching, hardware, accelarator, program

dr. Ferenc Ficzere
phone: +36 1 431-3852