2nd edition | August 2019
The startup scene in Saxony
Foreword | Martin Dulig
Intro | Saxony as a startup region
Startup initiatives at Saxon universities and support services
Support programmes, growth financing & risk capital for startups
Saxony’s startup ecosystem
futureSAX | The Saxon state government’s innovation platform
Accelerators, incubators, technology startup centres
Network for startup founders
Success the Saxon way – Best-practice examples
Startup founders like you are what help our Saxon economy progress. Your new businesses are
important driving forces for further economic development, enhancing our innovation ca-
pacities, and generating sustainable jobs and good incomes. The Free State of Saxony will be
glad to help you realise your business idea – even if not all your ideas initially and immedi-
ately prove successful.
Knowledge-intensive, technology-oriented startups play a key role on the startup scene. They
create new markets, and experience particularly fast growth. Startups seek out and seize op-
portunities: For technological breakthroughs, economic success, or personal fulfilment on the
founder’s part. These opportunities offer entrepreneurial independence, rather than being a
dependent employee at a company.
Saxony is a land of startups. This was demonstrated by the inventors of the Melitta filter papers,
toothpaste or washing machines with perforated laundry drums at the start of last century,
and continues to be demonstrated today by the many startup founders who have been chan-
nelling their entrepreneurial spirit into successfully establishing their companies since 1990.
You will find some examples of these in this brochure.
Now is the time for a new generation of startups! The digital transformation is changing tra-
ditional value chains and shaking up entire areas of business. New technology and digital
services are infiltrating industry, the services sector, trade and skilled crafts – essentially every
The Free State of Saxony
The perfect place for startups
conceivable aspect our entire life. They are making room for new business models, and therefore
also for startups capable of recognising and utilising growth opportunities. It is my hope and
aim to encourage you to fulfil your startup ideas right here in Saxony.
Saxony boasts excellent conditions for realising your business concept. The wide range of sec-
tors, particularly industry, coupled with the vast research infrastructure across the region,
provides a fertile breeding ground for technology-driven startups and new business models.
Strong business networks and clusters, as well as a growing creative and cultural sector, are all
factors that will assist you as you ease your way into self-employment.
Over the next few pages, we’ve put together an overview of the support options available to
startups in Saxony to help you utilise your talents and become a successful part of our Saxon
entrepreneurs’ scene. I look forward to hearing your ideas!
Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs, Employment and Transport
The startup scene in Saxony has gone from strength to
strength in recent years. And it’s not so much about the
number of new startups, but rather their sustainability, and
the innovative capacity and growth potential they offer.
The slow but sure trend towards self-employment is pri-
marily a result of the situation on the job market. The
pleasing rise in employment in Saxony’s economy also
forces young businesses to offer attractive conditions if
they want to find well qualified staff.
This happens most successfully when new markets are
cultivated using innovative products, services and business
models. The digital transformation is a driving force behind
this development. According to the KfW startup monitor,
around one in four startups now has a digital background.
And a third of newly self-employed persons now have
academic training. Teams wanting to jointly establish start-
ups are coming together more and more often.
So the Saxon state government is of course particularly
supportive of growth startups that apply new technologies
and knowledge. Saxony is the perfect place for your ven-
ture. It has become one of Europe’s most innovative re-
gions, with a varied, SME-based economy, excellent re-
search and university facilities, and a dynamically evolving
startup infrastructure. The close collaboration between
high-tech companies, universities and research institutions
provides the ideal conditions to get you started, and co-
operations between startups and established businesses
are similarly gaining in importance.
Saxony has become one of Europe’s most
innovative regions, with a varied, SME-based
economy, excellent research and university
facilities, and a dynamically evolving startup
Saxony as a
Are you a student or research assistant at a Saxon univer-
sity? Then the startup initiatives available right across the
state are just the thing for you. Because they’ll help you
apply your knowledge to new products and services, and
thus utilise it profitably – from idea to business.
The initiatives featured here support prospective startup
founders, thereby making an important contribution to en-
suring a strong culture of independence, proactivity, and
entrepreneurial spirit at universities and research institutes
– and boosting the innovative power of the Saxon economy.
They are generally backed by major regional and national
partners. The startups are all very diverse, ranging from self-
employed freelance speakers, to knit-cap startups and on-
line portals, to complex microelectronic software solutions.
The initiatives offer extensive services for students, univer-
sity graduates and scientists/academics:
Raising awareness about the ‘self-employed
entrepreneur’ career option
Guidance and feedback on business ideas
Personalised consulting on startup-related queries
Information and networking events – Lectures,
seminars and training courses teaching business skills
and the necessary basic knowledge
Training prospective startup founders and providing
Advice on support programmes, particularly the
relevant federal and state programmes
Startup initiatives at Saxon universities
and special support services
to successful entrepreneur
SAXEED is a startup initiative at the four universities of
south-west Saxony – in Chemnitz, Freiberg, Mittweida
and Zwickau. Since 2006, the network has handled more
than 1,000 startup projects, over 250 of which turned
into businesses, in fields such as automotive engineer-
ing/driverless cars, lightweight construction, media, and
dresden|exists is the first port of call when it comes to
implementing business ideas stemming from Dresden-
based science. Experienced consultants help you estab-
lish your own startup, and assist with queries relating to
technology transfer or corporate succession. Particular
focus is placed on startup projects founded on research
dresden|exists’ aim is to reinforce the excellence of
Dresden-based research, and it acts as the main go-to
point for many scientific institutions in startup-related
Technische Universität Dresden
Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden
(Dresden University of Applied Sciences)
Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden
Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials
Every year, dresden| exists assists with up to 80 startup
ideas, 20 to 25 of which go on to become startups.
The self-management initiative Leipzig, or SMILE for
short, is a co-operative project between the Leipzig Uni-
versity and the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Manage-
ment, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research
(UFZ), and the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ).
SMILE helps university students, graduates, and research
assistants at Leipzig universities and research institutions
establish their own business and become self-employed.
The network has overseen some 400 startups since
2006 – in various academic disciplines and all kinds of
industries, with the main focus being on research and
The startup academy (Gründerakademie) at the Zittau/
Görlitz University of Applied Sciences helps startup-ori-
ented students, staff, and graduates progress from their
initial idea to successfully starting their business. In addi-
tion to workshops and seminars on all things startup, the
primary focus is on personalised coaching, which, along
with initially analysing the practicality of the startup
idea, also includes assisting participants on their personal
journey to self-employment.
As such, the startup academy considers a solid commer-
cial background to be the foundation of all business suc-
cess, and has so far overseen some 40 successful startups.
Anyone taking the plunge into self-employment usually
needs financing. The Saxon state government and German
federal government can help here. Below are their most
PROGRAMMES FOR BECOMING
STARTUP CONSULTING: The Sächsische Aufbaubank de-
velopment bank (SAB) offers a ‘startup consulting’ sup-
port programme for startup founders, enabling them
to receive grants for consulting services which prepare
them to start their own business or assist them in taking
over a business. The topics covered here are highly di-
verse, ranging from finance, to business-plan queries, to
questions about HR management. The programme is par-
ticularly aimed at startup founders seeking to set up a vi-
able, long-term business, and provides blanket financing
for consultations equivalent to between two and ten full
days of work, which usually cost 400 euros per full day.
MICRO LOAN: The ‘micro loan’ is another SAB pro-
gramme, enabling startup founders to take out a low-
cost loan for investments and equipment – to the value
of up to 20,000 euros. They have six years to repay it. The
micro loan requires you to contribute at least 20 percent
of the total costs.
Support programmes, risk capital and
growth financing for startups
INNOSTARTBONUS – NEW SUPPORT FOR INNOVATIVE
STARTUP FOUNDERS: The new InnoStartBonus support
sees the Saxon state government enhance its existing
startup-support programmes which have so far mostly
only been available to particularly knowledge-intensive
startups. The new programme enables us to further our
strategic approach of supporting particularly innovative
business ideas and models. Innovative startups will be in-
troduced to Saxony’s startup scene, and will receive initial
The InnoStartBonus programme is aimed at potential
startup founders, providing them with financial support
before and in the early days of their launch. As part of a
competition, startup founders with innovative business
ideas have the chance to secure a startup bonus of 1,000
euros a month for up to twelve months to boost their
income. In addition, a monthly child bonus of 100 eu-
ros will be paid per dependent child for the duration of
the programme. The Saxon State Ministry for Economic
Affairs, Employment and Transport (SMWA) has com-
missioned futureSAX – the Saxon state government’s
innovation platform – to run the competition and assist
startup founders. The support is granted by the Säch-
sische Aufbaubank development bank.
PROGRAMMES FOR TECHNOLOGY
AND KNOWLEDGE-BASED STARTUPS
EXIST-Potentiale is the new support programme to
emerge as part of the EXIST startup culture. The German
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy wants
this programme to further develop the startup networks
at universities that have formed as a result of the EXIST
startup culture in recent years, and support other small
and medium-sized universities that have never used any
The goal of the measure is to implement a noticeable,
inspiring startup culture at universities, and to create
the necessary framework conditions for innovative, fast-
growing scientific startups to generate sustainable jobs
in the region over the medium term.
EXIST-Potentiale is thus aimed at all German universities
seeking to lastingly and systematically unlock and utilise
potential in the area of startup support.
The EXIST programmes assist universities in three main
Permanently qualifying themselves as universities
specialising in startups
Emerging as the co-ordinators of regional startup
networks within a regional startup-support alliance
Making a name for themselves at an international level
as universities specialising in startups.
STARTUPS ESTABLISHED BY WOMEN IN RURAL AREAS:
Special support is granted to women who start up busi-
nesses in rural areas, thereby helping improve the lives
and incomes of women. Grants of up to 6,000 euros are
SÄCHSISCHER GRÜNDERINNENPREIS (SAXON AWARD
FOR FEMALE STARTUP FOUNDERS): This award aims to
encourage women to become self-employed. It draws
attention to women who have successfully established
businesses, and who are consequently encouraging oth-
er women to do the same.
TECHNOLOGY STARTUP GRANT
The Saxon state government has boosted the Ger-
man federal government’s support for technology and
knowledge-based startups by introducing the ‘Technolo-
giegründerstipendium’ (technology startup grant). Uni-
versity students, graduates or research assistants want-
ing to carry out projects offering high customer benefit
and a clear USP receive monthly grants of up to 3,000
euros. When applying, they must be part of an interdis-
ciplinary team that also possesses the necessary com-
The company should be founded within six months of
approval. Applications are submitted to the SAB.
LAUNCHING INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS
Once founded, young companies can take advantage of
the ‘Markteinführung innovativer Produkte’ (‘Launch-
ing innovative products’) programme, which speeds up
the market-launch process for innovative projects, and
contains a grant and loan component collectively worth
up to 700,000 euros. Startups can use this to produce a
pilot series, and co-finance the expenses for proprietary
rights, staffing costs for marketing assistants, and adver-
tising activities for market cultivation.
Startups up to five years old enjoy particularly favour-
able conditions. Applications are once again submitted
to the SAB.
Anyone taking the plunge into self-employment
usually needs financing. The Saxon state government
and German federal government can help here.
The support provided by the Saxon state government and
German federal government of course does not end once
young companies have found their footing and are read-
ying to grow further. From this point on, both govern-
ments offer targeted financial aid in the form of grants
for research and development, low-interest loans, guar-
antees, or equity capital.
Determining which measure is the right one depends
heavily on the type of business model, the financing re-
quirements, and the amount of available equity.
The Saxon state government offers a low-interest loan for
startup financing in the form of the SAB’s GuW (startup
& growth financing) programme, which can be used to
finance growth projects, as well as startups requiring
larger investments. Thanks to a co-operation with the
Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the GuW loan pro-
vides very low-cost, long-term financing options. And the
KfW itself also runs various programmes for startup
founders and growing companies.
If you don’t have customary banking security for your
project, guarantees from the Bürgschaftsbank Sachsen
(BBS) and the SAB, as well as holdings from the Mittel-
ständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen (MBG), can
facilitate the start-up and growth processes.
If the project due to be financed involves creating and/or
securing competitive jobs, the SAB can fund industry in-
vestments by providing a grant from the ‘Verbesserung der
regionalen Wirtschaftsstruktur’ (‘Improving the regional
economic structure’) joint scheme. Innovative startups can
also receive an investment grant to set up premises and
employ highly qualified staff.
Risk capital can be an important part of establishing high-
risk startups in the high-tech and innovative fields. Com-
panies financed through venture capital (VC) are better
able to maximise their growth potential in general, achieve
comparatively more added value, and create more jobs.
VC-financed companies are also much more likely to actu-
ally launch their innovations on the market than compa-
nies which are forced to forego financing or support from
a business angel.
The Saxon state government has teamed up with Saxon
savings banks to offer an important service in early-stage
financing in the form of the Technologiegründerfonds
Sachsen (Saxon technology startup fund, TGFS), which
provides startups with fully liable equity worth up to five
million euros. Target companies come from the fields of
ITC, semiconductor and microsystem technology, medical
technology, life sciences, environmental and energy tech-
nology, or new media, and boast impressive potential for
added value and growth.
The TGFS also provides support when it comes to set-
ting up a business, offering strategic advice on business
development. The TGFS becomes a minority shareholder,
and shares the opportunities and risks with the founders.
THE GERMAN FEDERAL
This service is supplemented by the German federal gov-
ernment’s High-Tech Gründerfonds (high-tech startup
fund, HTGF), which invests in innovative high-tech com-
panies nationwide. The startups operate in fields such as
automation, optical technologies, medical technology,
pharmacodiagnostics, hardware, life sciences, energy, IT,
software, media, and the Internet. The HTGF deliberately
takes higher risks than private financiers. Seed financing
aims to enable startups to develop their technology to
the point of prototypes or market launch. The HTGF takes
a holding of up to one million euros in a company in the
first round, and is available for further rounds of up to
two million euros for follow-up financing. Along with
these financing means, it also supports its portfolio com-
panies with a strong understanding of technology, team-
based startup experience, and an extensive international
network of relevant partners.
From the miniature camera to the computer, Saxony has
already produced a number of innovations. So there is
good reason why Saxony is considered a major high-tech
hub – including beyond Germany’s borders. For over 15
years, futureSAX – the Saxon state government’s innova-
tion platform – has been bringing the state’s innovators
closer together so they can jointly write the next chap-
ters of Saxony’s success story.
futureSAX has established itself as a cross-industry,
cross-technology interface for startup founders, entre-
preneurs, investors, and knowledge and transfer players,
and is a central point of contact within the startup and
innovation ecosystem. Its main task is to work with its
now over 8,000 members to strengthen Saxony’s entre-
preneurial power and culture, and showcase the state
beyond its borders as an innovative region with a dy-
namic startup scene. To do this, it futureSAX offers a
variety of formats and events relating to the innovation
Startup founders learn useful information about business
models, financing, and communication at the futureSAX
startup forums, while the futureSAX investor roadshow
gives Saxony’s startups the opportunity to present their
innovative concepts to selected investors. The futureSAX
startup brunch, meanwhile, enables startups and young
companies to showcase their innovative products and
services, and converse and forge lasting connections with
experts and startup partners in a relaxed setting. And the
trade-fair appearances made as part of the futureSAX
startup corner give Saxony’s innovators the chance to
raise their profile even beyond the state’s borders. The
Saxon Mentoring Network is on hand to help young
companies with their personal development by giving
them a platform to converse with established experts.
futureSAX has run the Sächsischer Gründerpreis (Saxon
Startup Award) since 2012. This annual competition is
open to all industries and technologies, and culminates
in the futureSAX innovation conference, where all at-
tendees are given the opportunity to present themselves
to over 550 guests from the worlds of science, politics
and economics. The prize-winners are also announced
and honoured on this day.
futureSAX – The Saxon state government’s innovation platform
Saxony’s startup ecosystem
FUTURESAX – ADDED VALUE FOR STARTUPS
Participants and prize-winners of the Sächsischer
Images from the futureSAX innovation conference.
Gründerpreis at the futureSAX innovation conference.
MARKET LAUNCH &
(Saxon Startup Award) & futureSax
Publikumspreis (futuresax Audience
E-book on the idea showcase
Start-up partner network
ACCESS TO INVESTORS
The range of support options for innovative startups in
Saxony is very varied. And you can look forward to a num-
ber of new services. This is an ecosystem in which you can
cultivate your creativity, while also receiving the inspira-
tion needed to fulfil any good idea.
Co-working spaces can make it easier for you to flexibly
use the necessary premises and technical equipment for
your startup, and make contact with other startup found-
ers. Additional support is often also available, e.g. in the
form of mentoring and workshops.
Accelerators help you by providing intensive coaching and
thus speeding up the development process. Company
builders, meanwhile, primarily offer extensive experience
and tried-and-tested formulae. In many cases, a business
model is predefined, and partners and staff are sought or
supplied. Most incubators provide both of these, and can
also ensure more personalised tailoring to the startup
team’s needs if you specialise in a specific field.
Whether it’s an accelerator, incubator or company builder
that’s the right model for the startup founder, team and
business idea is something you need to find out for your-
Perhaps a technology and startup centre is also what you
need for your business success. These centres create a
favourable infrastructure for the conceptualisation, launch
and initial development stage of technology-oriented
companies in particular, and thus ensure optimum condi-
tions for continuous growth. The services in offer are
comprehensive, with different specialisations depending
on location: Biotechnology in Dresden and Leipzig, for
instance, or microsystem technology in Chemnitz.
If you’re looking for a suitable base for your company,
Wirtschaftsförderung Sachsen (WFS) can help. It will also
assist you in making contacts with regional or local au-
thorities, banks, venture-capital companies, legal advisors,
potential co-operation partners, industry networks, or
developers for your future production plant.
New forms of financing, such as crowdinvesting/crowd-
funding, can also make it easier for startups to get off the
ground. They enable founders to collect capital from many
small investors and sponsors, generally through a platform
that connects financiers with startups. Crowdinvesting/
Crowdfunding also makes it possible to find a partner
Accelerators, company builders, incubators,
co-working spaces, technology startup centres and
99 FUNKEN / DRESDEN (CROWDFUNDING)
LEIPZIGER-CROWD / LEIPZIG (CROWDFUNDING)
SEEDMATCH / DRESDEN (CROWDINVESTING)
STARTNEXT / DRESDEN (CROWDFUNDING)
VISIONBAKERY / LEIPZIG (CROWDFUNDING)
BASISLAGER COWORKING SPACE / LEIPZIG
BUSINESS VILLAGE / CHEMNITZ
HIGHTECH STARTBAHN / DRESDEN
IDEATION:HUB / DRESDEN
IMPACT HUB / DRESDEN
KABINETTSTÜCKCHEN.CC COWORKING / CHEMNITZ
LIFE SCIENCE INCUBATOR SACHSEN / DRESDEN
Q-HUB / CHEMNITZ
SOCIAL IMPACT LAB / LEIPZIG
SPINLAB – THE HHL ACCELERATOR / LEIPZIG
VW FUTURE MOBILITY INCUBATOR / DRESDEN
Examples of sponsors
startups in Saxony
Lots of questions arise when you want to establish a
startup – and these can be answered by many competent
contacts at the chambers of industry and commerce, as
well as the chambers of trades and crafts, right across
The chambers regularly offer startup consultations under
the umbrella of the Sächsisches ExistenzgründerNetzwerk.
These consultations provide useful information on the
initial startup phases, plus lots of practical legal informa-
tion for aspiring entrepreneurs. The startup portal at
existenzgruendung-sachsen.de shows you the step-by-
step process to setting up your own company, while
business-plan templates help you formulate a well-found-
ed business concept. Commercial knowledge, profession-
al experience and personal requirements are all assessed
as part of a detailed startup check.
The ‘bread and butter’ business in startup consulting is the
same in all industries – from business plan, to formalities
and legal matters, to naming.
Technology-oriented startups primarily differ due to the
many additional framework conditions, both legal and
technical. The requirements that need to be met depend
largely on the product, production process, and materials
used. Environmental and consumer protection are also
important motives for laws, guidelines, and regulations.
Assessments can sometimes require specialised knowl-
edge. In addition to an initial evaluation by the chambers,
experts may also be called in or recommended if neces-
Financing is another critical factor for innovative, tech-
nology-oriented startups. Experience has shown that it is
difficult to realistically determine the time needed before
market launch, and thus also how long it will take for
initial revenue to be earned – most startup founders tend
to underestimate this and the amount of financing re-
quired. The chambers thus provide the option of formulat-
ing personalised financing proposals for the specific
The Sächsisches ExistenzgründerNetzwerk combines the
chambers’ strengths with startups’ needs. Teams of ex-
perts from the fields of business startups, law, innovation,
foreign trade, and the environment offer startup founders
comprehensive, interdisciplinary advice. To pool the vari-
ous skills, the chambers support futureSAX (the Saxon
state government’s innovation platform, see page 16), and
co-operate with local university startup initiatives and
Sächsisches ExistenzgründerNetzwerk (Saxon Startup Network)
Startups are key drivers of the digital shift in the economy.
They’re competitors, but also potential co-operation part-
ners for established companies.
The digital haubs in Leipzig and Dresden have different,
complementary focus areas, seeking to increasingly net-
work established business, startups and research.
While Leipzig concentrates on promoting smart infra-
structure (specialising in energy, smart cities, e-health, and
cross-application technologies), Dresden is centred on
developing the hardware, software and connectivity com-
ponents needed for smart systems.
A digital ecosystem for energy, smart cities and health is
emerging in Leipzig under the umbrella of smart infra-
structure. The smart networking and digitisation of pro-
cesses and infrastructure within a city is being researched
and developed in a bid to help increase Leipzig’s profile
nationally and internationally, promote future-related
industries and technologies, pool existing cutting-edge
research and digital expertise, and strengthen both estab-
lished companies and startups alike.
A competence and innovation centre for industry digitisa-
tion is growing in Dresden in the form of the Smart Sys-
tems Hub, which is set to be Europe’s first site for smart-
system components. Using the leading microelectronics
industry as a starting point, platforms based on IoT tech-
nology are being created for new products and business
models, and the joint development thereof is being con-
sistently advanced, by integrating the three main pillars
of hardware, software and connectivity.
As such, Dresden and Leipzig are becoming home to struc-
tures designed to develop the sites into one of 12 special-
ised ‘digital hubs’ – locations marketed worldwide as lead-
ing innovation and startup ecosystems – across Germany
as part of the de:hub initiative run by the German Federal
Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
SÄCHSISCHES STAATSMINISTERIUM FÜR WIRTSCHAFT, ARBEIT UND VERKEHR
SÄCHSISCHE AUFBAUBANK – FÖRDERBANK
KREDITANSTALT FÜR WIEDERAUFBAU
MITTELSTÄNDISCHE BETEILIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT SACHSEN
EXIST PROGRAMME DES BUNDES
TECHNOLOGIE- UND GRÜNDERZENTREN
The next few pages show very varied
examples of successful startups and
the ‘Smart Infrastructure Hub Leipzig’.
Leipzig ‘Lecturios’ and ‘Lecturias’
Lecturio is a video-learning provider that stands for sustainable, innovative and cost-effective
(advanced) training for individuals, companies and educational institutions. Since its founding
in Leipzig, Saxony’s historic publishing centre, in 2008, Lecturio has grown to become an inter-
nationally operating education provider. Avid learners and staff can learn about topics such as
compliance, soft skills, digitisation, medicine, law, tax and many more, while companies can
obtain ready-made content, productions and their own learning app under one roof. Financing
by the Saxon state government helped considerably with this.
Telephone +49 341 35569970
Qoniac is the world’s leading independent provider of innovative software solutions for opti-
mising and controlling processes for semiconductor lithography. The company developed the
OVALiS Software Suite, which uses simulation, diagnostics, monitoring and process control to
constantly optimise and individually regulate manufacturing processes both in the high-
volume field and R&D. Since its founding in 2009, the company has grown to nearly 100
employees worldwide. Along with its headquarters in Dresden, Qoniac currently also has
branch offices in the USA, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, and maintains customer liaison
offices in China and Singapore. Qoniac was assisted by the Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen
(TGFS) right from the outset.
Telephone +49 351 41893340
Founders and managing directors of Qoniac GmbH: Dr Adwin Timmer and Boris Habets, Qoniac Team
(from left to right)
and Patterning Optimization
All products are meticulously
Martin Wagner is the owner of
Sächsische Spirituosenmanufaktur processes regional fruits, blossoms and herbs into premium
liqueurs and distillates. The brand is based on a sustainable business concept, and the com-
pany owner is Martin Wagner. In 2007, he completed his vocational training and began working
in the spirits industry. He undertook further training in liqueur production and distillation, and
obtained his university degree. Following years of preparation, he founded his company in
Schirgiswalde-Kirschau in 2014. During the startup process, he was particularly looked after by
the Startup Academy (Gründerakademie) at the Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences,
dresden|exists, and Neugeister e. V.
Telephone +49 172 9758104
Over the last two years, founders Alexandra Baum (right) and Suse Brand have developed ‘tex–lock’ – an
innovative, textile-based lock that is secure, flexible and lightweight thanks to the use of high-tech materials.
‘tex-lock’ is an innovative bicycle lock that is secure, flexible and lightweight thanks to the use
of high-tech fibres. Following the successful kick-starter campaign in 2017, the female found-
ers kept developing their product, and, in 2018, began marketing an improved version of tex-
lock, which has been awarded the independent ART** certificate for secure bicycle locks. The
company moved to larger premises and has 20 staff. An integrated lock and the completely
new ‘multipurpose weather protection for cyclists’ product range is being presented for 2020.
‘The Technologiegründerstipendium technology startup grant gave us the initial scope to focus
exclusively on “tex-lock”. The Saxon support programmes were an important tool in helping us
get to the series production stage. When launching new versions of products, we use the vision-
ary MEP programme.’ (Alexandra Baum)
Staircase C | 3rd floor
Telephone +49 341 55019301
Fax +49 341 55019309
tex-lock – The bicycle lock of the future
The four founders of watttron GmbH: Ronald Claus, Michaela Wachtel, Marcus Stein, Dr Sascha Bach
(from left to right)
‘The cera2heat® modular matrix heating system developed by watttron GmbH is the first ever
system enabling defined, non-homogeneous warming of surfaces. The 5x5 mm heating pixels,
such as those on a TFT display, enable images and temperature profiles to be generated in a
controlled manner, and, thanks to the modular structure, transferred to large areas via contact.
The company has found the perfect base at the Freital technology and startup centre in great-
er Dresden, and most recently increased its rented floor space to more than 520 sq m in mid-
2019. watttron GmbH has benefited from startup networks like dresden|exists, and the excellent
research infrastructure. There are also a number of suppliers and partners here when it comes
to the microelectronic components of heating systems.’ (Dr Sascha Bach)
Dr Sascha Bach | CEO/CTO
Dresdner Straße 172c
Telephone +49 351 85073040
WINNER OF THE 2017
FUTURESAX IDEAS COMPETITION
Lipotype – Lipidomics for a better life
Prof. Kai Simons, CEO and founder of Lipotype
Dr Oliver Uecke, Head of Business Development
‘If you want to fulfil innovative ideas, you need strong partners. During the pre-startup phase,
the Lipotype team was constantly able to build on the top expertise offered by the dresden|exists
startup initiatives in areas such as creating business plans, acquiring funding, and developing
business models. As a Saxon company, we continue to enjoy clear competitive advantages
thanks to our location, with unbureaucratic access to support programmes for research and
development, a functional biotech cluster, and excellent researchers for co-operations and
company growth.’ (Prof. Kai Simons)
Dr Oliver Uecke | Business Development
Telephone +49 351 7965345
Sabine Massmann, Dr Hanna Köpcke and Carina Röllig (from left to right) founded Webdata Solutions in
2012. Today, it is one of Germany’s fastest growing digital companies.
Webdata Solutions is a data provider for e-commerce insights, and its specially developed
blackbee technology turns data into information. This enables dealers and manufacturers to
keep an eye on the dynamic online market – worldwide and irrespective of industry. Webdata
Solutions is a spin-off of Leipzig University. Dr Hanna Köpcke, Sabine Massmann and Carina
Röllig founded the Leipzig-based company in 2012. In 2013, its clear technological advantage
impressed the Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen (TGFS) enough to invest in the innovative
company, with renowned Seventure Partners, b-to-v Partners and Senovo venture-capital
funds following suit in 2015.
Webdata Solutions GmbH
Telephone +49 341 35136170
Fax +49 341 35136171
The power to make
your market transparent.
blackbee – Webdata Solutions
The company has had its
headquarters at its own building
Founders and CEOs of EDC Electronic Design Chemnitz GmbH:
Dr Steffen Heinz and André Lange
EDC Electronic Design Chemnitz GmbH develops and manufactures customer and application-
specific electronic systems, sensor technology, and integrated switches (ASICs) for companies
in the fields of mechanical engineering, automation technology, and medical technology. EDC
boasts a successful development story thanks to funding by the federal and state government.
Founded in 2008, EDC employs 45 staff, and its product range encompasses 13 analogue/
mixed-signal circuits and 20 automation products. EDC systems used to measure differential
pressure and dust are used worldwide, e.g. in industrial air-purification and exhaust units.
EDC Electronic Design Chemnitz GmbH
Telephone +49 371 52459-0
Fax +49 371 52459-10
EDC Electronic Design Chemnitz
Where bees love to live: As a family business with its own apiary, ‘Der Beutenbauer’ (‘the bee-box builder’)
Friedmar Schönherr manufactures high-quality bee boxes.
‘Many company founders can definitely say that they turned their hobby into their career.
Now – after seven years of manufacturing modern bee-box systems –, I am grateful to have
taken this step. I am also grateful for the support provided by the SAB and the micro loan. I am
a passionate apiarist, and a woodworker by profession – which are two ideal pre-requisites for
what I do. Our trademark is the “premium corner”, a corner joint with structural wood protec-
tion to resist weathering. The corners of our bee boxes retain their attractive appearance for
years! As such, our bee boxes take pride of place in many gardens around the country, putting
a smile on every beekeeper’s face.’ (Friedmar Schönherr)
Scharfensteiner Straße 25
09430 Drebach | OT Venusberg
Telephone +49 3725 7099988
Fax +49 3725 7099986
The Smart Infrastructure Hub in Leipzig concentrates on energy, smart cities, e-health, and
cross-application technologies for these fields. Its aim is to adopt a very application-based
focus to convert the technologies developed by innovative startups worldwide into real ap-
plications with partners from science, politics, and business.
In addition to the Saxon state government, the City of Leipzig, and universities (Leipzig Uni-
versity, HTWK Leipzig (Leipzig University of Applied Sciences), and HHL Leipzig Graduate School
of Management), several other leading companies from the region – in the form of Verbund-
netz Gas AG, the Leipziger Group, AOK PLUS, European Energy Exchange EEX, enviaM, DELL,
PYUR, Helios Kliniken, Deutsches Rotes Kreuz Landesverband Sachsen, and arvato – are also
SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator will see a leading accelerator programme concentrate on these
focus areas, assist startups with product launches and financing, and put them in contact with
established companies and investors. The Smart Infrastructure Ventures venture-capital fund
also invests in early-stage startups. The development and expansion of existing spaces is also
set to create affordable premises for rent in a strong community in Leipzig’s west. The Research
Centre for Sustainable and Smart Infrastructure is currently under construction, and already
includes a young researchers group.
SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator
SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator
Dr Eric Weber
Telephone +49 341 35578570
Now is the time for a new
generation of startups!
Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Employment and Transport (SMWA)
Address: Wilhelm-Buck-Strasse 2 | 01097 Dresden
Postal address: Postfach 10 03 29 | 01073 Dresden
Telephone +49 351 564-80605
Fax +49 351 564-80680
Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Employment and Transport
Department of SME Financing and Guarantees
Layout & production:
RAUM ZWEI |
Photo of Martin Dulig (page 4):
Electronically signed or encrypted documents are not accepted from any email address.
This brochure is published by the Saxon state government as part of its constitutional
obligation to inform the public. It must not be used for election-related advertising by
political parties or their candidates or assistants – in any election.
Distributing it at election events or party information booths, or inserting, printing or
affixing political-party information or advertising, is particularly classified as misuse.
Sharing this brochure with third parties for use in election-related advertising is also
prohibited. Even when no election is imminent, this publication must not be used in
such a way that it potentially conveys the publisher’s preference for specific political
These restrictions apply regardless of the distribution channel, i.e. regardless of the way
in which, and how many times, this brochure is made available to the recipient. Parties
may, however, use this brochure to inform their members.
This publication is copyrighted. The publisher reserves all rights, including those
regarding the reprinting of excerpts and photomechanical reproduction.
The project is partly financed by taxes, based on the budget enacted by the members
of the Saxon parliament.