Three months after the launch of the AtomLeap High-tech Accelerator Batch 03, our two teams met at the Q-Club Berlin (Deutsche Bank Quartier Zukunft) in late April. The meeting served as a platform for everyone involved in the program to interact and exchange experiences gained so far. We also took part in an interesting roundtable discussion on ‘Investor Relations’ held by Thomas Andrae, co-founder of AtomLeap.
The third AtomLeap High-Tech Accelerator team meetup started in a relaxed setting with an introduction to investments and investor relations by Thomas Andrae. Thomas, investor and business angel himself, possesses a unique understanding of customer behavior, as well as deep experience in driving companies from the earliest stages through periods of rapid growth. In general, he is focusing on early stage investments at the interplay of technology and creativity. His wide range of sectors covers mobility, insurance, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and food and nutrition; his technological focus is spread between machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and advanced robotics.
The great venture
All these different fields of knowledge make Thomas a front-line consultant in terms of investment. Although they have applied for different grants such as the Gründungsbonus or the IBB Profit, neither Hearable Labs (formerly Hearability) nor Klimazone have received funding yet. Together with Thomas and the Accelerator-team, they tried to figure out how to go about seeking investment after introducing their company concepts.
Thomas liked both company concepts a lot. Even though hardware is almost always tricky for investment, according to Thomas, something like Hearable Labs is especially interesting to venture capital. The market for audio devices is slow to develop, and lacklustre innovation coupled with high prices stand in the way of a proper modernization of customer experience.
So the team should clarify the added value of their product which is an augmented and selective listening experience. Thomas also advised the team to finish a first prototype before applying for further funding. The team went home with many promising contacts and tips such as: “Never underestimate the power of design, especially in the sector of audio devices.”
Klimazone, our team delivering climate packages as data services for vertical farming, also got some pointers on investor preferences. The team wants to concentrate on the European market at first, although Thomas sees a wide range of opportunities here. Klimazone’s concept of vertical farming could even be interesting for the UN by developing ecosystems in Europe and beyond. In practical terms, Thomas’ network can help them to investigate and understand their competitive landscape.
The teams supported each other by providing feedback and asking the right questions. Through thought-provoking impulse and brainstorming, both teams shared their experiences in approaching potential investors and finding partnerships.
The remaining time was used to talk about the development of their products and prototypes over the next few months and challenges to come. The teams shared what they will be working on and the next big steps to take to get a foothold in the market. Since our teams often have different backgrounds, the AtomLeap High-Tech Accelerator organizes regular gatherings where everyone can hang out a little and share their experiences over a coffee or a cold glass of beer.