In March 2019, Kapsch invited 5 international startups to join the acceleration programm of the Kapsch Factory1 2K19. During the 16-week program, the startups worked together with mentors from Kapsch on their innovative mobility solutions. Four months later, these 5 startups presented their Proof of Concepts (PoC) at the big Demo Day in Vienna.
„I would like to summarize the programm with three figures: 5, 3, 3“, says Marcus Handl, Head of Corporate Development & Innovation at Kapsch. „We will enter into partnerships with all five startups. With three of them, we have already identified concrete customer projects. and finally, there are three startups on which we have serious equity interest. But that does not mean that the other two were not convincing enough. It’s just that they don’t need money at the moment.“
„Of course it will continue“
The startup accelerator will continue in the future. „Of course it will continue. We will concentrate both on Factory1 and on intrapreneurship to foster innovation in the company. We want to help employees to be entrepreneurs themselves“, says CEO Georg Kapsch. His advice to the founders that took part in the program: „Keep passionate all your life through and care about people.“
The startup teams that were working on fire to set up a Proof of Concept (PoC) together with experts of the Austrian technology company did enjoy their time in the accelerator – they even went to Silicon Valley. „It is very interesting to see how a startup and a corporate can work together. Factory1 shows it is possible to work together successfully“, says Georges Aoude, CEO of the startup DerQ.
„Kapsch invited us to their family“
„Usually, when you work with corporates, you work together with technicians. That takes a lot of time to push forward the project“, says David Gugelmann, CEO and founder of cybersecurity startup Exeon Analytics from Switzerland. „In this case, it was Mr. Kapsch pushing the whole thing, and that was really helpful to get the ressources we needed to quickly conduct a Proof of Concept.“
„The Kapsch team is very well organized, they know what they are talking about and they know what they want. That makes it all very simple“, says Brian Kelly, Business Development Director at Bestmile.
The teams of Factory1 quickly felt as a part of the company. „Kapsch invited us to their family to build a project together. This is really awesome“, says Evgeny Kanshin, CBDO of Aerostate. And Vivien Dollinger, CEO of Objectbox, adds: „Kapsch is like a family, and once you are part of it, they really take care of you. That was an amazing experience.“