SpinLab and HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management once again joined efforts to host a hybrid event format that allowed investors and startups to come together in a safe environment. Around 140 participants came together virtually and locally in the HYPERION Hotel next to Leipzig central station to discuss and listen to keynotes about sustainable responsibility within the investment market. 14 startups, 8 of them from the current SpinLab class, pitched in front of international investors and partners interested in the fields of Energy, Smart City and E-Health.
From left to right: Stephan Stubner (HHL, Monkfisch Equity), Robert Günther (Henkel), Bernhard Mohr (Evonik Industries), Maren Eckloff-Böhme. Photo credits: Daniel Reiche
As Eric Weber, CEO and founder of SpinLab, stated at the beginning of the event, “combining the advantages of the online and offline world” made the event successful, enabling one-to-one conversations via a dedicated event app as well as prepared seats with the required distance. For most speakers and participants, this has been their first in-person event since the last investors Day in February. Considering the circumstances, remote participants were able to view the event online and interact with those taking part in person.
The introductory keynote on requiring ESG with Alexander Thees (KfW Capital) added interesting insights into best practices for sustainable responsibility. Following up, an honest discussion on how ESG is viewed by limited Partners (LP) and why being incompliant bares risks both from a financial and moral perspective encouraged the audience to question themselves as well as the current practices in the German investment market. Nonetheless, Bernhard Mohr from Evonik Venture Capital stated: “ESG is not up for discussion. I would expect that from every fund” and emphasizes that the market has made quite some progress on considering those measures.
The 8 startups from SpinLab once again competed in an intense pitch round, trying to convince the audience and jury to vote for their startup. Breeze Technologies won the “Best Pitch” award with their air quality measurement solution. The prize was endowed with 5.000 Euros and sponsored by the City of Leipzig.
Robert Heinecke from Breeze Technologies. Photo credits: Daniel Reiche
Next to tech demos and further panel discussions on the development of the German crowd investment market as well as considering sustainability in deals, a keynote by Luis Haneman (e.ventures) on climate leadership provided inspiration on how to act on sustainable responsibility within the own possibilities.
Furthermore, 3 chosen startups from central Germany had the opportunity to pitch in front of the audience to win the prize sponsored by KARL-KOLLE-Stiftung. Meshmerize won the “Best of Mitteldeutschland” award which was endowed with 1.500 Euros. A tough decision, as both KRONOS and Winstate were earnest competitors.
As a plus, 3 startups from the DMS Accelerator pitched their ideas in front of the jury which consisted of Andreas Schenk (seventure), Elfi Lange (MBG Sachsen) and Niels Müller (Rheingau Founders): Advanced Infrastructure, Builtrix and VAY.AI.
Inspired by the pitches and in-depth discussions on the developments and sustainability topics within the investment market, participants had the opportunity to network in between the sessions and at the dinner following the award ceremony. With all prerequisites in place, even the tech demos could successfully take place. All in all, both SpinLab and HHL received positive feedback for their first hybrid Investors Day, giving hope to those who got hit hard by the circumstances.