Acceed 4.0 - Support for start-ups in the Industry 4.0 sector.
Bechtle, along with other companies, is a shareholder in Acceed 4.0. The investment company supports start-ups from the Industry 4.0 sector with early stage financing and a sustainable consultancy service for developing and implementing business ideas. We asked Dr Thomas Olemotz, CEO of Bechtle AG about this.
How did this commitment come about?
I was approached by the Venture Forum Neckar, which Bechtle had supported in organising events in the past, with the idea of a special fund to promote start-ups in the digitalisation/Industry 4.0 sector.
Why do you think this idea fits well with Bechtle?
The underlying concept of Acceed 4.0Acceed 2.0 fits well with Bechtle for a number of reasons: For one, several possible investments are directly or indirectly related to IT. For another, it is characteristic of the fund that, in addition to the pure co-financing of a business idea, it offers experienced entrepreneurial support to the mostly very young founders. In this way, the fund partners are able to become sparring partners if desired and support the founders by passing on not only experience, but also valuable contacts. This support is invaluable for the development and implementation of a new business model, particularly in the first few vital years.
The first investment: Quantitec. What motivated you to invest in this start-up?
Quantitec’s business idea met several criteria that speak for Acceed 4.0’s commitment: initial success with concrete customer references, additional financing partners (co-investments), a convincing business model with a clear reference to the founding idea of Acceed 4.0 and—an extremely important criterion—a highly motivated and qualified founding team.
What benefits do you get from working with such an innovative business?
If Bechtle wants to remain successful in the future, we have to continuously review and develop our business model. Digitisation is both an opportunity and a risk for all established companies—in any case it is a great challenge. Our involvement in the investment company Acceed 4.0 helps us to understand the changes to industrial added value structures that go hand-in-hand with digitalisation, and to better understand what the consequences are for Bechtle. Moreover, in the medium to long term, our shareholder function does not expressly exclude the possibility of acquiring young companies through a direct investment that are particularly suited to Bechtle.
What has particularly impressed you when talking to start-ups?
I find the interesting personalities particularly refreshing—the unconditional commitment and the high motivation of the mostly young founders with whom I come into contact during discussions about investing in the fund. It’s impressive to see how much passion the founders have for their ideas, and how much entrepreneurial spirit is behind their plans. Their personal commitment is enormously high.
Business Innovation at Bechtle Headquarters.
In order to bring founders into contact with potential investors and cooperation partners, the Venture Forum Neckar regularly organises events, including most recently at Bechtle Platz 1. As part of the “Industry 4.0 – Investing in the Future” event, thirteen start-up companies presented their business innovations in the field of IoT and took advantage of the laid-back atmosphere to win over potential investors and cooperation partners.