DLR_Startup Factory

DLR start-ups – from research to market
The ‘DLR_Startup Factory’ is a comprehensive and effective company building programme with a focus on the deep tech sector.

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With the ‘DLR_Startup Factory’, we are strengthening the support of spin-offs from DLR. Our start-ups bring research results into application and thus onto the market. They provide ideas and drive innovation. With products and services, they generate added value and contribute to solving societal challenges.

The DLR_Startup Factory is a comprehensive and effective company building programme with a focus on the Deep Tech sector. The systematic programme for the promotion and development of spin-offs is mapped out in several successive stages. The formation of strong and highly motivated start-up teams is a key element in all phases.

Stage 1: Ideation

The emergence of new start-up initiatives is driven by systematic scouting of DLR technologies, as well as the identification of their applications and marketing potential. Pitches are used to present the start-up initiatives to the community of investors, entrepreneurs, sponsors, internal and external interested parties and companies. This results in the initial start-up teams with promising ideas that move on to the next stage.

Stage 2: Concretisation of the business idea

New start-up ideas resulting from the ideation stage form identified business cases, which are analysed in Stage 2 and developed into a concrete start-up project. At the DLR_Startup Factory, this will take place in a concentrated boot camp.

Stage 3: Validation of problem-solution fit and feasibility

Positively evaluated business ideas from Stage 2 are analysed in this phase with regard to the fit of the planned offer and the needs of the potential customer groups. Even at an early stage, a precise understanding of customer needs and problems is essential in order to be able to develop a suitable product. The results of Stage 3 are valid findings on customer needs and product requirements, as well as, in the case of positive validation, an adapted action plan including the next steps for technology development and initial findings on the economic viability of the business idea. The results are pitched in front of coaches and experts from the start-up community and, in the case of a positive assessment, followed up in Stage 4.

Stage 4: Product-market fit and foundation

This stage includes the systematic preparation of the start-up with intensive support from coaches and experts in a comprehensive framework programme as well as the start-up itself. In order for technology readiness to be achieved, this stage requires a successful proof of concept. At the same time, in Stage 4, parallel to the preparation of the spin-off, the technology is further developed into a product prototype. Stage 4 ends with the completion of the start-up projects, which are usually also externally funded. The stage is successful if the start-up projects have given rise to start-ups that have their first customers and whose business model has growth potential.

Stage 5: Financing

Securing financing and liquidity is the foundation of every company and also essential for every start-up. After formal founding and after the expiry of start-up projects, the founding teams are therefore supported in attracting investors. Stage 5 has been successful if the start-ups have effectively completed the first financing rounds and further development beyond the start-up phase is guaranteed.

Do you have a business idea and need DLR technology or DLR expertise to implement it?

We will support you throughout the entire start-up process. This also applies to external start-ups interested in marketing a DLR technology. Our offer:

  • Advice and coaching for prospective founders in the start-up process, from the assessment of the business idea to the development of roadmaps, business models and teams, to the design of business plans and implementation of the start-up.
  • Identification of market-relevant applications for technologies
  • Financing of technology development up to TRL 6, customer interviews and market research
  • Support in the acquisition of funding projects in preparation for spin-offs and (co-) financing of start-up projects
  • Individual support by start-up coaches
  • Preparation of contracts such as licensing agreements
  • Mediation of contacts to investors, experienced founders, accelerators, etc.
  • Initiation and management of investments in spin-offs with growth potential based on DLR technologies in financing rounds together with lead investors

Are you an investor looking for interesting technologies, founding projects and start-ups? Contact us at startups[at]DLR.de