SEW-EURODRIVE Meets Startups


Even since our earliest beginnings in 1931, a pioneering spirit has been the most important central pillar of SEW-EURODRIVE. In our constant efforts to nurture innovative power and to find new ideas, we have stepped out on a new path for the first time: With Festo, Kärcher, SICK, TRUMPF, and ZEISS, we organized a joint pitch for startups with innovative solutions in the fields of HR and Purchasing.

Innovations for internal operational processes

Man presenting in front of audience
24 Startups with most interesting pitches

In the search for new solutions for optimizing internal Purchasing and HR processes, we started discussions with Festo and decided to rely together on inspirations from young companies. The idea of a startup initiative was born, and we were soon able to welcome other small and medium-sized companies in the industrial sector into our group: Kärcher, SICK, TRUMPF, and ZEISS are now involved as well as Festo. The aim is that the Startup Scouting should not just benefit the companies involved, but should also offer the participating startups a unique opportunity to meet six SMEs at once and to pitch their ideas to them.

Impressive pitches during a 2-day event

People sitting and looking at a presentation
Pitches in smaller groups

Following an initial preselection from the 159 candidate startups, the pitch took place at Festo in Esslingen, Germany in mid-March. The 24 startups arrived from all over the world – from Europe to Silicon Valley and even Canada. We even welcomed young startup owners from Australia who were hoping to start a cooperation with one of the companies from Southern Germany.

Many of the ideas impressed with digital, data-based approaches, especially using artificial intelligence: Recruiting based on algorithms, active sourcing using intelligent web crawlers, forecasting failures in the supply chain, or automated contract negotiations on the basis of mass data analysis are just a few examples. Each pitch seemed to be as promising – or even more so – than the next.

The event was a complete success for SEW-EURODRIVE. We selected eight interesting startups in total, and we are starting further evaluations with them. We are delighted that we can build up momentum in working with a number of startups and can test out their innovative ideas in practice.

To the FESTO eventpage.