- An interview with Kai Engelhardt, Managing Director Brose Ventures GmbH
Worldwide, Brose is specifically looking for startups to gain access to further product and technology innovations. To this end, our family-owned company has founded Brose Ventures GmbH in the German startup stronghold of Berlin. The aim of the new company is to screen the market for young technology companies, establish contacts and initiate partnerships for additional business potential.
Mr. Engelhardt, you are in charge of the new venture capital unit. What makes this concept so interesting for Brose?
Every year, around 1.4 million new technology companies are founded worldwide. We want to analyze this dynamic market in a structured way and ensure that Brose can derive strategic added value from the innovative business ideas of the startup sector, for example through a stake in the company or joint development projects.
What are the specific added values from your point of view?
Creative approaches by technologically leading startups can create opportunities to expand our product range and make it more intelligent, improve product quality or reduce costs. The development of entirely new products is also possible. In addition, we aim to identify market trends at an early stage by systematically monitoring companies. In summary, the aim is to increase Brose's innovative strength. After all, we not only develop innovations ourselves, but also buy in new solutions and secure patents.
What is the appeal of working with startups for you?
We are the interface between the Brose organization and the startup scene. That means we understand the needs of both sides. On the one hand, we know what our colleagues are currently working on and in which areas they need impetus. On the other, we act as a search engine and pre-filter. We evaluate whether a young company has potential and fits in with Brose. If there is a match, we ensure rapid initial contact and then, if it makes sense, concrete cooperation.
Which partners are of particular interest?
Specifically, Brose is looking for startups that offer new approaches to vehicle access, the interior or additions to our drive concepts. Our focus is on solutions that make our products smarter and enable additional customer benefits - for example, with the help of sensor technology, software or new materials.
Finally: What advantages does Brose offer startups?
In addition to financing opportunities, we have access to vehicle manufacturers, the ability to industrialize new products and a global production network. Startups can benefit from these strengths. In return, we want to learn from the startups' pragmatic, agile approach and get a breath of fresh air for our own corporate culture of innovation. A win-win situation for both sides.