100th start-up enters ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg
Since more than 12 years cesah runs an ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) and supports start-ups with a space relation – now the one hundredth start-up has entered the ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg in Darmstadt and will be supported by cesah. “We are looking forward to joining the ESA BIC network. The fact that we are start-up number 100 at ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg is a testament to its many years of experience”, says Jan Kolmas, co-founder of SuperVision Earth. “It is our pleasure to benefit from this, especially with regards to building a community, coaching, financial support and promotion.”
Together with Karsten Wiertz, Sebastian Bussmann and Louis Baron von Freytag-Loringhoven, Kolmas has the mission to improve the safety of gas infrastructure. The four use satellite images to monitor the customer's entire gas pipeline grid and to keep them informed of potential risks. Space assets are essential for their application. In 5 years, they want to be a successful company with customers worldwide, recognized in the fields of infrastructure and remote sensing as a technological leader.
“Our start-ups make a major contribution to the commercialisation of space. We are proud of our success record and happy to welcome the one hundredth start-up”, says Dr. Frank Zimmermann, managing director of the Centre for Satellite Navigation Hesse (cesah). cesah is entrusted by the European Space Agency ESA with the management of the ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg. In addition to Darmstadt, cesah manages two more incubation centres in Baden-Württemberg in close cooperation with its partners IHK Reutlingen and Airbus DS in Friedrichshafen.
By doing so, cesah supports start-ups with the technical development, realisation and marketing of new space-related products and services. Until today the supported companies have created more than 550 jobs. Apart from the State of Hesse, the City of Darmstadt, the Technical University of Darmstadt and the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt, cesah is supported by two commercial shareholders, the T-Systems International GmbH and the Telespazio VEGA Deutschland GmbH.
Per year, 18 start-ups are supported by the ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg, 10 of them in Darmstadt. With entering, SuperVision Earth becomes part of the European-wide ESA BIC network, which is growing constantly and comprises by now 20 ESA BICs at 60 sites. Besides access to this network, the start-ups at ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg receive 50K EUR funding by ESA, DLR and the two involved federal states. Furthermore, they receive support for the entrepreneurial and technical development of their application. In Darmstadt, the start-ups are provided technical support through the European Space Operations Centre ESA/ESOC.
The story of SuperVision Earth shows the support cesah can offer via the ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg, from idea creation to company foundation. The four young founders got to know each other during a “Hackathon” related to the European Earth Observation system Copernicus. This innovation event was organised by cesah. Within 24 hours several teams should develop an economically viable application for the use of satellite data in one of the three topics: air quality, fire or infrastructure. The idea of SuperVision Earth arose. The team convinced the jury and won the first prize. After that everything went at full speed: They won two more pitching competitions, established an identity as a start-up, found a first customer, secured funding by the EXIST program through TU Darmstadt, received mentoring through the EU project “Astropreneurs”, in which cesah is actively involved, and incorporated as a GmbH. After a successful application, the admission to the ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg in Darmstadt is the next big step on their way to becoming a successful company.