Picture-book success story
For Dr Christian Bölling, managing director of the German branch of EIT Manufacturing, the career of OndoSense is an excellent example of how innovators can use networks to succeed. “Initial support and funding as well as new contacts came via competition entries in the Baden-Württemberg network bwcon. Our partners at bwcon pointed Mathias Klenner to our Start-up Competition 2020. We are happy to have contributed to the success story since then.”
Klenner won the 2020 competition by presenting network-enabled sensors that the OndoSense team had equipped with software to read and evaluate emerging data. “This solution has incredible potential because it is enormously versatile,” comments Wolfgang Kniejski, who builds and develops companies at EIT Manufacturing and has also supported OndoSense since 2020.
Opportunities for industry partners from the network
Kniejski recognised the opportunities for industrial partners of EIT Manufacturing: “The sensors can be used to measure workpieces, check fill levels, monitor wear, check materials or avoid collisions in production halls – and these are just some of the applications at our partners.” So he proposed a collaboration to OndoSense, a combination of coaching and joint appointments with a hand-picked clientele from different markets.
“Contacts are invaluable,” Bölling emphasises, “but especially for companies on an expansion course, access to money is just as important as access to markets.” During the COVID 19 pandemic, EIT Manufacturing supported OndoSense with money from a funding pot that enabled companies to close liquidity bottlenecks caused by the short-term withdrawal of customers and investors. In a 2021 financing round, OndoSense secured seven-figure growth financing and mezzanine financing granted by EIT Manufacturing was converted into equity.
Klenner assesses the financing round as a big step for the further development of the company. “This will allow us to grow much faster and thus leverage the enormous market potential that our technology has,” he comments, “not only in Germany, but internationally.”
This article first appeared in Produktion 15/2022 in German.