Supporting tomorrow's talents - enabling cooperation today: The Pfizer Healthcare Hubs as partners in the "CyberOne Award"

4 min

Pfizer Germany, represented by its two Healthcare Hubs Berlin and Freiburg, has been a sponsor of the business plan competition for Baden-Württemberg "CyberOne Award" for several years. In the competition process, we support young companies from the high-tech sector that compete with their forward-looking business concepts. On the occasion of the "CyberOne Award 2020" we will take you behind the scenes of the competition.  

How do I develop an idea into a product? How do I find out the needs of my potential customers? What financing options are available and where can I find support? Like many founders, the participants of the "CyberOne Award" are confronted with these questions. With our Healthcare Hubs, we at Pfizer as one of the partner companies of "CyberOne" support the committed participants to make them ready for the competition and prepare them for the challenges of entrepreneurship. As an important stepping-stone for founders, the "CyberOne" business plan competition for Baden-Württemberg is organized annually by the business initiative Baden-Württemberg: Connected e.V. (bwcon) in partnership with the state campaign Startup-BW. New business ideas from the fields of life science and healthcare, industrial technologies as well as information and communication technology (ICT), media and creative industries are supported. 

Matching of Start-ups and Corporates 

After a successful application, the start-ups participate in a process at "CyberOne" in which they finalize their business plan together with experienced mentors and establish contacts with investors. The finalists take part in an entrepreneurial school, receive a professional introduction video of their business idea and continuously develop their business model in cooperation with experts from the bwcon network. 

The "CyberOne Award" brings start-ups together with established companies in a process in which both can learn and benefit from each other. In this way, start-ups in the above-mentioned areas can draw on our expert knowledge and experience in the areas of medicine and approval, production and sales in cooperation with the Pfizer Healthcare Hubs. In addition, they have the opportunity to gain access to our broad network of partners from the entire healthcare ecosystem. In return, we benefit from the founding spirit and many new ideas of the emerging companies.  

Award ceremony in front of a top-class audience at the Hightech Summit 

134 start-ups from Baden-Württemberg applied for this year's “CyberOne Award”. Start-ups with promising ideas from the accelerator programs of the BadenCampus-Accelerator, the LifeScience-Accelerator Baden-Württemberg and the Smart Green-Accelerator, which are supported by the Pfizer Healthcare Hub Freiburg as a partner, once again took part and faced an expert jury. The jury consists of representatives of the partner companies, including Peter Neske, Head of the Pfizer Healthcare Hub Freiburg, as well as high-ranking representatives from industry, politics and science. The jury combines professional and industry expertise from all IT and high-tech sectors, both on the company and investor side. For each category, the jury selects three finalists including the winning team.  

The high-tech summit which took place September 30 to October 2 provided the finalists with a perfect stage for the award ceremony and personal networking: In a Hybrid event at nine locations simultaneously spread over Baden-Württemberg as well as in live streams, 80 speakers and 1500 participants met to discuss the technological future of various industries and to celebrate the winners of the business plan competition. With our Pfizer Healthcare Hubs, we were able to support the Life Science Cluster in Heidelberg and Nürtingen, where the focus was on production. This included, among other things, the tradition of moderating the Start-up Speaker Corner, which we also took over this year in Heidelberg. For us, this commitment is always an incentive for new partnerships and projects with players from the region and beyond. 

In the Industrial Technologies category, the prize was awarded to aurivus GmbH from Ulm, Germany, which uses a cloud-based scan-to-BIM solution to produce digital twins of buildings in the shortest possible time. The winner in the ICT, Media and Creative Industries category was Markt-Pilot UG from Beilstein, which creates competitive and price transparency in after-sales for mechanical engineering companies. In the Life Science & Healthcare category, yuri GmbH from Meckenbeuren was announced as the winning team: The start-up enables affordable life science research in microgravity - on the ISS, on rockets and parabolic flights. 

A stepping-stone for a successful future 

The finalists and winners of the "CyberOne Award" now have an exciting time ahead of them. Success stories of the participating companies in the past years show that the competition is able to open various doors. In 2018, for example, after taking second place in the "CyberOne Award", the cloud start-up Covexo was accepted by the American accelerator Skydeck and was able to secure an investment of $100,000, access to the US market and US investors. Perfect Vision AG, which develops computer-assisted therapy and diagnostic products for ophthalmology, won a "CyberOne Award" in 2003 and was subsequently able to raise a total of 35 million euros in venture capital.  

The success stories of "CyberOne" show whether winner, finalist or participant - the competition opens up valuable opportunities for start-ups to further develop and financially support their innovation. With some of the participants we have already been able to initiate further cooperation with our Pfizer Healthcare Hubs. For example, with AUCTEC Biosystems, the winners of the Life Sciences and Healthcare category in 2017, to whom we were able to offer a stage in the global Pfizer network. 

We are thrilled about the commitment of the young founders and looking forward to meeting familiar and new faces at upcoming competitions! 

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