As a prelude to the Kick-Off event, the members of INAM - Innovation Network for Advanced Materials e.V. - met to elect a new board to support high-tech startups over the next three years.
The INAM board is comprised of 7 members from leading positions in well-renowned large and medium sized businesses, startups, research institutions, the business development agency for the state of Berlin, and a legal firm specialising in IP. Ferdinand Bartels, Managing Director of Specs Surface Nano Analysis GmbH - a medium-sized Berlin high-tech company in the field of surface analysis - was re-elected as head of the board and has expertise in connecting large companies and startups. Marcin Ratajczak, Founder and CEO of high-tech startup Inuru GmbH - a company that manufactures smart packaging based on proprietary OLED technology - was re-elected as deputy head of the board and focused primarily on the needs of startups. Gerrit Rössler from Berlin Partner GmbH - business development agency for the state of Berlin - will once again assume the role of treasurer, helping startups with access to regional business partners, funding instruments and potential settlement in Berlin.
Also re-elected to the board was Volker Hofmann, Managing Director of Humboldt Innovation GmbH, who assists startups in establishing research collaborations with Humboldt-Universität. Successful examples of such collaborations are INAM members OrelTech GmbH and Inuru GmbH. New to the board are Kattya Cruz Ruelas, Partnership Manager / Innovation & Digitalisation at Continental - Contitech, and Tonino Greco, Chief Analyst in the Sony Corporate Technology Strategy Division. In their roles they help build bridges between startups and corporations and offer young companies the potential to develop new business areas, whilst also solving challenges faced by their own companies. Also new to the board is Sven Schilf, Partner at legal firm WEITNAUER. Sven is responsible for the legal aspects of cooperation between startups, corporates and research institutions, especially with regards to intellectual property.
Leaving the board is Helge Neumann, Executive Manager International Business Development at WISTA-MANAGEMENT GmbH. “We would like to thank Helge Neumann for his many years of work and support for high-tech companies, particularly in helping them navigate the difficult Berlin rental market. Helge was also instrumental in building bridges between startups and companies based in Adlershof”, said Ferdinand Bartels. "At the same time, we are very pleased with the election of the new board as it brings together all the partners to shape the strategy and orientation of the network and thus allows us to build on the success of previous years".
The network’s goal for the next three years is to further improve its offering to startups and the collaboration between partners. “Our strength is connecting early stage startups with established companies and research institutes. An example of this is the collaboration between OrelTech GmbH, Humboldt-Universität and Inuru GmbH. The main challenge we still face is financing through venture capital,” noted Ferdinand Bartels. “It’s therefore our goal to include venture capital companies in our network to show them the potential in material innovations. High-tech innovations aren’t the new internet, but they are sustainable business models with high margins” added Marcin Ratajczak.