Wirtschafts Woche: Venture capital expert Schmitz thinks the attention Biontech has been getting these weeks is good: “People are starting to realise that significant enterprise value is being created here, that research and venture capital are making a difference.”
But are they making enough of a difference? There are a growing number of venture capital firms specialising in deep tech in this country, with Vsquared (Munich), Fly Ventures (Berlin) and LEA Partners (Karlsruhe). Even funds that previously invested in internet start-ups and were looking for a quick exit are discovering long-term commitments in more sophisticated companies, Schmitz says, “increasingly taking on engineers, physicists and biotech experts as partners”. But that is only the beginning. Too many investors still understand too little about advanced technologies.
“Raising a robotics start-up in a vacuum is almost impossible,” says Mark Schmitz, once a partner at the European venture capital fund Lakestar and now a founding board member of the Munich-based investment holding Equation: “It needs industry proximity.”