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This Month in German, Swiss, and Austrian Startups — October 2023 | E 400

New Blog

This blog post first appeared first on old medium publication (, and was moved to this blog with the relaunch of our website in summer 2024.

Startup News!

Welcome to our October 2023 wrap-up with vital news from the startup scenes in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in 30 minutes or less 🙂.

This time we wrap up October 2023 in our 400th episode!

Our startup news are recorded with Chris today in Germany and Joe in Frankfurt. The recording date is October 25th and all news not included will be in our next

news to be released on November 30th.

This time we made more cuts to our news here. We hope you like the lighter version of it. If you think we cut too much, feel free to let us know.

For everyone who celebrates it: Happy Halloween AAAAAAAAAAAAAAND Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Highlights:

BioNTech is a very special case in Germany, but now one of their former Senior Vice Presidents (Katalin Karikó, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine 2023 for her research in mRNA). Two German companies IPOed (yes, no startups, but still a good sign). Solar startup Nexwafe starts 120 M € funding, Black Semiconductor from Aachen is looking to raise 500 M €, and there are bad news about the former unicorn Infarm.

Let’s talk startups:

The Video Podcast Will Go Live on Thursday, October 26th, 2023

The Audio Podcast Will Go Live on Thursday, October 26th, 2023

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Our Enablers

This recording is supported by HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen

This recording was made possible by HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen. These organizations have made tremendous contributions to helping startup businesses succeed and thrive, providing a range of services from helping to find grants to ongoing partnerships. By taking advantage of these resources, startup companies can network and develop innovative strategies for success on the international stage. The dedicated support of HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen is paramount in providing startup businesses with the tools for lasting success. Look for our dedicated sub-podcast in partnership with them: Tech Startups Germany on our

The best way to identify investors and cooperation partners for early-stage startups. Sign up for early access here:

Top News

Former Employee of BioNTech Receives as 13th Women Nobel Prize in Medicine

BioNTech is a very special case in the German startup world. During corona, they have been assumed to be responsible for 0,5% of GDP growth of all of Germany, one of the five largest economies in the world. Now they have another very unique distinction: A former Senior Vice President (2013–2022) of the company Katalin Karikó, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine 2023 for her research in mRNA. Congratulations for her, being the 13th women to have won a nobel prize in medicine, she is sharing with Drew Weissman:

Solar Startup Hunting for 100+ M € in Funding at 500 M Valuation

Freiburg, Germany-based solar startup Nexwafe starts new funding, aiming for 120 m € in Venture Capital at a valuation of up to 500 M €

Black Semiconductor 500 M € in Funding

Aachen, Germany-based chip startup Black Semiconductor about to close large funding of 500 M €, with up to 70% of government funding the founders are looking to develop a new way to connect elements on semiconductors, but may need up to 7 years for the technology to become viable on industrial scale.

Bad News for former Unicorn Infarm

According to a blog post by Gründerszene, the German credit bureau Creditreform does score Infarm as “ausgefallen” (meaning defaulted). Local entities in the UK and Netherlands have filed for insolvency.

Housekeeping & Time to Brag

We cracked several podcast charts:

On Goodpods we cracked the Top 100 Technology Indie (scoring at No 73) Podcast Charts

In the New York City Podcast Network (now World Podcast Network) we cracked the Top 10 (scoring at No 6). Note: According to their own information this is the 4th largest podcast network globally 🙂

Business Culture in Germany:

Note that there are several states in Germany, that either have October 31st as a holiday (e.g. Hamburg) or November 1st (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, or Nordrhein-Westfalen).


Focus on Europe

Economic data

  • GDP growth forecast for Germany lowered to -0.6%, before the institutes forecasted +0.3%. The good news is that inflation is going down and private consumption should pick up as well. A large part of the German economy relies on industrial orders.

Focus on GSA


Here we want to highlight some hidden gems and cities of general startup interest.

Frankfurt / Rhein-Main-Area

  • We interviewed the lending platform creditshelf on their 100 M € investment from Goldman Sachs. The investment never arrived, since another investor failed to chip in their money. Now the company is in takeover talks


  • Again: BioNTech, but more good news: Their cancer treatments show promise in clinical trials


  • Resourcify snaps €14 million Series A to make every company dramatically reduce its waste


  • Metzingen is in Germany usually known as a great spot for outlet shopping, BUT there is much more: Do you know Neura Robotics? Early Tesla investor VC Inter Alpen already believes in the company and invested 15 M € They enable roboters to see, hear, and learn.

Austria Chris

  • Crypto downturn hits Bitpanda. Revenue down by 80%, loss above 100 M €

  • Graz, Austria-based startup Ecolyte gets 4,6 M € from the EU to develop vanillin into a battery, without using critical commodities


  • Sorry, no news made the cut ☹️

General News / Tech News / Companies News Section

A little note here. Since we aim to inform you about the startup world in GSA, SMEs and large enterprises are also active in the markets. Therefore we include some news of them here as well:

New Funds, in case you are looking for money:

  • Greylock secures $1B for its 17th fund amid launch of early-stage founders program | TechCrunch

  • Top European software investor Dawn Capital raises $700 million — defying the venture capital slump

Fintech News

  • German insurtech startup Getsafe takes over the German business from French competitor Luko

  • Fintech Upvest now offers equity and ETF trading for customers of Raising Bank and the Raisin platform

  • Berlin-based insurtech startup ELEMENT Insurance wanted to raise up to 100 M €, but Handelsblatt reports now that the funding round will be likely only half

General News

Schumpeters Schöpferische Zerstörung ⇒ Creative Destruction Still Ongoing:

Schumpeter was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century and coined the term creative destruction in German Schöpferische Zerstörung as well as Entrepreneur. Learn more about him here: We introduced this section towards the end of covid and it is still going strong.

  • Purefood the organic food startup has to file for insolvency

  • The number of startups filing for insolvency reached a record high (mentioned before)

  • Berlin-based wealth tech startup Elinvar has to file for insolvency. They have been famous as the first fintech investment by Goldman Sachs in Germany, but the investment bank sold its shares in spring 2023

End on a High Note: Successful Fundraisings and Exits:

Keep in mind this is a small selection. The news here and their total value show how resilient the startup scene is. We included only selected fundraisings above 5 million Euros or USD

We will be back one week after Thanksgiving on November 30th 2023.


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