Start-ups draw a positive balance



Three start-ups, which participated in the International Intralogistics and Forklift Truck of the Year (IFOY) AWARD for the first time in 2020, draw a positive balance afterwards. This is the result of a webinar entitled "IFOY AWARD 2020: Start-up Special", which Wiferion, the award winner in the "Start-up of the Year" category, held in cooperation with the IFOY AWARD organisation on July 23. In addition to a co-founder of Wiferion, two representatives of the two finalists Doks. innovation and Cellumation took part.

Wiferion from Freiburg is a specialist for contactless, inductive charging of industrial vehicles. Doks. innovation from Kassel focuses on automated inventory control using drones. Cellumation from Bremen has developed an intelligent conveyor system with omnidirectional wheels that distributes load carriers or parcels in any desired direction.

Internationality and reach

The start-ups benefited most from the internationality and reach of the IFOY AWARD. "Last year, 300 magazines worldwide reported on the IFOY AWARD, the reach was more than 90 million," emphasized Johannes Mayer, co-founder of Wiferion. "The cost of participation was manageable. That is why we would take part again at any time," he concluded. Sonja Gabriel, who is responsible for business development at Cellumation, highlighted the neutral, three-part IFOY Audit as a unique selling point of the competition. The reactions of VIP guests from industry, trade and logistics services during the TEST CAMP were also positively remembered by the three companies. According to Marie Sangmeister, marketing expert at Doks. innovation, the test atmosphere for the guests was "intensive and familiar".

In the discussion round moderated by Thilo Jörgl (IFOY AWARD Organization), the participants unanimously emphasized that start-ups in intralogistics have good future prospects, especially with digital process optimization and data-driven solutions. In this area, Johannes Mayer emphasized that the young companies could play off their advantages over established, large companies particularly well. "The start-ups, which usually focus on one topic, are adaptable and agile. Short decision making processes, for example, bring time advantages in development," said the young entrepreneur.

In contrast to many a company, the entrepreneurs do not have any major problems getting good employees. One factor for success is to communicate the "start-up spirit" to the outside world again and again, emphasized marketing expert Marie Sangmeister in this context. Sonja Gabriel made the experience that it is important for external applicants that they can often "shape their own career" in a young company.

Despite all the motivation of the employees, according to the start-ups, the way to the top is also hard. Admittedly, numerous programs help with financing in the early phase. "But in the later rounds it is not easy to get money and investors," reported Johannes Mayer. One advantage of German start-ups in intralogistics is that many potential customers are in the country. Although intralogistics is a growth market, according to Sonja Gabriel it has some pitfalls compared to other sectors of the economy. Example: Representatives of potential customers want to see as many references as possible. "That's why it is extremely important to find a pilot customer who reports positive experiences and acts as an ambassador for the solution," says Sonja Gabriel.

The entire recorded webinar is now available in German and English at https://youtu.be/6naZy6drMeU .The applicant portal for the IFOY AWARD 2021 has been open since July 14 at www.ifoy.org. Here, applicants can find all important information about the world's largest intralogistics competition.