BASF Venture Capital
BASF New Business GmbH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF SE. Our mission is to commercially develop lines of business beyond core of the current core business of BASF but based on chemistry. To accomplish this, we identify the most promising market opportunities and fast-track the commercialization of business ideas using startup-like structures and methods as well as venture capital.
Our work generates added value for existing and/or potential customers. We do this by identifying significant unsolved problems of our customers first. We then – preferably in cooperation with highly qualified internal and external partners – develop precisely targeted solutions tailor-made for these customers.
To accomplish this, we have created a working environment that leverages agile methods and iterative business experiments. This allows us to rapidly convert ideas into demonstrators or prototypes and continuously test these on the market, beginning in the early stage. Feedback from our customers helps us ensure right from the start that we are accurately creating products, technologies or solutions that are highly mature, very attractive and offer individual benefits for each target group. In this way, we significantly increase the likelihood of success in the market.
We have set up our organization to reflect this process. In the early stage, we work with small, flexible teams, which we then expand during the development of the business and convert to startup-style structures. Our employees are distinguished by a high degree of entrepreneurial commitment, personal initiative and flexibility. These qualities go hand in hand with specific industry and technical expertise.
Our open innovation culture provides the foundation for lively dialogue and close cooperation with our network of internal and external partners. Already in the early stage, we involve universities, institutes, publicly sponsored projects and companies in the development process. These collaborations create additional possibilities for us to establish our ideas on the market faster and successfully.
Around 80 employees at the head office in Ludwigshafen as well as many others from BASF subsidiaries all over the world – including EnerG2, Deutsche Nanoschicht, BASF 3D Printing Solutions and Innofil3D – work for BASF New Business in Germany, Europe, the United States and Asia. Corresponding with the phases of the innovation process, the team is structured in the units Foresight & Scouting, Chemovator and Business Build-Up. They cooperate closely with numerous external partners throughout the value chain and with BASF research centers and business units.
As a first step, our Industry Foresight group identifies attractive future markets and customers. The Scouting group then develops ideas for solutions and business concepts to tap into these industry segments. The subsequent incubation takes place in the “Chemovator.” Successfully validated business plans are scaled up by the “Business Build-Up” unit with the aid of startup-style structures. This occurs either directly within BASF New Business or within an independent subsidiary of BASF New Business.
The activities of BASF New Business are supported by BASF Venture Capital, which concentrates on three strategic focus areas. Through its investments in startups, this subsidiary gives BASF access to innovative technologies and materials based on chemistry. Furthermore, the Venture Capital experts invest in startups that develop new – in particular digital – business models. The third focus area is “game changer” startups. These are new companies working on disruptive innovations that are highly relevant for the entire chemical industry. If the investment develops positively, we regularly evaluate a takeover of these startups.
“In times of rapidly changing markets, we must identify trends even before they have fully emerged. Products and technologies that will be in demand tomorrow should be put into the pipeline today. To do so, it is crucial that we identify trends even earlier, prioritize them and systematically convert them into profitable business success for BASF with benefits for customers. Our highly motivated team at BASF New Business GmbH and BASF Venture Capital GmbH is happy to tackle this challenge together with you.”
Dr. Guido Voit, Managing Director, BASF New Business GmbH