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International Sharing Expertise at the Family Day 2012 in Bonn on June 20

Company Exit: End of the Line or New Start?

As soon as a company in the high-tech field is founded the so-called exit forms part of many business plans, because a successful sale is in most cases the consequence of a successful development of the company and its value. But what is the real motivation for founders and investors to sell their company or their majority shares? And what comes next? This as well as further questions will be discussed by experts in the field at this year’s Family Day in Bonn on June 20, 2012. This event brings founders and managers of German high-tech start-ups together with German and foreign equity investors, and it has now developed into one of the biggest of its kind in Germany.

Typically, founders and investors sell their shares to other companies, and hardly ever to other investors; currently an IPO barely occurs. The reasons for selling or buying are multifaceted and individual. By purchasing a high-tech start-up a company expects, for example, to gain access to new, innovative technologies or to widen its product range.

This was also one of the reasons for the successful exit of the Munich-based biotechnology company Kinaxo Biotechnologies GmbH originating from the portfolio of the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF). In 2011, this was taken over by the international pharmaceutical company Evotec, listed on the stock exchange. Evotec thus underpins its leading position as development partner for pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the fully integrated research and development of active substances.  Founder and CEO of Kinaxo, Dr. Andreas Jenne, has benefitted from the access to larger development partnerships. He will report about his experience with the sale of his company and offer his recommendations for other start-ups at the press conference on the occasion of the Family Day.

A further example is the sale of the High-Tech Gründerfonds shares of textunes GmbH, one of the leading providers for cross-platform eBook apps, to Thalia Holding GmbH, again in 2011. Both companies gained strategic advantages due to synergy effects in sales as well as in product development.

These are only two successful examples from various branches stemming from the portfolio of the High-Tech Gründerfonds. “Established companies increasingly search for pioneering innovations in young companies. When selling their companies founders cash in the reward of many years of hard work and are much better able to implement their idea as part of a bigger organisation. In the last 12 months alone, we have successfully sold 10 companies. In doing so, we actively support our companies through the entire exit process and even afterwards we maintain contact with the founder or management team”, says Dr. Alex von Frankenberg, managing director of High-Tech Gründerfonds. Following the exit, many doors are open to entrepreneurs. On a regular basis they incorporate their know-how into the company to which they sold their shares. Successful founders are also considered welcome members in the management of large groups. In many cases successful entrepreneurs again found a company. Only very few of them rest on the laurels of their success. Experts at the Family Day inBonnwill discuss what the time after the exit looks like and what successful entrepreneurs do after having sold their company.

The press conference on June 20, 2012will also substantiate this topic. On this occasion, Dr. Michael Brandkamp (managing director of High-Tech Gründerfonds), Henry H. Wong (CEO of Garage Technology Ventures, Silicon Valley, USA), Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann (managing director of netSTART Venture GmbH, Business Angel of 2012), Dr. Andreas Jenne (CEO of Kinaxo Biotechnologies GmbH) and Dr. Johannes Velling (Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology) exchange views on the possibilities of start-ups in international competition, but also on the increasing interest of foreign venture capitalists, as well as of national and international non-institutional investors.

More about the High-Tech Gründerfonds Family Day at

Media representatives are cordially invited to the Family Day and also to the press conference on 20.06.2012 at 12:00 and can register informally by email (

About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the KfW Banking Group, as well as thirteen industrial groups of ALTANA, BASF, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE Color, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 563 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 291 million HTGF II).

Press contact:
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Stefanie Zillikens  – Marketing & Communications Manager
Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2 – 53175 Bonn
Tel: +49 228 823001-07 – Fax: +49 228 823000-50