‘We believe Space can do more for Earth’ – Innoloft welcomes Space4Impact as new member of the B2B Tech Ecosystem


After Innoloft had already welcomed the spin-off initiative of the Swiss Space Center and the European Space Agency Business Incubator (ESA BIC) Space4Impact as a new member of the international Innoloft B2B Tech Ecosystem, a digital platform kick-off event was held on November 25, 2020. 


The goal of the launch event was to bring space technologies closer to the general public and to communicate the positive impact of space technologies on Earth. The Space4Impact digital marketplace platform is considered to be one of the tools for realizing this goal. With the help of Innoloft’s digital network infrastructure, inefficiencies in networking and forming partnerships between technology providers, corporate innovation teams, investors and other stakeholders are being eliminated.

The space sector is an emerging market and the current growth of space technologies and data is opening up a whole range of new applications with promising business opportunities. In addition to the economic aspect, sustainability for planet Earth is a key driver for the pursuit and development of space-related technologies. One example of sustainable space applications is the use of Earth observation for smart agriculture: This technology can, for example, enable farms to protect or improve their soils as well as their yield with the optimal use of fertilizers.

However, this space sector trend is often difficult for companies and investors outside the industry to grasp due to a lack of key intermediaries and communication tools – known as tech translators.

At the same time, space startups, for their part, encounter difficulties in reaching the right customers and clients for their products. This is where the Space4Impact initiative steps in: With the help of the digital ecosystem platform and its connection to Innoloft’s cross-sector B2B tech ecosystem, transparency and connectivity as well as the international and cross-industry reach of the individual players are to be improved.  This is not least to achieve the goal of maximizing SpaceTech’s positive impact on the planet.

The successful event on November 25, 2020, with more than 100 participants, marked a first step towards achieving this goal: In addition to live presentations by high-profile speakers, including i.e. Ms. Simonetta di Pippo (Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)), Mr. Claude Nicollier (former Swiss astronaut for ESA), Dr. Natalia Archinard (Deputy Head of the Education, Science, Transport and Space Section at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs), Mr. Carlos Augusto Teixeira de Moura (Brazilian Space Agency President) and Mr. Etienne Schneider (Luxembourg Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy) , the individual companies and startups were able to get to know each other and exchange ideas through panel discussions and various pitch sessions. The Startup Pitch Competition was a special highlight and a complete success, not only for the participating startups. In addition, with the help of a speed-dating during the event, more than 60 matches were formed and initial discussions between potential cooperation partners were initiated.

After the successful kick-off event, Innoloft will continue to support the Space4Impact initiative with its platform technology to digitally display attractive and valuable formats such as open innovation challenges or networking events. The focus will be on sustainable action as an important aspect of the platform, because Innoloft and Space4Impact agree: Space can do more for our planet.

Further information

Interested parties can apply to participate in the digital platform here; in addition, the recording of the entire kick-off event can be viewed via this link.

Public institutions, clusters or hubs interested in digitizing their community management can find out more about Innoloft’s LoftOS platform technology here and, if interested, arrange a demo appointment, or contact them directly.

Matchmaker and Partner: Innoloft and the digitalHUB Aachen


The story behind the digitalHUB matching platform and startups.nrw

A digital platform on which startups, investors and corporates present themselves, their ideas and challenges and are matched with each other based on them – that is the concept of the B2B Tech Ecosystem Innoloft. Founded in 2015 as a spin-off of RWTH Aachen University, Innoloft is one of the founding members of the digitalHUB Aachen e.V. As such, Innoloft has designed and implemented both the matching platform of the digitalHUB Aachen and the NRW-wide platform startups.nrw, the official launch of which was announced by NRW Minister of Economic Affairs Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart on October 27, 2020. In an interview with Sven Pietsch, CEO of Innoloft and Iris Wilhelmi, Managing Director of the digitalHUB Aachen, we learned how the digitalHUB Aachen’s matching platform served as a model for the NRW-wide platform and how the stories of Innoloft and the digitalHUB Aachen have grown together.

Iris and Sven, how did the digitalHUB and Innoloft come together?

Iris Wilhelmi: Innoloft is one of our founding members and has been part of the digitalHUB Aachen from the very beginning, i.e. since mid-2016, as a start-up from the very beginning. When we moved to digitalCHURCH in 2017, Innoloft moved into our CoWorking with seven employees – today there are about 30 – and then rented two floors of office space in the Kaplanshaus at the beginning of 2019. Both Innoloft and we have grown in the meantime.

Sven Pietsch: Before founding the digitalHUB, we were a member of Startlab, the former incubator for digital start-ups at RWTH Aachen University. When the Startlab merged with the CoWorking of the digitalHUB, we were naturally directly involved.

Sven, how has your development been from the foundation until today? And what role has the digitalHUB played in it?

Sven Pietsch: We founded our start-up in 2015 as a spin-off from RWTH Aachen University with the goal of building a research database for research transfer. When it turned out that nobody wanted to pay for it, we changed our concept to a company database. Around that time the startup trend started and we got our first contract to screen startups. We soon realized that the mediation of business contacts does not work with a static database, but rather requires a digital business network. And so we came up with the idea of building an operating system for digital networks and marketplaces. The digitalHUB with its large network was a strong support for our market access from the beginning. And thanks to the digitalHUB matching platform that we implemented for the HUB, it is also a cool reference for us!

How did the joint project of the matching platform come about?

Iris Wilhelmi: The idea of the joint platform had been around for quite a while. But since we already had our digitalHUB Member Space and Innoloft – originally under the name Energieloft – was initially focused on energy companies, we were still waiting for the proof of concept. We also looked around the market but came to the conclusion that Innoloft’s white label solution and the integration of the matching platform into our existing member space was the best solution for us. And so it came to a joint launch in 2018. Our digitalHUB matching platform, was the first open-industry platform that Innoloft implemented at that time.

What opportunities does the platform offer for which target group?

Sven: In short: Startups find investors, cooperation partners or customers; companies find innovation ideas, suppliers as well as innovation partners or startups and investors find investment cases. In addition to the independent search, the platform also automatically presents potential business partners. We then count as a match every conversation that takes place between different parties via the platform.

How did it happen that the matching platform of the digitalHUB Aachen became a model for the NRW-wide platform startups.nrw?

Iris Wilhelmi: Here, both the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs was the driving force and the HUBs that had emerged from the Digital Economy NRW initiative. The other digital hubs also wanted to have transparency about their ecosystems, the digital hubs also wanted to better network their ecosystems with each other, and the Ministry also wanted to prominently present the great potential of the NRW-wide startup ecosystem to the outside world. Due to the great experience we had as digitalHUB Aachen with our matching platform, our platform then served as a blueprint for the NRW-wide platform. Together with the Digital Hub münsterLAND we accompanied the implementation.

How did the first weeks of startups.nrw since the kick-off go and what are the next milestones?

Sven Pietsch: The developments on the platform are very positive. We have had over 400 logins from over 250 unique users since the launch. In parallel we continue to work on the platform. The next important milestone is the event module, which will go online in a few days. It will allow platform users to create events, invite each other to them, hold the events there and streaming tools like YouTube or Zoom can also be integrated.

Iris, Sven had just answered this question, so the last question for you: What role does Innoloft play for the digitalHUB?

Iris Wilhelmi: With the conception and implementation of the digitalHUB matching platform, Innoloft has mapped our ecosystem completely digitally – that’s a great added value for us and is elementarily important. If you know what a great team is behind Innoloft, it’s clear that we would be crazy not to work with Innoloft!

Thank you very much for the nice closing, Iris, and thank you very much for the interview, Iris and Sven!

The interview was conducted by Karin Bönig, PR-Editor at digitalHUB Aachen

The Business Development Agency of the City of Aachen and Innoloft launch digital innovation platform for EUREGIO Meuse-Rhine

Banking & Finance, Energy & Environment, Health & FoodTech, IT & ICT, Mobility

Digital platform supports Aachen’s companies and startups

With its digital innovation platform (DIP), the Business Development Agency of the City of Aachen supports companies and start-ups: The platform offers the possibility to get new business partners (for example B2B customers). In addition, the innovation platform presents innovative technologies and solutions from the region and thus supports companies in innovation scouting.

Platform solution for business activities

The DIP is available free of charge to all companies in the Aachen region. Thus, numerous features of the platform enable the initiation of business relations between companies and the direct exchange among each other. For this purpose, companies, research institutions and start-ups can register on the platform and enter their own profile. This profile can then be used to post products, services and technologies to communicate them in Aachen and beyond. To enable solution providers and solution seekers to find each other directly on the platform, it is possible to publish customer and cooperation requests in the form of “Requests” on the platform. A matchmaking algorithm helps to find suitable partners and customers automatically.

Contact initiation and networking by digital means

Users have the possibility to get in contact with each other via the built-in chat functions. This facilitates the exchange in times of home office without the opportunity for personal meetings. “The DIP platform can thus take on a sub-task of trade fairs, events and conferences, namely getting to know, networking and initiating business and innovative projects,” says Dieter Begass, Head of Economic Development Aachen. It allows us to overcome spatial distances, because it enables us to exchange with business partners independent of time and location. After Corona, the DIP will continue to be operated for registered users and can provide valuable support to companies, research institutes and start-ups in initiating cooperation and finding innovative solutions.

It is precisely with this in mind that the HYPEREGIO DIP was initiated by the Department of Economics, Science and Europe of the City of Aachen and other players such as AGIT within the framework of the Interregio programme “Hyperegio EarlyTech” and implemented together with Innoloft GmbH. The official launch of the platform will take place on September 7. Interested parties are asked to register for the digital launch event at https://kurzelinks.de/diplaunch. From September 7th, a free registration will be available under the link https://hyperegio-dip.eu.


About the DIP Platform

The objective of the “Early Tech Program” is to network innovations from companies and research institutes in the Euregio. Economic added value can be generated by creating synergies and accelerating the market launch of technologies. A large part of the activities for networking and creating transparency in the area of innovation will be bundled digitally. The digital innovation platform (DIP) serves this purpose. It is docked to the constantly growing digital innovation network of Innoloft GmbH and to the Hyperegio platform as user interface. With their presentation on the platform, startups, research institutions and companies can draw attention to projects and their own products, network with each other and enter into new collaborations. In the search for competencies and innovative customer solutions, DIP helps with innovation scouting.

About Innoloft GmbH

The Innoloft network promotes innovation by connecting the most innovative players from all technology sectors. The network is designed to break down barriers between companies, investors and start-ups worldwide and open up economic opportunities for them. To this end, specific digital formats are used to identify development partners, new technologies, investment cases or customers and to bring together corresponding players on the B2B platform. Users are thus supported in partner acquisition, innovation scouting and lead generation.

dena and SET launch the SET Network with Innoloft: Innovations, networks and partnerships for energy system transition

Energy & Environment, Energy Efficiency and Environment, Energy Market & Trading, Energy Supply

The topic of energy system transformation is more urgent than ever. Due to our digitized way of life, we now consume about ten times as much electricity as our fellow human beings did about fifty years ago. Time is pressing. But how can we succeed in generating and using energy exclusively clean, affordable and safe?

In Germany, about one third of the electricity comes from renewable energies, i.e. wind power, solar energy or biomass. Emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases are being successively reduced and the last three nuclear power plants in Germany are to be shut down by 2022. This is a correct approach, but no panacea.

Innovative energy industry: Start-ups bring new dynamism to the energy transition

To support political approaches and decisions, the energy industry needs a fresh spirit, spontaneity and flexibility. All the better that there are more and more young founders who come up with innovative ideas and solutions. But it is precisely these young founders who need support from investors and experienced companies in order to develop and establish their innovations. Often, this is exactly the point where they fail and good and innovative ideas cannot be pursued further because money and expertise are lacking.

Start Up Energy Transition launches SET Network – with support from Innoloft

This is the focus of the German Energy Agency (dena) and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi): The Start Up Energy Transition (SET) Global Innovation Platform is intended to offer energy transition start-ups various forms of support, i.e. through the annual SET Award and SET Tech Festival.

Similarly, the Start Up Transition (SET) is established with an international focus as a global forum and with the conviction that a sustainable future is directly linked to innovative business models and political will. The operating organisation here is dena as well – in cooperation with the World Energy Council.

In order not only to continue this promising approach but also to deepen it, on July 1st, the SET Network with an international approach was launched together with Innoloft. This is a network that is aimed equally at start-ups, established companies and interested investors. Start-ups can network with interested companies, investors can compare attractive investment opportunities and established corporates can promote cooperations with young start-ups. In the end, joint innovative product ideas can be developed and brought to market.

Numerous features offer quick and uncomplicated ways to accelerate the networking of the individual players and thus drive forward innovations for the energy transition: With the help of applications, startups can, for example, communicate directly which resources they need for product development or whether investors are being sought. Meanwhile, companies and corporates use the search for startups in the energy sector to pursue their own use cases, and investors are offered an overview of the latest innovations to find promising projects.

Click here for free registration and further information about the SET Network.