The journey from BASF-employee to a founder

BASF startup incubator celebrates first anniversary

14-May-2019 - Germany

What do modular construction, coworking and polymeres have in common? They are all part of BASF! To be precise, part of Chemovator GmbH. Chemowhat? The internal incubator of BASF turns unconventional ideas which  carry usually high risks and lie outside the core business of BASF  into investable business models. Why? The successful development of unconventional ideas requires atypical approaches that are difficult to implement in the classic corporate environment.


Chemovator – Mischa Feig pitches BOXLAB on the Chemovator birthday party on May 7, 2019

Chemovator celebrates first anniversary

The young company was founded in May 2018. “A lot has happened”, reveals Dr. Markus Bold, Head of Chemovator GmbH. Seven teams already moved into Chemovator. There is space for up to 12 teams in total. „In the last year, we saw more than 50 idea pitches from BASF-employees. I am thrilled about the variety of ideas and I have a lot of respect for each and every BASF-employee who takes the courage to present a business idea on our stage.” The success formular? Chemovator puts great emphasis on the external exchange of competencies and knowlegde with experience founders and business angels. In addition, the teams can focus 100% on their business idea. This enables Chemovator to combine the best of both worlds: corporates and startups.

First revenues in less than three months

One team from the agriculture division of BASF delivers a very impressive story: BOXLAB. The founder Mischa Feig and his team develop a “quick-and-smart solution” to replace labelled cartonages in highly regulared industries within 24 hours – usually this process takes longer than two weeks. After three months in Chemovator, the Venture Team already generates first revenues. “BASF cannot only save up to 50% of their costs in this particular area, we can also immensely reduce the disposal and time expenses“, according to Feig. The supply chain is thus made significantly more efficient and sustainable.

Big plans for the future

The next step is clearly to bring the first wave of portfolio ventures to fruition. Furthermore, Chemovator will contribute to turn the Rhine-Neckar region to the preferred hub for startups around chemistry. “Our goal is to become the go-to-place for incubating ideas for the chemical industry”, Bold states, “to do so, we want to strongly collaborate and foster an extensive exchange with local innovation hubs and cooperators.”

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This is what true pioneering spirit looks like: Plenty of innovative start-ups are bringing fresh ideas, lifeblood and entrepreneurial spirit to change tomorrow's world for the better. Immerse yourself in the world of these young companies and take the opportunity to get in touch with the founders.