Investing in STA start-ups
Learn about the opportunity to co-invest in STA Start-ups
Start-ups deal: Pyreos
Learn how STA successfully commercialized infrared sensor technology via Start-ups Pyreos
Read what our co-investors, start-up customers
and licensing partners say about STA.
Investing in STA start-ups
Adding genuine value for venture capital funds and institutional and private investors
Siemens Technology Accelerator (STA) offers attractive investment opportunities in the start-up companies we found for venture capital funds and institutional and private investors, adding value through our industry and technology expertise and access to Siemens’ global resources.
Access to high-value technologies
STA commercializes innovative Siemens technologies that have been developed by the company’s global research and development network. Investors in these technologies gain access to market opportunities outside of Siemens core business that STA has evaluated to ensure they hold the potential for high business value, while thoroughly analyzing both technology and market risks. And every STA technology is well protected by patents.
Single point of contact
STA simplifies the commercialization process as much as possible for investors by serving as their single point of contact within Siemens. STA addresses all technological, legal and financial areas of the start-ups formation process, reducing the complexities that come with working with a large, multinational company. STA also ensures the smooth transfer of the technology and operational expertise to the start-up.
Co-investing with STA
STA provides the start-up companies it founds with both expertise and early stage financing to help accelerate its initial development. STA continues to drive both the value and viability of the start-ups by becoming a shareholder, and continuing to co-invest in future fundraising rounds. Since the newly created businesses are outside of Siemens core business, STA looks to co-finance its start-ups with external funding sources, including venture capital funds, private investors and corporate and strategic investors.
STA’s track record of success in founding venture capital financed start-ups ensures that these investments are in companies that have been established on a sound foundation and are ready for investment. STA has extensive experience recruiting complete, expert management teams with entrepreneurial experience for start-ups. In some cases, experienced Siemens staff members that have been involved in the development of the technology at Siemens leave the company and join the start-up.
Access to Siemens’ Network
Most start-ups face a significant challenge in finding and acquiring new customers. STA-founded start-ups have access to the Siemens’ global network, and its large existing customer base. STA identifies potential lead customers, and works closely with them throughout the commercialization process. Often, STA start-ups land development or manufacturing partnerships with Siemens, further increasing their investment value.
The commercialization process
Technology: Infrared Sensors
Siemens Corporate Technology developed patented pyroelectric infrared sensors based on a unique sputtered ceramic thin film technology. Sensors are an order of magnitude lower in cost and size than existing offerings, and are significantly more resilient to harsh environments. They can also be manufactured using standard silicon substrates that are widely available in MEMS wafer foundries.
External commercialization drivers: Why external?
Siemens AG had previously spun off its component businesses, divesting its semiconductor business to Infineon and its passive electrical components businesses to EPCOS, among others. As a result, there wasn’t a strategic fit for the technology within Siemens businesses.
External commercialization strategy: Why start-ups vs. sale?
While the core technology was very exciting, significant investments were required to productize it. An analysis of potential buyers and estimated revenue potential based on the technology’s early status indicated an unattractive return for Siemens. The analysis also illustrated that a start-ups company could realize the full potential value of the technology.
Start-ups founding and financing with venture capital:
Pyreos was incorporated in July 2007 in Edinburgh, UK. STA evaluated a number of locations in Europe before selecting Scotland based on criteria that included a requirement for access to specific clean-room and MEMS facilities. An experienced management team was also quickly recruited. Excellent support from Scottish Government Agencies in the form of introductions to the local investor and supplier community proved to be exceptionally helpful. Just five months later £2.0 million Series A funding from lead investor Braveheart Investment Group, Ventures and the Scottish Venture Fund was in place.
Current business status:
By 2013 Pyreos had 30 employees, focusing its business on spectroscopy, movement sensing and gas detection. Primary applications are the analysis and detection of oil degradation, low power gesture sensing for mobiles and consumer electronics and gas flame sensors. Pyreos attracted significant follow-on investments from Seraphim Capital, Mitsubishi UFJ and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.
Read what our
co-investors, start-up customers
and licensing partners say about their experiences working with STA.