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Startup-Profile of the month November 2020:
Industry List GmbH

Basic overview

Name of your company: Industry List GmbH
Year of founding: 2019
Company headquarter: Im Neuenheimer Feld 582, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Current CEO: Patrick Biermann, Jonathan Meier, Maik Schwarz
Did you receive any funding yet? If yes, from whom? (e.g. Business-Angels, Federal Grant (EXIST-Gründerstipendium, EXIST-Forschungstransfer), Venture Capital, Family office, etc.) We received the EXIST Business Start-up Grant from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany (BMWi) through the Technical University Darmstadt in May of 2018 lasting until April of 2019. Shortly afterwards, we received our first financing round via the Start-up BW Pre-Seed financing program in October of 2019. A program initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing from the State of Baden Württemberg that demands a co-investor. In our case, the BITO Campus GmbH.
How big was the investment? not disclosed
How big is your team? How many employees are working in your company? The team consists of three founders.
Businessmodel (e.g. freemium, subscription, service-based, etc.) We are currently offering a freemium model with the option to upgrade to a premium subscription.

Lets go deeper

What are you doing?

Industry List is a web-based B2B – search-platform for product developers and enables a fast and efficient manufacturer search for customized components.

Why are you a science-tech Startup/Company? 

Patrick Biermann studied Applied Mechanics at the Technical University Darmstadt and Jonathan Meier studied Industrial Design at the University of Apllied Sciences in Darmstadt. The idea for Industry List was born out of the combination of these fields and the professional experiences gained as a project engineer and a product developer working at a luminaire company.

When Patrick and Jonathan realized, that the market was looking for a fast and effective solution to identify manufacturing companies, they contacted Maik Schwarz (business developer), to come on board, reconnected with their universities and together we applied for the EXIST Business Start-up Grant via the Technical University Darmstadt.

After receiving the grant, we spent 12 months working on the solution under the guiding supervision of the department of information systems of the business informatics faculty.

What problem have you identified with your research? 

A fast and efficient search for suitable manufacturers for customized components is very time consuming and creates high costs for product developing companies.

We have experienced the difficulty of finding manufacturers first hand. In Patricks and Jonathans previous job, 39% of the product development time for a luminaire series was spent on the search for and communication with manufacturers.

Existing solutions have clear deficiencies and impede a fast and efficient product development.

What solution do you offer?

Industry List offers a fast and efficient manufacturer search for customized components. It is achieved through extensive search filters and detailed manufacturer profiles. 

Behind the scenes, the manufacturer database is continuously growing via data collection and extension processes. Product development and procurement teams can collaboratively manage and check production capacities of suppliers by linking manufacturers to components. 

They can then securely share documents with manufacturers and order components. Instead of a six week search, users will be able to minimize the process to a five minute search. Imagine Industry List as a digital rolodex, accessible for the entire team.

If possible, please describe your technology you use to solve your specific problem!

Industry List actively uses data-collection, -tuning and -extension technology to create in-depth manufacturer profiles. Web-scraping algorithms collect high amounts of manufacturer information. 

Thereafter the data gets extended and qualified through the manufacturers, in a human-in-the-loop-process (HITL). An email questionnaire presents the collected data to them and enables the completion. The process finalizes with an upload to the Industry List web platform.

Why is your product better than that of the competition?

Industry List differentiates itself from existing competitors in two intertwined ways. Firstly, manufacturers do not have to pay for profiles or for publishing additional information.

Manufacturers are able to market all their services free of charge and they do not have to pay extra for a high ranking. This leads to detailed manufacturer profiles which enable extensive search filters and unerring search results. 

Product developers can use those extensive search filters to find the perfect manufacturer. The search results show the best matching manufacturers in order of best fit.

The ranking is user-oriented and undistorted, which leads to an efficient matching of customers and manufacturers. Competitors distinguish between paid and free manufacturer profiles and therefore present many incomplete profiles. 

Secondly, Industry List proactively collects data about manufacturers and simplifies their onboarding process. One of the main services Industry List offers their clients (besides the platform) is the master data refinement in which we check, update and extend the customers supplier master data. 

Industry List completes its service portfolio by offering preselection services by researching short and long lists of potential manufacturers. It enables customers to leave the search for suitable manufacturing companies to Industry List.

Which market do you want to address with your product and how many competitors do you have?

We have a two-sided business model and are targeting two groups of companies:

  1. Developers & buyers (customers of Industry List)
  2. Manufacturers for customized components (partners of Industry List)

Our target partners are companies from the manufacturing sector. Small and medium size manufacturers for customized components. At first we focus on manufacturers for metal, plastic and glass/ceramic components. Soon we will expand to include further materials.

We have identified two competitors in the German market. Both competitors don’t include extensive search filters. They do not offer sufficient information about manufacturers. And the search results don’t present fitting manufacturers due to a paid ranking. Manufacturers who pay the most are the first ones in the search result.

Industry List will be available as a freemium model. With increasing traffic, our revenue model will be build on SaaS subscriptions and services: product development companies can buy user-based subscriptions to our cloud-platform. Additionally, we offer supplier data refinement projects (latter are already being processed).

What are the next steps of your startup?

We are currently running the beta test of our software and actively work with companies through our services. After the evaluation of the feedback given by our pilot customers we will be focusing on constantly improving our platform and implementing new features in order to reach our growth milestones.

What do you and your startup need?

By the end of 2021, we will need a seed funding round to hire more employees and grow with the demand.