Presentations #Bosch Group

What grows needs space: a new home for Bosch start-ups

Christiane Wild-Raidt

Christiane Wild-Raidt >


Dr. Volkmar Denner,
chairman of the board of management of the Bosch Group,
at the inauguration of the Bosch Start-up Platform’s new office and workshop building,
March 19, 2018

Check against delivery.

Dear Mr. Spec, dear ladies and gentlemen,

It was an honor to accept today’s invitation to inaugurate the Bosch Start-up Platform's new office and workshop building. When we opened the predecessor building back in September 2014, we hoped to see a genuine success story unfold. And now the time has come when we need to expand from 900 square meters and 50 jobs to 5,000 square meters and 200 jobs. That is a testament to the very successful work being performed here.

The business mandate was, and remains, to generate sustainable and profitable business through fast, explorative cultivation of new markets within the Bosch target fields. Seven start-ups have been supported so far. In the field of robotics, we have already seen a successful internal transfer to Bosch Rexroth (Deepfield Robotics and Intralogistics Robotics). Another start-up – Urbanmates – has been marketed externally, which is in itself yet another manifestation of the new culture at Bosch.
We are currently supporting another five fledgling companies: CERIX, Deepfield Connect, myScotty, Mayfield Robotics, and Zenoway.
But more than that, the Bosch Start-up Platform is also home to the initiatives of various Bosch divisions. The innovation teams located here benefit from the co-working environment as well as the platform's services and infrastructure. A total of nine innovation teams from Bosch divisions encompassing more than 150 associates will work creatively in this exciting environment in future.

In addition, the “Moving beyond horizon” teams will reside in Ludwigsburg for three months again this year. These interdisciplinary and diverse teams work on disruptive solutions to complex engineering and societal challenges. I myself will serve as mentor to the team that will tackle the topic of “Clean Air in Cities”. Another important effect, aside from the work produced by the teams, is that the individual team members will serve as multipliers and take with them to their Bosch divisions what they learned here – from user experience methods to agile work methods – and thus drive forward our company’s transformation.

The opening of the new building also coincides with another change. In future, the Bosch Start-up Platform will operate under the name “Grow Platform GmbH” – or “grow” for short. This change is motivated by a drive to consolidate the various terms used in the past and to express the concept of growth within the platform’s name. However, the actual strategy remains unchanged.

In the past, we, at Bosch, have always proven successful in developing and growing start-ups. Take for instance our eBike activities, which I helped initiate some years ago in the Automotive Electronics division. As chief technology officer at Bosch, I am convinced that we can draw on our innovation power to make an essential contribution to shaping the future and driving forward our company. I would therefore like to conclude with a personal message to all the start-ups here today and throughout our company: GROW!

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 401,300 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2021). According to preliminary figures, the company generated sales of 78.8 billion euros in 2021. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. With its more than 400 locations worldwide, the Bosch Group has been carbon neutral since the first quarter of 2020. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 128 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 76,300 associates in research and development, of which more than 38,000 are software engineers.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861–1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-four percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The remaining shares are held by Robert Bosch GmbH and by a corporation owned by the Bosch family. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust.

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