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Four associates of the Bosch Start-up GmbH brainstorming in their office in Ludwigsburg, Germany
Startups

Plenty of room for creativity

The Bosch start-up platform supports new initiatives in very different areas

Clock 10 minutes

A former factory in Ludwigsburg, north of Stuttgart, is the heart of Robert Bosch Start-up GmbH. The location, known as urbanharbor, is home to three of the current total of seven Bosch start-ups.

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Two associates of Robert Bosch Start-up GmbH in Ludwigsburg talking while sitting on futuristic furniture
The furniture also encourages communication between associates of Robert Bosch Start-up GmbH

It’s a location that offers plenty of room for creativity – and for people. To take advantage of this, in late summer Robert Bosch Start-up GmbH will move into an even bigger space on the urbanharbor premises, which will then offer enough room for 250 associates. Where they formerly had 800 square meters of space, the start-ups will then have 5,000 square meters at their disposal, together with a testing area and a workshop. “We want to reach out to start-ups of all kinds – that's why we need all this space,” says Birte Moyé, who is responsible for communication and marketing. Over the past three years, the Bosch start-up platform has invested some 45 million euros in internal and external start-ups.

The Bosch start-up platform: the idea behind “Grow”

Birte Moyé, responsible for communication and marketing at Robert Bosch Start-up GmbH
Birte Moyé, responsible for communication and marketing at Robert Bosch Start-up GmbH

But it’s not only start-ups that benefit from the Bosch start-up platform. Five teams that are not technically part of Bosch’s start-up company in Ludwigsburg are also based there. “In addition to our incubator function, we also offer what is known as co-working. So if Bosch teams are engaged in, say, business development. we can offer them a home in our start-up environment,” Moyé says. All the teams can take advantage of what the platform has to offer – from its lean processes to the infrastructure and the opportunity for networking.

In addition, it is hoped that Bosch will benefit from the experience of the start-ups and the platform. On the subject of “experience”: in various modules, associates have a chance to experience everyday life in a start-up for themselves. “We have developed what we call ‘grow modules.’ They range from a half-day ‘grow workshop,’ to our two-and-a-half-day ‘grow newbiz days,’ which are comparable with a start-up weekend, to our eight-week ‘grow program,’ or what we call our ‘accelerator,’” Birte Moyé says.

Creativity meets conceptual art

The future office of the Bosch start-up GmbH also integrate innovative art in the space.

An empty production hall, in which offices are currently being created
In this still empty space a creative work environment arises.
A work of art consisting of an old Bosch transformer and a golden egg.
Bosch products become the source of artistic objects.
An antique candy machine sticked with a “grow" button and filled with acorns.
Acorn machine: growth is always interpreted creatively.
A chair, a stool and an armchair, all three covered with artificial grass.
Grass Chairs: creativity and functionality need not be a contradiction.
A historic spoked wheel, transformed as a work of art.
Reinvent the wheel: technology history is functionally set in scene.
An office hall, on which concrete walls three "grow” logos are printed with the words “think”, “Invent˜ and “create”.
Wall Logos: Inspiration is motivation for entrepreneurs.

Summary

Based in Ludwigsburg, Germany, the Bosch start-up platform supports a diverse range of new initiatives, and provides a home for teams from various Bosch divisions. The idea is that everyone should benefit from its lean processes, infrastructure, and close-knit networks.

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