European Hardware Accelerator Woos Chinese Investors

Back in summer 2013 shiny new European hardware accelerator, Startupbootcamp HighTechXL, began the search for its first cohort of startups. The Eindhoven, Netherlands-based program has now completed the second edition of its program — with applications open for its third intake.

The 11 teams in its second edition raised a total of $6.3 million on Demo Day and directly afterwards, with six of the teams finding investments of at least €450,000 ($507k), it said today.

While the bulk of the investment has come from European investors, two of the teams have attracted funding from China: namely connected car company ULU, which has raised €500,000 ($560k); and industrial drone company Avular which pulled in €450,000 — both from Chinese investment holding company Fang Group.

Guus Frericks, founder of HighTechXL said the program has focused on intensifying contacts with China, signing a co-operation deal with the China Technology Venture Association last year. Hardware startups especially tend to be pre-occupied with China, given their need to set up a supply chain — and the ready availability of factories and manufacturing expertise in the country. Hence the program forging closer links with the Far East. China is also, of course, a massive market in its own right.

“This alliance involves more than 500 incubators and accelerators, VC firms, enterprise consultancies, IP advisors and leading accounting firms. A delegation of Chinese investors visited Demo Day in February this year, resulting in these deals,” said Frericks in a statement.

“There may be more Chinese investments coming up, these two are final at this point,” added a HighTechXL spokesperson.