Ronald Claus von Nordheim (Co-Founder, Head of Production -CPO), Michaela Wachtel (Co-Founder, Head of Operations and Marketing – COO), Marcus Stein (Co-Founder, CEO) and Sascha Bach (Co-Founder, CTO) Valeska Hoischen


The Benchmark of Efficiency

Industrial technology
Founded in 2016
19 employees
Funding: Undisclosed
Stage: Bootstrapping

watttron has developed an innovative heating technology (cera2heat®) for industrial processes. Depending on the application, the heating technology can improve the flexibility and control of the process, while increasing the efficiency and improving the product’s quality. cera2heat® will initially be used in thermoforming processes, where it can save up to 30% in material and energy. Website
Highlight of the year: Winning several awards for their innovative heating system.

Interview with watttron

What inspired you to found your startup?

The initial idea came from one of our founders, Dr. Sascha Bach. At his job at the Fraunhofer Institute, he was confronted with the technological limits of packaging processes. Learning about the hybrid thick-film technology, he thought that this could solve some major issues in packaging.

How are you different? What is your unique value proposition?

“Normal” heating systems usually heat homogeneously and without precision, while cera2heat can heat heterogenously and very precisely. Just as with a TFT-display, cera2heat has many pixels. Each of these pixels can change their temperature within seconds.

How do you define success for yourself and your company?

Success is when we’ve built a heating system for our customers, installed it in their machines, run the machines, and seen that the result is just what we expected: better, more efficient, and more precise than with normal heating systems.

What do you want to achieve next year?

We want to increase our manufacturing space, hire more staff, and expand our business to US customers.

Why do people want to work at your company?

We have a very family-friendly work style with rather flexible working hours and the ability to shorten working hours – both for women and men. In addition, we do fun acitivites from time to time, and also like cooking together – like noodles for supper!

What has been the most important milestone so far?

That was probably when we enlarged our working space – because it made our startup look like a real company, instead of like a small workshop. This is very important for the external image we present to customers.

Looking back at your whole development story — what makes you most proud?

We are very proud that we have not need any large investments so far, and that we are revenue-driven. We want to stay “bootstrapped” as long as we can.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

We will most likely have grown to a company of around 50 people, will be working on plans to build our own company building, and will have at least one branch office – probably in the USA.

What is your impression of launching a startup from your based city?

We get great support from the startup Networks in Dresden. Although the startup scene in Dresden is quite small, there are advantages to it.

What is your impression of the german startup scene? Would you change anything?

Compared to the US, there is still some “positive thinking” lacking about when start-ups fail. A better “culture of mistakes” would probably lead to more people trying to build up a start-ups in Germany.

watttron was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Germany“, November 2018.

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