Das ETH-Spin-off greenTEG entwickelt die nächste Generation thermoelektrischer Generatoren (TEGs). TEGs wandeln Wärme in sauberen Strom. Im vergangenen Jahr knüpfte CEO Wulf Glatz im Rahmen des «venture leaders China»-Programms Kontakte in Asien. Im Interview erzählt er von seinen Erfahrungen und Erfolgsgeschichten in China.

Dass sich ein Trip nach China lohnen kann, zeigt der aktuelle Erfolg von greenTEG. Das Unternehmen teilte vergangene Woche mit, dass sie einen Vertriebspartner in China gefunden haben. Wer einen ähnlichen Coup landen möchte, sollte sich bei der von venturelab und swissnex China organisiertem Businessreise nach China bewerben.

Wulf, tell us what your startup, greenTEG, does…
greenTEG develops and markets thermal precision sensors. They are used to measure & control the power of industrial & medical Laser or to determine the heat losses in buildings.

Why did you apply to the venture leaders China program one year ago?
China has become a very big and important market for the photonics industry and for sensors in general. Furthermore, the market is growing fast and is highly dynamic. Development cycles of OEMs are shorter which in turn can mean faster revenues for a start-up doing B2B.

What happened since you came back from Shanghai and Beijing?
We went to exhibit at a Laser trade show in Shanghai in March. We extended our stay for a week and met several customers & distributors.
Our distributors are very active and we have received several orders through them and from our direct leads already.

So the trip held its promise…
Absolutely! For me the main goal was to understand how business is done in China and the potential on our markets in this country. Furthermore, I wanted to get an idea about the ideal time and best strategy to enter the Chinese market.
I believe I got a fairly good understanding on all my questions and it confirmed us in our plans to take the next step. The trip was a good preparation and I could benefit from the contacts I made during the venture leaders China trip when preparing for the next visit.

What’s next for greenTEG?
greenTEG has successfully entered the market with its gRAY® Laser detector portfolio and with the gSKIN® heat flux sensors. We are now preparing a financing round to maintain our fast growth in those markets and prepare for entering the high volume business. There are several potential high volume applications which we currently evaluate with our partners in industry and academia. One of those applications is in the field of batteries.

Would you recommend the program to other Swiss startups? Why?
I can definitely recommend the program to all start-ups which plan or consider to enter the Asian / Chinese market within the next 12 months.
This course will prepare you on what to expect when making business in China. It gives you a sense on the size (unimaginable) and dynamics (very fast) of the Chinese market.
The program is very well organized and coached. I also very much appreciated the exchange within the group of Swiss entrepreneurs. It was a very good team atmosphere. Go for it!