Formnext Start-up Challenge

The tension rises…

Until 8 July 2022 (deadline has been extended), young companies have the opportunity to take off with their new AM idea. How?

Submit your pitch video, win, become part of Formnext! We support you with a free booth at the start-up area, participation at the Pitchnext event and the chance to meet lots of potential customers, investors and AM experts from all over the world.

15 - 18 November 2022 Frankfurt am Main Become an exhibitor

Events and challenges

Additive Manufacturing is constantly changing and reinventing itself. Through our Events & Challenges we match you with new companies, show you new products and support you in your professional entry into this fascinating industry.

Start-up Challenge – recognition to sustainable business concepts

Start-up Challenge

Recognizing new, creative, viable, and above all, sustainable business ideas from the world of Additive Manufacturing: once again Formnext Start-up Challenge invites submissions from innovative young companies

The Start-up Challenge is an integral part of Formnext and has been supporting start-ups by providing free participation in the trade show and a comprehensive marketing package. In addition, the winners can present themselves to the trade fair participants as part of a pitch event. In recent years, a wide range of start-ups have taken advantage of this unique platform  and made important contacts to investors, established companies, the press and other stakeholders. The success stories of former winners Spectroplast and Kumovis tell you how the Start-up Challenge can set the course.

Any up-and-coming company with a product or service that offers an exceptional development for the additive manufacturing process chain, is market-ready in terms of customers, product status, and revenue can take part in the Formnext Start-up Challenge.

AM Ventures Impact Award – special attention is paid to sustainable management

Start-up Challenge

One young company will also be selected from the applicants to receive the AM Ventures Impact Award in recognition of approaches to sustainability. Environmental considerations (such as green energy and resource conservation) and social aspects (for example, education and equality) play an important role in this. “The potential offered by additive manufacturing for addressing the major global sustainability challenges is significant. The technology can be used to make drives more efficient, minimize material consumption, accelerate repairing cycles, and extend battery ranges," says Arno Held, Managing Partner AM Ventures. “In all areas, AM can improve the world if we use the technology correctly”. The Impact Award was launched by Formnext together with AM Ventures Management GmbH to help raise this awareness."

The call for entries for the Start-up Challenge and the AM Ventures Impact Award has started. Deadline for your pitch desk is 8 July 2022 (deadline has been extended). For any questions, please get in touch with Caroline Muders.

The Formnext Start-up Challenge has helped numerous young companies to accelerate their corporate development and successfully set the course for the future. At Formnext, the leading international trade fair for additive manufacturing, you will meet potential customers, investors and experts from all over the world. By participating in the challenge, you will also receive valuable feedback on your business model from our jury, which is formed by industry experts.

Two former start-up winners who have already experienced it report on their experiences in Formnext Magazine. Read the success stories of Kumovis and Spectroplast here.

  • A free participation at the Start-up Area of Formnext 2022
  • Integration of your start-up in all relevant marketing and communication activities of Formnext
  • Possibility to pitch your product at Formnext 2022
  • Company coaching by one of our jury members
  • Your individual company profile article on
  • A 3D printed award sponsored by voxeljet
AM Ventures Impact Award

Sustainability has become the most important issue in today’s world. Every individual and every company must act in order to solve the challenges that face our planet and the human population.

AM Ventures, as the leading venture capital firm in Additive Manufacturing, wants to raise awareness about sustainability in the industrial 3D printing industry. The goal of the award is to honor one company among the Start-up Challenge applicants that is making a substantial positive impact on different facets of sustainability.

AM Ventures will choose the company with the greatest positive impact on sustainability to win the AM Ventures Impact Award. The winner will receive prize money of 5,000 euro and an introduction to the AM Ventures network. Formnext will include the winner in all relevant marketing and communication activities. In addition, the winner will have the opportunity to present their sustainable approach Formnext Pitchnext event.

Any feedback or questions? Do not hesitate to contact AM Ventures by email or website.

Start-ups that fulfill the following requirements:

  • Formation of your company is no longer than 5 years (max. 1 January 2017)
  • Max. € 10 million annual revenue
  • No majority holding of a company that exceeds € 10 million annual revenue

Fill in the online application form and send it to us. Receive a confirmation of receipt.

Deadline: 8 July 2022 (deadline has been extended)

The five winners will be selected by a highly qualified panel of well-known representatives from the manufacturing industry, research, the investment sector and the industry’s media. The winner of the AM Ventures Impact Award will be chosen by AM Ventures and announced together with the winners of the Start-up Challenge in autumn.

Jury Start-up Challenge

Kristian Arntz, Kristian Arntz, CEO, Fraunhofer Center for Networked Adaptive Production ICNAP

Kristian Arntz, Kristian Arntz, CEO, Fraunhofer Center for Networked Adaptive Production ICNAP

Entry into additive manufacturing as production engineer– Establishment of a department at Fraunhofer with focus on AM in production – Management of ACAM, which provides the manufacturing industry with simplified access to AM - Management of ICNAP to enable digital production.

Stefanie Brickwede, Head of 3d printing@DB and Managing Director of "Mobility goes Additive"

Stefanie Brickwede, Head of 3d printing@DB and Managing Director of "Mobility goes Additive"

Initiator of a start-up safari for DB – Head of 3d printing@DB – 3D printing network "Mobility goes Additive"

Arno Held, Chief, Managing Partner, AM Ventures

Arno Held, Managing Partner, AM Ventures

14 years AM experience - 1,600 AM-Startups scouted - 24 funding rounds in AM-Startups

Peter Mayr, Professor of Materials Engineering of Additive Manufacturing, Technical University of Munich - TUM

Peter Mayr, Professor of Materials Engineering of Additive Manufacturing, Technical University of Munich - TUM

Passionate researcher and educator in the fields of materials, advanced manufacturing, characterisation and testing. Promoter of TUM.Additive, the collective activities in Additive Manufacturing at TUM.

Alexander Oster, Director Additive Manufacturing, Autodesk

Alexander Oster, Director Additive Manufacturing, Autodesk

20 years of experience in Additive Manufacturing – former CTO of FIT AG, one of the largest industrial service providers in Germany – Co-founder and CEO of Netfabb GmbH, now part of Autodesk Inc.

Michael Petch, Editor-in-chief, 3D Printing Industry

Michael Petch, Editor-in-chief, 3D Printing Industry

Editor-in-chief of the leading source of news for the additive manufacturing industry – Frequent speaker at industry events

Last year's winners

In 2021, the quality of the start-ups and their innovations developed a step further. They boast numerous patents – some already awarded and some still pending – and promising applications. In some cases, over 50 million euros have already been poured into the young enterprises' developments, and so it is no surprise how market-ready and promising their innovations were. They promise greater precision for 3D Printing, considerably faster production or new applications, for example in medicine and aerospace.

The winning innovations range from nano and glass 3D Printing through to new medical solutions for spine patients. In 2021 the AM Ventures Impact Award presented at the same ceremony went to Vispala Technologies (India).

Winners Start-Up Challenge

Winner AM Ventures Impact Award

Partners and sponsors

The purmundus challenge – International competition of design ideas for 3D and 4D printing

The purmundus challenge

Receiving an award as part of the purmundus challenge is seen as one of the most important design-related distinctions in the field of 3D and 4D printing. Themed "Innovation in progress", 2021 sought innovative solutions for the beneficial use of 3D and 4D printing in product design and manufacturing.

As part of the competition, the participants tackled the challenge of identifying useful applications for 3D and 4D printing. The panel was judging the benefits in terms of use, economy and aesthetics as well as the design itself and the innovation.

The winners 2021

The 2021 purmundus challenge presented forward-looking product ideas from 12 countries on 5 continents under the motto “Innovation in progress”.

A total of 35 finalists had the chance of winning the prestigious purmundus challenge trophy. As part of the Formnext, the showcased a unique range of innovative future concepts in the fields of medicine, biotechnology, 4D printing, VR, robotics, e-mobility, powertrain technology, mechanical and plant engineering.


In a festive award ceremony on Thursday in the week of the Formnext trade fair, the winners received the purmundus challenge trophy as well as prizes with a total value of 30,000 Euros.

1st prize: new pointe shoe sole
act'ble GmbH I Sophia Lindner

2nd prize: Travel Sax
Odisei Music SL I Ramon Mañas

3rd prize: HEXR, the world's first custom fit cycle helmet
HEXR I Jamie Cook I Henry Neilson I Theo Clarkes I Mark Brown I Jess Lewis I George Jary

Special mention: macu4 forearm prosthetics
macu4 AG I Dr. Myriam Lingg I Lukas Schiller I Alec Chevrot

Simulation driven design: Toucan Beak
Aidro - Desktop Metal Company I Tommaso Tirelli

Innovation prize: bespoke 3D printed soft robots
Bio-inspired Robotics and Design Laboratory - Singapore University of Technology and Design I Washington State University I University of Colorado Denver I Pablo Valdivia y Alvarado I Narasimha Boddeti I Tien Van Truong I Vincent S. Joseph I Thileepan Stalin I Theo Calais I Shien Yang Lee I Martin L. Dunn

Newcomer prize: highly functional integrated 3D printed brake caliper
ETH Zürich - Product Development Group Zurich I Aschraf Danun I Michael Wehrli I Remo Elmiger I Ole Müller I Tiago Ogris I Tom Felder I Prof. Mirko Meboldt

Public choice award: Delijuice
Roberto Trunfio

Detailed descriptions and photos of the winning concepts as well as all finalists can be found on the purmundus challenge webpage.


purmundus challenge
Römerstraße 8
71296 Heimsheim

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