Formnext – Hub for Additive Manufacturing

Even when Formnext isn’t on in Frankfurt, we’re the partner you can always rely on for information and services relating to AM 365 days a year. Now, you can also explore the AM hub on our new website.


Start-up Challenge – recognition for sustainable business concepts

Recognizing new, creative, viable, and above all, sustainable business ideas from the world of Additive Manufacturing: once again Formnext Start-up Challenge invited 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 Formnext 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 Atlant 3D NanosystemsKumovisMolyworks and Spectroplast 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

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."

These are the winners 2023

Start-up Challenge

For the ninth time, the international Formnext Start-up Challenge honored young companies from the world of Additive Manufacturing for their innovative business ideas and technical developments. The award-winning innovations showcase the wide range of possible applications of AM and range from medical applications to the material recycling of titanium, an analysis software and new 3D printing technologies that are aimed at the automotive, electronics, dental and mechanical engineering industries, among others. The winners, who also were present at Formnext 2023, are Endless Industries (Germany), Helio Additive (USA), Odapt (Spain), Progresja New Materials (Poland) and Vitro3D (USA).

The topic of sustainability plays a particularly important role for Progresja New Materials. They want to recycle titanium and use it to produce powder for AM. Therefore the Polish start-up won the AM Ventures Impact Award as well, which is awarded as part of the Formnext Start-up Challenge.

The startups consistently demonstrate very advanced technological solutions and impress with the breadth of their technologies and potential applications. At the same time, the winners from three continents also reflect the high international relevance of the Formnext Start-up Challenge.

Congratulations to the winners!

All about the winners & their concepts

Winner AM Ventures Impact Award

Jury Start-up Challenge

Kristian Arntz

Prof. Dr.- Ing. Kristian Arntz, Professor for Manufacturing Technologies and Machine Tools an der FH Aachen University of Applied Science and Chief Executive Officer of Fraunhofer 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

Stefanie Brickwede, Head of Additive Manufacturing@Deutsche Bahn and Managing Director of "Mobility goes Additive"

Initiator of a start-up safari for DB – Head of Additive Manufacturing@DB – 3D Printing network "Mobility goes Additive"
Arno Held

Arno Held, Managing Partner, AM Ventures

15 years AM experience - 1,600 AM-Startups scouted - 24 funding rounds in AM-Startups
Prof. Dr. Peter Mayr

Prof. Dr. Peter Mayr, Head of the Chair 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

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

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

Partners and sponsors

Media sponsors

There is still space on the sponsor wall

Do you want to pave the way for young innovative ideas in the AM world and establish early contacts to promising AM developments and their creators? Then become a sponsor of the Start-up Challenge 2024!

Wir haben noch Platz auf unserer Sponsorenwand

Your contribution

Your €5,000 becomes part of the prize money, supporting the winning companies and furthering the development of the AM industry.

Our services

  • Your logo will be prominently displayed on the sponsor wall during the Pitchnext event and on the Start-up Challenge website.
  • You will be mentioned as a supporter in all communication about the Start-up Challenge, e.g. in press releases, mailings, etc.
  • Be the first to take a look at our participants' ideas and meet tomorrow's movers and makers in person at the Pitchnext event and award ceremony during Formnext.

For details on sponsorship, please contact Caroline Muders.

Contact Start-up Challenge

Do you have questions about participating in or sponsoring the Start-up Challenge? Caroline Muders is your contact!

Caroline Muders

Exhibition Manager

Caroline Muders