Call for Speakers (deadline 30 June)

Become part of Formnext and our new multi-stage concept! We invite you as industry experts, AM users and technology providers to contribute your know-how and share it with the Formnext fAMily.

We are looking forward to your ideas!


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 invites submissions from innovative young companies.

Start-up Challenge

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 Kumovis, Molyworks 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

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 is 14 July 2023. 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 2023
  • Integration of your start-up in all relevant marketing and communication activities of Formnext
  • Possibility to pitch your product at Formnext 2023
  • 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 2023

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 industrial 3D Printing. 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 at the Formnext Pitchnext event.

To be considered for the award, we invite you to answer the following question in your video submission: "What is your company's contribution to addressing the world's biggest sustainability challenges?

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 2018)
  • Max. € 10 million annual revenue
  • No majority holding of a company that exceeds € 10 million annual revenue
  • Fill in the online application form.
  • Upload your pitch video (Please tell us what defines your company and makes your product different from others. Also remember to include the question for the AM Ventures Impact Award.)
  • Answer your company details and questions in the application form and submit it.
  • Receive a confirmation of receipt.

Deadline: 14 July 2023

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

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

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 2023!

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

Junior Exhibition Manager

Caroline Muders

Recap Start-up Challenge 2022

Every year, the start-ups in the AM industry take technology and application innovations to the next level and continue to impress with the rising quality of their developments and business planning. Once again, these companies have showcased the great potential of this industry, highlighting the fact that the sector produces significant developments that, in the future, will influence our industry, medicine, and other areas of life. From the on-demand production of AM powders through degradable implants and efficient robotic post-processing: The award-winning innovations are shining examples of the high innovative power of 3D printing and the AM market.

These concepts won the Start-up Challenge 2022: international winners, who will all present themselves to the AM world at Formnext 2022, are Photosynthetic (Netherlands), Lattice Medical (France), Rivelin Robotics (UK), SphereCube (Italy) and Alpha Powders (Poland). The AM Ventures Impact Award also went to Lattice Medical.

All about the winners & their concepts

Winner AM Ventures Impact Award