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Who is Holcim?

Headquartered in Switzerland, Holcim is the leading global building materials and solutions company serving masons, builders, architects and engineers all over the world.

Holcim operates four businesses segments: Cement, Aggregates, Ready-Mix Concrete and Solutions & Products, which includes precast concrete, asphalt, mortar, and building solutions. Holcim’s broad portfolio is focused on solving the toughest challenges that masons, builders, architects, and engineers face, from urbanization to population growth and the demand for affordable housing. Headquartered in Switzerland, Holcim holds leading positions in all regions across the globe. It employs approximately 80,000 employees in around 80 countries and has a portfolio that is equally balanced between developing and mature markets.

What is the the Holcim Startup MAQER?

The Holcim Startup MAQER is the Venture Client unit of Holcim.

The Holcim Startup MAQER is a unit within Holcim that supports Holcim business and functional divisions to find, purchase and adopt solutions from startups. This means that Holcim becomes a venture client of your startup as your solution and company are not as mature and stable as incumbents. However, your solution is unique and relevant, and we want to apply it fast.

As soon as your venture client in Holcim -e.g. a department or division- decides that your solution (a product, service, or technology) is relevant and unique, the Holcim Startup MAQER team invites you to its program. The main module consists of applying your solution in a real operational setting by your venture client at Holcim. For this you get a supplier number and purchase order, and Holcim buys few units or liceneses of your solution. Further modules of the program include to learn about and network within Holcim. This is the fastest and most effective way for you and us to learn if there is a fit and how to roll-out your solution globally.

Working with Holcim Startup MAQER is a great opportunity for your startup to enter or expand your business in the global, billion-dollar construction industry.

Holcim partners with startups that help the organization to solve critical challenges across all business areas and functions. A special focus is on Industry 4.0, Logistics and Service & Retail.

What is a Venture Client?

A Venture Client refers a company that purchases solutions from startups when it is still a venture to do so.

A Venture Client refers a company (Holcim and its departments & divisions such as R&D, manufacturing, logistics, IT, etc.) that purchases solutions -products, services or technology- from startups when it is still a venture to do so. It is a venture, because startups are not as mature and stable as incumbents. A Venture Client company has an internal Venture Client unit (the Holcim Startup MAQER) that has a team and resources dedicated to support the corporation to find, evaluate and adopt solutions from startups.

A Venture Client first purchases a few units or licenses of a solution from a startup, even if these are still prototypes, and applies these in a real operational setting and use case. For this, the startup receives a supplier number and purchase order. Following the first pilot project, the startup and the corporate decide how to roll-out the solution globally.

Do you also invest in startups?

As a Venture Client, Holcim purchases your solution, it does not acquire your equity.

In addition to purchasing your solution, Holcim may invest before, in parallel or after the Holcim Startup MAQER program. Holcim does not require any right to invest as a condition to partner through the Holcim Startup MAQER program.

Do startups receive payment or funding?

You get a purchase order.

As a Venture Client, Holcim purchases a startup’s solution, even if it is still a prototype or not certified or scalable. We first purchase a few units of the startup technology and apply it in a real operational setting and use case.

Startups get a supplier number and purchase order, and they invoice Holcim for the units sold, and also for the work and expenses incurred to run a PoC with us. Startups always work directly with our engineers and managers in real operational settings and projects.

All costs related to the integration and validation of your solution are paid. Including materials, travel, working hours etc. You can propose a budget based on our requirements.

Having gained Holcim as a client will impact your valuation and future funding.

Is the Holcim Startup MAQER an accelerator?

No, the Holcim Startup MAQER is the Venture Client unit of Holcim.

As a Venture Client, we purchase a startup’s solution, even if it is still a prototype or not certified or scalable. We first purchase a few units of the startup technology and apply it in a real operational setting and use case. Startups get a supplier number and purchase order, and they invoice Holcim for the units sold, and also for the work and expenses incurred to run a PoC. Startups always work directly with our engineers and managers on real business projects.

To build the basis for a long-term partnership, we also offer specific sessions so startups can learn about Holcim and the construction industry. We will also network startups to further decision makers and other clients within the corporation.

In comparison, accelerators for external entrepreneurs help these to start their businesses through support to build first prototypes and define business models, to create a legal structure, to identify target clients and to raise Venture Capital.

When and how can I join?

We are always looking for great startups. We have no deadlines.
Please leave information about your startup here.

Is there a deadline?

There is no deadline.

What happens during the partnership?

During the partnership you:

  1. Business
    We start the partnership with a purchase order to use and apply your solution in real operational setting and use case. This is the basis upon which we build our partnership. Your main task is to apply your solution in a Holcim use case for validation. For this, you receive a Request for Proposal that describes specific requirements. You will respond with an offer, in which you describe how your solution can meet the requirements as well as a budget for the price of the units Holcim wants to purchase as well as to cover cost and expenses related to the pilot project.
  2. Knowledge
    During the initial pilot project, we share knowledge about Holcim businesses and processes that is critical to develop your business with us. During specific sessions, you will learn how to succeed in the world of construction materials. We teach you the industry dynamics and how the construction materials business works.
  3. Growth
    To expand your business with Holcim beyond our first pilot purchase, your solution needs to scale. For this, we will support you with our network and resources. Together we create a compelling roadmap and refine your business model with Holcim to make sure your solution can be applied and scaled throughout Holcim. You are linked to key people who help you to grow your business within Holcim and the global construction industry.
What happens after the Holcim Startup MAQER program?

After successful piloting of your solution, we define a long-term business relationship that can be one or a combination of the following:

  1. Co-Development: You and Holcim agree to further co-develop your solution to mature if for the construction industry. Usually, your solution has to be further developed after the initial project before it can be rolled out. You will negotiate further development and supplier agreements directly with your Holcim Venture Client, meaning: the Holcim business unit that made the first purchase order. These negotiations will already start during the pilot project. If applicable, we will connect you with our established suppliers for industrialization.
  2. Client: Holcim remains your client, and issues further purchase orders.
  3. Reseller/Licensee: Holcim becomes your partner to resell your solution to our clients.
  4. Investor: Holcim may offer to invest in your company. We do not require any right to invest.
  5. Acquirer: Holcim makes an offer to acquire your company.
What is the process and timing?

We select startups based upon this four-step process, which can be as quick as four weeks.

1 :: Solution – You define your solution

The process starts by telling us what problem you aim to solve with your solution at Holcim. Please also give us basic background about your company. We are looking for startups that can help us solve critical challenges at Holcim along the value chain an any of our businesses.

2 :: Fit – We evaluate and match your solution

Next we assess the relevance of your solution and where it fits best at Holcim. We are looking for novel and unique solutions that can make a significant contribution to innovation and productivity, such as digitalization challenges, at Holcim. Your solution needs to have a significant advantage and differentiation. This may take a few weeks, as we may also conduct calls or meetings with you to better understand your value proposition in depth.

3 :: Proposal – We both define a first pilot project

Cool. Now we know that you have a unique solution we would be excited to apply and pilot fast in a real use case directly at Holcim, including any of our local brands. To be able to benefit from this opportunity, we specify a pilot project in which we propose to apply and validate your solution. A project could be to integrate a prototype of your technology into a new Holcim product or service, or into our IT environment, or to run a pilot for a new manufacturing solution. We will send you a request for proposal and you will respond with an offer.

4 :: Purchase – We send you a purchase order and kick-off the partnership

In this last stage, we invite you to review and fine-tune your proposal. Once we reach a mutual agreement, you a receive an official Holcim supplier number and a purchase order.  Congrats, you can add Holcim, the global leader in construction materials, to your client list.

Timing

The whole process can be as short as four weeks.

Deadline

We have no deadline. You can submit your partnership proposal any time. To continuously learn about exciting startups is what we love to do.

What startups is Holcim looking for and what are the must haves to partner?

Holcim partners with startups that help the organization to solve critical challenges across all business areas and functions. A special focus is on Industry 4.0, Logistics and Service & Retail.

Relevance
Your solution (product, service or technology) has a compelling use case to solve a critical challenge at any Holcim business division: R&D, services, manufacturing, IT, sales & marketing, HR…

Product maturity
Your startup has a functional prototype or working product. Prototypes must be mature enough to be applied and tested in a Holcim division.

Funding status
Your startup has funding from a professional venture capital investor, including micro VCs and equity-based accelerators.

Full-time team
Main positions (CEO, CTO, CMO, etc.) of your startup are held by full-time employees.

Legal entity
Your startup must be a legal entity.

Do we have to move to a Holcim location?

No.

You do not have to relocate your company to any Holcim location, for example, the one where the pilot is conducted. Part of your team will have to travel there to install your solution, for meetings, adaptation work, networking and to learn about our company and industry.

Gain Holcim Startup MAQER as your Venture Client

We are looking to partner with top startups like yours!
Questions? Please contact us.

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