Foundation of the month: Turn2X
Founder of the month
What does your company stand for?
Emissions from fossil natural gas contribute to over 14% of global CO2 emissions. Through our solution, we produce renewable natural gas (CO2 neutral) and thus help the industry to decarbonise its processes. We stand for sustainable production of green energy sources and produce them within the EU.
Where and how did you get the brilliant idea to found the company?
Philip experienced the consequences of climate change first-hand while travelling in Africa. But we also see the frightening consequences in DE, Ahrtal. Philip had the idea to become active there and got Dominik and me to join him. We all know each other from our KIT days. The special thing about our technology is that it can draw on years of research at KIT and elsewhere and we have a functioning pilot plant.
How did the founding team come together?
We know each other from Karlsruhe, KIT, the PionierGarage and joint internships. Philip and I have also lived together before.
Where do you see the hurdles in the start-up process? Where did you get support?
As this is Philip and I’s second start-up, we’ve been through the process before and therefore knew roughly what to expect. But of course it’s always exciting and thrilling. We vested our shares right from the start to make it clear that the company comes first. We brought in lawyers for this purpose.
Has anything changed for you since the company was formally founded? And if so, what?
We set up the company formally quite early on, so it wasn’t a big change. It was more the point of quitting / cancelling his job or other opportunities.
Has Corona had an impact on your start-up/industry and if so, what?
We follow a hive principle. Everyone can work from wherever they want and doesn’t have to move to HQ. However, we meet at HQ every fortnight for 2-3 days. This way, we don’t force anyone to move, thereby increasing our access to talent, but we also have the advantage of being able to work together when we meet at HQ.
Has the energy crisis and/or the war in Ukraine had an impact on your start-up (production, materials, supply chains)?
As tragic as the war is, it has put the position of energy and, above all, the security of supply in Europe in the spotlight. The high level of uncertainty in the market and the shifting partners are causing major price fluctuations and enabling new green technologies to enter the energy market.
What qualities do you think a founder should have?
– Grid/Persistence: Don’t give up after the first rejection, understand why a partner/customer says no, iterate on it and improve yourself needs “Grid”. Keep going no matter what.
– Passion: Only if you are 110% convinced of the problem and the associated solution, as well as the team, can you sell this to the outside world and this is very important at the beginning.
– Stamina: It goes up and down and sometimes the downhill slide is longer than you would like, it is not easy to persevere here, but it is essential to be able to get through it.
Question for our start-up community: Do you have any practical tips for other young company founders?
As a start-up, speed is one of the biggest advantages. Speed is extremely important, especially when it comes to new insights. “How much have we learnt this week” is an important metric that we look at alongside the hard KPIs.
Question for our start-up community: What would you perhaps do/approach differently from today’s perspective?
There are a few things that we would do differently today. However, many of them are very much related to our business. In our business, there are decisions that are irreversible, such as the choice of location for our plants. The process of finding an ideal location requires a lot of effort. It is essential to identify potential deal-breakers right at the start and immediately eliminate locations that do not fulfil these requirements.
What are your plans for the future? What are your next big milestones?
The next major milestones are the commissioning of our plant in Spain, which is planned for summer 2024. Our plant will be one of the largest operational electrolysers in Spain next year.
On the other hand, we are already developing the next projects in Spain and are currently building up a partner network here and will start the approval process for the next plant at the beginning of next year.
Thank you very much for answering the questions!
Here is the podcast episode of our foundation of the month Turn2X on Spotify.
Have fun listening to it!