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Company meets start-up: ifm and FoxBase

The start-up FoxBase from Düsseldorf and ifm have been collaborating successfully for two years – thanks to the Initiativkreis Ruhr

With more than 70 companies, the Initiativkreis Ruhr has been one of Germany's strongest regional economic alliances for 30 years now.

Since 2015, the Initiativkreis has been promoting, among other things, the exchange between the industry and start-ups in order to offer up-and-coming founders the opportunity to get in touch with the management levels of the Ruhr industry. The "Smart am Start" project also enabled the FoxBase team, consisting of Carsten Dolch and Benjamin Dammertz, to talk to ifm Managing Director Michael Marhofer - and to convince him: Since 2018, FoxBase's "Digital Product Selector" for applications has been used successfully on the website of the ifm group of companies. What makes the selector so special is that customers and sales staff can find and order the best system solution for their application - quickly, easily and digitally, just like in a personal consultation.


How does the "Digital Product Selector" work?

The "digital sales meeting" via the "Digital Product Selector" from FoxBase is based on an interactive questionnaire, which, with the help of artificial intelligence, will recommend a narrowed-down selection of products that fit the specific customer requirement. The recommendations will be made on the basis of answers to simple questions. These questions also make it possible to learn a lot about the customers' needs by evaluating what is selected in the questionnaire, which products work well and what is still missing in the portfolio. With regard to marketing and sales, this is highly important information that can now be provided quickly and without much extra effort.

In most cases, there will be more than just one meeting

Since the beginning of "Smart am Start", there have been 61 meetings of established companies and start-ups. In most cases, there will be more than just one meeting. In fact, companies and founders will intensify their cooperation, so that first orders will come in, as was the case with FoxBase: During the first three years, the founders had been financing themselves exclusively through their own sales. In autumn 2019, investors came on board to further boost growth. More than ten employees are now driving the software solution forward - and more are constantly joining the team.

Therefore, with the help of the Initiativkreis Ruhr, FoxBase has written a true success story that can motivate and encourage other start-up founders.

The Initiativkreis Ruhr

The aim of the initiative is to promote the development of the Ruhr region and to strengthen its future and competitiveness in the long term. This motivation has inspired projects comprising business, education and culture, such as InnovationCity Ruhr, the GründerAllianz Ruhr, the TalentMetropole Ruhr and the Ruhr Piano Festival.

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