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Donnerstag 23.03.2017
AeroLas GmbH
Grimmerweg 6
D-82008 Unterhaching
Tel.: +49 89-66 60 89-0
Fax: +49 89-66 60 89-55
Company history
Heinzl, 2nd left
Schulz, 3rd right
Muth, right
Foundation idea at the Technical University of Munich:
In 1997, AeroLas was founded as a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich by the scientific assistants, Michael Muth and Bernd Schulz. Together with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Joachim Heinzl who holds the chair, they developed the patented air bearing technology based on research throughout many years. Finally, after a longtime team work with Dr. Johannes Heidenhain GmbH, Traunreut, the first air bearings have been developed. By means of the bearing features, the scientists realized the revolutionary advance of the air bearing technology … the beginning of an unexpected history.
... from an engineer to an entrepreneur
In 1997, McKinsey & Company organized the first business plan competition in Germany based on the US model. Their goal: more risk willingness, more courage for personal responsibility, more technology-orientated start-ups. Exactly at the right time when Michael Muth and Bernd Schulz have been eager to establish their own company. With the coaching of the McKinsey consultants, the two scientists realized: The key to success is not necessarily a product with a high scientific value, but a clear market orientation.
AeroLas’ business plan is targeted on this. The business plan did not only stand out at the Munich Business Plan Competition 96/97 in front of a jury of venture capitalists. At the most important German start-up competition "Start-up 97" organized by Sparkassen, McKinsey & Company and the magazine STERN, AeroLas distinguished itself out of 2,100 participants. After winning this start-up competition, AeroLas had the honor to be on the front page of the STERN magazine.
Venture Capital as a start and growth capital
The business concept and market valuation convinced the Technologieholding VC GmbH (today 3i Group plc) and the BayBG Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH as well. They obtained shares of AeroLas in 1998 and thus accelerated the growth with their Venture Capital. Furthermore, the business establishment has been supported significantly by the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Traffic and Technology on behalf of the "BayTOU" program.
Awards for the young company
With awards for the business concept (business plan) and in particular for the realization to a real company, AeroLas has been in the general public from the very beginning on. Thus in 1998, Michael Muth and Bernd Schulz received the award “Bavarians of the year” by the Bavarian broadcasting service and got awarded a prize on behalf of the initiative “Courageous entrepreneurs needs the country” (BDL, MGM, MediaGroup Munich, Steinbeis Foundation) by the German Federal President Roman Herzog. With the appreciations, AeroLas faced a broad interest of the media: In nearly 40 magazines and several, some of them global broadcasted TV documentations, AeroLas served as an example for the new start-up culture in Germany.
Establishment of innovative air bearing technology on the market
Already few months after the establishment of the operative business in March 1998, AeroLas achieved the first large orders, among them the development of a magnetic pre-loaded air bearing for the satellite testing (DaimlerChrysler Aerospace) and a series development of an air-guided measurement stage for the measurement of masks and CDs (Leica Microsystems). Customized series with a high piece number are supplied since the beginning of 2000 for measurement machines, bonder, and PCB drilling machines. The list of customers now reaches from "A" like Agfa to "Z" like Zeiss.