Panel Discussion

>> 24 February: 12:10 – 14:00 UTC (13:10 – 15:00 CET)

Opening Session 5th ECP: Introductory expert panel on finance

The future of innovations: How to finance growth and sustainability along the chemical value chain?

Host: Arno Fuchs

The panel will focus on the current trends in financing for young, innovate and fast-growing chemical companies. Especially venture, corporate venture, venture debt, small private equity and small IPO transaction types are discussed by the panel experts. The panel seeks to provide the audience with practical insights into the transactions that happened, why they happened and how they got done.

The panel will also look at the different strategies available to investors in the chemical space from a technology, product, service, or regional perspective.

The panel experts have long-time experience as corporate executives and managing/executive directors in their current roles as corporate and financial VC investors. During their careers, they have sourced, analyzed, closed, managed and exited dozens of successful transactions and have a vast experience into the „does and don’t” of the institutional financing world.

Our panelists

  • Arno Fuchs, FCF Fox Corporate Finance GmbH, Founding Partner and Managing Director
  • Aruna Subramanian, Managing Director of SABIC Technology Ventures
  • Bernhard Mohr, Managing Director of Evonik Venture Capital (EVC)
  • Mark Felix, Investment Manager, Dow Venture Capital
  • Markus Solibieda, Managing Director Global Corporate Venture Capital - BASF


Arno Fuchs

Arno is the founding partner and managing director of FCF. He is responsible for the strategic direction and positioning of the company and also works directly with FCF's financial market and clients to ensure successful transactions. Prior to FCF, Arno was Managing Director and Junior Partner of the German investment banking boutique Viscardi AG, where he was head of the technology team. He also held various positions at SG Cowen and JP Morgan & Co.


Aruna Subramania

Aruna Subramanian is the Managing Director of SABIC Technology Ventures, responsible for the company’s global venture capital investments. She has over 28 years of international experience in the oil and gas, petrochemical and venture capital industries. Her career started with Schlumberger Oilfield Services in a range of field, operational and management positions. For the last 15 years, she has been an investor with Shell Technology Ventures, Kenda Capital, Chemelot Ventures and now, SABIC Ventures.
She holds an engineering degree from IIT, Delhi, India and an MBA from IMD, Lausanne.


Bernhard Mohr

Bernhard Mohr joined Evonik in 2012 to set up the Corporate Venturing activities of Evonik and became Managing Director of Evonik Venture Capital (EVC) in 2013. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in the chemical and venture capital industry. Prior to joining Evonik, he was working for BASF where he held international positions in venture capital, strategic marketing, corporate development, controlling and research & development. With 250m EUR under management, EVC has realized more than 30 investments. EVC has offices in Germany, the US and China and invests in young companies with innovative technology and high growth potential in the fields of Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Food Ingredients, Cosmetic Solutions, Healthcare Solutions, Membranes and Sustainable Nutrition, as well as enabling digital technologies.


Mark Felix

Mark Felix is an Investment Manager in Dow Venture Capital (DVC), an investment arm of The Dow Chemical Company. Felix is responsible for sourcing and executing strategic investments that enable and accelerate Dow’s business growth.
Felix has a broad background of commercial, technology, and business development experience and has utilized Venture Capital as a means of creating new businesses for Dow. He has also held several roles in Specialty and Performance Chemicals in the areas of Coatings, Home & Personal Care, Biocides, Dow Wolff Cellulosics and Polyglycols & Surfactants.
Felix earned a degree in Chemistry and a doctorate in Organometallic Chemistry from University College London. He is based in Horgen, Switzerland.


Markus Solibieda

Markus Solibieda is the Managing Director of BASF Venture Capital (BVC) since November 2016. BVC is investing globally in new business models in and around the chemical industry, partnering with the most ambitious and successful entrepreneurs. BVC´s focus of interest are – amongst others - digital business models, new materials, software solutions, digital farming, 3D printing and cleantech / sustainability solutions.
Before joining BVC, Markus was a Partner at Mandarin Capital Partners and Head of the company’s Frankfurt office. Prior to this, he co-founded Baigo Capital, a growth capital fund focused on the healthcare industry. Markus Solibieda started his professional career in the Venture Capital team of Deutsche Beteiligungs AG and subsequently worked for Advent International and 3i in Frankfurt and London. From 1999 to 2002, he was CFO of ACG, a public company providing smart cards, RFID technology and semiconductor components. Markus studied Business Administration at the European Business School in Wiesbaden, Germany, as well as in Dijon, France and Phoenix, USA.


>> 26 February 11:00 – 12:30 UTC (12:00 – 13:30 CET)

Panel: What is our future called: chemistry or bioeconomy?

Host: Prof.  Stephan Haubold

Everyone is talking about bioeconomy. What's really behind it? Is it a new discipline, a fashion or a trend? Or are we now only concentrating on the already existing strengths of a balanced mix of the disciplines of chemistry and biotechnology based on renewable raw materials?

The panelists will address these and your questions on the subject of how our industrial processes are changing on the basis of raw materials that we already had before the petroleum age paired with the use of residues and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; also to share their experience with us, in which projects investments will flow in the future.


Our panelists

  • Dr. Michael Brandkamp, General Partner at ECBF Management GmbH, Luxemburg/Bonn
  • Dr. Lars Börger, Neste Germany GmbH, Vice President Brand Owner Management, Renewable Polymers and Chemicals, Düsseldorf
  • Tobias Faupel, Hightech-Gründer Fonds (HTGF) investment manager life science and chemistry, Bonn
  • Dr. Tatjana Schwabe-Marković, Cluster Industrial Biotechnology (CLIB), Senior Project Manager, Düsseldorf


Michael Brandkamp

Dr. Michael Brandkamp, PhD in Business Innovation with 20+ years of investment experience as Managing Director of High-Tech Gruenderfonds Management GmbH, Tech Investments in KfW, and tbg. As the member of several advisory boards, he assured investments in numerous high-tech start-ups, closed more than a hundred exits, excecuted 30+ IPOs, and raised almost EUR 1bn in various fundraising initiatives.


Lars Börger

Dr. Lars Börger studied chemistry in Bielefeld, Marburg, Potsdam and St. Gallen. He holds a Master in Polymer Chemistry, an Executive Master in General Management (SGMI) from St. Gallen, Switzerland and a PhD in Colloid Chemistry and Polymer Physics from the Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany.
During 20 years in the chemical industry he held various positions in polymer research, technical marketing, ecology and innovation management in BASF Germany and China, and as project lead for the Mass Balance approach of BASF. Lars Börger has been heading BASF’s global Biopolymer business being located in Shanghai, PRC.
In January 2017 he joined Neste in Geneva, Switzerland, where since September 2018 he was heading the Emerging Businesses Unit as Vice President reporting to the Executive Committee of Neste building the strategy for the Neste’s entrance to chemicals and polymers. Since 2019 he was building up the Neste Germany GmbH as global headquarter for the newly installed Renewable Polymers & Chemicals business unit at Neste in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he is now acting as Vice President Brand owner management. He is heading the product group bio-based Polymers and is Vice-Chair of the Board of the European Bioplastics.


Tobias Faupel

Tobias Faupel is an investment manager in the field of life science and chemistry. He brings M&A transaction experience from Deutsche Bank and several years of operational management experience at BASF to this position. For the last six years he was sales director at an international plastics company. Tobias Faupel holds an engineering degree from TU Berlin, a M.Sc. in Finance from the University of Illinois and successfully finished the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) education.


Tatjana Schwabe-Marković

Dr. Tatjana Schwabe-Marković is Senior Project Manager at the Cluster Industrial Biotechnology, CLIB. She obtained a doctorate in biology from the Ruhr-University of Bochum. Her postdoc research at Turku University and the University of Geneva was partly funded through a FEBS scholarship and a DAAD fellowship. After 10 years in basic research, she joined CLIB in 2009 as scientific advisor, and coordinator of the CLIB-Graduate Cluster Industrial Biotechnology. She has since managed several projects at CLIB, aiming to bring the worlds of science and industry together to generate new ideas for bio-based processes and products. Currently, she is responsible for European projects and partnerships. Her thematic focus in the cluster’s work is support for SMEs and high-performance ingredients through industrial biotechnology for areas such as food, feed, and textiles.


Stephan Haubold

Prof. Dr. Stephan Haubold is dean of studies for business chemistry and MINTrepreneurship® at the Hochschule Fresenius in Idstein. He is the scientific director of the competence center for entrepreneur (CCE) and chairman of the “AK Gründung” of the GDCh.
He studied chemistry at the Universities of Karlsruhe und Hamburg and started his own first chemistry business, Nanosolutions, in 2000. He has gained over 18 years of experience as an entrepreneur and was involved in several startups. In addition to his activities as a dean, Prof. Dr. Stephan Haubold is a startup coach and managing partner at consultant agency SDH - Consult for organizational development.

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Bilateral Talks

  • Participants342
  • Meetings Requested2449
  • Meetings Accepted1242


  • Austria.pngAustria 5
  • Belgium.pngBelgium 15
  • Brazil.pngBrazil 1
  • Chile.pngChile 1
  • China.pngChina 5
  • Denmark.pngDenmark 3
  • England.pngEngland 1
  • Finland.pngFinland 3
  • France.pngFrance 11
  • Germany.pngGermany 252
  • India.pngIndia 1
  • Israel.pngIsrael 2
  • Italy.pngItaly 3
  • Kenya.pngKenya 1
  • Latvia.pngLatvia 3
  • Luxembourg.pngLuxembourg 1
  • Netherlands.pngNetherlands 29
  • Norway.pngNorway 2
  • Oman.pngOman 2
  • Poland.pngPoland 2
  • Portugal.pngPortugal 4
  • Singapore.pngSingapore 4
  • Slovenia.pngSlovenia 1
  • South_Korea.pngSouth Korea 2
  • Spain.pngSpain 5
  • Sweden.pngSweden 2
  • Switzerland.pngSwitzerland 7
  • United_Kingdom_Great_Britain.pngUnited Kingdom 5
  • United_States_of_America_USA.pngUSA 7
  • Venezuela.pngVenezuela 1
  • Total of Participants381