Go with the flow

Vectoflow GmbH, Gilching near Munich: nominated for a German Entrepreneur Award 2018 in the StartUp category

Customised, robust, high temperature probes that measure the flow of air, water or oil with extreme precision – might sound easy, but is technically challenging. The stellar panel of judges were impressed by how quickly Vectoflow could deliver a profit with such a complex and totally new product, and nominated the young company from Gilching for a German Entrepreneur Award 2018 in the StartUp category.

About the company

Year established 2015
Founders Dr. Christian Haigermoser, Katharina Kreitz, Florian Wehner
Seed Capital 70,000 euros
Turnover 2017 over 1 mil. euros
Employees 8

It was another one of those days in the wind tunnel when nothing seemed to be going right because the probes just weren’t playing game. Since flow measurement probes were only available in a few standard sizes they were often far too big, thus causing measurement errors. Yet another problem and months waiting for the repair! Not for the first time were the aerospace engineer Katharina Kreitz (31) and her colleague Dr. Christian Haigermoser (39) exasperated with poor quality and shoddy service. “We thought it was just not good enough.” The troubled engineers wondered if it might be possible to have customised metal probes 3-D printed, and promptly approached a specialist 3-D printing firm near their workplace. “They were thrilled by the challenge”, tells Katharina Kreitz, and together they developed their first probe.

We weren’t sure if the demand was there, but we would have been mad as hell if someone else had beaten us to it.

Videovorschau

The duo gave themselves a year’s time and applied for a start-up grant, but they were missing a business administrator. “We had a lot of applicants but couldn’t find the right match.” By chance Katharina Kreitz heard about a special MBA programme for engineers in Paris and promptly enrolled herself. Here she got to know the mechanical engineer Florian Wehner (31), the third member of the trio. “Now we had two engineers with business know-how and got the funding.” The founders worked on the probes, informed their wide professional network and launched an Internet presence “because ultimately every company needs a website”. By coincidence at exactly the same time a well-known Formula 1 racing stable were looking for measurement probes and happened to come across the newly launched website. “We thought their inquiry was a fake.” But it wasn’t, and the team was invited to deliver a pitch. “We bluffed our way through it and 2 weeks later established a private limited company.”

Vectoflow GmbH

Katharina Kreitz
T(089) 124 14 95 70

katharina.kreitz@vectoflow.de
www.vectoflow.de

The plan took off: precise measurement values, custom fit, robust, high temperature probes, and straightforward dedicated evaluation software made Vectoflow a hit from the outset. Meanwhile they have over 60 clients on the books, mainly from the motorsport, aviation, drone and turbine construction sectors, including big names like ABB and Siemens. The German Entrepreneur Award’s big-name experts also praised the “technological excellence of the products (patent pending) that are far superior to those of competitors”. The panel were especially impressed that Vectoflow started to make a profit from the second year and that turnover had now overstepped the million mark. This rare combination of sophisticated technical innovation and rapid commercial success earned Vectoflow a nomination for a German Entrepreneur Award 2018 in the StartUp category. “It’s great that the coverage has enabled us to gain new clients. I would also be really pleased if our example helped girls become less wary of technical professions”, says Katharina Kreitz. “For us the pros from Porsche Consulting in particular will be a great help because we are now looking to branching out from custom production to serial production for standard use.”