In 2014, the four founders Thomas Kirchner, Paul Günther, Jonas Girardet and Alexander Grots wanted to participate in the Silicon Valley ideas contest “Intel Make it Wearable” with hopes of winning its sizeable monetary prize. But for which segment should they develop a wearable? One of the founders, who had been working as a factory tour guide at BMW at the time, realized the potential of special work clothes to optimize work processes and increase efficiency. Thus, the idea for an intelligent glove equipped with data from the IIoT – the ProGlove – was born and went on to win third place in the ideas contest. The founders pursued the concept further and in 2016, the first product was introduced to the European market, to be followed by the US and Canadian markets in January 2018. By means of several financing rounds, ProGlove was able to secure almost 49.5 million euros in venture capital. Today the company employs over 160 people from 40 countries with offices in Munich, Belgrade and Chicago.
How ProGlove has benefited from UnternehmerTUM
As university students, the founders became scholarship holders in the Manage&More program. In 2015, ProGlove participated in the first batch of the TechFounders accelerator program and benefited from extensive coaching and industry contacts. Initial business relationships were developed with Festo and BMW. The team developed its first prototypes in the MakerSpace in Garching.