Evolve – the intrapreneurship program of BASF

We are the tool for BASF to test early-stage business ideas to explore unconventional growth opportunities.

Through the program we deliver de-risked and investable business plans for BASF to internalize or to form BASF spin-off companies.

We have a startup mindset – fast, lean & customer focused.

What do we offer our Venture Teams?

Protected space

We ensure independence and autonomy from classical corporate structures and processes.

Learning organization

We embrace a culture of fail-fast and see mistakes as opportunities to learn.

Supporting structure

Our operational support allows Venture Teams to fully focus on their business idea.

Commercial relevance

Our focus lies on business incubation driven by market and customer feedback.

Professional coaching

Our experienced external founders and investors mentor and support our Venture Teams.


We provide access to unconventional resources and external networks.

Chemovator Evolve Journey

The Journey consists of 3 main phases.

  • Ideation, Exploration & Scouting

  • Chemovator Startup Bootcamp

    • Optimal preparation for your business idea
  • Entry Pitch

    • Entry point for all teams
    • Idea owner pitch their idea infront of Jury
    • Evaluated criteria are e.g. team, problem, market, solution, business model
  • Validation Phase

    3 months

    • Test & refine inital assumptions
    • Early market feedback
    • Build & test prototype
  • End of Validation Pitch

    • Team pitches their validated business idea and hand in an investment proposal with the use of proceeds of the planned investment
  • Incubation Phase

    • Create MVP & further market tests
    • Build team
    • Business model & business case
    • Generate traction, scaling & revenue
  • Investor Readiness Meeting

    • Determines successful incubation and readiness of 
the team for external fundraising
    • Includes e.g. clear equity/investment story, business plan, clear funding requirements and roadmap
  • Acceleration Phase

    • Validated business model
    • First paying customers
    • Convincing KPIs
  • Exit Readiness Meeting

    • Final check before spin-off
    • Foundation of legal entity
  • Spin-off

    • Seed stage
    • Chemvator minority stakeholder


What is the Chemovator Evolve Journey?

The Chemovator Journey describes the timeline and process steps of Chemovator from ideation to exit from the program. It is split into three different phases, from validation over incubation to acceleration. In the Validation Phase you develop your initial hypothesis around the business case and collect early market feedback, which will be substantiated in the Incubation Phase. Teams continue to validate hypothesis around their business case, develop an MVP, build a team and generate first traction. In the Acceleration Phase the teams continue to build their business case, acquire first paying customers and prepare everything for spin-off. Different milestones along the journey mark the entry into the next phase.

Who decides on when to stop / continue ventures?

At the End-of-Validation Pitch, the jury is responsible for making venture stop / continuation decisions, which will be based on a majority vote. Critical milestones afterwards include the Investor Readiness Meeting and the Exit Readiness Meeting.
In general, the Chemovator Venture Board (CVB) discusses consequences of negative venture development and proposes measures to the Head of Chemovator, who appoints a decision body.
Of course, the team itself can also decide to stop the venture at any time. No other stakeholder receives voting rights in the venture entry, stop or continue decisions.

Who owns the business in case of a spin-off?

Founders who are capable and willing to continue pursuing their idea outside BASF as a Chemovator spin-off will get a significant ownership of their company. Spin-offs will be set up such that they can operate independently from BASF, which however will also be a significant shareholder in the spin-off.

Are there any processes that you need to follow at Chemovator?

Once you are taking on the Chemovator Jouney, it is the only process you have to follow.
However, “protected space” does not mean “place without rules”: We have established an operating framework for all our Venture Teams. For instance, each Venture Team has a Chemovator Venture Board, which provides strategic guidance and each member of the Venture Teams has to join the Entrepreneurship Program to learn relevant skills to turn a business into reality. You will learn more about it all in your Onboarding Week.
Moreover, we comply to our Code of Conduct here at Chemovator. Why? We believe that it is important to have a common base when working together.

What happens after the Chemovator Journey?

After you finish the Chemovator Journey – a successful business incubation – different options exist:
Spin-off: This is the default case for our Venture Teams. It is decided that a venture can develop better outside of BASF. In this case a separate legal entity would be formed in which the business can grow.
Spin-in (only possible in prior alignment with intaking unit!): The venture may be pursued further within BASF. For example, a venture which was supported and financed in Chemovator by a specific business unit might be taken back to be further developed and grow.

What happens if your Venture Team gets stopped?

If it becomes clear over time that a business idea is not feasible, the Venture Team is disbanded and its members will return to their original units within BASF. Chemovator is all about testing high-risk early business ideas. It is natural that many ideas either lead to unexpected outcomes, pivots or were found not to be suitable for further investment. We see the termination of a project as a success, because in every case important learnings have been gathered during the Chemovator Journey. Further, precious time and resources can be diverted to new ideas or other more promising projects. And remember: 9 out of 10 startups fail.
With regards to HR, a terminated venture idea means that the delegation will be stopped, too. Your home unit will find a suitable job for you and Chemovator supports this process as well.

So you’re ready to take off?

  • 1.

    First contact

    Get in touch with any question you have around Chemovator, the Journey, initial feedback around your idea and also check if Chemovator can offer what you and your venture need for a successful development. Drop us a line here. This is of course an optional step and you can also skip this part and directly apply for the Entry Pitch (see step 2).

  • Application form

    Fill out our application form. Here we ask you some questions about your venture idea, your team and your motivation.

  • 3.

    Review of your application

    We will check your application and invite you to a first meeting to get to know each other in case we haven’t met, yet.

  • Upload pitch deck

    Once we have had a get-to-know call and reviewed your application, we will decide if you are invited to participate in the Entry Pitch. If this is the case, we will ask you to send us your final pitch deck latest one week before the pitch so that all jury members have a chance to prepare.

  • 5.

    Entry Pitch

    In the Entry Pitch you will present your idea on the Chemovator stage. After your pitch we will make the final decision whether your team will start its Chemovator Journey or not.

  • Welcome

    You made it! Now your Chemovator Journey begins.


Want to join Chemovator?

Pitch your idea!

We are always looking for highly motivated intra- and entrepreneurs who want to turn their ideas into reality with our support. You have an early-stage business (idea), a team and want to join Chemovator?

Pitch now

Not sure or not ready yet?

Check out our portfolio to see which teams already made the journey through Chemovator-Evolve. Drop us a line if you have specific questions.

Contact us