Construction Startup Competition Success Story: Machine26 

Big marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, & AliExpress have revolutionized supply chains across different sectors. The construction industry is no exception, and the outstanding German marketplace Machine26 is one of the startups leading the way. 

Machine26 is one of our success stories from Construction Startup Competition 2023.  The digital-first startup is transforming the construction industry by making the trade of used construction equipment more efficient and safer through digitalization. 

We all know that great successes don’t just happen overnight, so keep reading to discover their full story! 

Machine26’s history & solution 

History 

Fun fact: Can you guess what the “26” in Machine26 stands for?  

It comes from the fact that the number 26 is the position of the chemical element iron, the main component of any construction machine, in the periodic table. 

Let’s take a look at Machine26’s journey from the beginning to today. 

2019: Machine26 was founded in Berlin, Germany, by Christian Schweiger, Niklas Fritz, and Steffen Schweiger. The Contech startup is supported by renowned German and European institutions such as the Investitionsbank Berlin and the European Union with its European Social Fund. 

Machine26

2021: The Berlin-based startup was selected by Y Combinator, one of the most famous startup accelerators and venture capital firms from Silicon Valley, to further develop its solution. 

2022: Machine26 exhibits for the first time at Bauma, the world’s leading trade fair for construction machinery, building machines, and construction equipment, among other categories, marking a key milestone for the young company. 

2023: Machine26 applies to Construction Startup Competition 2023 under the Construction Supply Chain focus area. 

2024: At the beginning of the year, the innovative startup is selected by Cemex Ventures as one of the Top 50 Contech Startups of 2024. It also expands its reach, with offices in both Berlin and Paris. 

Game-changing solution 

With a job-to-be-done mindset in customer service, Machine26 has redefined the construction supply chain with its groundbreaking solution, which aims to drive digital transformation in the industry. It provides a marketplace that helps construction equipment owners to sell their machines effortlessly. 

Machine26’s innovative business model includes a digital trading platform for remarketing used equipment to an international dealer network, as well as digital solutions for inspecting the equipment. 

Its Inspection App collects all relevant data on the condition of the machine, enabling customers to receive the best offers from international used dealers. With the help of the Inspection App, fleet owners have a constant overview of the condition and value of their equipment. 

Machine26 Solution

Benefits received from Construction Startup Competition 

By simply applying to the largest startup competition in the industry, startups can quickly scale in the Contech ecosystem, and Machine26 is proof of this! The visionary German startup has experienced several benefits that have helped it achieve its strategic goals: 

  • Reputation & recognition for its solution due to the global reach of the competition. 
  • Expanding its network of key industry players to reach the right audience. 
  • New customers such as Cemex Germany  
  • Acceptance in top startup programs: VINCI Group’s Leonard startup accelerator gave Machine26 a spot in its Catalyst Program.
  • A great reference for selection by leading construction companies. 

Partnership with Cemex Germany

Since 2023, Machine26 has been partnering with Cemex Germany. The industry giant created its own selling solution for construction machinery with Machine26 and already sold a wide range of equipment such as excavators, wheel loaders, concrete pumps, and smaller equipment. 

The German startup’s goal is to develop this partnership further to expand its market presence globally and continue its steady growth. 

Cemex x Machine26

In 2024, Machine26 officially became part of Catalyst’s startup acceleration program after joining VINCI Group’s Leonard SEED program – an acceleration initiative – in 2022. This agreement means that all sales of used construction machinery within the construction giant will be centralized on the Machine26 platform.

Machine26’s Insights 

If you’re wondering how the Machine26 team felt about their experience and what motivated them to apply to Construction Startup Competition.  

Steffen Schweiger, Founder & CEO of Machine26, shared his honest opinion with us: 

What made you apply for the competition? 

We were impressed by the number & relevance of the organizing companies and motivated to present our product on a global scale and to an industry-specific audience.” 

How was your overall experience? 

Applying for the Cemex startup competition was a great experience for us. We were selected as one of the Cemex Top 50 and connected to many relevant industry players. For every startup in the construction space, I can recommend participating in this competition. 

Getting selected for the Cemex Top 50 raised awareness for our solution. For example, we were approached by new customers and partners because they were following the competition. It even helped us to promote our products in large corporations where we were used in one country only and ended up talking to other affiliated companies as well.”  

Additionally, one of the nine major partners of the Construction Startup Competition, VINCI Group’s Leonard, shared his thoughts about the competition’s impact on disruptive startups like Machine26: 

“Between 2021 and 2023, 36 new venture capital funds were established worldwide in the construction and public works businesses. This achievement is the result of the collective efforts of players like Leonard, Cemex Ventures, and their partners in the Construction Startup Competition. Additionally, Leonard’s long lasting partnership with Construction Startup Competition is of prime importance to us as we are currently opening applications for our 2025 acceleration programs. Over the past 6 years, these programmes have supported the development of solutions such as Machine26, the marketplace that helps construction machine owners to sell their machines without any effort.”- Julien Villalongue, Managing Director at VINCI Group’s Leonard 

Be the next success story of Construction Startup Competition 2024 

Your startup could be the next success story if you participate in Construction Startup Competition 2024. The deadline to apply is June 30.  

The competition is your biggest opportunity to: 

  • Win a cash prize & receive strategic investment 
  • Pilot your solution in real markets around the world 
  • Expand your network by joining the largest ecosystem in the industry  
  • Pitch your solution to the biggest investors in Las Vegas at Pitch Day 2024 

And now, we’re offering you a new benefit: Being part of Leaplab, Cemex’s exclusive acceleration program. By joining the program, you can take part in real-scale pilots across Cemex’s global operations, receive expert support, network with disruptive Contech players, & connect with Cemex as a supplier or partner.  

Let’s keep in touch!

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