Chris, Janis and Peter study together, have lunch break – and are hungry! In the restaurant of their choice they can get one of the crowded, coveted tables. But the only waitress is somewhat overwhelmed by the midday rush. The clock is ticking. A line of other guests, who want to order their food to take with them, wait with growling stomachs. Why is it not possible to order an app? Would be much easier! And the time until the finished meal could be used productively. At some point the waitress and also the food will come. Damn,… is it possible to pay with a card? No. “You could organize that quite easily with an app, too,” the three think. The idea for ORDA was born – that was 2017.
Gastronomes and customers should benefit
This is ORDA’s mission: In order to fulfill it, the app takes over the steps that can be digitized during a restaurant visit and thus simplified or accelerated: Order and payment. For the guest, ORDA has the advantages of ordering quickly via the smartphone, making cashless payments and avoiding long waiting times. Gastronomes can thus significantly increase their profitability, for example through optimized capacity utilization and higher average shopping baskets. On the other hand, they can pay more attention to the guest by relieving the service staff.
Always a bit “smoother”
Digital ordering and payment systems are already in use here and there. But since ORDA is already available on your own smartphone, this makes the whole thing much less complicated for the user. For ORDA, the biggest challenge is to build a B2C2B market and maximize the benefits for both the user and the restaurateur without compromising. The goal is to give users the opportunity to use their time and enjoy their lunch break as much as possible.
ORDA feels “poodle well”
Since ORDA went live with its first restaurant in 2017, the 13-person team has been able to focus on building a strong team and working closely with users and partners after a successful investment round. Here, at WERK1, the startup has felt “poodle-well” since the beginning of 2019. They are happy to take advantage of networking opportunities such as the AfterWERK or the monthly factory breakfast. At the same time they are inspired by the feeling of “being part of something bigger”, says Head of Marketing, Carmen de la Iglesia, when we meet them for an interview in the WERK1 Café. Just as a very special district of Munich, the Werksviertel, is designed outside, ORDA can actively help shape the future of the business hub in WERK1. And not just them!
From WERK1 to all of Europe
By 2028, ORDA’s vision is to be the pioneer and pioneer of digital ordering and payment in gastronomy throughout Europe. The ORDA team is expected to double within this year. We at WERK1 wish you continued success! And we are already looking forward to the gastronomic experience 3.0 also finding its way into the works district in the future. For an even more relaxed lunch break.
We need to talk. All of us. Speaking is our connection to the world. But for many people this is “easier said than done”. How important this is for our everyday lives is particularly noticeable when, for example, a stroke causes our ability to speak to be lost and we have to struggle our way back into the world of acoustic communication. The WERK1-Startup Neolexon helps – with the most modern speech therapy app on the market.
Practice – the key to therapeutic success – Actually
The German Society for Neurology recommends 10 hours of speech therapy per week. The reality is different: In therapy, patients usually practice just one hour per week. Far too few and current offers are not tailored to everyday situations. Hanna Jakob found a solution to this problem. When she worked as a speech therapist in a clinic during her speech therapy studies, there was often not even time for this so important exercise session, because the patients first had to train the swallowing reflex. Also the already existing therapy-accompanying apps were not user-friendly and therefore not very helpful. Based on current research results, Hanna founded Neolexon in 2017 together with her speech therapist colleague Mona Späth.
Neolexon – Smart language training
The digital speech therapy system Neolexon includes an app for therapists as well as a self-training app for patients and is certified as a medical device. It is based on a unique database with around 10,000 practice terms with associated images and pronunciation video clips. From this, speech therapists can create an individual set of terms that are best suited to the patient in terms of both therapeutic aspects and everyday relevance. With this scientifically based, highly flexible system, Neolexon clearly stands out from other language training apps. In addition, many motivational elements are included to make practicing at home fun and effective. The neolino version for children with articulation disorders followed in April 2019. The two founders do not run out of ideas for other fields of application so quickly – also thanks to their close ties to the Institute for Phonetics and Speech Processing at the LMU Munich.
Make Neolexon fly
Now, however, it is a matter of bringing the existing system to the man and woman. Due to different interest groups such as therapists, patients, relatives, clinics and health insurance companies, Neolexon has to act on many different levels. The latter are the most important and at the same time the most complex project. Neolexon has already completed its first major milestone: the inclusion of neolino in the Techniker Krankenkasse program.
Come to WERK1 to stay (as long as possible)
After several funding programmes such as EXIST and FLÜGGE, the start-up team of four now stands on its own two feet. After the first phase at the university, they were able to move to WERK1 “at very short notice”, as Hanna, still visibly relieved, says. The combination of their own office plus exchange with other start-ups – either in WERK1’s everyday life or at various in-house events such as “AfterWERK” – forms the ideal growth environment for them. And if Neolexon’s space requirements grow accordingly in the near future, WERK1 will definitely provide a solution. Hanna is sure of that. She and her team definitely don’t want to leave here so quickly! In return, they are one of the few Medi-Startups who diligently contribute to the diversity in the WERK1 community.
The keyword “Accelerator” is usually associated with an idea about financial support and revision of business models. The W1 Forward Accelerator Programme, initiated by the InsurTech Hub Munich at WERK1, shows that a programm to promote innovative start-ups can work in a different way. In the eight-week, early-stage programm, the creators focus primarily on well-founded, targeted advice on start-ups and intensive use of the industry network.
THE INSURTECH HUB – A POOL OF POSSIBILITIES FOR STARTUPS & INSURERS
“The InsurTech Hub is a platform that brings the different players in the industry together,” explains Ben Shaw, Director Program & Strategy. Fourteen large insurers, large corporations, business and strategy consultants and universities such as the LMU or the Bundeswehrhochschule are part of the network. “The idea is that all these institutions have an interest in driving innovation together in the insurance context. And one part of driving this innovation forward is the Accelerator Program, which brings the various insurance companies into direct contact with small, innovative projects and start-ups.
PROGRAM USP & BENEFITS FOR THE STARTUPS
We want to know from Ben which startups the program is aimed at, as we meet him for the interview on the program running since mid-May in the WERK1 Café. In some cases the business idea is there, it hasn’t been founded yet – just early. “What’s important is that we not only select the start-ups according to the idea, but also according to whether we have the feeling that they can put it into practice. The selection event resulted in ten young companies. Only two of them have already received funding. “Over a period of eight weeks we will give them all the resources they need to build up and expand their business – i.e. consulting in business modelling, financial modelling, marketing & sales, etc.”, says Ben about the USP of the Accelerator programm. “And we bring them into contact with 14 major insurance companies, which give them direct enterprise feedback or rather insurance-relevant feedback. This is extremely valuable and priceless.”
PROGRAM FINALE: DEMO DAY
At the end of the eight weeks – this is the aim of the efforts to meet the big players from the insurance industry on a regular basis – the young companies will have pilot projects in the pipeline resulting from the program and the contacts made. For the finale, the Demo Day with around 400 guests, modelled on the American one, is waiting for everyone. “This event gives the startups the opportunity to present themselves to potential investors and tell their story. Why can my startup change the industry? They have four minutes for that.”
BUSINESS IDEAS THAT INSURERS & INSURED BENEFIT FROM
And the young companies want to change a lot! Seven B2B start-ups are involved. Among them, for example, is a company that develops software to support rehabilitation after illnesses and injuries. “This is interesting for private health insurers who want to make sure that the costs do not increase immeasurably due to incorrectly implemented physiotherapy,” explains Ben Shaw. “In addition, such an offer is also in the interest of the insured, because there is direct feedback as to whether the exercises were carried out correctly. Another example is a smoking cessation app developed by a team of experts with years of experience in the health sector. Three B2C start-ups are also taking part in the programme. “Our most international team comes from Thailand and deals with on-demand insurance. This keeps costs much lower and makes processing extremely easy and customer-friendly,” reports Ben. Other teams come from Austria, San Francisco or Barcelona.
INNOVATION POTENTIAL IN THE INSURANCE MARKET
The innovation potential in the insurance industry is huge, and the demand for young, rethinking companies is high, Ben explains the background to the Accelerator Program. “About two years ago, insurers had the aha moment. That’s when the industry became aware that we simply weren’t so technologically advanced in the financial services sector. And that so much more could be done with digital banks. Information about individuals who reflect their personal risk is now much easier to implement through data mining and data science,” Ben explains. Thanks to fast and precise data processing, insurance companies are now in an extremely good position to digitize themselves. And this is exactly where the Insurtech Hub with the Accelerator program comes in. Ben: “This digitization is incredibly difficult and the big insurers solve it through partnerships with external experts, our start-ups.
TIP FROM THE INDUSTRY EXPERT
Who really makes it in the end? According to Ben, that doesn’t just depend on whether you participate in the program. But above all whether the founders can implement the varied feedback they receive during the eight weeks. “A successful founder is always a Hustler, someone who constantly pushes his business forward. Even if the core idea changes – and it always does anyway – it is important to stay on it, with willpower and flexibility. Then you reach your goal.” And that certainly doesn’t just apply to the insurance industry.
Anyone who is on business from time to time knows the problem: If the population of the city visited falls below 700,000, the hotel landscape quickly looks gloomy. What is available is expensive and often not convincing from a qualitative and aesthetic point of view. The WERK1 startup Limehome solves this problem.
SPARE HOME INSTEAD OF HOTEL
Limehome offers business travellers and tourists fully equipped apartments as a feel-good alternative to an impersonal hotel. Thanks to a specially developed, tasteful and high-quality design concept, every guest feels at home. Limehome Apartments are currently located at 14 locations in Germany. Above all in so-called “B-cities” such as Aachen, which with one million overnight stays has an appreciable demand that is nevertheless unprofitable for large hotel chains as a location. These markets would be predominantly served by aging family hotels á la “Goldener Hirsch”, as the two Limehome founders Lars Stäbe and Josef Vollmayr aptly call them.
As former McKinsey consultants, they knew exactly where to start with the classic hotel business model in order to open up a promising niche. Everything that doesn’t have to be done directly on site is controlled centrally from the Munich office. The electronic access system, with which the guest can check in independently at any time, replaces the cost factor of service personnel. Cleaning is carried out by a local service provider. A “state-of-the-art”- IT department coordinates all internal and external interfaces. And last but not least, a sophisticated, agile pricing system ensures a workload far above the industry average. “Instead of the usual 53 percent for February, we are currently at 78 percent,” explains Josef.
Thanks to this highly efficient business model, the company is also much more flexible in real estate acquisition. Limehome does not need 150 bed units to be profitable. Instead, normal commercial units, which are often vacant in B-cities, are used to accommodate the ideal number of 10 to 20 apartments.
WERK1 – REAL COMPANIES ARE CREATED HERE
The founders already had the idea for Limehome during their time at McKinsey. After a first test run at the beginning of 2018 and a successful seed round in the autumn, they got off to a full start. To date they have been able to arrange over 2,000 overnight stays – and with more than 20 employees they are already reaching the limits of their WERK1 office space. But it will be used as long as possible! Even before the official foundation, Lars and Josef applied for an office space in WERK1. Although already in the concrete implementation phase, Lars, Josef and their team like and appreciate the strong community in WERK1 very much. Completely different from the coworking space in the city centre, where they were first located for a short time, here in WERK1 there is exactly the atmosphere that such an ambitious startup needs. After all, the number of locations and employees is set to double in 2019. In this sense, the WERK1 neighbourhood perfectly reflects the permanent condition at Limehome: many, many construction sites … and an exciting future!
In WERK1 they are the “colourful bird” among the start-ups, in real life Alexander Eloe and Oliver Breiter and their team bring colour into the everyday life of many people who want to change the way they work, organize team events and the like: With so-called “paint parties”. The ArtMasters are probably the only startup in WERK1 that knows painting and creative techniques very well. And that although the founders themselves have no artistic background at all. What is the motivation for founding a start-up and what is ArtMasters’ recipe for success? We asked co-founder Alex these and other questions over a cup of coffee in the WERK1 Café.
Creative experiences for everyone
The idea is quickly explained: The ArtMasters Oliver and Alex, with the help of their team of talented and trained artists, throw varied creative parties in unusual locations. Their mission is on the one hand to create creative experiences and on the other hand to bring different characters together in a relaxed atmosphere. Under professional guidance, the participants can draw a motif of their choice or create their own version. There are no limits to the artistic freedom within the ArtMasters event – previous knowledge is also not necessary.
From management consultant to founder of ArtMasters
But how do you even come up with the idea of setting up your own start-up from a management consultancy and then still have a creative background? The two former management consultants picked up the first impulse during a joint business trip to the USA. “The Americans are already a bit… crazy,” laughs Alex, who wasn’t so sure at the beginning whether this kind of leisure activity would be popular in Germany at all. However, what was created “on a whim” and as a “possible alternative to management consulting” was put into practice within a crisp three months. The two entrepreneurs are now working full-time with a permanent team at their startup: around 70 artists and around 10 team members, who support the managing directors in all aspects of event planning, technology, marketing and co.
Quality & satisfaction are the keys to success
In the selection of the artists, the ArtMasters take it very seriously. Because talent alone is not enough. Alex and Oliver attach great importance to exciting personalities with suitable social skills – they have to be patient, with a talent for entertainment and at the same time helpful teachers. So the ArtMasters crew takes the time to check out new applicants beyond their abilities with brush and canvas. So they come up with a colorful potpourri of professional painters with their own gallery, eager art students and talented hobby artists – who provide a lot of variety at events.
What the ArtMasters can do, others still can’t do for a long time: In addition to the classic post-production motifs, the demanding founders are constantly expanding their range with original offers. Recently, craft-savvy participants have also been able to book “photo transfer” events, for example: Here the own favourite photo is transferred in manual work to objects such as a wood block. In addition the participants can let off steam with coal and pastel colors on different canvas sizes. Exactly by this alternation and the selection of qualitatively high-quality utensils, like large canvas, good colors etc., the ArtMasters want to differentiate themselves clearly from the competition on the market.
ArtMasters feel at home in WERK1
Marketing is enormously important for long-term growth: And it is not only in this respect that start-ups need to bundle knowledge from the various areas. And that is exactly what the ArtMasters at WERK1 like as a location, Alex tells us. “We like to use WERK1’s Academy offerings – that’s a big advantage.” The ArtMasters also greatly appreciate the flexible coworker network. The opportunity to exchange ideas if one area lacks understanding. “This is very practical, for example, if you need support with programming.” They would just have to have more space – because the creative startup is all set for growth.
Full speed into the future
The confident founders have precise ideas about the future: They want to make their product and brand known beyond the borders of Germany. They have already taken the first step: after Hungary, Austria and Switzerland should now also be infected with ArtMaster art fever.
But the Munich location also brings with it problems for them as a start-up: “It’s already difficult to find suitable people in Munich. The big corporations absorb a lot.” And then there’s the topic of finance. To date, ArtMasters has been financed by a private investor and its own resources. Whether this will change in the near future with the help of another investor will be seen. But what is certain: The team wants to continue its expansion course at full speed.
The laptop is opened where you feel comfortable. There is no fixed workplace, but that doesn’t bother anyone here at WORK1 Coworking Space. On the contrary: a flexible job also requires a flexible office and therefore changing colleagues. Just like Steffi, David and Martin. Three of the more than 130 coworkers in WORK1 come from different areas of the working world. However, they work together in their everyday office life – we would like to introduce you to them.
Above the small coffee kitchen hangs a framed picture full of sayings. One of them: “Open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people.” A nice request from the American graphic designer Rachael Beresh, whom we took up for our . Coworking-Space in WERK1.
STEFFI RESCH – FREELANCE TRANSLATOR
“When I was new here, I was taken to lunch by a larger group of coworkers. That was great. You can build a network without any extra effort, just by being there every day,” enthuses Steffi Resch. The 34-year-old technical translator and conference interpreter worked from home for over two years. Meanwhile, the freelancer appreciates the structure she gets from working in coworking space and above all “the peace up here”. The “Silent Space” is located under the roof of the WORK1 building. It is from here that Steffi takes care of her assignments. For example translation work for the European Parliament.
DAVID MAUS – WEB DEVELOPER & FOUNDER
David Maus is already absorbed in his work. He has been coming to WERK1 every day for two years. The independent web developer and founder runs his Startup from here. A publishing system for digital magazines called Webmag (www.webmag.io). The idea: With the help of a simple content management system, digital magazines can be created without any creative or technical knowledge. It’s urban and industrial what David likes so much at his workplace at WORK1. A bit of the former charm of the old Pfanni works has just been preserved. “Above all, I like the variety of coworkers here. Discussing with other industries promotes one’s own creativity”. That’s why the 34-year-old from Constance also tries to be present at as many events and workshops as possible that are offered at WORK1. It’s easy to network, for example, over a works breakfast or an after-work drink at “AfterWERK”.
Currently there are almost 130 coworkers in WORK1. Some come five days a week, others only on a daily or hourly basis. Coworkers in WERK1 have 24-hour access. It’s helpful when it comes to the night shift or when colleagues with time differences are abroad.
MARTIN SCHMIDT – MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT & FOUNDER
“In WERK1 you can think very well “outside the box”. Here, relatively little corresponds to a standard office workstation.” Martin Schmidt is 45 years old and has been a coworker at WORK1 since January 2018. Before that, he worked for 14 years for a large telephone provider. Today he conveys his knowledge of supply chain management, materials management and distribution as a freelance management consultant. Martin particularly appreciates the impetus he gets from coworking colleagues at WORK1. One of them has even led to his becoming one of the founders. Together with two colleagues he founded a company – Smart Access Solutions UG (www.smart-access-solutions.com). Centrally manageable electronic locking systems for the transport and storage of sensitive goods.
Back to the classic business world and back to the individual office, Martin can no longer imagine today. He has too much fun in his current job for that and there are colleagues anyway. That’s coworking: You work alone and somehow together.
COWORKING HAS A HOME IN MUNICH
Under one roof with approx. 40 digital startups and our café you work in WERK1 in a unique atmosphere and directly at the pulse of the digital startup scene. With flexible price models and our unique founding community, we have suitable offers for everyone who is looking for colleagues – from freelancers to ambitious founders.
You can find all information about our coworking space on our website. There you can also register for a tour, where you can get to know our team and have a look at the procedures in our house yourself – we are looking forward to your visit!
One complete day per working week – according to a study by the management consultancy McKinsey, an employee wastes so much time on average searching for information before he can tackle his actual tasks. WERK1-Residents Leon Zucchini and Rafael Fernandes came across this problem in their everyday work and developed a solution. Their startup Curiosity.ai helps companies to extract the knowledge they have accumulated over the years from unstructured documents such as e-mails, presentations, etc. and to exploit previously untapped potential.
WHAT DOES CURIOSITY.AI OFFER?
Leon explains: “Imagine the Internet without Google. In most companies, the working day looks exactly like this. You’re surrounded by logs, presentations, text fields in databases, but you can’t find anything if you don’t know the exact term your colleague used to store the document 20 years ago. Searching for helpful content not only takes time, it’s also frustrating. The AI technique of the two helps to prevent this, to avoid duplication of work and to point out hidden connections.
This works by the AI software extracting the information from all documents of the company and combining it to a so-called knowledge graph, which maps the complete company knowledge. Based on this technology, employees can access the knowledge: Via cognitive search functions, automatic tagging and document analysis. Co-founder Rafael explains the special feature of the system: “No artificial intelligence is perfect right from the start, errors are normal. The unstructured language that prevails in companies is extremely complex. Our approach has been to develop a system that keeps improving by learning from its users. After all, they are the experts! And they make it more intelligent over time.”
BACKGROUNDS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE STARTUP
The startup journey began six months ago – only in Leon’s living room. An important milestone was the move to WERK1. “That was a great step forward. Interesting discussions and contacts to other start-ups and investors have already taken place in the first few days. And we were welcomed friendly from the very beginning”. In addition, there would be the advantages of Munich as a location: Good connections, capital and a high quality of life. “It is not for nothing that Munich is repeatedly voted one of the most liveable cities. We also noticed this in the first job advertisements,” says Leon. “The applications came from 20 different countries.
The good feedback on the job advertisements meets well for Leon and Rafael. “Of course, we need very specially trained employees. And we need them very soon. Curiosity is growing steadily: First customers are on board and first product versions go live.” Despite their busy schedule, it is important for Rafael and Leon to get involved in the WERK1 community and give something back. Leon: “We already have many ideas that could be implemented together. So far, thanks a lot to you from WERK1 for doing such a great job!
Three days full of events around topics that move the startup scene. The venue is GANZ Munich, around 20 locations spread across the city. It will start in 12 weeks. “Actually a completely crazy idea”, was how initiator Daniel Kilger summed up the last evening of the Startup Safari. “Florian Mann and Oliver Halbig from WERK1 were the first to hear about my plan. And they said directly: “Cool, let’s get going!” So WERK1 did not only become an important partner of the first Startup Safari in Munich, but also the main sponsor and host of about 20 sessions and the pre-opening party, as Daniel Kilger, the creative director of the event, put it.
LARGE “RANGE” OF PARTNERS & MULTIFACETED TOPICS
An expedition through the whole ecosystem of the startup scene should be it. From 23. to 26.10. participants could put together their individual program with only one ticket from a timetable of 75 sessions at 25 startup friendly locations in the city according to their personal interests. Well over 80 partners from the startup scene as well as from official bodies, initiatives and media were involved. Among them were many big players, famous and aspiring startups like Flixbus, Celonis oder Freeletics, big investors and accelerators, up to global corporations like Google. They all offered so-called “sessions” on various topics and thus opened themselves to interested participants for the exchange of knowledge and networking. The sessions ranged from workshops, lectures and discussions to informal “Connecten” with drinks and co. and direct matchmaking for almost 250 “Job Seekers”.
THE SESSIONS: THEMATIC DEPTH & “HANDS ON”
Daniel Kilger – founder of the Digital Health Sartups Smokeless himself – and his supporters felt it was important that the individual events were of high quality. As small groups as possible should ensure that the participants could work interactively with each other and with the experts.
For example at the workshop “Live Hacking” by the WERK1 Resident Crashtest Security, which took place on Friday evening. The aim for the participants was to discover a website in a kind of “Escape the Room Challenge” and to understand how a hacker thinks. “The website I programmed in advance contains vulnerabilities,” explains workshop leader and co-founder of Crashtest Security, Janosch Maier. “I want the participants to find them. Afterwards we eliminate the vulnerabilities together. So we’re really working “Hands On” with security here.”
THE PARTNERS ALSO BENEFITED FROM THE PARTICIPATION
The range of participants was generally very mixed, just like in the Startup Safari – concerning the background but also the know-how. From students to software developers everything was represented. Regardless of the topic – “The Art of Pitching”, “Storytelling in the context of a presentation”, “The way from employee to founder” and many more – it was always about sharing knowledge, but also about profiting from each other in the aspects of recruiting and networking. But the motive for the WERK1 Resident Crashtest Security was above all the community idea, as co-founder Janosch Maier says: “We simply wanted to give something back to the Startup Network with our participation as workshop organizer and thus as partner of Startup Safari. Personally, I think the idea behind it is great that you really have the opportunity to pick out exactly what interests you as a participant in a totally flexible way. And we startups, on the other hand, have the chance to present ourselves to a broad audience during the three days”.
INITIATOR DANIEL KILGER IS “MEGA HAPPY”
Daniel Kilger also sees Startup Safari more as an opportunity for founders and the scene itself to give something back to the community. “For me, the whole thing is a kind of hobby project. Because I’m convinced that the Startup family here in Munich can do great things.” He seems to be right about that, if you look at the scale of the event, which was originally planned as a “pilot” within a very short time. “We didn’t expect it to be that big. Originally, we just wanted to see which partners were in the boat and whether this was an interesting topic for people at all,” jokes Kilger. “And then, to be honest, it completely escalated. In eight days we sold more than 1500 tickets and in only 12 weeks we started 75 sessions at 25 locations. All important accelerators and partners are there. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks for this. Of course also WERK1 as main sponsor, without whom all this would not have been possible. We are mega happy!
AND WHAT DO THE PARTICIPANTS SAY?
The feedback from the participants, who met with the WERK1 residents on Friday evening for the final get-together – the Silicon Drinkabout – in the packed WERK1 Café under the motto “No talks, no bullshit, just networking and free beer”, was also consistently positive. Student Kim Nike Wiedenhold: “Unfortunately, I was only able to participate on the last day, but I attended several events at the same time, because I’m very busy with the topic of reasons. Above all, I thought it was great that you can get in touch so easily with experts from many fields, but also meet like-minded people with whom you can exchange ideas”. Other participants particularly emphasized the good organization during the three days, the multi-faceted nature of the topics and contents as well as the quality of the sessions. The latter was particularly close to the hearts of the initiators, stressed Daniel Kilger shortly before the collective departure for the Closing Party at “Enter the Dragon” on Lehnbachplatz in Munich. “During the planning phase, we placed special emphasis on “niche” topics and small groups so that the participants could not only listen but also work together interactively. Where do you get the chance to pitch in front of professionals who improve you immediately? Or when do you have the chance to go in to Google and have a chat with some of the employees?”
Good question… If you don’t know the answer to this question and unfortunately missed the Startup Safari 2018 yourself, you can rest assured that there will be a repeat. Daniel Kilger and his supporters already have “big plans” for that, too. But we won’t tell yet what these plans will look like. The main initiator is only revealing this much: “We will expand the whole thing, go even deeper. One thing is certain: As an important supporter of Startup Safari, WORK1 will also be significantly involved in the new edition. So: Stay tuned!
When the popular poker start command “shuffle up and deal” becomes “shuffle up and connect”, it’s time to start up poker. Already for the second time we were allowed to organize the legendary Gründerpokern in WERK1 as side event of the founder conference „Bits & Pretzels“ and so the Eventspace became the Casino for one evening.
Around 80 founders, entrepreneurs, investors and coworkers have come to exchange a few poker chips, but perhaps also a business card or two, in a relaxed atmosphere. The special at the founder pokern: Who does not know the rules of the game, gets briefly before the Event with the professional Pokerdealer a small introduction and can play afterwards with professionals and other a risers at a table. Who gambles away early its chips, gets over a 2. chance the possibility of taking again at a table of the main round place..
At 8 p.m. all participants started at the poker tables and with the game the first conversations began. “The nice thing is, it’s easy to get started. With Poker one has equal times a common topic. You have fun and contacts run along the way,” reveals Coworker Carl Steinbeißer, who obviously has fun at the event.
And that’s what founder poker is all about. Play against each other, but talk to each other. One advantage: At the poker table you not only get to know one person, but also the character at the same time. From emotional outbursts to poker faces, you could observe everything that evening.
“The special thing about Gründerpokern for me is the atmosphere. This is a very unagitated kind of networking. It’s quieter than other Meetup events. At the same time, however, you notice that the calm is rather superficial. Inside, it might look quite different. Some can play a role, while others reveal the true “Me”. The personal ambition that drives many successful founders comes into its own here, of course.”
Dr. Florian Mann, CEO WERK1
But of course it’s also about the competition, where you can sometimes annoy the one or other investor sitting opposite you a little bit, says Daniel Kilger of Smokeless with a wink. He is also organising the first Startup Safari in Munich this year with WERK1 as his partner.
FIRST STARTUP SAFARI IN MUNICH
WERK1 will once again be an important host for startups and investors from the local startup scene during the Safari from 23 to 26 October. A total of 19 sessions will take place in our house these days. You can find out what these are here: https://www.werk1.com/event/startup-safari-munich/
The Startup Safari is like a big open day, with the special feature that it doesn’t take place at one but at many well-known places in Munich. Each participant can put together his or her own individual itinerary across Munich and visit Flixbus, Google or WERK1. The internationally already very successful event format takes place this year for the first time in Munich.
Anyone who lost at the table this evening at the Gründerpokern could take a seat at the cocktail bar and chat a bit with other participants and network here.
It was late night, until the final round was played out at the “Final Table” with the best ten and the lucky winners could accept their prizes. App developer Jonas Hackenberg was particularly pleased to win a ticket for the Bits & Pretzels 2019 with first place.
The event series Gründerpokern always takes place in changing locations in other cities. In Munich, the team comes to WERK1 again and again – this year we hosted Bits & Pretzels as well as 2 other events for almost 100 participants. “Because it’s simply so nice here that we love coming here again and again,” says Sascha Bevet, CEO Gründerpokern.
Who now has gotten desire on Poker and Networking: The next Gründerpokern takes place on 30 November – naturally with us in the WERK1
When Cornelia Klaubert from Munich – then employed by the Linde Group – fell on deaf ears with her idea of using the possibilities of digitisation for the sale of industrial gases, she quit and immediately put her vision into practice herself – parallel to the pregnancy and birth of her child. Perseverance ‘par excellence’ and that has paid off. After about 1.5 years the team of her start-up gasido consists of four people and in addition to first customer relationships, there are talks with big food companies who want to buy nitrogen from gasido. A success story as it is written in the book and closely interwoven with WERK1. In the meantime, they have made it from coworking to their own office.
SELL GASE ONLINE – WHY?
“After five years in the industry, I noticed how little digital affinity the industry ticks. B2B sales are still completely analogous and run via personal contacts,” Cornelia explains to us when we meet her for an interview in the WERK1 Café. “The potential of the digital operational routes has not yet been tapped at all”. That’s exactly what Cornelia wanted and wants to change. Because: From oxygen in hospitals for the ventilation of patients, to bars that use nitrogen to tap beer, to welding work – the market comprises many products that we all have to deal with on a daily basis. “I believe that these are products that will be sold digitally in the long term. And I think we need to start now. That’s why I quit and started back then.”
TEAM AND CUSTOMERS
The greatest demand at present is for welding gases. The gasido customers to date include, for example, workshops or shipping companies that require the special gases for ships. According to the founder, the next step is to approach major customers. She is primarily supporting her CTO Thomas Obkircher, who is working on the joint start-up from Berlin. There are also the developer Julie Fang and her colleague Karin Stopp, who takes care of customer support and marketing. Cornelia herself studied at the Technical University of Munich and earned her doctorate. It was a matter of course for her that she would also like to found a company here.
“I think a network is very important. And that’s what I have here. During my studies I enjoyed learning in the library – shared suffering is half suffering. That’s why I moved my workplace here to the coworking space right from the start. At WORK1 I think it’s great that so many startups with a digital background come together here and you’re inspired by so many exciting CVs.” The on-site networking obviously works: After all, Cornelia met her CTO Thomas at WORK1. The next milestone was the “Next Commerce Accelerator”, which gasido won. Next Steps: The relaunch of the online shop with improved functions is just finished, new customers are in the pipeline.
FOUNDING? SOMEHOW YOU DO EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING AT THE SAME TIME
When you start up, you have to deal with a variety of tasks: SEO, market analysis, sales, accounting…the list is long. So you have to get used to a lot of things quickly and accept that you don’t understand everything in detail. If someone prefers to work on one thing, but then works in depth, then you’re better off in established companies.”
The establishment of a company and a family at the same time does not exclude Cornelia. “I once read that founders in Germany are on average 35 years old. And at this age, of course, the topic of family is relevant. We also want our companies to shape the future world of work, and we should find a solution for combining family and company. Of course there are also sleepless neighbours. But I gladly accept them if my family and gasido develop well together”.
So it’s not always all just “glossy” and heal in the innovative startup world. But it’s worth holding out and believing in your idea. Cornelia Klaubert and her B2B platform gasido provide the proof.