Author: Oliver Halbig

Startup Work – first startup job fair for Munich at WERK1

It‘s a Match! This good news was announced by the startups and visitors of the “Startup Work” on 30 March. The first job fair in Munich especially for the needs of startups worked from scratch and was accepted by all sides.

Facts & Figures

With 51 startups, over 340 job advertisements and almost 300 job seekers, the matchmaking event at WORK1 offered the ideal setting for promising discussions and new career options and thus more than just a potential job for each participant! With the “Tour Ticket”, all visitors were able to talk directly to founders or personnel managers from various start-ups, who presented themselves everywhere at WERK1. Holders of the “Matchmaking Ticket” were also brought into direct contact with suitable exhibitors by means of CVs uploaded in advance and had the opportunity to use the workshop programme on topics such as “Working in a Startup” or “Dos and Dont’s in Social Media”.

NETWORKING FOR STARTUPS

About one third of the exhibiting startups were residents of WERK1 and two thirds were external participants. The sectors ranged from software in the fields of technology, mobility, health, HR, gastronomy and housing to leisure gadgets. The entire spectrum was also represented with regard to the development phase: From the early-stage startup, which has just received its EXIST grant and is now looking for its first interns, to the “Grown-Up” with 150 employees, which wants to keep in touch with the ground and attract creative professionals. The connecting element required by WERK1: Startup-spirit and the associated creative entrepreneurial spirit must be present. Thus, the exchange between the founders on moving topics such as recruiting was not neglected.

That was the topic for the final panel: Moderated by WERK1 CEO Dr. Florian Mann, Sebastian Schuon (founder of Alasco), Ankit Khare (UX designer at Ginlo by Brabbler), Leon Zucchini (founder of Curiosity.ai), Magdalena Reith (startup coach & partnership manager at Unicorn Pitch) and Daniel Schosser (co-founder of Crashtest Security) reported on what makes working in a startup so special.

A JOB FOR EVERYONE

At the latest after that all participants were convinced that a job in a start-up is the right thing for the future. And at the Startup Work they were able to find the right job for their own qualifications, from co-founder to working student, from IT/development to marketing/sales. Seldom before has it been so transparent for startups and applicants as to which positions are to be filled in young, fast-growing companies.

POSITIVE CONCLUSION FROM ALL SIDES

The balance of the trade fair day was positive throughout: All startups were delighted to have promising discussions with seriously interested job seekers. The job seekers also left the event in the best of moods: Inspiring and consistently motivated founders were available for an entire day with their innovative products. And that despite or perhaps because of the bright spring weather that accompanied the fair and invited to the subsequent burger dinner in the sun. A successful first edition of Startup Work and the responsible persons quickly agreed: To be continued …

THE STARTUP EXHIBITORS

The Games/Bavaria Road Trip from WERK1 to the “Ludicious” in Zurich 2019

The games scene is booming – almost every second German today plays regularly on consoles, smartphones and the like – according to recent studies by the games industry. Gaming has long ceased to be a special interest hobby where the public turns up their noses. More and more, the creation of digital games is being perceived as an artistic and cultural asset, as well as an innovation and marketing tool. People like Robin Hartmann & Robin Kocaurek from Games/Bavaria ensure that the local games industry can also develop and network. On behalf of the State Ministry for Digital Affairs, the Games/ Bavaria team, which is connected to WERK1 and based here, promotes the visibility of the Bavarian games industry on the international stage. This includes more than 30 projects a year, some of them trips to international events where they network young creative people from the scene with developers, big players and co. The Gamesfestival Ludicious in Zurich recently took place – Robin and Robin made a road trip out of it. What it looked like and how such actions ultimately promote the games industry in Bavaria, they told us in the Recap interview.

WERK1: FOR ALL THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW – PLEASE SUMMARIZE WHAT YOU ARE DOING HERE AT WERK1. WHAT IS YOUR MISSION

Robin Hartmann: We are officially part of WERK1, but we are in charge of our own project, which is not hung up at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, like WERK1 itself, but at the Ministry of State for Digital Affairs. In a large corporation, you would say it’s like a “profit center”. We don’t just take care of startups here at the location, but also throughout Bavaria – but especially in the video game industry. It’s about startups, but also about students, veterans, publishers, developers, etc. We also support the Digital Ministry in implementing projects when questions arise about the games industry. And one of our tasks is to support international visibility, a bit of location marketing and companies in the industry. And that’s why we went to Zurich at the end of January, to the games festival Ludicious and said: “That’s so close, we can make a road trip out of it!

WERK1: WHAT EXACTLY DID YOU DO AT THE FESTIVAL?

Robin Hartmann: We wanted to represent our Bavarian location as a development and publisher location. But of course we can’t do this alone. We both come from the games industry – Robin from the development side, me from the publishing side – but if you want to represent a location somewhere, you always need entrepreneurs in your luggage. So we simply asked the community who would like to join us. At the fair, we’re not just interested in making business appointments, but in showing what the companies have to offer. We had four companies with us, each exhibiting in teams of two at our stand. On the first day, the quasi business day, they mainly talked to other developers and from the second day on the gamers joined in. Of course it was nice for the teams to get feedback from the visitors, but also to have the possibility to meet to match, where they could meet with publishers and make first business contacts.

WERK1: WHAT ADDED VALUE DID THE ROADTRIP AS SUCH HAVE?

Robin Kocaurek: We did that last year, but we didn’t have a stand at the festival yet. Also back then we had people with us and found out that actually the journey was one of the most interesting intra-networking-things we could do. People sometimes see each other for the first time, but they can still have extremely interesting conversations – everyone has time to tell where they come from and what they do. Nobody thinks that a 3 ½ hour bus ride is a great networking opportunity, but it really is – after all, you sit together in a small space. That’s why we do this as a road trip and don’t just pay for the journey. It’s an uncomplicated support, which doesn’t need much preparation, but which has a very high effect for everyone.

WERK1: DOESN’T IT MAKE SENSE TO MOVE INTO SHARED ACCOMMODATION AT THE NEXT FESTIVAL?

Robin Kocaurek: It’s not that far-fetched. We actually know a lot of developers who do that anyway. That makes a lot of sense and next time we’ll have that on the list. The fact is: Without us, many of our partners probably wouldn’t have gone to Zurich at all. But we were able to do just that. There was already an urge to visit the event, but we were able to bridge the last hurdle with the road trip.

Robin Hartmann: In the games industry, you don’t usually make a game just for the German market, but you’re actually on the move internationally immediately and have to think bigger. But of course you still have all the problems other companies have when they just start over. And of course this also includes the fact that it’s hard to spend a few 1000 Euros on it, for example to fly to San Francisco or to spend a few days in expensive Zurich. This is even more of a problem for student teams than for start-ups. They may be thinking about starting up or are already in the start-up phase, but have considerably less money and have to pay for all this from their savings.

WERK1: SO THE ROADTRIP WAS A COMPLETE SUCCESS FOR YOUR PARTNERS. WHAT DOES YOUR INTERNAL CONCLUSION LOOK LIKE?

Robin Kocaurek: Zurich is expensive! (laughs) We will definitely do it again. Because we also saw that it was a complete success for the people who were there. And the Ludicious in Zurich is just a great opportunity because it’s nearby, but you can still connect people so effectively internationally. There is a productive atmosphere, nice and familiar, but still with a high standard of quality. This is an event that we can play at very efficiently.

WERK1: THE NEXT LUDICIOUS IS ALREADY SET IN YOUR SCHEDULE. WHAT ELSE IS NEXT FOR GAMES/ BAVARIA?

Robin Hartmann: Yes, we have more than 31 events and projects that we will play on this year in addition to the daily business. In May, for example, the Gamecamp will be exciting: a local conference taking place for the eleventh time – with around 200 people. This is a bar camp, a conference format based on the fact that the participants themselves create the content. Our theme is “Gaming” – and that makes us one of the biggest bar camps in Europe – and we are now quite successful with it. This is really a great event, from veterans to hobbyists, students, professionals, everything is there.

Robin Kocaurek: We have many construction sites. Especially at WERK1 – where we offer a meeting point and events with many partners from the local community. Here in Munich, we organize and support many initiatives: from very small user groups to medium-sized conferences. In addition, there are projects on a national level – of course the big gamescom in August, where we have a large joint stand with partners. Other international projects include the GDC in San Francisco, the Reboot and the Nordic Game. Many Scandinavian countries are on the move at the Nordic Game and the Reboot is a developer conference in Croatia – so we are on the move a lot and dance at many weddings. But it’s a healthy mixture of regional, national and international.

WERK1: SOUNDS EXTREMELY EXCITING. AND AFTER A LOT OF WORK! ALL THE MORE WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND FOR THE LITTLE INSIGHT INTO YOUR DAILY (AND NOT SO DAILY) BUSINESS.

GAMES/BAVARIA AT WERK1

You want to know more about the events and actions of Games/Bavaria? The two Robins put all the details on their website regularly – it’s worth taking a look.

INSURTECHHUB MUNICH STARTS FOURTH EDITION OF W1 FORWARD INSURTECH ACCELERATOR

Starting now, applications are being taken for InsurTech Hub Munich’s W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator until 7thMarch 2019. Existing since 2015, the eight-weeks program is designed for early-stage cross-industry international startups that want to make an impact on the insurance business with their digital solutions. It includes workshops, one-on-one mentoring and coaching sessions. Startups are assisted in becoming experts in insurance and turning  validated entrepreneurial ideas market- and investor-ready, building pilots with InsurTech Hub Munich’s (ITHM) corporate members.

“We’re looking for true disruptors, people who think big and outside the box”, says Manuel Holzhauer, ITHM’s Managing Director. “Established insurance companies are starting to realize their biggest competitors are no longer their industry peers, but rather the Tech Big 5 or Insurtech unicorns. Therefore cross-industry ideas are more than welcome”. He points to the hub’s services for startups: “We can offer access to a huge network of mentors, coaches, investors and allies both within the industry, in universities and with our startup alumni. But our true USP is the unparalleled access we provide startups to our fourteen insurance members.” ITHM’s partners range from international insurance market leaders to local champions and cross-industry players like PwC and Roche.

STRONG NETWORK OF PARTNERS AND ALUMNI

W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator is performed in cooperation with WERK1, ‘the most start-up-friendly place in Munich‘, a startup hub funded by the Bavarian ministry for economic affairs promoting the regional startup ecosystem. Funded by both its partners and Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, ITHM hosts events, networking opportunities, knowledge-sharing workshops or meetups and partners with internationally renowned events like the Digital Insurance Agenda (DIA) Conference

Once startups have reached a later stage, the second of ITHM’s accelerator programs, InsurTech Europe powered by Plug&Play, assists them in the scaling phase. ITHM works closely with fifteen other digital hubs (de:hubs) in Germany, each focused on their own vertical, aimed at putting Germany on the global digitization heatmap. W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator alumni include Road Safety startup Kruzr, which has secured a $1.3M seed fundingrecently or Munich-based e-bot7, specializing in Artificial Intelligence solutions for Customer Service.

Registration & further details:

“Valley of the Boom” Premiere screening at WERK1 with subsequent panel discussion

© National Geographic / Sebastian Gabriel

The global series event “Valley of the Boom“ n National Geographic starts on Sunday, January 20 at 9 pm. In a highly entertaining mix of documentary and game scenes, the six-part mini-series traces the big bang of digitization, the Silicon Valley of the 90s. Already four days earlier National Geographiczur invited to the exclusive German premiere of the first two episodes in WERK1. he following panel discussed the topic “Reasons then and now – Challenges and opportunities of digitisation”.

THE TIME OF THE DOTCOM BUBBLE TO TOUCH

Passionate founders who are obsessed with their ideas, serene investors hungry for success, aggressive representatives of the market powers or even wacky imposters – in the “Valley of the Boom” they all play their very own role. From the initial hype, to the bursting of the DotCom bubble, to the speculation-adjusted resurrection of this latest major technological revolution, the series portrays its protagonists. Both in the form of real interviews and in vividly recreated scenes.

In 2 x 45 minutes at the premiere the audience got a very good impression of the dynamics – both of the series and of the actual events. For the four other episodes, fans have to wait for the broadcast on National Geographic.

CLOSE TO THE TRUTH? DISCUSSION IN THE EXPERT PANEL

Immediately afterwards, the four panel participants talked about their personal experiences from the beginnings of the Internet:

  • Constantin Schwaab (Entrepreneur and Founder of Plain Energy, Kinoheld and Wirelane)
  • Jean-Paul Schmetz (Chief Scientist Burda Forward, Founder & COO Cliqz)
  • Axel Gundolf (Director TV der FOX NETWORKS GROUP GERMANY)
  • Dr. Florian Mann (CEO WERK1 & Co -founder von FERTILA)

The discussion was moderated by brand strategist and organizational trainer Anais Bock.

© National Geographic / Sebastian Gabriel

Jean-Paul Schmetz worked as an investment scout for Burda Digital GmbH and therefore knows each of the protagonists. Both he and Constantin Schwaab, who was looking for business partners in Silicon Valley in 2008, named the unique, high-density ecosystem in the Valley as a key factor of his success. At the same time, American legislation and the huge American domestic market favored the conditions for local start-ups. But in Germany, too, the start-up culture is now being promoted very strongly. However, all panelists see a need to catch up in the area of the founder mentality: liberalism, tolerance, agility, network and “big thinking”. Here, Germany is still lagging significantly behind and would rather bury itself in Excel lists than self-confidently cultivate that very decisive startup mindset.

FOUNDED IN THE 21ST CENTURY AND IN THE FACTORY1

This is where WERK1 comes into play. Because as an ecosystem, startup hubs like WERK1, in which founders can network, exchange and support each other, are almost indispensable. This is where ideas emerge and grow. The idea for this event, for example! Because the National Geographic team is based in WERK3. A cooperation with WERK1 was obvious in the truest sense of the word. And who knows what fruitful conversations were only held after screenings and panels at delicatessen burgers and hot dogs …!

THANKS FOR AN AMAZING YEAR 2018 – WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE ADVENTURES

A great year is coming to an end for all of us at WERK1: 29 new startups moved in over the year and the number of coworkers more than doubled in just one year from 74 to 130. Thanks to the new Slack Channel and a freelancer platform, both sides profit more from each other than ever before. With a new coworking space and Office RnD as a tool, we have put the infrastructure on a completely new level and set the technical foundation for the “Perks & Benefits” program introduced in autumn. With the hiring of Tina, the WERK1 mentoring program has also been launched. In addition, we have organized over 200 events for the community in the house.

WERK1 TEAM IST GROWING

The WERK1 team also grew very strongly in 2018. Especially due to the development of the new InsurTech Hub here in the company, 22 people are now working here from the café to startup support.

SUCCESSFUL ACCELERATOR PROGRAMS

In addition to start-up support and coworking, the accelerator programs are an essential part of the work at WORK1. After the successes in the InsurTech area, we discovered Digital Health as a new topic for us in 2018, based on the successful launch of the “Future X Healthcare Event”. Together with Roche, one of the leading companies in the healthcare industry, and Plug and Play, the world’s largest provider of accelerator programs, we launched the first Digital Health Accelerator for Munich.

The startups spent five months working on their projects out of WERK1 with the help of mentors. And we weren’t lazy when it came to InsurTech either: In 2018 we carried out the 4th batch of the successful W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator together with the InsurTech Hub Munich and the participating insurers.

The special feature of this batch was that it was almost twice as large as its predecessors. 75 startups applied for the programme this year. Nine international teams, including one from Australia and two from India, were selected in the end.

The requirements for this batch were greater, from start to finish. The recruiting process alone was more complex and international than ever. In the meantime, word has spread about our concept from Munich. This is a great signal of what a worldwide attraction we have developed.

Around €50,000 were invested in each startup in the form of infrastructure, top-class mentoring and direct links to more than a dozen globally active insurance companies. This “all-round carefree package” turned ideas into scalable business models in no time at all.

FIRST STARTUP SAFARI IN MUNICH

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.

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 authorities, initiatives and media were involved. Among them were many big players, famous and aspiring startups like Flixbus, Celonis or Freeletics, big investors and accelerators, up to global corporations like Google.

GAMES/BAVARIA AT WERK1

This year was also a great year for our games team. Robin & Robin from Games/Bavaria here at WERK1, went to Zurich to the Ludicious together with a group of developers, celebrated the tenth GameCamp, had a great, fully booked gamescom in Cologne, curated and opened an exhibition in Nürnberg and were able to connect many applicants and vacancies with the Career Day at WERK1.

LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT YEAR

Today, we would like to thank all our residents, partners and supporters! It is only because of you, your dreams and your commitment that our vision of the “most startup-friendly place in Munich” comes to life. And already now, we’re looking forward to our new adventures in the coming year. For now, let us celebrate what we have achieved.

The WERK1 team will take a break from Dec 24 through Jan 6 – we are looking forward to meeting all of you again next year.

„DIE HÖHLE DER LÖWEN“-panel in WERK1 – No arrangements, no script and no second take!

Show or chance? High input, low output? Or a “kickstart” to get started with your own startup? With about 3 million viewers, the founder show “Die Höhle der Löwen” is also very popular with German TV audiences in the fifth season. But does this also apply to the start-ups, whose ideas are competing for the favour of the five investors? Will the “deal” actually be followed by a contract? Or is everything just fake and if anything good for PR? Three startups with relevant experience in the TV format told the story in a “Cave of the Lions Panels” in WERK1.

While in the adjoining room they hacked and genetically engineered at more than 20 other locations throughout the city, Startup Safari participants were able to pick up tips and insights from those who had already successfully faced the lions at this special panel. Also present: Katharina Mayer from the Munich social startup „kuchentratsch“, which sells cakes baked by pensioners to private customers, companies and restaurants and just comes fresh from the cave. Sebastian Niewöhner, who wants to make videos to the new application standard with „talentcube“ and Malte Janduda from the Smarthome-Plugin-Startup „Parce“, a WERK1 Resident. Both were in the Lions’ Cave in 2017. The questions that probably burned on the lips of everyone in the audience were asked by Florian Mann, WORK1 CEO, who moderated the evening.

HOW DO YOU GET INTO IN DIE HÖHLE DER LÖWEN?

For Talentcube the recommendation by another startup was the key to the cave. Parce and kuchentratsch applied in a classic way. The questions of the investors (especially about numbers and scalability) were prepared particularly thoroughly by analysing previous seasons. In addition, shopify was used to prepare the web shop for the expected rush. PR and employees also need to be well prepared.

HOW DID THE PRODUCTION GO?

All three startups were thrown into the cold water and had to prepare and organize themselves for the two-hour recording. There was no help or tips from VOX, contact to the investors was actually only possible during the shooting. No agreements, no script. And no second take! They all had no experience with TV and therefore also some “jitters” before the unfamiliar situation, respectively before the approach in post production. The founders’ concerns: that completely incoherent takes be combined at will, just as it suits the dramaturgy. Tip from Katharina Mayer: Always smile beautifully, keep your face under control, never look sad or disappointed. By the way: a whole 11 months of gap had talentcube between shooting and broadcasting – an eternity for the 2-year-old startup at that time. It’s a good thing that the investor contract was signed directly after the start of production…

WHAT WERE YOUR EXPECTATIONS? AND WHAT WENT COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY THAN EXPECTED?

As expected, the focus was on entertainment, the founders summed up. Although the deals at the pitch are negotiated realistically and brutally, as a startup you convince first and foremost by media performance or by a stirring story – and “yes”, the producers of Sony also casteted for optical suitability in advance.

While parce and talentcube had already focused on one or two investors before, kuchentratsch went into the negotiations quite openly. But all three came to a good agreement with “their” suitable investor.

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE SHOW?

The expectations of the start-ups were also met in terms of response, albeit to varying degrees. However, they had all tended to expect more immediate rush. The contract negotiations went very well for kuchentratsch and talentcube, both of which had won Carsten Maschmeyer as an investor. Carsten Maschmeyer continues to support them beyond business with valuable tips and a lively investment community. Unfortunately, Parce was unable to reach an agreement with Frank Thelen. However, they were able to make significant progress with their existing investor. Rare damage where no benefit.

WOULD YOU GUYS DO IT AGAIN?

Both Katharina and her male founding colleagues praised the steep learning curve that resulted from participating in the show. All the excitement and all the new experiences offered, besides the financial gain, such an added value that above all cake gossip and talentcube would always be there again. The main reason for Parce not to do this is because of their product. The emotional factor in her Smarthome gadget was simply not enough to promote quotas. The other two also emphasize this: The Lions’ Cave is an ingenious springboard for mass-produced, easily understandable “consumer goods” – in the form of a balanced mixture of show and business. What some television disenchanted “Millenial” wouldn’t necessarily suspect. Katharinas, Sebastian’s and Malte’s conclusion on the participation in the show was correspondingly positive at the panel.

At this point we at WERK1 would like to thank the three of them once again for the exciting and entertaining insight and thus for the support during the Startup Safari in general.

Gamescom 2018 – Games/Bavaria and WORK1 with community booth and beer garden

Also in 2018  gamescom had the city of Cologne firmly under control for almost a week. Europe’s largest gaming trade fair set a new visitor record for its 10th anniversary with 375,000 participants and exhibitors from 56 countries presented their innovations in the field of gaming. And of course  WERK1 with the Bavarian umbrella brand for the games industry Games/Bavaria, must not be missed: In a prime location on the trade fair grounds, the team brought a touch of Bavarian cosiness to the hustle and bustle of the trade fair. The maypole in the middle of the stand guided visitors from all directions into a beer garden full of details, where exhibitors and visitors could experience Bavarian feeling of home in the centre of the Rhine metropolis. A total of 12 exhibitors shared the stand space, which was also sponsored by the State Chancellery.

PRIME MINISTER TOBIAS HANS FROM SAARLAND AT THE BOOTH

A highlight on the very first day was the surprising visit of Saarland’s Prime Minister Tobias Hans. With a view to comparable programmes in his own federal state, he visited the striking beer garden stand and was visibly impressed by the Games/Bavaria team, who explained how Bavaria works together with the industry association to promote games.

The traditional breakfast reception on the 2nd day of the fair brought the stand to its limits. All visitors were greeted authentically with wheat beer and sausage by the organizers at the booth, who also took the opportunity to launch the new Games/Bavaria website live on the spot and rightly get a lot of positive feedback for new features such as jobboard, news area and detailed event calendar. A further announcement concerned a new job fair for the games industry, which will take place for the first time in WORK1 in November.

The Games/Bavaria joint stand at gamescom was not only the ideal location for our tenants and partners, but was also used for spontaneous meetings and discussions with its beer garden and inviting design. We are proud to bring some Free State to Cologne and the feedback of our tenants and guests was positive throughout.
Personally, it is one of the highlights of the year for me and I get new motivation and inspiration for the coming year at gamescom, until we meet again at gamescom in the Bavarian Biergarten.

Robin Hartmann – Project Lead Games/Bavaria

A BOOTH IN THE BEST POSITION

In the best location in Hall 3.2 as part of the „Made in Germany“ Area, twelve companies were represented at the Bavarian joint stand. Also in 2018 the team decided for the joint appearance of the Bavarian industry representatives under the umbrella brand Games/Bavaria for a half-open stand with a large area for a beer garden. Rounded off by a maypole, a bit of cosiness came from Munich to the fair.

In a few words, we can say that the joint stand of Games/Bavaria, WERK1 and many other partners was again a great success and enabled many up-and-coming companies from Bavaria to present their products at Europe’s most important gaming trade fair.

LIST OF EXHIBITORS

POWERED BY

Chatchamp – “Continuous Improvement” in WERK1

Busy silence reigns in the room. The desks are littered with creative chaos, the walls full of mind maps and results from the latest brainstorming sessions. Between all the notes there is an Asian lettering – translated: “Continuous Improvement” No question who enters the office of the young Munich startup Chatchamp immediately notices that someone is burning for his idea! “Instant messengers like the Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp are now firmly anchored in our daily communication and although they were previously mainly used for private messages, we are now experiencing a development that customers would also like to be addressed in this way. We have recognized this trend,” says Felix Belau, one of the three founders of Chatchamp. Since April this year, WERK1 has been able to give the ambitious crew and their promising vision a “home”.

CHATCHAMP SEES TREND REVERSAL AT INSTANT-MESSENGERN

Founded a good two years ago by Felix Schröder, Felix Belau and Dominik Grusemann from Munich, the start-up focuses on messenger services such as Facebook and WhatsApp as its new B-to-C communication channel. “We have simply recognized that communication is shifting more and more. Instead of e-mail and the like, people want to be addressed more personally and individually,” explains co-founder Felix Belau. Together with its two partners, the team has developed software that makes it possible for online shops to communicate individually with customers via instant messengers. The advantages: The customer can also express wishes and feedback. In this way, the company gets to know the customer better, can send targeted content that is really relevant to him and thus increases customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and ultimately sales.

An approach that obviously works: First customers use the software successfully. Felix: “That was a big milestone for us. When I think about how it all started, it gives me the creeps.” What does the co-founder mean by that? Quite simple! The moments that every startup knows. Felix calls them “the crunchy moments when you can’t predict how long you’ll be around.” What helped most in critical situations was the friendship that prevails in the team. Felix and Dominik have known each other for 15 years. After getting to know each other, Felix joined the team at the Munich Startup Alm, a workshop lasting several days for founders. Together, the three experts combine their know-how and many years of experience in the fields of IT, business and marketing.

MUNICH, BERLIN AND BACK – AT WERK1 UNDER FOUNDERS

After a short flying visit in Berlin – Chatchamp has qualified for an accelerator of the Axel-Springer-Verlag – the three are back in Munich. “Right at the beginning we started in Munich, but then we were still in a small room in a shared office near Nordbad,” recalls Felix. And here comes the second aspect of the goose bump factor: he also remembers the afternoons when the agency’s employees, who were also sitting in the office, left the office radiantly. And he was far from finished with his colleagues. “Then you sit there, alone and frustrated. Here at WERK1 it’s quite different. We really like this startup atmosphere. We get to know so many other founders and can draw on each other’s experience. Everybody is helpful and if, for example, you need to get involved in sales and Co. Input needs, help is only a slack message far away and minutes later 3-4 people offer their experiences. And: We see which challenges the others overcome. This is extremely motivating”.

The founders of Chatchamp say that it is not only the premises from which the young company profits in WERK1. The fact that they are supported in the organisation of events and meetings, for example, as well as in other bureaucratic and logistical steps, is also a huge advantage of the location. For example, they recently organized their first own Meetup in the Eventspace and had help from the Event Team.

COURSE SET FOR THE USA

What the future holds for Chatchamp we want to know about Felix. “USA” is the short answer. There they applied for one of the German Accelerator programs. Meanwhile, the team has grown to a good ten people. In addition to the three founders, various sales & marketing and developers are on board. Felix comments: “We glow”. So nothing stands in the way of the motto “Continuous Improvement”. We at WERK1 are delighted to be able to provide Chatchamp with the breeding ground for so much zest for action!

Startup: Chatchamp
Website: https://www.chatchamp.com/
Contact: info@chatchamp.io

Crashtest Security – the Cyber Security Innovation “Made in Munich”

Young, innovative and award-winning: Crashtest Security automatically searches for security gaps in WERK1 – in between, of course, it can also be “Bavarian – traditional”.

The topic of cyber security occupies developers, operators and users of web applications like no other, and this not only since the new EU data protection basic regulation came into force. The big question is: How can companies close potential security gaps as early as the development stage in order to protect their own data and that of their users against hacker attacks and external misuse? This step in application development requires a lot of manual effort and is accordingly complex, time-consuming and ultimately expensive.

The Munich startup Crashtest Security has a better solution: an automated crash test for web applications of all kinds. The software already scans applications at a defined point in time during the development process or later in live operation and thus provides the developer with timely indications of significant security gaps in the application. The effect: Maximum data security for developers with minimum time expenditure and significantly reduced costs even during development, before an application reaches live status. It takes little imagination to imagine the number of potential customers for the startup.

NO DESIRE FOR NINE-TO-FIVE

Felix, Janosch, René and Daniel have been residents of WORK1 since January 2018. Three nerds, one BWLer and the first permanent employees. Felix is responsible for sales, marketing and finances. The programmers Janosch, René and Daniel already developed software together during their studies at the TU Munich and founded the first GbR before graduating. They quickly realized how complex the subject of “security testing” still is in software development, and so they took the opportunity to start their first own start-up company. Already during his first internships and jobs, Felix noticed that a classic nine-to-five employee existence was out of the question for him. Whoever founds a company can decide with whom, what, how much and when to work – a great advantage that all four of them appreciate. In addition, one hundred percent of the founders are behind their own product and, if necessary, they like to work night shifts or get up early.

OPTIMAL CONDITIONS IN WERK1

In Munich/Bavaria the four crash testers found optimal starting conditions: In February 2017, they received the EXIST scholarship for one year and subsequently a place in WERK1. The first WERK1 half-year balance is very positive. They won investors and also won 2nd prize at the CEBIT Innovation Award 2018. Their test presentation at the trade fair in Hanover convinced the jury not only virtually, but also through a practical test on site: With a quick scan, the team automatically created PDF reports (vulnerability reports), with which the visitors could directly see security gaps in their applications and the added value of the crash test security software.

Your „One Sentence Pitch“?

We are automating the security test for web applications, which has been very time-consuming up to now and is mainly manual and therefore expensive.

Who needs it?

Anyone who develops websites/applications

How high do you estimate the WERK1 factor?

Very high – The combination of network and promotion is simply unbeatable, and by that we don’t just mean the inexpensive office space in downtown Munich. The community aspect here on site, the exchange with the other startups and coworkers, the networking within the industry and the events here on site are simply ideal.

WERK! - Resident - Crashtest Security - logo

Startup: Crashtest Security
Website:https://crashtest-security.com/
Contact: info@crashtest-security.com

InsurTech Cashwalk in WERK1: A pitch event of superlatives

From mobile health checks at the workplace to full-service partners for drone services. At the first InsurTech Cashwalk at WERK1, 27 international start-ups competed for the favour of more than 60 hand-picked investors. In the end, the jury honored three winners.

The InsurTech Hub Munich has invited together with the LMU Entrepreneurship Center to the Cashwalk and the startups, they came in large numbers. More than 50 had applied in advance, at the end about half of them were allowed to present themselves to an audience of potential investors. The challenge: Each start-up had just three minutes to present a problem, the solution and the product.

What is special for us is that it is a pitching in staccato mode. The cashwalk is a very nice allusion to the catwalk, a kind of showdown of the startups. We chose this format very specifically so that the listener, especially investors, has the opportunity to see a large number of startups in a very short time and to get a first impression.

Dr. Florian Mann, CEO WERK1

Those who wanted to leave a lasting impression had to have the appropriate answers ready for the jury after the pitch. The critical questions posed by the ten jury members were primarily aimed at luring the founders out of their reserves and examining their ideas in detail.

In addition to looking at the business model, founders and previous traction or pilots, I am also interested in what really differentiating capabilities the company is building and how these can be scaled – for example with an insurer as a cooperation partner – and how concrete impact can be generated.

Dr. Volker Büttner, Head of Group Innovation im Generali-Headoffice in Mailand (Juror)

It’s also important to me to see how the team is put together and what fire they bring with them, so are they really convinced of their idea?

Dr. Florian Mann, CEO WERK1 (Juror)

In the end it was not only the business potential that counted, but also the enthusiasm, which of course also had to be felt by the investors in order to be convincing. The desired investment sum of the start-ups ranged from 40,000 to 2 million euros. Ambroise Fargère from +Simple came from France especially for the InsurTech Cashwalk.

I just started at my company four weeks ago. So the pitch today was quite a challenge. But it’s great to be here, to meet people and above all to connect with potential partners.

Ambroise Fargère / +Simple

We are here to meet interesting new start-ups from the InsurTech sector, because this is an important market and the industry is in a state of upheaval. The interesting thing about this event is that on the one hand there are a lot of start-ups from one subject area and on the other that the investor scene is also represented. So you can also exchange ideas.

Stephan Mohrhardt / Ancore Finance Group

There were certainly enough interesting and extraordinary ideas on this exclusive pitch day. Here is a small excerpt:

BODY-LABS: THE HEALTH CHECK AT THE WORKPLACE

Whether control of heart, blood, or breathing. The vision of Body-Labs is to use a mobile laboratory to give employees a holistic insight into their most important health values in just 15 minutes. Everything in the comfort of your workplace. For entrepreneurs, this could be an interesting possibility in the future to be able to
to invest individually in the health of their employees.

IDANA: THE DIGITAL ANAMNESIS

Using a digital questionnaire, the startup wants to record important information even before the consultation with the doctor. The questionnaires are specially tailored to the patient’s complaints and can be answered via smartphone or tablet in the waiting room or already from home. The physician receives the data in encrypted form and can thus
to get a more accurate picture of his patient in advance.

DYNAMIC COMPONENTS: EARLY DETECTION OF PROCESS RISKS OF LIFTS

The startup from Munich has developed software and hardware for predictive maintenance of elevators and escalators. For example, data on elevators and escalators is to be collected and used for trend analyses. The aim is to reduce maintenance costs for the customer and to avoid breakdowns that can even determine life and death in hospitals.

At the end of this exciting pitch day, Andy Goldstein from the Entrepeneurship Center of the LMU Munich awarded the winners. 1st place went to Black Rock Insurance from Great Britain, followed by Dynamic Components and FairFleet from Munich. The gift bag for the winners, rather symbolic. The much greater value was certainly the one or the other business card of an Investor.