Category: Event Stories

Hubert Aiwanger, Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs with Startup Teens at WERK1

On 9 May 2019, WERK1 hosted the startup teens. More than 100 teenagers followed an exciting talk with startup entrepreneurs from TheSimpleClub and Inveox, our WERK1 managing director Dr. Florian Mann and this year’s guest of honour, farmer and Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger.

Startup-Coaching for Teens

Our managing director Dr. Florian Mann opened the event: “He is always looking forward to welcoming the startup teens to WERK1 and to supporting young people in making the dream of their own startup come true. When it came to the question of who wanted to start a company in the future, the fingers leapt up – the best prerequisite for a great evening!

Rubin Lind, winner of the Startup Teens Challenge and founder of “Skills4School”, led the evening. In a panel discussion, the entrepreneurs introduced themselves and talked about how to master the path from the idea to the foundation. The most important thing is to stand behind the ideas and always stay on the ball, even when it comes downhill, motivated the experts. If you have the wish to achieve something, nothing stands in the way of implementing the idea. The entrepreneurs also gave the young people the idea to inform themselves on the Internet and to build up a reach and community via the social media and to perceive events such as the Startup-Coaching programs and events of Startup Teens.

“Startup initiatives are our future”

Hubert Aiwanger appealed to the pupils to take more risks and to realise themselves. He spoke of today’s “affluent society” where it is important to keep the founder thinking on going. The Free State of Bavaria stands behind start-ups and young entrepreneurs. The Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs referred to the 7 new digital business incubators, which provide young entrepreneurs with support for their own start-up projects. He assured “We want to tackle” and thus encouraged the young people to realize their ideas.

Afterwards, the young people were allowed to ask questions to the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs and the start-up entrepreneurs themselves. In addition to the general entrepreneurial context, questions about the current school system also arose. The pupils would like to learn more about founding and the employer side at school and not only to be taught the employee side. Mr. Aiwanger confirmed the pupils’ point of view and was open to suggestions as to how these contents could be better communicated in the future.


The future young entrepreneurs had their goal of their own startup clearly in mind and turned to the startup experts on stage. How long does it take to set up a startup? And how do I build a network? These and many other questions were answered in detail until the end of the event.

Afterwards, the students had time over drinks and snacks to talk personally to their entrepreneurial role models as well as to network with each other. We are delighted that WERK1 was once again able to host this great event!

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

“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 …!

„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.

Startup Safari 2018 in WERK1 – from the “crazy idea” to an event for 1,500 participants

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  FlixbusCelonis 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?”

 WHAT’S NEXT?!

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!

Bits & Pretzels Startup Night: Networking and poker were the order of the day at WERK1

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 conferenceBits & Pretzelsand 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..

FUN NETWORKING

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

Code+Design – The Programming Pros of Tomorrow working on WERK1

Working on your own exciting hardware and software projects for four days, exchanging ideas in a community of interest of the same age and being shown new technologies by professional coaches – this is the program of Code+Design, a workshop that has been touring all over Germany for around two years and is aimed at young people. For the second time the WERK1 was host and offered thereby from 30.8. to 2.9. approximately 30 beginning Programmier-Pros an inspiring surrounding field around itself to try out.

WHAT IS CODE+DESIGN?

The nationwide programming camps for young professionals are organized by the gemeinnützigen Code+Design Initiative e.V.. “Our goal is it to inspire more young humans for digital technologies and to inform about the different career profiles , explain Anna Bckner, one of the Coaches, which supported the participants in the WORK1. Three can be young people between the ages of 15 and 20. Which knowledge level they have in puncto Coding and Co. play thereby no role, say the Coach – both advanced ones, and bloody beginners are welcome with the Worshops in cities such as Hamburg, Frankfurth, Munich and CO. “The point is that young people who have a basic interest in the subject can try it out. The basics in programming language, for example, those who don’t know it yet, learn it quite casually.”

TAKE WITH YOU THE EXPERIENCE OF EVERYDAY WORKING LIFE

As usual for Code+Design, the camp at WORK1 took place in the “Hackathon format”. This means: At the beginning, the participants who already have a project idea present it. Then teams come together to work on the different ideas in project groups – purely according to interest. Until the final presentation on the last day, the groups develop concepts, some even first prototypes. In support of the coaches, who can all draw on professional experience in the business and report to the participants on their own experiences in the job. Like Anna Brückner: “The nerd who locks himself in the cellar with his games and eats pizza is an absolute prejudice. When you work in coding and IT development, you have to be creative. There’s a lot of teamwork and you have to have social skills. The young people experience all this in our workshops.

THE PROJECTS – FROM GAMES TO APPS FOR YOUR OWN EVERYDAY LIFE

But what do the projects look like that the participants in such a camp set themselves as a goal?

“Of course, the topic of gaming often occurs, so developing your own games,” explains coach Anna Brückner. “Or it’s about everyday problems that young people encounter. For example, a girl brought her friend’s cane with her. And the idea that a kind of sensor and GPS could be integrated into it to make it easier for her to find her way around. One of the participants, for example, developed a program for his school’s secretary’s office – this is in use as far as I know today – with which the school can draw the students’ course choices fairly by algorithm.” Still others, including the participants in Munich, are developing apps that make the waiting time for a bus, doctor’s appointment, etc. meaningful – with short lessons and exercises from areas such as foreign languages, politics, biology, etc., and also from the school. Another Munich participant has been annoyed for a long time by the fact that there is always a fight at parties because not everyone likes the music. His idea: a program that, for example, matches all spotify accounts of the party guests and then only plays the titles that are represented on as many of them as possible.

COMPETITION: NO! – TEAMWORK: YES!

Working on the things that keep you busy in everyday life. And to have small success experiences at it again and again – that is the reason, why the young people are so enthusiastically with the thing, says Betreuerin Anna Brückner. “That’s why we have so many repeat offenders. Those who take part are really super motivated. You can see that from the fact that some of the kids arrive much earlier in the morning than we even start. And stay even longer in the evenings to continue working on their cause in the groups.” On the other hand, competitive thinking doesn’t play a role, says the coach. “On the contrary, everyone gives each other input and exchanges solution ideas. No project is maintained higher than the other, no matter whether it’s a game or an app with a social background.”

WHAT DO THE PARTICIPANTS SAY?

I guess that’s what they call licking blood. Jonathan can only sign it. The 17-year-old high school student and his school colleague took part in Code+Design for the second time. “Unfortunately, programming is a hobby that is not very widespread. That’s why it’s great to get together with a lot of people our age and to think with them about how you can advance your ideas. You really learn a lot what you can use during your studies or training.”

THE PERCENTAGE OF GIRLS IS GROWING

As a non-profit initiative, the initiators of Code+Design are naturally dependent on any supporters. WERK1 therefore made the location freely available.

Five girls were among the almost 30 Munich participants. Often, however, the ratio of male to female participants is 50/50, with a minimum of 25 percent girls, reports Anna Brückner. More and more young women are finding their way into the profession. Certainly also a merit of the Code+Design Initiative e.V., which ensures with the four-day camps like ours at WERK1 that young people with such an area of interest find their way into professional life.

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.

Demo Day at WERK1: Nine startups present their vision for a modern insurance industry

9 start-ups. Around 60 mentors. 13 insurance partners. 8 weeks. One could almost call it a small boot camp of the startup scene, which took place in the last weeks here in the rooms of WERK1. The result: Nine innovative solutions that could advance the future of the digital insurance industry. With the live presentations of the international teams the third batch of the W1>> InsurTech Accelerator ends successfully.

You’ve invested your heart and soul in the last eight weeks. But for most of the participants in the batch, that also meant less sleep and more coffee. But days like this are the reward for the hard and intensive working hours, because there was a lot of interest in their projects. The Eventspace: Full to bursting with almost 200 enthusiastic startup colleagues, investors, insurers and the curious.

W1>> INSURTECH ACCELERATOR BATCH 3

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

“The demands on this batch were greater, from start to finish. The recruiting process alone was more complex and international than ever before. In the meantime, word has spread about our concept from Munich. That’s a nice signal of what a worldwide attraction we’ve developed.”

Dr. Florian Mann, CEO WERK1

Around €50,000 was invested in each start-up 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.

After interviews on stage with the W1>>team members and a short speech by Tom Van den Brulle, Head of Global Innovation at Munich Re, the startups got serious. Each team had exactly five minutes to present its own project to the experts present. Here are a few examples of the presentations:

ANYONE CAN AND IS ALLOWED TO PITCH

Ayan Srivastava presented with a video the app Kruzr, which turns the smartphone into a driving assistant. The Kruzr language assistant could become a helpful co-pilot, e.g. by warning in case of increased speed or bad weather conditions, by suggesting breaks after longer driving times, or by simply managing incoming messages. The aim is to significantly reduce the number of car accidents.

The next step was the intelligent health platform Docyet, which can not only talk to the patients, but also has appropriate solutions for their problems with the help of artificial intelligence. Petra and Samuel von Freya discussed the topic of human fertility and possible insurance benefits, and Marguerite from MedPayRx explained how Blockchain technology can help patients buy medicines online in the future. At the end of the presentations everyone received a certificate. For Gilberto from Sydney it was a nice memory of an exciting and intense time.

„Since the first day I came for demo day, I felt like: this is the place. It was a really intense time, but I always wanted to get the most out of it! It was a huge opportunity to speak directly with a collection of insurance companies and it has really opened a lot of doors for us.“

Gilberto Spencer CEO & Gründer von Claimspace

The hard work was worth it. All nine start-ups have mastered their presentations on stage with confidence and professionalism. Program coordinator Daniel Nowack is very satisfied after the pitches, almost a bit sentimental.

“It was an incredibly dynamic cohort with whom it was a lot of fun to work together. Everyone could learn from everyone. On a day like today, seeing startups present themselves self-confidently who were previously very insecure is a huge gift!

A SUCCESS FOR THE INSURERS

The W1>> InsurTech Accelerator connects the world of startups with the world of large insurance companies and not only the founders benefit. Johannes Wagner revealed us at the Demo-Day:

“For our insurers, it is a constant competition for premium innovations. We have to get to the top issues worldwide. W1>>InsurTech is a collection basin for this. Here we have access to premium innovations, not from Silicon Valley, but directly from Munich”.

Johannes Wagner, Vorstand InsureTech HUB München / Leiter Start-up Corporation Versicherungskammer Bayern

Besides interviews, speeches and pitches there was of course enough time for celebrations and networking. At small booths each startup could introduce itself to interested visitors in the WERK1 Café and have a drink to discuss the ideas of the startups in more detail. Our evening ends at the booth of Freya and with the beautiful words of founder Petra:

„It was a unique program. We love it here in Munich. WERK1 has a super friendly atmosphere, we feel like home!“

WERK1 celebrates Demo Day of the first Digital Health Accelerator in Munich

It’s Demo Time! WERK1, Roche and Plug’n Play jointly organized the first Digital Health Accelertor in Munich and after months of concentrated work, five outstanding startups presented their results on June 7th. It’s absolutely clear that our eventspace is reaching its limits. Fortunately, however, we have suitable alternatives in the factory district: In the Technikum right next door, the startups presented themselves to more than 350 interested people and then celebrated themselves and the results well into the night – well deserved!

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 (www.fxh2017.com). 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 worked on their projects for five months from WORK1 with the help of mentors, and from 7 June it was time to present the results. The right location was quickly found with the technical centre on the factory premises. All in all, it was a long day. We started with a press brunch to present the results to the trade press in a relaxed atmosphere. Freshly strengthened, the event continued quickly in front of a large audience. After the greetings of Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs Franz Josef Pschierer and some board members, the startups had the floor. One pitch followed the other and it quickly became clear what a professional level each of the young companies had reached in the short space of time. The quality of the lectures, videos and presentations was outstanding. But even after that it was not over yet. Only rarely do you have so many leading representatives of the health industry in one place and so the rest of the evening was used until late into the night for networking and deserved celebrations.

STARTUPS

1. Fibricheck 

Fibricheck is a prescription, medically certified screening and monitoring application for the detection of cardiac arrhythmia including atrial fibrillation.

2. inveox

Inveox automates sample preparation in histopathology.

3. Medicus.ai

Medicus.ai is an AI-based platform that explains and interprets medical reports and health data in order to gain meaningful insights from figures.

4. SagivTech

SagivTech offers research and development solutions in the areas of computer vision, machine learning and deep learning as well as hardcore code optimization for various hardware platforms.

5. StethoMe

StethoMe is the first medical diagnostic device of its kind that monitors the airways and measures body temperature accurately and in a user-friendly way.

DR. FLORIAN MANN ABOUT THE ROLE OF WERK1 AT THE DIGITAL HEALTH ACCELERATOR

“After the experience with the InsurTech Accelerator and the construction of the InsurTech Hub supported by de:hub Initiaitve, we chose a very fast and pragmatic path. Working closely with Roche, we developed a tailor-made programme within 2 months, based on the requirements of startups that had already been pre-selected and Roche. Here the focus was on collaboration and pilot projects with strong contacts to Roche and external experts. Our experience helped us a lot to find the right mentors and coaches for the 5 startups of Batch Zero.

Digital Health is definitely one of the most regulated and complex market fields! There are a lot of stakeholders and parties that make up the vast ecosystem. Hats off to the start-ups who dare to build their business here!

It is very important to be flexible with the program structure and to respond to the individual needs of startups and partners at an early stage. Only then can the program bring real added value. An extensive network and a good feel for matchmaking (bringing the right people together at the table) are essential elements to create a significant added value for everyone and to take it to the next level.”.

TO BE CONTINUED

The representatives of Roche’s Executive Board who were present emphasised time and again that an accelerator does not help the startups on its own. They praised the creative cooperation, in particular the technical know-how and the attitude of all five start-ups, from which companies like Roche could benefit enormously. After the successful pilot phase in WERK1, the Accelerator will be continued with Plug’n Play and Batch 1.