Stories

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.

Coworking at WERK1 – formerly a potato factory, now a creative quarter with a sense of community

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!

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 …!

Curiosity.ai in WERK1 – The Mission: Free Knowledge from Company Documents

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.

WHAT’S NEXT?

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!

WERK1 - Resident - curiosity.ai - Logo

Startup: Curiosity.ai
Website: www.curiosity.ai
Contact: hello@curiosity.ai

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.

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

gasido at WORK1 – From coworking into your own office

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.

WHY WERK1?

“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.

Startup: gasido
Website: https://www.gasido.de/
Contact: service@gasido.com