Stories

“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

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

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.

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