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

WERK1 - Startup Safari - Teaser

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!