Digital Nights, Hubs, Pretzels and Sir Richard Branson
Hollywood glamour gives shine to Germany's Start-up festival season
Sep 22, 2016
Berlin (gtai) - As autumn sweeps a golden brush across central Europe, Germany’s Start-up scene is getting into full swing with three major events on the calendar. With interest in Germany’s Start-up scene piqued in the wake of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the events, in Germany’s major Start-up hubs of Berlin and Munich, offer investors and entrepreneurs alike a big opportunity to size up Germany’s capabilities as a Start-up location.
The autumn programme started on September 21 in Berlin, with the ‘Start-up Night – digitale Energiewelt’, hosted by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. The event brought together Start-ups and established companies within the world of energy and digital economy in two rounds of pitches: the first from the Start-ups presenting their business models, the second from established companies presenting areas in which they are looking for cooperation. It included a greeting speech from Parliamentary Secretary for Energy and Economics Brigitte Zypries.
Barely a week later in Munich, from September 25-27 inclusive, more than 4,000 investors, entrepreneurs and members of the media will gather at the ‘Bits and Pretzels’ founders festival in Munich. An event which started out as a traditional Weisswurstfrühstück (white sausage breakfast) in one of Munich’s beer cellars has exploded into a huge business 3-day meet-up, encompassing pitching rounds, cluster gatherings and a large round-table session in one of the Oktoberfest tents, not to mention keynote speeches by Sir Richard Branson and Kevin Spacey, among many others.
The action moves back to Berlin in November for the Hub Conference on November 22. The keynote speakers are less Hollywood, but no less illustrious in the business world, featuring – among others – Microsoft International President Jean-Philippe Courtois and Carsten Kengeter, CEO of Deutsche Börse (the German stock exchange). Covering the full range of new industries, from Bioinformatics to Fintech, the conference promises what it calls a ’54-hour-day’ of keynote addresses, panels, interviews and interactive sessions addressing the various topics within the Start-up realm.
“Germany’s commitment to entrepreneurial activity, to fostering small and innovative companies across all industries, is difficult to match,” said Achim Hartig, Director of Investor Services at Germany Trade & Invest, the federal economic development agency. “We have two cities within Europe’s top ten Start-up destinations, according to the European Digital Forum, which shows how successfully we are fostering this entrepreneurial atmosphere. These events will be informative stops for all companies looking to establish a presence in Germany and Europe, and looking for strategies or inspiration to do so. It is a good time to start up in Germany.”