20 years supporting start-ups – the Bavarian Business Plan Competitions
An adequate market analysis, a sound business plan and proper financing: there are numerous obstacles to overcome along the way to establishing a company. For over 20 years now, entrepreneurs and start-ups have been benefiting from solid support in Bavaria thanks to the expert jury of the Business Plan Competitions. Currently, there are 300 jury members: entrepreneurs, managers, specialised experts and investors who volunteer their time and provide feedback to up to 5,300 business plans annually. This concept has proven to be very effective and has already set the right course for many successful start-ups.
Green and efficient energy on the podium
The winners of Phase 3 of this year's Business Plan Competition North Bavaria were announced recently. The Fürth-based start-up Aquakin ranked in first place, impressing the jury with its mobile micro hydroelectric power plant “Blue Freedom”. Dr. Carsten Rudolph, Manager of BayStartUP, explained the jury's decision: “With its mobile micro hydroelectric power plant, the start-up team from Aquakin has developed an innovative product and focuses a very broad market thanks to the variety of applications.” The product, which is financed through crowdfunding, will be launched on the market this fall. True to its motto “energy for all where there is water”, the company, for example, provides campers with the opportunity of charging their smartphones while on a trip, just by placing the turbine of the “Blue Freedom” in a stream.
Also honoured in the final round of the Munich Business Plan Competition 2015 (IT and Tech category): Invenox GmbH, for developing and producing high-quality lithium-ion battery storage systems. These systems put the company far ahead of the competition thanks to their remarkable efficiency and profitability. The unique technology, for which patents are pending, reduces production costs.
Bavaria – the state for start-ups
Funding for the BayStartUP promotion programme comes from funds provided by the “Gründerland Bayern” initiative, which was initiated by Bavaria's Minister of Economic Affairs, Ilse Aigner, in 2014. “We also support start-ups with finding suitable investors and the right type of funding. Through the BayStartUp network, start-ups can establish contacts with roughly 100 institutional investors and 200 business angels. In doing so, we can broker between EUR 20 to 30 million annually for seed and growth capital,” said Ilse Aigner during the festivities celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Munich Business Plan Competition.
The prize money also provides a financial incentive for entrepreneurs to participate in the Business Plan Competitions. By splitting the competitions into three different phases, all participants have excellent chances of winning, as the winners are awarded a prize after each phase and the next phase begins from zero. The phases at a glance:
· “From the idea to the business model” (phase 1)
· “From business model to market” (phase 2)
· “From business plan to financial planning” (phase 3)
The regional distribution of the competitions provides entrepreneurs with more than local financing. This also facilitates networking with companies in the immediate proximity. On average, nearly 300 start-up teams participate in the Business Plan Competitions. “The number of participants has almost returned to the levels experienced around the turn of the millennium – but today's entrepreneurs are better prepared,” explained Dr. Carsten Rudolph on the occasion of the celebration marking the completion of the Munich Business Plan Competition 2015.
20 Years Munich Business Plan Competition & North Bavaria Business Plan Competition
Soon, entrepreneurs in the metropolitan area of Munich and North Bavaria will once again have the chance to win significant prizes and expert support. The 20th Munich Business Plan Competition is expected to begin on 22th October 2015 and it is aimed at entrepreneurs and businesspeople with innovative and growth-oriented business concepts. The Business Plan Competition North Bavaria 2016 will also commence this fall. Both competitions focus on technology. Besides information and communications technology, this also includes life sciences, technologies such as hardware, e-technology and mechanical engineering as well as innovative services.
In both competitions, the jury once again consists of experienced entrepreneurs, managers, specialised experts and investors. Interested parties can keep up to date on the website of the BayStartUP GmbH.
The Bavarian Business Plan Competitions at a glance: