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A look back at the Oktoberfest: six things we learnt about digital Bavaria

And another year is over – the madness in Munich has come to an end for now. But the last two weeks in September were not just all about beer, quite the opposite: we used the Oktoberfest and the start-up festival Bits & Pretzels being held on this occasion to do some sound business.

Together with representatives of Israeli start-up incubators at the Oktoberfest

Besides the starts-ups from over the world taking part in Bits & Pretzels (B&P), we had representatives from Australian, American and Israeli start-up incubators visiting us. Our international guests weren’t just able to get to know the Bavarian “Gemütlichkeit” but also complete an extensive supporting programme. For example, getting to know Bavarian SMEs was on the agenda as well as networking with incubators based in Bavaria, such as Wayra, the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship, LMU Entrepreneurship Center and UnternehmerTUM etc.

We complemented the programme with events at the BMW Museum, a tour of the car manufacturer’s production and in-depth networking at  B&P, fittingly in the Schottenhamel tent.

An interesting visit to the IBM Watson headquarters and a get-together with Bavarian venture capital investors organised by us awaited anyone who had any energy left for the fourth day.

After a few very interesting and informative days we asked what the delegation and other B&P participants will be taking away with them from their time in Bavaria and captured their answers on video. Despite their very personal perspectives, they all agreed on one thing: Bavaria has quite a few surprises in store.

Here are our top six things that they didn’t know about digital Bavaria yet:

Boaz Mamo, Co-Founder and CEO, Drive

1. Bavaria has a surprisingly high number of start-ups

David George, Founder and CEO, Bikmo

2. Munich is the InsurTech hotspot in Europe

Jaro Zurai, Co-founder and COO, Simarine

3. Many months of work are usually required to make as many business contacts as at the Oktoberfest.

Moran Nir, Executive Director ZELL, Iris Arbel-Ganz, Director HAC & Orlie Dahan, Executive Director Ecomotion

4. Etiquette means everything: traditional dress and the ability to able to hold your “Maß” properly (with no cheating on the contents of course) help you make contacts

Nate Meir, Director BD, Oryx Vision

5. Bavaria is bringing together a number of SME hidden champions who are making a major contribution to digital value

Vera Huebner, Executive director mobkoi

6. That’s obvious: the Bits & Pretzels is the place to be for start-ups, even we don’t have anything more to add to that.

You can find detailed answers to all our questions in our Playlist.