Bavarian start-up scene on its way to Texas

Bavaria is the innovation driver of digitization in Germany. Thus, it is only logical to increase the international visibility of the Digital Creatives from Bavaria. The first highlight on this trip: the "South by Southwest Festival" (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.

The Bavarian start-up scene is among those experiencing the greatest dynamic growth in Germany. Its most important capital are the ideas and business models of young entrepreneurs and creatives that come to life in co-working spaces and incubators or at universities and institutes. This also requires a second important foundation which is needed by young entrepreneurs and start-ups to turn their dreams into reality: a favourable business environment and ideal conditions.

Bavaria has already set the right course: The Werk1.bayern is an excellent example of active business promotion in Bavaria. Here, entrepreneurs and start-ups can implement their projects, cooperate with companies in joint ventures or develop their ideas, products or services in innovation labs and IT workshops at the the "Gründerzentrum für Internet und digitale Medien" (Start-up Centre for Internet and Digital Media) in Munich, and participate in a lively exchange with ICT and user companies. Young companies get the initial assistance from programmes such as the media.lab in Munich or the TechFounders to successfully implement their ideas in the market.

Another example is the "Gründerland Bayern" initiative, a financing network for the entire state that has the goal of providing young technology-orientated start-ups in Bavaria a perspective. This is to be achieved through comprehensive and improved funding offers, such as a sufficient availability of venture capital. In addition to the recent increase of the EIF/LfA Facility to a total of EUR 150 million, a sufficient liquidity of the Bavarian start-up scene is thus ensured. But still: Compared to the start-up dynamism of the USA or start-up heartland Tel Aviv, there is still lots to learn.

Experience the American entrepreneurial spirit first-hand

That is why the Bavarian digital economy will this year present itself for the first time at the legendary "South by Southwest Festival" (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. The festival is one of the most important events worldwide for the interactive entertainment sector and the exchange ideas in the fields of digitization and creativity. During the leading trade fair for transmedial content, culture, and creativity sectors, established companies alongside start-ups from all parts of the world present new ideas and business models in panels, pitches and forums. Its legendary status has not only evolved from the unique atmosphere on the interface of art and creativity; some stars of the digital economy were presented to the general public at SXSW. In 2007, Twitter launched its global triumph from Austin – in 2009, it was the launch of Foursquare.

Young companies like Navvis, Cat-Production, Voycer and Laterpay could become the Bavarian stars of the future. Founded in 2013 at TU München, Navvis has developed a 3D mapping trolley and was named “Munich's best start-up” just a year later. Cat-Production impresses with animations, interactive media and presentation techniques, while Voycer offers a community solution for customer retention and acquisition. The up-and-coming start-up Laterpay makes it easier to purchase digital content and thus hopes to change the way people buy and sell digital content online.

Alongside successful Bavarian start-ups, global players such as BMW, Siemens or Adidas take advantage of the opportunity to present themselves at SXSW, establish contacts and experience the American start-up dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit first-hand. In Austin, the tremendous diversity of the Bavarian digital economy will be represented by over 20 companies and institutions, thus underscoring its aspirations to be a top ICT location in Germany.

If you would like to know more about the experiences of the Bavarian delegation in Austin, please visit our dedicated website at www.bayern-sxsw.com.