Servus meets Howdy: Bavarian companies and start-ups in Austin for SXSW

Winter is coming to an end and, just like every year, one of the most important dates in the international interactive and creative industry is just around the corner: the SXSW in Austin, Texas. As in years past, Bavarian start-ups and investors will once again be showing which direction the industry’s trends are going in the German Haus. For the first time this year, start-ups from all over the world have the chance to meet major players from the German corporate landscape.

Film, music, interactive media – the themes at SXSW are just as varied as its formats. Festivals, conferences and specialist exhibitions turn Austin into a Mecca for all creative and digital pioneers for several days a year. And not just because creative minds are gathered here; they also come across industry giants, decision makers, experts and investors with whom they can promote and develop their idea. As has become tradition, the German delegation gathers in the German Haus, including Bavarian companies and representatives from the Free State. Together with seven select start-ups from Bavaria, we want to show in Austin which direction digital travel is moving in and what trends are being set in Bavaria.

Speed dating with Bavarian investors


For the international start-up scene at SXSW, the German Corporate Champions League should be a very special highlight in particular: start-ups from all over the world can meet strategic partners – companies, start-up centres and investors – at the speed dating event and take the opportunity to convince them of their idea. 

And the following sponsors and investors can meet start-ups in the German Haus in Austin on Sunday:

  • innogy Corporate Ventures GmbH: With the investors from RWE Innogy und Conetwork Erneuerbare Energien (CEE), the fund management company mainly specialises in renewable technologies.
  • SMART: Under the umbrella of the Daimler automotive group, SMART is also constantly looking for future mobility solutions.
  • Audi: With the Arculus start-up, Audi has already shown how successful start-up funding works.
  • Sony: As a global electronics group, Sony is predestined for all the topics and ideas at SXSW.
  • Siemens next47: The independent division for start-ups has been bundling all the group’s activities since last year in order to promote disruptive ideas more intensively and drive forward new technologies.
  • Bayer: Life Sciences with core competency in the health and agriculture sectors – Bayer has extensive expertise and experience that start-ups benefit from.
  • Rabobank North America Wholesale: The wholesale and retail bank is founded on more than 115 years of expertise in the financial markets for food, agriculture and the drinks industry sectors.
  • METRO: The group focuses on technology applications for the catering industry with its commitment to the Munich start-up Shore and in METRO Accelerator.
  • Vaillant Group: The specialist for heating, air-conditioning and ventilation technology supports start-ups from the smart home segment, among others.
  • Media Lab Bayern: Media Lab Bayern is a co-working space and ideas incubator for anyone who wants to realise new ideas in digital journalism.

Bavarian start-ups are setting digital trends

The Bavarian start-ups’ preparations were also intensive: it was already established in October which start-ups would get the opportunity to be part of the Bavarian delegation, present their solutions and have them put to the test. And these are the winners of the Bavarian SXSW Start-up Competition, who will be showing what they are capable of on 12 March in the German X-Pitches and German Lab:

  • Antelope develops and sells EMS suits and other wearables for electrical stimulation training for an efficient workout.
  • Deoxy develops a technology with which the right medication for cancer treatment can be identified instantly nationwide.
  • Holodeck develops virtual reality solutions, which can be used by up to 100 people at the same time in an area as large as four football pitches – for more interactivity.
  • Inveox combines intelligent containers with automation solutions to improve the handling of tissue samples and speed up the diagnosis of tumours.
  • Toposens develops 3D sensors, which “see” the environment using ultrasonics and can therefore supply, for example, valuable data about customer behaviour.
  • Bohème offers an app with which the user can use newspapers and magazines on offer free of charge and without registration in participating locations.
  • Picter provides a centralised cloud service, which brings professional photographers, photography tenders and photography scouts together in one place.

Bavarian start-ups revealed to us in an interview what they hope to gain from SXSW, how they are preparing for it and what they are most looking forward to.

Lifestyle and entertainment in Bavarian

The Bavarian flag is not just being flown on Sunday in the German Haus with the start-ups and speed dating; the rest of the day also has exciting lifestyle & entertainment aspects on the agenda presided over by Bavaria. For example at the Digital Journalism Rocks Lunch, which brings the Slack community of digital journalists together for networking. Celebrations in hearty Bavarian style are of course essential to finish the day, when the German Haus invites you to the Bayern Munich Party and says: “Put your lederhosen on and party like a champion.“