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Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv or Berlin? A Bavarian start-up story
We have been working on our Blogbox for the past three years. And I doubt that we could have done it in the same way in another city. I would like to briefly present some of the aspects that have made our life as a start-up in Munich considerably easier.
1. A lot of talent
Munich is home to three excellent and major universities and universities of applied science and countless smaller ones. And we took advantage of this diversity right from the start. There were five of us when we started: two computer scientists from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), one designer from the University of Applied Sciences Munich, myself as an economist from the TU München and one journalist from the German Journalism School. Following our founding, we were always able to quickly fill vacant positions with qualified people coming directly from the university.
2. Supporting institutions
Blogbox would not exist had we not been supported by various institutions right from the start. Shortly after devising our initial concept, the LMU Entrepreneurship Center included us in its funding programme. This enabled us to move to our first office and – much more importantly – we had proof that we were not just chasing after some figment of our own imagination. In fact, we are deeply indebted to institutions such as the LMU: The LMU Spin-Off-Service provided excellent support during our application for the EXIST start-up grant and very competent support afterwards. With the Strascheg Center (University of Applied Sciences Munich) and UnternehmerTUM (TU München), the other universities offer just as ambitious support programmes.
But it was not only the universities that supported us fledgling entrepreneurs: BayStart-up supported us in searching for investors and the Munich Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) networked us with SMEs.
3. Lively start-up scene
I have only little knowledge about the start-up scenes in Silicon Valley, Berlin, or Tel Aviv – so I have no idea how much greener the grass is there. But one thing I do know: I really like the start-up scene in Munich. Everyone knows one another, likes one another and helps one another.
And Munich is a dream come true for fans of big events. There is something for start-up enthusiasts every day, such as the Entrepreneur’s Night, the Idea Jam, various meet-ups, Bits & Pretzel etc. One time, we even met a future customer of ours at the Start-up Demo Night.
4. Incredible economic strength
Munich is a dream come true, in particular for B2B start-ups: Many potential and financially strong customers literally wait at the front door. This was extremely helpful to us. As a “neighbour” it was easier for us to arrange an initial appointment, particularly in the early stages when we were testing our business model. Being able to visit our customers makes it much more pleasant to maintain customer relations.
For us, it is at least these four objective aspects that spoke for founding our own company in Munich. And of course we also had our own personal reasons: we all grew up in southern Germany; we feel at home here and enjoy the close proximity to mountains and lakes.