Invest in Bavaria invited more than 15 international start-up key players from all over the world to Munich just in time for the Oktoberfest and the Bits & Pretzels start-up conference. Incubators, accelerators, VCs and start-up associations from over 10 countries accompanied us on the 3-day "Bits & Pretzels Oktoberfest Innovation Tour".
We would like to briefly take this opportunity to give you a short overview of this year's tour and thank all those players who we were allowed to visit and watch at work. Especially as we showed up to some appointments in dirndl & lederhosen and had maybe already enjoyed a beer or two at the Oktoberfest.
The 3-day #Bitstour started with a full day at the Bits & Pretzels conference. So there was plenty of time to make their first acquaintance with and immerse themselves in the Bavarian business culture and lifestyle. Besides the countless start-ups, events and lectures, the highlight of the day was certainly the Opening Ceremony with the former US President Barack Obama.
Our next day started with two major players in the Bavarian start-up ecosystem: we are very grateful to Mr Stefan Drüssler (CEO UnternehmerTUM) and Dr Carsten Rudolph (CEO BayStartUP) for opening our innovation tour with interesting presentations about the Bavarian start-up world. Afterwards we went to the Makerspace at UnternehmerTUM in Garching and to WERK1, the "Most Startup Friendly Place in Munich". A huge thanks to the great team from Makerspace as well as to WERK1 and its CEO Dr Florian Mann, to Mr Christian Gnam from the InsurTech Hub Munich and to the Medical Valley Nürnberg-Erlangen. It was exciting to hear and see what makes Bavaria so special as a location for start-ups. Our first day ended with stops at the BMW Start-up Garage and other Munich Start-up Night events in the evening.
The big moment came on Tuesday morning when we walked through the holy gates of the Oktoberfest – most of us in elegant Bavarian traditional dress. After a lot of networking with the international Bits & Pretzels guests in the Schottenhamel beer tent, we moved on to Oberpfaffenhofen in our aforementioned traditional dress. Where Robert Klarner from Technology Marketing at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) welcomed us. We even saw astronauts, which might only indirectly have something to do with start-ups but they were astronauts, in space, live!
The grand finale of our time together was Invest in Bavaria's Beerbench networking event, where we showed our international guests what Bavarian hospitality actually means. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the representatives of the fantastic Bavarian start-up and innovation ecosystem who appeared in such large numbers. We're sorry we forced you to wear hearts and pretzels as a matchmaking tool – but hey, it worked!
Last but not least, we would like to thank the participants in our delegation. Thank you for taking the time to get to know us and Munich. We hope you were able to gain valuable insights into the Bavarian start-up community and look forward to talking to you more and working well with you in the future.
Your team from Invest in Bavaria