Invest in Bavaria is the Business Promotion Agency of the State of Bavaria. Since 1999, we have been assisting companies from Germany and abroad to set up and expand their businesses here. As a publicly-funded organisation, our services are free of charge. And with our fully customised all-round service, friendly international team and global network, we will take you under our wing to make sure your company flies high.
It isn't just the numbers that speak for Bavaria. There are countless location factors that enhance its appeal. These include companies that have no equal, some of the best universities in the world, unprecedented start-up networks and a digital infrastructure built for big ideas.
You probably heard the traditional clichés about Bavaria? Some people, even in Germany, think we drink beer, eat sausages and listen to brass bands all day long. But guess what? Like most stereotypes, this one isn't true either. Oktoberfest is come and gone in just two weeks. And the festival isn't just for locals. It attracts people from all over the world, and gives a big boost to the local economy. So instead, let's have a look at our other heritage.
Currently, eight of the 30 German companies listed on the DAX share index are headquartered in Bavaria. All of them are synonymous with outstanding innovation in their individual areas. They are the drivers of change. And, right now, every single one is searching for partners to help bridge the gap between the technologies of yesterday and tomorrow. But we don't just have global leaders. Bavaria also boasts high-powered medium-sized enterprises in all kinds of fields – from industry 4.0 and mobility through to additive manufacturing, FinTech and InsureTech. Not to mention a long history of cross-industry innovation.
All of these players energetically support their local start-up scenes and create a flourishing landscape for venture capitalists and funding institutions. That's why managers find ideal conditions to promote their businesses here and a kaleidoscope of opportunities for working with companies from different industries. An ever-growing number of start-up incubators, co-working spaces and inspiring networking events play their part too. The latter include Bits & Pretzels, Cashwalk and the MUST Summit – just to name three of the best.
And that's only one side of the coin. On the other you will find some of the best universities and independent research institutes in the world. Like Munich's Technical University, its Max Plank Institutes and its Fraunhofer Institutes. These too offer endless potential for young entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to become one. We're into people like that. So don't believe everything you hear. Those are our traditions, too.
The robots built by Franka Emika, a fledgling company from Munich,
typify cross-industry innovation. The start-up derived its initial technology
from a project at the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics.
The initial research group soon asked themselves whether they could make the technology available to everyone. An idea was born. Franka Emika's mission is to sell high-tech robots to a wide target group. Extremely easy to program, the robots can be used by everyone – from individuals and one-person companies through to medium-size businesses and large factories, helping in all those fields that entail repetitive, time-consuming and even dangerous tasks. The company's future projects are focused on adapting and improving the technology to be able to assist the elderly and sick people to ease their burdens.
Right from the outset, companies from around the world showed an interest in Franka Emika. But the start-up resisted the appeal of the Silicon Valley and stayed put in Bavaria. Here Franka Emika found everything that was needed. Top technology graduates from specialised universities, partners with expertise in the field of robotics and mechatronics, support from governmental officials – and even the perfect production facility in the Allgäu where it has just embarked upon full-scale serial production.
Let's not beat about the bush: Wirecard outgrew its start-up status long ago. But it remains a typical Bavarian start-up story. Almost twenty years ago, it was one of the world's first FinTech companies. Today it numbers among the fastest growing digital platforms for financial commerce. In 2018 it was even admitted to Germany's DAX blue chip stock index, displacing the time-honoured Commerzbank. Wirecard offers commercial and private customers a constantly expanding ecosystem for digital payments.
Founded 1999 in Munich, Wirecard stayed in Bavaria – preferring to launch its international expansion from solid foundations. Thanks to the proximity of IT and financial specialists, customers, investors and big global players like Microsoft, Google and Apple, the owners saw Munich as the ideal venue for a start-up. And they were rewarded for their decision.
Today, Wirecard itself has become a trusted partner for start-ups. The support it can lend the next generation of Bavarian FinTechs is worth more than its equity: it can call on the experience of being a start-up and the technical expertise needed to grow it on the global stage. Indeed, it now serves as a role model, helping to inspire the next generation of typically Bavarian start-ups in the financial sector.
A washbasin made of sand? Sounds like a crazy idea – at first. But the start-up Sandhelden thought different and proved the opposite. Its additive manufacturing techniques permit totally new designs and options for material procurement.
The company has great plans for the future. Not only for the sanitary market. Using 3D printing and an array of recycled materials, Sandhelden wants to expand into building furniture and even entire home environments.
To this end, it needed a partner that could help to achieve its goals. So, the founding team around Laurens Faure uprooted their headquarters in the far-northern German city of Lübeck – were they had launched Sandhelden in 2014 – and relocated to Gersthofen near Augsburg. In Bavaria they finally found the perfect partner to expand their business: the 3D-printing specialist ExOne which operates a major production plant near Augsburg (incidentally, just one player in Bavaria's booming additive manufacturing landscape, one of the leading AM locations worldwide). And even funding proved easier in Bavaria than on the Baltic coast. For all these reasons, Sandhelden is now fulfilling its dreams with solid Bavarian sand!
From its home in Würzburg, Bavaria, the start-up EmQopter developed the first approvable unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in Germany for fully autonomous flights beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS). The technology opens up two great opportunities. Firstly, EmQopter drones are ideal for industrial use and could even replace cars as tomorrow's mobility solution of choice. And secondly, they can perform key functions for research and development at universities.
The latter is particularly important to the company's founders.
Without Bavaria's R&D infrastructure, they could never have established their business.
The idea for EmQopter was born many years ago when Nils Gageik and
Paul Benz wrote their doctorates in the only academic department for Aerial Computer Science
in Germany – at the Julius Maximilians University in Würzburg.
The blueprint for the first product EmQopter brought to market –
the Quadrotor Control System (QCS) – was drawn up back then.
After leaving university, they tried to find the best possible location for their business. And they didn't have to look far. In Bavaria EmQopter found the superb infrastructure they needed: the company's first investor was from Bavaria – as are many of its partners today. So EmQopter took off without having to move an inch.
"Ois easy" is a mix of German and English. It means "Take it easy, we cover your back." The package guarantees you a soft landing in Bavaria. It is designed for all start-ups that want to open an office here and establish themselves long-term in the German market. And – needless to say – it' comes completely free of charge.