In the close interaction of business, politics and science, the start-up scene in Bavaria has grown up over the years. Technologies, innovations and talents are maturing in high quality and quantity, which meanwhile often encounter entrepreneurial thinking and relevant capital in the market. There is growth potential in a new dimension: With a view to Bavarian start-ups that are already globally successful, the industry is aiming for more world market leaders “made in Bavaria”.
Thanks to the developed economic structure, the wide range of state funding and the strong start-up orientation of the universities and research institutions, the Free State has long been at the forefront of Germany’s start-up ecosystem. In 2021, too, it held its ground as the second hotspot after Berlin, with 663 start-ups founded (+6.4%) and 228 financing rounds (+30%) for a total of EUR 4.4 billion (+294%). and far ahead of other locations in Germany. Almost every fifth start-up recently settled in Bavaria.
Industrial base paves way for commercialization of innovations
“The strong economic basis is the great location advantage that Bavaria has. In addition, the staying power that all players in the market have shown over the years is now paying off
have: Tech-savvy founders find the right breeding ground here, investors promising targets,” confirms Dr. Carsten Rudolph, Managing Director of the BayStartUP network funded by the state government. The initiative brings the scene together with various events and offers and has brokered over EUR 377 million in venture capital since 2015. “Our annual business plan competitions show the wide range of content from Bavarian start-ups: sometimes it’s about in-ovo sex determination of chicken eggs (Omegga), sometimes about robots with human-like perception abilities that help to automate complex manual work (sewts). We are not experiencing one singular technology trend. It is striking that here – unlike in the more consumer-oriented Berlin scene – high-tech innovations are very strong in the B2B segment.” Numerous companies that are successful today have taken their first steps in the network, such as the manufacturer of industrial 3D printing systems voxeljet and the drone manufacturer Quantum- systems. dr Rudolph: “In the environment of technological universities and research institutions, forward-looking innovations are reliably created. Although the local industry drives the salaries for graduates, it is also an important first buyer for the tech products. This is how young companies of today grow into successful medium-sized companies of tomorrow.”
BioM inQlab prepares scientists for the world of business
In the field of life sciences, too, a unique ecosystem has emerged in the metropolitan region of Munich over the past 25 years, which has long left the status of an “emerging cluster” behind: almost 250 companies, diverse
Research institutions, two university hospitals and innovation and start-up centers specializing in life sciences are working on the integration of academic research and the biotech industry for the benefit of patients. “We have grown up, but we still have great growth potential. The density of excellent science keeps producing new things that attract the interest of investors and can be further developed with their funds,” says Prof. Dr. Horst Domdey, Managing Director of BioM Biotech Cluster Development GmbH based in Martinsried near Munich. “The translation of complex research results into commercial products is often not easy. The bio does a great job hereM Incubator inQlab, which also supports the scientists in their development into successful founders and entrepreneurs. Investors will find promising projects here!” Start-ups like Tubulis have a beacon effect: in 2017, the young company won the m4 Award, in 2019 the spin-off from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Leibniz Research Institute for Molecular Pharmacology in Berlin followed. She recently received Series A funding led by Andera Partners for her work on Antibody-Drug Conjugates for use in cancer. Prof. Dr. Domdey: “It is very gratifying to see how young scientists from the academic scene with their promising and innovative projects find the financial support to go their own way of successfully founding a company.”
It’s time for bigger goals
Felix Haas is also a declared fan of the location. As a native of Munich, he appreciates the Bavarian way of life. As founder (IDnow), investor (Flex Capital, 10x Group et cetera)
as well as co-host and chairman of the legendary start-up fair Bits & Pretzels, he has long been an integral part of the Bavarian start-up scene. “Bavaria has developed excellently over the last five years as a result of the sum of many individual factors: Technologies, innovations and talents are maturing in many cases, which meanwhile meet entrepreneurial thinking and relevant capital in the market,” is his conclusion. “One nucleus of this development is the Technical University of Munich. It is not for nothing that it is now considered the German Stanford with UnternehmerTum and the Center for Digital Technology and Management!” Bits & Pretzels have also prepared a stage for the ecosystem that is attracting worldwide attention. Haas: “It must be our goal to motivate talented people even more to found a company. Also, we must not leave our added value to foreign investors. From the level we have reached, we can use the momentum to advance into new dimensions. Isar Aerospace and Quantum Systems have shown how to properly commercialize high-tech innovations. Flixbus and Celonis show that start-ups made in Bavaria can become global market leaders. It’s time to think bigger!”