Werkstätte Wattens | UnternehmerTUM Munich
Undoubtedly Silicon Valley is the blueprint for entrepreneurship ecosystems par excellence. However, Munich and Wattens have also developed crucial international entrepreneurship centers.
This is reason enough to discover these regional entrepreneurship hotspots in addition to our study tour to Silicon Valley. The conclusion: You don't necessarily have to migrate to Silicon Valley - (almost) all possibilities are "on your doorstep".
The tour started on Thursday, May 9th, in the Werkstätte Wattens, where Isabell Kurzthaler, contact person for Startup Programs & Network and MCI Alumna, welcomed us. She led us through probably the most exciting founder hub of Tyrol. Opened in November 2015 and located in the historic Swarovski Plant 2, Werkstätte Wattens houses co-working spaces, team offices, a fablab as well as production and workshop units on more than 4,000 square metres. In addition to the "hardware", the excellent network of companies, investors, business angels and mentors complements the approximately 60 (!) start-ups and companies based in Wattens. One of them is Innerspace, which specializes in VR training in the medical field.
MCiT-Alumna Viktoria Wegscheider welcomed us there: "As an employee from the very beginning, she gave us an interesting insight into her exciting working environment. Before heading towards her next meeting, she said Goodbye with good tips and advice on writing master's theses. Viktoria's master thesis on "Neuro-adaptive Virtual Reality - A User Experience Study for Mind Fitness Training in Clinical Settings" was recently awarded the Graf Chotek University Prize 2019 for outstanding work.
Our next stop was Munich.
There we met an "old" friend: MCiT alumnus Michael Schunke, Senior Client Success Manager and Data Protection Office ad intelliAd Media GmbH. He welcomed us in his office in the heart of Munich. Together with Christoph Mempel, Managing Director and CFO of intelliAd, he presented his own Performance Marketing Suite and various career opportunities. The evening ended in a cozy atmosphere in the Hofbräukeller, where we met Michael, Benny Waldhart (JG 2004) and Peter Mirski, head of the study program Management, Communication & IT. With pretzels, knuckle of pork and co. we ended the first day in a typical Bavarian way of networking.
The next day took us to Garching (not far from Munich), where Marisa Schneider, International Cooperation Coordinator at UnternehmerTUM, welcomed us. With 100 Start-ups/Tech projects, 2,000 integrated students and a network consisting of approx. 100 business partnerships, it is one of the largest entrepreneurship centres in the world! Successful companies such as Flixbus, Celonis or Tado started here as start-ups and grew through the incubator and accelerator program. Especially impressive is the TUM-Makerspace: With over 1,500 square metres, it is one of the largest fablab in Europe.
After a dense 24 hours trip, the students were unanimous: "Impressive what possibilities and support there are right on the doorstep!”