“Every startup needs strong partners” – A talk with… UnternehmerTUM
©UnternehmerTUM GmbH / Patrick Ranz

“Every startup needs strong partners” – A talk with… UnternehmerTUM

Entrepreneurial thinking has always been a major thing at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). So it was no surprise when UnternehmerTUM was founded in 2002. As its initiator, Susanne Klatten was a part of the process from the very beginning. Up to this day, UnternehmerTUM is able to count on having strong partners by their side such as MunichRe, Siemens and the BMW Group. The success of the startup center definitely speaks for itself. With Navvis, Konux and Tado as examples, it becomes clear that some of the most successful Munich startups bear the stamp of UnternehmerTUM.

We find that reason enough to take a closer look at how the center can support startups and what they deem to be the trend of the year.

Please tell us about yourselves.

Portrait_Helmut Schönenberger_©UnternehmerTUM GmbH_Quirin Leppert

Managing Director Helmut Schönenberger (©UnternehmerTUM GmbH / Quirin Leppert)

We offer founders comprehensive service starting with the initial concept up to going public. A team of experienced companies, scholars, managers and investors support startups in developing their products and services. Our 140 employees actively participate in establishing companies as well as their market entry and financing – including funds from UnternehmerTUM.

The accelerator program TechFounders coaches technology startups within 20 weeks up to the first venture round. Partnerships with established companies are also initiated. For industry partners, UnternehmerTUM serves as a unique platform for working with startups and for developing their intrinsic innovative energy and culture.

In Europe’s largest publicly accessible high-tech workshop MakerSpace, companies, startups and creatives are able to use 16,000 ft2 of space furnished with cutting edge machinery to create 3D printed prototypes and small-scale batches.

What do you focus on when working with startups?

It is important for us to guide and promote new companies during the entire startup process. We try to respond to the individual needs of each team and to assist them using our years of experience.

Entrepreneurs Night

Entrepreneurs’Night (© UnternehmerTUM GmbH / Bert Willer)

“To be successful, a startup needs to…”

… be a team of adventurous and daring people who share an entrepreneurial spirit. That is the only way for founders to turn their ideas and inventions into reality and to tackle all kinds of challenges. A person also needs to keep trying.

UnternehmerTUM: Every startup needs strong partners

Why would a good startup even need a startup center to back them?

Every startup needs strong partners to establish a successful business. UnternehmerTUM has access to an unparalleled network composed of industrial companies, industry experts, talent and investors. With us, startups are able to find cooperation partners, pilot customers and new team members.
A good idea is often not enough – rapid and professional implementation is decisive. A startup center can make the process much easier while also speeding up the founding of a person’s own company.

What is the biggest mistake a startup can make?

Giving up too quickly and expecting a big breakthrough too early on. Founding a company takes time and has its ups and downs. Founders have to be able to deal with disappointments. Sometimes it just takes a bit longer, but that should not cause founders to forget it all and give up.

The trend of the year is…!

Digital transformation

Munich provides an ideal environment for technology startups

Foyer UTUM_©UnternehmerTUM GmbH_Marcus Ebener

Foyer UnternehmerTUM (©UnternehmerTUM GmbH / Marcus Ebener)

What makes the Munich startup scene so special?

Technology startups have the ideal environment in Munich with seven DAX companies, thousands of small and medium sized companies from the high-tech industry, more than 15 universities and a multitude of additional startup and technology centers. You always run into highly-skilled talent, engineers and IT developers. The startup scene in Munich is constantly growing and follows the latest developments and trends. There are regular events, meetups, festivals and conferences. Communication within the community is also very strong.

Last but not least: Who should startups contact if they would like to meet up with you?

Depending on their individual needs, there are different ways for startups to contact us. All of our contact partners are listed on our website .

An article by

Munich Startup

Munich Startup ist das offizielle Startup Portal für München
und die Region, das von der Stadt München, der IHK für München und Oberbayern und dem Zusammenschluss 4Entrepreneurship entwickelt wurde. Träger ist die Münchner Gewerbehof- und Technologiezentrum GmbH (MGH). Unterstützt wird die Initiative u.a. vom Freistaat Bayern.