WERK1.Bayern was officially opened on June 25 of this year. Although WERK1 (its predecessor) had never really closed, a number of head-turning neighbors have now swelled the ranks of the startup center in Munich’s Kultfabrik. The newcomers are none other than MEDIA LAB BAYERN, invest in bavaria and the MedienNetzwerk Bayern (Bavarian Media Network).
Several prominent guests were in attendance to open the event, including Ilse Aigner, Bavarian Minister for Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology. In the future, the hope is that cooperation between the various players at WERK1.Bayern will generate valuable synergies that further raise the visibility of the Munich startup scene. “Cross-pollination” is a term used frequently by representatives of the different partners.
Aigner lauded the atmosphere and potential of WERK1, stressing that this pioneering startup center was intended as a “blueprint” for future projects throughout Bavaria. Noting that the startup landscape in and around Munich was clearly gathering momentum, she pointed out that heavy investments had already been made to further improve the conditions for startups in the Bavarian capital. The minister nevertheless conceded that, in finance especially, there was still plenty of room for improvement to make Munich even more attractive to investors and venture capitalists.
The subsequent Founders’ Lunch Date gave guests a casual, laid-back atmosphere in which to stay around, talk and get to know each other. With the official opening ceremony completed, visitors also had a chance to take a closer look at the WERK1 premises and get an idea of the sheer diversity and quality of resident startups. At the present time, 31 startups occupy about 3,000 square meters of space at WERK1.
Expansion to create WERK1.Bayern is definitely a step in the right direction: a step forward. It illustrates Munich’s versatility and innovative nature as a startup venue, as well as highlighting the potential that still lies dormant here – and must now be put to good use.
City of Munich acquires a stake in WERK1.Bayern
The City of Munich has acquired a stake in the new digital startup hotspot. “I am pleased that the local government has secured an interest in WERK1.Bayern,” said Deputy Mayor Josef Schmid, head of the Department of Labor and Economic Development. “WERK1 already serves as an incubator for young, innovative, forward-looking companies, above all in the media and gaming industries. It is important to me that we provide effective support for startups, the creative industries, I&C companies and other high-tech firms. As part of our forward-looking economic policy, that guarantees both the dynamic development and the stability of our business location.”