“Entrepreneurial spirit meets Bavarian tradition” – A talk with… Invest in Bavaria

Hr.Gnam_invest in bavaria
Christian Gnam

The Bavarian capital is an exciting hot spot for startups. For people who are not from Munich and want to set up a business here, various institutions are available to assist. A leading go-to-point is Invest in Bavaria. The organization supports non-Bavarian businesses in founding or opening of a subsidiary in Bavaria.

Munich Startup talked to Christian Gnam, Head of Investor Services, digital economy, English speaking countries and startups at the business promotion agency of Bavaria.

Supporting non-Bavarian businesses

Please tell us about yourselves!

Invest in Bavaria assists international, more precisely all non-Bavarian businesses in setting up in Bavaria. Businesses which are already located here we help  in their expansion goals. We support through providing market insights, identifying suitable locations and offices. Also, we establish contacts to relevant sector and technology clusters, other supporting institutions and financing networks.

Generally speaking we are the first point of contact for startups outside of Bavaria. We are at their side for topics such as choosing the right location, navigating them through the administrative and legal side of setting up a business and establishing the right connections to founders and startup institutions. We have two colleagues at Invest in Bavaria who are solely responsible for startups. But of course startups also play an increasing role for the whole team.

What do you focus on when working with startups?

When it comes to location establishment and expansion schemes, it is extremely important for startups to have a partner who understands both the business culture of the new location as well as the cultural background of the startup’s place of origin, while also providing access to relevant networks. Invest in Bavaria acts as such a partner. We also help the startups to pave their way toward tapping into a new market.

To be successful in Bavaria, a startup needs to…

… have developed either an innovative technical product or a clever new business model. The startup also needs to be able to sell their product to investors and customers.

Many large-scale industrial companies from different sectors are located in Bavaria. These companies can function as potential clients and investors for young entrepreneurs. In such a case, it is important for startups to design their products in a way that makes them easy to integrate into an existing company’s products or production cycles.

Piloting the establishment of a new company location

Why would a good foreign startup need an institution like yours to back them?

Startups have to deal with exceptional circumstances in their day-to-day business. This means having to cope with extremely tight resources when it comes to finances and staff. Establishing a new company location is a complicated and costly process even for large companies. Hence a startup can only benefit from having a partner by their side who can act as a guide and point them in the right direction.

What is the biggest mistake a startup can make?

For a startup to assume that it can transfer its business model or product to the German market as it is. Therefore it should take a closer look at the local market environment as well as the legal and regulatory conditions.

The trends of the year …

… that we have observed based on our current work include the following: Augmented reality, big data, artificial intelligence in connection with robotics, the Internet of Things and 3D printing!

The Munich startup scene: driven by B2B and technology

What makes the Munich startup scene so special?

Having seven DAX companies located in the Munich metropolitan region plus a large number of research institutes means that the Munich startup scene is heavily driven by B2B and technology. Munich startups also generally become profitable faster.

Munich is also a place where entrepreneurial spirit meets up with Bavarian tradition and culture. It is a very special combination that is greatly appreciated by both local and international startups. If you really think about it, networking is one of our key Bavarian cultural assets – we are quite attached to our Stammtische (regular conversational get-togethers).

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

You can directly contact our colleagues Joshua Worger or Lisa Kohl from our Startup Team.

Both of them can be found at the Munich startup incubator WERK1. Besides, you can contact them by email:  lisa.kohl@invest-in-bavaria.de or joshua.worger@invest-in-bavaria.de.

Startups who are interested can also reach us directly at www.invest-in-bavaria.com.