© Ludwik Bölkow Campus

ESA Partner and Talent Factory – A talk with… the Ludwig Bölkow Campus

The Ludwig Bölkow Campus has existed since March 2012. It is located in Ottobrunn near Munich. They deal with all things aerospace and security. The campus is known as a talent factory, with examples such as Munich Composites, Cevotec or also APWorks. They collaborate with renowned partners such as Siemens, Airbus and IABG.

Since mid-2014, the Ludwig Bölkow Campus has been a branch of the Business Incubation Centre (BIC) of the European Space Agency ESA. CEO Alexander Mager was nice enough to answer our questions and to let us know a little about the Ludwig Bölkow Campus.

Please tell us about yourselves!

We (meaning LBC GmbH and Munich Aerospace e.V.; a total of eight people) offer startups in the aerospace and security sector an unparalleled environment:

• A network of large and small companies, research facilities and even teaching (continued training and courses of study)
• Access to research projects and/or funds and scientific equipment (such as large devices)
• Buildings (offices, production halls and laboratories).

Open communication is important

What do you focus on when working with startups?

We give startups as much freedom as possible (“open innovation”) and provide support only when help is requested. However, regular and open communication is still important. This is especially the case at what we call “get-together” events, where all campus partners meet up. We hold these events about every 8 to 10 weeks.

To be successful, a startup needs to…

…be confident and focused, but also able to handle setbacks. They should not be too proud, and be able to ask for help when needed.

Ludwig Bölkow CampusWhy would a good startup even need a startup center like you to back them?

A good startup can also grow and be successful without a startup center. A good network, access to a top-notch infrastructure and profitable communication with like-minded people and experienced companies/entrepreneurs certainly does not hurt – and that is what we have to offer.

What is the biggest mistake a startup can make?

To think that they can do everything on their own and to overestimate themselves as a result (often in financial terms).

The trend of the year is…

… in aerospace: promoting innovation and allowing disruptive products and business models “to think”. This particularly applies to progressing “digitization”.

What makes the Munich startup scene so special?

Extremely creative minds in a competitive and international environment, which also offers a high quality of life (“laptop and lederhosen” still holds true).

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

Directly with me, the CEO, or one of my colleagues.