© MUST/Dan Taylor

“Come Together, Mingle and Meet!” – The 2018 MUST Conference

MUST – The Munich Summit” has become a “must” in just three years’ time.  The conference aims to network leading tech startups with established technology companies, investors and contacts in the world of science. Open and multilingual with so much fascinating information to offer — that’s the best way to describe the 2018 MUST conference.

The conference is held in Munich every year for three days. Its main objective is to initiate new partnerships between the major players in the industry. From 20 to 22 February 2018, MUST once again welcomed the youngest generation of exceptional ideas and brought them together with the key actors in the Bavarian ecosystem.

“Come together, mingle and meet!”

was the welcome offered to participants by Helmut Schönenberger, CEO of UnternehmerTUM, and one of the three founders of the MUST conference alongside the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) and the LMU Entrepreneurship Center (LMU EC). And that was precisely the objective of the third summit — to come together and, in concrete terms, make some deals.

© MUST/Dan Taylor

More than one hundred startups from over twenty countries came together at the Munich Eisbach Studios. As part of the Cashwalk on the previous day, Invest in Bavaria offered international startups a quick introduction to Bavarian culture and the local ecosystem. Right at the beginning, one of the first panels also clarified the best spot to found startups in Germany.

Hidden Champions or Unicorns?

In the discussion about “Ecosystem & Innovation – Hidden Champions vs. Unicorns,” CEO of Messe München Klaus Dittrich commented:

“Berlin might have more startups than Munich. But Munich has the most successful startups.”

And host Dan Ram summarized:

“You want to have a startup? Go to Berlin! You want to have a really successful startup? Come to Munich!!”

We would also like to give a little taste of what others had to say at MUST about the Bavarian ecosystem:

The participating Munich startups

In addition to many well-known Munich startups at MUST, such as Blickfeld, Toposens and e-bot7, there were also plenty of fresh ideas that had been below our radar until now. One example is Hyperganic Technologies, founded by serial entrepreneur Lin Kayser. The software startup surprised with their pitch with a 3D printed rocket turbine. Or take DyeMansion, which dyes additive manufactured components and gives them a beautiful finish — and happen to be significantly scaling business at the moment.

For the third year of the summit, the topics were right up to speed with the current challenges and innovations in global markets: namely the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous machines & advanced manufacturing, smart mobility, agtech & foodtech and cybersecurity.

More than 400 participants met up at the conference to share their experience and pitch their ideas, and also to support and encourage one another. The exclusivity of the event and togetherness of its visitors in a relaxed atmosphere, with the popular dinner crawl as an example, made deal-making easy. After all, exquisite cuisine enjoyed in the most varied of locations unites the global tech community beyond any possible borders. The result may be — perhaps, hopefully? — collaboration for years to come.

Speed dating with sirens

The B2B speed dating right at the end was another highlight at this year’s MUST. That was not only due to the exciting business ideas that were shared, but also because a siren was used as the signal. In Munich Airport’s brand-new Internet Security Hub, a hacker attack was simulated apropos the topic of ‘cybersecurity.’ The airport is working with numerous partners on the subject, which is more relevant than ever. And, also a good fit for MUST, collaboration is a top priority for the future-oriented Munich Airport.

Another forward-looking feature was the discussion held by Kirstin Hegner, Managing Director of Digital Hub Mobility, Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW Board Member, and Andy Goldstein, Managing Director of LMU EC, on the subject ‘City of the Future’, which had a clear emphasis on mobility.

Autonomous driving and the societal shifts it will inevitably bring along were discussed in depth. The advantages of car sharing were also examined. In addition to more efficient land utilization in cities, Peter Schwarzenbauer explained how BMW plans to earn more money per car with car sharing than has been the case so far.  At the same time, he also bluntly said that it is not a question about where the automotive industry is headed in the future. By stating that there are simply a few unanswered questions about how the road ahead should look, he chose candid words to bring this year’s MUST conference to a close.

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