© XR Hub

XR Hub Bavaria Opens Up Virtual Worlds and XR Spaces

XR is an umbrella term for augmented, virtual and mixed reality. When hardware and software come together, they make it possible to enter virtual worlds or enhance everyday experiences with digital information from a VR headset. And that is something companies are becoming more and more interested in. Bavaria has created a space that provides access to this technology with the XR Hub Bavaria. We spoke with Silke Schmidt, Head of the XR Hub Munich.

Munich Startup: Please introduce yourself and the XR Hub Bavaria!

Silke Schmidt, Head of the XR Hub Munich: The ‘XR Hub Bavaria’ has been the place to go for information and opportunities to communicate for the entire XR ecosystem in Bavaria since October 2019 , and it also supports the professionalization of XR players in Bavaria. The hub’s aim is to promote the exchange of ideas, visibility and market access for XR companies.

The XR Hub aims to make it possible for companies and other interested users, such as schools and educational or cultural institutions, to access and experience XR technology. The XR Hub Bavaria is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry for Digital Affairs in three locations: MunichNuremberg and Würzburg.

In Munich, the XR Hub Bavaria and its team of five is located at Medien Bayern GmbH, to which Media Lab Bayern also belongs.

In our magazine, we use various formats, such as videocasts, podcasts and XR events, to share the innovations that emerge when XR technologies are used as well as the added value users can gain from them. We are also specifically establishing a community that focuses on networking, the exchange of ideas and knowledge transfer.

Silke Schmidt
Silke Schmidt is Head of the XR Hub Munich.

The XR network, which will be launched in September, is a digital and interactive business directory where all kinds of companies can sign up, network and present their fields of expertise. Our aim is to help players in the XR community and companies increase their visibility, make it easier for them to enter the market with their XR-based products or for them to find partners for developing innovative project ideas. With our support, we would also like to help all players find relevant information, the right entry point to the subject or suitable support programs.

Many XR support programs, for startups too

Munich Startup: What do you focus on when working with startups?

Silke Schmidt, XR Hub: Basically any company, any startup or anyone interested in XR can get in touch with us. Regardless of whether it’s a matter of delving into the world of XR for the first time, gathering information about the technology, making contacts, networking in the XR scene or asking about concrete support options – we are happy to offer both advice and assistance.

XR Hub
XR events are also organized by the Hub.

Especially for startups, the issue of financing is often the top priority in the beginning. Fortunately, there are many support programs offered by Bavaria, the German federal government and the EU that support the development and realization of XR ideas. Our XR community also provides an excellent opportunity for networking in the XR scene, gaining an overview of potential applications and service providers and finding helpful contacts and strategic partners for implementing innovative projects. Companies, agencies, startups, research organizations, etc. in Bavaria, but also beyond its borders, will soon be able to create their own profile in our XR network to become part of the community. Our XR events (which are only being held virtually at the moment due to corona) are also a great opportunity for making interesting new contacts.

Munich Startup: To be successful, a startup needs to…

Silke Schmidt, XR Hub: … network, network, network and listen, listen, listen.

“Good contacts are the key to success”

Munich Startup: Why would a good startup even need support?

Silke Schmidt, XR Hub: Good contacts and constructive interaction are the key to success, especially in the beginning! Anyone working with immersive media such as virtual or augmented reality who would like to found a startup in the media sector can apply on two dates each year at Media Lab Bayern for the “All-inclusive” startup package. It includes a 40.000 euro prototyping budget, an additional 10.000 euros for consulting and media services, a spot in a coworking space, contacts, coaching and lots of fun.

The biggest mistake is to not make any at all

Munich Startup: What’s the biggest mistake a startup can make?

Silke Schmidt, XR Hub: The biggest mistake would be not making any mistakes at all – because that’s the only way to learn! Above all, startups should ask lots of questions and really listen, because a product is only a good product when it solves a specific problem for a specific target group. It is often advisable to not fixate on the founding idea too much when it comes to adapting it slightly or fleshing it out to meet the needs of the target group.

Munich Startup: The trends of the year are…!

Silke Schmidt, XR Hub: … virtual worlds and XR spaces!

Munich Startup: Last but not least: Whom should startups contact if they would like to meet with you?

Silke Schmidt, XR Hub: Send us an email, give us a call, meet up with us in virtual worlds. All contact information and further details are available here.