The Muc Summit team (from left to right): Frizzi Engler-Hamm, Johanna Kobilke, Katja Werner and Matthias Notz.
Photo: Muc Summit

“Sustainable Development of Munich as an Innovative City” – Interview with Muc Summit

Muc Summit has repositioned itself. We learned more about how exactly from the team that works with CEO Frizzi Engler-Hamm in our interview.

Munich Startup: What exactly does Muc Summit do and who is behind it? Please introduce your team.

Muc Summit: Muc Summit GmbH was initiated in 2015 by UnternehmerTUM, the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship and German Entrepreneurship. It has established itself as a reliable partner and facilitator in the Munich innovation ecosystem in recent years, for example, with MUST – The Munich Summit, and with various satellite events on 3D printing or healthcare. With MUST – The Munich Innovation Ecosystem, Muc Summit acts as the driving force for the strategic development of the Munich innovation ecosystem, where we bring key players together to encourage the exchange of ideas in, from and for Munich and to enhance awareness about Munich’s innovation ecosystem both nationally and internationally. This can lead to stronger links and synergies between business, science, startups and politics and further partners in the ecosystem and make the city attractive over the long term.

45 participants were involved in a strategy process and adopted the following vision for Munich:

“Munich’s innovative, open-minded and diverse community brings together international young talents, startups and established companies to co-create scalable innovation striving towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This unique blend of academia, industry, startups, government, science and society offers a unique high-tech based ecosystem in one of the most livable cities in the world.”

Frizzi Engler-Hamm, CEO of Muc Summit GmbH: My goal is to sustainably develop Munich as an innovative city, to get talented individuals to establish scalable business models of value here and to identify potential and synergies between startups, universities, corporates, public authorities and further stakeholders to mutually and actively shape cross-industry cooperation and network the right partners.

Matthias Notz: I work as the managing director of Muc Summit GmbH – in addition to my role as the CEO of German Entrepreneurship GmbH (shareholders of Muc Summit). What drives me is wanting to make Munich even more visible and impressive as a location for innovation and startups, both in the city itself and also on a national and international level. That benefits all players and partners in the Munich innovation ecosystem.

Katja Werner: Since 2017, I have been bringing together key players in business, science, public authorities and the startup and ecosystem scene together on a national and international level as part of my work on MUST. In my role as the business development & project lead, I am able to facilitate communication between the stakeholders regarding entrepreneurship and innovation, the strategic development of the Munich innovation ecosystem as well as national and international visibility.

Johanna Kobilke: I represent Muc Summit GmbH as “Ecosystem Integrator” for the “Munich Global Impact Sprint” project of the three Munich universities, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, the Technical University of Munich and Hochschule München – University of Applied Sciences, with the aim of bringing international teams and talent to Munich and integrating their innovation activities into our ecosystem. My main interest is the connection between companies and their influence on their social and ecological environment as well as the implications and opportunities that result for innovation as a driver for a worthwhile and grandchild-friendly future.

Munich Startup: What partners do you work with in business, science and public authorities?

Muc Summit: Some of the players we work with are the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, Google Deutschland, Innosabi, Intel Deutschland, LabCampus, the state capital Munich, Munich Startup, Munich’s universities, PwC, Werk1 and many other partners. We also have a network of international partners to enhance the visibility of the Munich innovation ecosystem on an international level. Our goal is to get even more partners excited about our initiative in order to strengthen Munich as a leading city of innovation.

A unique combination of stakeholders in Munich

Munich Startup: What do you think makes Munich’s innovation ecosystem so unique? And where do you think there’s a need for action and is that where you come in?

Muc Summit: The Munich innovation ecosystem has a unique combination of stakeholders. Many SMEs have their headquarters in Munich, as do 32 listed companies. Many international firms have also located their German offices in Munich. And with the Munich University of Applied Sciences (HM), the Technical University of Munich (TU) and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich (LMU), the Bavarian capital is home to many internationally renowned universities. This creates an innovative environment and drives new ideas and technologies forward. Due to the attractive job opportunities and university offers as well as their entrepreneurship centers, Munich has access to a great deal of talent.

Our work is to bring a unique combination of stakeholders together and to network people and enhance transparency through regular interaction, which in turn allows us to set up and further the agenda for the Munich innovation ecosystem together.

Munich Startup: How can you specifically help startups with the work you do?

Muc Summit: On the one hand, we can support them with curated networking within the ecosystem and, on the other hand, we assist them in clearly examining subjects and challenges in order to jointly develop solutions with a network of people from public authorities, business and science and in initiating projects.

Joint project with Munich’s universities

HM, LMU and TUM and their three startup centers are collaborating with us on the international project “Munich Global Impact Sprint” to promote innovation and social change through responsible and impact-oriented entrepreneurship and to embed these elements in Munich.  To that end, the three universities applied for funding together by setting up a program that attracts national and international talent, tech-based projects and young startups. We serve as an ecosystem integrator in the project with the aim of embedding innovation and activities in the Munich ecosystem, facilitating communication among network partners and initiating collaborations for co-creation. The goal is to scale sustainable business models and have them put down roots in Munich.    

Munich Startup: Some people have certainly already heard of MUST – The Munich Summit, a large event that was last held in 2018. It’s an event where startups meet up with corporates and VCs as well as other key players in science. Is a similar kind of event planned (post corona) or any other projects that you can tell us about?

Muc Summit: For the Munich Global Impact Sprint, we’re planning several large events as well as community building events and specialist workshops. The first virtual “Matching Event” will be held in April after a scouting process for international founders. The aim of that event is to network these talented individuals with each other and also with the Munich ecosystem.

The second large “Ko-Kreation Event” will be held at the end of this year. This is where startups will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the local industry, universities, public authorities and further stakeholders and to work together in thematic workshops.

We also have a wide variety of formats for communication within the Munich innovation ecosystem. In addition to our regular “MUST Dialog” event, where our partner network has the opportunity to talk about current projects and with each other, we also organize workshops to promote topics together. There will be a workshop format in 2021 that focuses on technologies that make a contribution to the sustainability goals of the United Nations.

We also regularly share news about events and projects at

Building a community – offline and online

Munich Startup: Muc Summit was just recently awarded a contract to be involved in the implementation of the Exist Potentials project “Munich Global Impact Sprint” as an ecosystem integrator. What exactly is the project about and what do you have planned?

Muc Summit: Munich is one of the most attractive and innovation-friendly cities and it draws talent, startups and companies from both the local area and the entire world. By positioning the city as an international startup hotspot for scalable and tech and impact-focused solutions based on the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals from the UN, note from editor), we’re creating a sustainable and worthwhile future for the city. Munich is a tech hub with real strength in B2B as well as excellent conditions for co-creation with ecosystem partners.

Being awarded the contract will allow us to build an effective online and offline community and to help establish the project in the Munich network. In order to be successful over the long term, an innovation and collaboration platform will be made available as a place for sharing ideas, projects and news, for developing business models in cooperation with experts and for facilitating co-creation processes.