What is a startup?
A startup is a company or a business venture focused on technology and designed to be scalable. Scalable means it can grow exponentially. Startups focus on a new or even yet -to- be discovered market, for which the risk is very high.
Startups must have a disruptive and innovative idea with the potential to create a big impact on the market.
Due to its nature, a startup does not work like a traditional company. It has a flatter hierarchy where the whole team is involved in making the company grow. The financing is not by traditional ways such as bank loans, but rather by investors seeking to bet on the market with innovative ideas.
Startup ecosystem in Munich
Munich has a vibrant startup community. If you’re starting a startup in Munich, this community will be important for finding cofounders, investors, and getting advice and support during your journey. At the same time it makes possible the existence of other satellite ventures that are not properly startups (because they do not have all the above characteristics) that grow and get benefit as well from the business culture of this ecosystem.
If you’d like to get to know the technology community in Munich, start by attending a hackathon. There are also a lot of events around technology, as well as meetups and clubs to learn something about the subject, not to mention the big events like conferences. Links to hackathons and conferences in Munich found at the end of this article.
Wayra: A big player in this ecosystem
Wayra, the Telefónica Startup accelerator, located in ten countries (Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, UK, Venezuela and of course Spain and Germany), aims to promote startups focused on digital innovation in various areas such as IoT (Internet of Things), Cloud, cybersecurity, and Big Data. They do this via investment programs, mentoring with experts, and a network of contacts in the industry to help the development of the company.
Wayra is committed to technologies that have a real impact, and they are always looking for new ideas. Located in the heart of the city, Kaufinger Str. 15, they’ve created a community of startups and other resident companies where entrepreneurs and people with disruptive and creative ideas live together daily. This helps not only the companies and their customers but also partners and society in general.
“Startups have great potential for innovation that a big company does not have. There are things that companies can’t and shouldn’t do because there are startups that know the customer fantastic, are agile and have the technology,” says Christian Lindener, CEO of Wayra.
Regarding Wayra’s influence in Munich, Christian comments: “The impact of vehicles like Wayra in Munich is that we attract the startup ecosystem and bring them together with a corporate to do business so we encourage startups to grow. If they are strategically interesting for us, then we also invest. I’m very happy with the change we made, from being just an accelerator, investing in good technology and good equipment to now being an open innovation space working with other partners and startups, creating impact on the business of Telefonica and other corporations.”
WAYRA SUMMER EXPO
On July 25th Wayra organized an event to present the Startups results. Let’s take a closer look at the technologies being developed here in Munich:
Conntac is an app that assists the user if they have problems with their Internet connection. It is a self-help tool for the user to make an assisted diagnosis, find the problem and the solution instead of making a call to the customer service hotline. If the application does not find the solution then it communicates the user to one of the hotlines. Conntac has been successfully implemented at Telefónica, making customer service more efficient.
[Accu:rate´s product](http://www.accu-rate.de/en/ https://) analyzes the flow of people in busy public spaces. Based on information provided by Telefonica Next, they are able to make simulations based on real data so they can make recommendations to their clients. The user case: where to put advertising and vendor kiosk in a shopping mall.
Today’s youngest generations have little interest in owning a car, instead preferring car sharing services. So Eccocar provides the technological tools for companies to put their fleet of cars in a car sharing format.
The startup ecosystem is growing and there are new ideas that need investment, but how to speed up the process of finding the right startup for acceletators and companies? Innospot has developed a technological tool for the search of startups in the network, currently with a database of 430,000 startups and growing by 1,000 startups per week. The process based on artificial intelligence ensures that the search results are the most relevant for the investor.
A very important issue is health care for the elderly and people with chronic illnesses. The LOLA app is an achievement in the search for life quality in this sector: the app turns the smartphone into an emergency and personalized health assistant. This allows the user to be independent and in turn to be monitored or cared for by a family member or health services remotely. This helps create a sense of security because it detects emergency situations such as a fall.
Big Data and data in general have triggered a demand from data analysts and scientists. The companies have thousands of unfilled positions, so Stackfuel proposes that the vacancies be filled with the human capital already available to the company. Stackfuel is a startup that provides online training on this topic with personal assistance for companies, with Telefónica as one of its customers.
These are some examples of the technology being developed in Munich. Building these products creates many IT job opportunities, so more and more programmers from other countries are arriving to cover this demand.
If you are not related to these topics, we leave you some links that will give you more insights on this branch:
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Text: Alicia Enciso.
Special thanks to Adam Wiggins for the copyediting of this text.
Images: Alicia Enciso, Eccocar, Innospot, Qolware and Conntac.
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