What Happened in 2021 – A Review
New in Our Portfolio in 2021
We certainly accomplished a lot last year. Besides keeping busy with our already established programs, we broaden our portfolio. Multiple new programs launched successfully and we can’t wait for 2022 to continue empowering entrepreneurs. Let’s review what happened at German Entrepreneurship in 2021.
The end of the LMU Entrepreneurship Center is also the beginning of our new program: Master Accelerator – Coaching Unicorns. Helping startups to grow and scale is close to our heart, and we want them to learn from the best: unicorns from our cosmos. The application deadline was at the end of November. We are very happy that so many fantastic startups sent in their pitch decks. We are having a hard time choosing, but are already excited for the new year to start with the first batch in January!
Startups should learn from the best. Nine German unicorns are alumni of German Entrepreneurship’s programs. We are delighted that these founders are sharing their knowledge to help the next generation succeed. They need a solid base to grow sustainably. We can provide this stability through know-how, many years of experience, and our strong network.
German Accelerator: China Essentials Workshop and Market Discovery
China is a complex market but offers many opportunities for startups as the second-largest economy in the world with a fast-growing middle class. In September, this new offering of German Accelerator started with the first China Essentials workshop to teach German companies how to navigate their business there. 6 startups participated in the market discovery programs in 2021. We are excited to see next year’s participants and accompany them on their way to expand to China.
While many are aware of the opportunity the Chinese market represents, we also understand that to many startups, China can look like an intimidating place to do business. Our new China offering enables German startups to tap into and maneuver this complex market.
Our German offices may be in Munich and Berlin, but we want to support startups from all over Germany. And now we can do this together with our partner digihub Düsseldorf-Rheinland with a special program called Scale-up.NRW. The program is designed for scaling and internationalization by the Ministry of Economic Affairs Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Applications for the first batch beginning in March have already started. We are ready for this new adventure!
We are very happy to support startups from NRW with our experience, global network, experts and mentors and that we are part of this exciting and inspiring project.
Kickstart International Launch
In March, German Accelerator got a new program for startups at the beginning of their internationalization. Kickstart International belongs to the German Accelerator Academy and prepares companies for internationalization early on. All the hard work and facing challenges, like constantly adapting the individual schedule for each startup, paid off. 70 participants received coaching by experts and mentors for their next steps to internationalization.
Thanks to our international network of mentors and speakers from the US, Asia and Germany as well as our GA Alumni, who shared their vast experience, we could give the participants invaluable hands-on insights regarding their individual needs and priorities with internationalization.
EU-India Innocenter Launch
It’s not only about German startups. Together with 6 partners from all over Europe, German Entrepreneurship founded the EU-India Innocenter, which is supported by the European Union. 140 experts from the Indian and European ecosystem help startups to expand to India through training, coachings, and local connections. In the first year, the EU India-Innocenter accompanied 17 European startups on their way to India.
India’s fast-growing, young population – combined with a highly skilled English-speaking workforce – makes it one of the most dynamic markets in the world, and it will be one of the world’s largest economies in the next 10-15 years.
New Partnership with KIC Europe
Since Germany and Korea belong to the most innovative economies, there is no question that we want to foster cross-border collaborations. Together with The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy we joined forces in September with KIC Europe to help German and Korean startups establish their businesses in the respective innovation ecosystems.
Review: Corporate Innovation
There are more players in the ecosystem than just startups. Already established companies – may it be DAX-listed corporations or SMEs – play a vital role in fostering innovation. In 2021, German Entrepreneurship realized 71 custom solutions to our clients. Like the virtual event “Mittelstand x Startup: Women in Tech”, where four successful female entrepreneurs shared their experiences. Through the organization and the support of two hackathons, we supported Siemens to connect with startups, future talents, and channel intern forces. Thanks to all clients for their trust and we are looking forward to new projects in 2022!
Founders of Siemens’ Female Data Science Network Dr. Ulrike Dowie and Dr. Sylvia Endres hosted an AI hackathon – for women only! In an interview both emphasized the importance of recruiting more female Data Scientists.
The German Entrepreneurship Center
Although working from home still played a big role in 2021, we are optimistically looking towards the future and soon get back into our new offices in Munich and Berlin. Since August, German Entrepreneurship is the new neighbor at the campus of ideas at Neue Balan. Here we reconnected with an old friend. Polarstern, an alumni of the LMU EC:Lab is now our clean and green energy provider. As one of 12 founding members of the KI Park Deutschland, we want to intensify our commitment to support innovation using artificial intelligence. First step: Moving our Berlin office there!
Hopefully we can soon not only welcome our employees back, but also startups, friends, and partners to connect and get inspired.
Networking and matchmaking is at the heart of our company. But safety is always first and so 2021 sadly didn’t allow us many opportunities to do all this in person. That didn’t stop us from taking our events online and continuing to connect ecosystem players in Germany and global.
We would have loved to see you all in person. Since this was not possible we turned the circumstances into an advantage and invited not only German startups to our Cashwalk but investors and companies from all over the world – even from Uruguay and the United States! There were fantastic evenings with exciting pitches and we are looking forward to hopefully seeing all these amazing founders again in the future!
The end of an era: On October 21, 2021, the LMU Entrepreneurship Center welcomed the last batch of startups to present their ideas – on a real stage at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich. Audience joined virtually thanks to a live broadcast and all participants were able to network safely via the platform of startup MeetAnyway, also an alumni of LMU EC. It’s not goodbye to the support of early-phase startups, but see you soon in the new Master Accelerator!
A look into the yearbook including some unicorns: More than 350 startups participated in 15 years. Some of the most well known alumni are: Flixbus, Foodora, Sharecare – founders of these three are part of the new Master Accelerator’s experts – YFood, Trade Republic, Tado, Unu, Social Bee and Happybrush. The latter of them recently being voted under the Top5 for Gründerszene’s Award for the startup of the year.
We wish you happy holidays and a successful and healthy new year. Startups, friends, experts, partners, and everyone in the global ecosystem: Let’s continue driving innovation together in 2022 – we are looking forward to it!