The “Made in Germany” seal of quality is of great importance in Stuttgart. Home to some of the giants of the automobile industry like Porsche, Daimler and automotive parts supplier Bosch, the economic metropolis hangs most of its success on horsepower. Over the past few years, however, the city has also evolved into a hotbed for innovation – it’s now the hometown of the CODE_n contest and a rapidly growing startup scene. Kathleen Fritzsche is in charge of marketing for the CODE_n12 finalist “conceptboard” as well as the Stuttgart Startup Weekend. As a guest contributor, she gives us a peek behind the scenes.
There’s been quite a bustle in the Stuttgart startup scene for a while now. One of its central events is the three-day Startup Weekend, which will take place from November 16-18 for the third year in a row. The Stuttgart event has joined the ranks of the worldwide Startup Weekend network, which has attracted more than 10,000 participants in over 100 countries and given rise to more than 300 new startups within the last two years alone. The German startup SugarShape, for example, became a huge success after its emergence at a similar event in Hamburg.
The event was first organized in Stuttgart in 2010 by its initiators, Markus Schranner and Harald Amelung. At the time, it was based in the old H7 building at the train station, and there were only 25 participants. Much has changed since then, and by 2011 the number of participants had almost quadrupled. Expectations are similarly high this year. The event, which is now being backed by the bwcon business initiative, has found the perfect location: the Stuttgart Literaturhaus.
The entire program revolves around budding and prospective startups who will develop their business concept to the point that it can be directly implemented once the weekend is over. The event kicks off on Friday evening with the presentation of their business concepts (the pitch). The rest of the weekend is reserved for working out concepts, allowing their ideas to take shape, and collaborating in teams with the support of mentors from different sectors of the startup scene. Actually, the participants don’t have to present an idea – they can also stop by and join one of the teams. The motivation of the participants will be a catalyst for a whole weekend full of creativity and concepts, along the lines of “Don’t just talk: Do!”. A prominent jury featuring names like Christoph Janz from Point Nine Capital will judge the best teams at a closing presentation on Sunday. This year’s grand prize is being sponsored by the well-known Stuttgart company simpleshow. The winners of the Startup Weekend will have the chance to illustrate their business concept in a classic simpleshow informational video. This charming original video format is an ideal way to introduce potential investors and stakeholders to key startup facts in just 3 minutes.
To find out more and register for the Stuttgart Startup Weekend, please visit: http://stuttgart.startupweekend.org