Strategy Workshop for Munich’s innovation ecosystem

Based on the experience and the network of MUST, the MUC SUMMIT GmbH implemented a new strategy process in 2019 to push the development of Munich’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem forward. As ecosystem builders and connectors in the entrepreneurial and innovation scene, MUST focused on a cross-sectoral network with an active and coordinated innovation community. Therefore, the MUC Summit GmbH organized and orchestrated three workshops with around 45 C-level participants from government, industry, academia, and startups.

By addressing future topics apart from existing structures, the participants want Munich to increasingly become a leading innovation ecosystem nationally and internationally.

With partners from the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, the City of Munich, Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria, the Entrepreneurship Centers from Munich’s universities, BMW, Google, Intel, PwC, Innosabi, VW, Mindspace, KPMG, WERK1 and others, the MUC SUMMIT GmbH ensured that different perspectives were represented across different stakeholder groups. In 15 additional working groups the participants narrowed down specific topics of the strategy process by focusing on subsectors like “The Vision and Mission of Munich’s entrepreneurial ecosystem”, “Munich: a B2B hub”, “How to Market the Ecosystem” and “The Internationalization of the Munich Innovation Ecosystem”.

Key Findings were among others:

  • A shared Vision for the Munich Innovation Ecosystem:
    One working group focused on a shared vision for the Munich Innovation Ecosystem. Up to 12 partners from the public sector, the industry sector and the startup scene came together to create a vision for Munich’s innovation landscape. Alongside the formulation of a shared vision, the partners also addressed Mission Items that should be fulfilled by The Munich Innovation Ecosystem to implement the vision. Mission Items included the scouting and promotion of international talents, tech founders and start-ups, international networking and joint programmes with international ecosystems, an interactive community platform, spaces that promote interaction, topic-specific pilot projects involving the relevant stakeholders, and social impact.
  • The Draft of an Ecosystem Builder:
    Discussions revealed that a facilitator and orchestrator of the ecosystem is needed to improve networking, visibility, and aligned activities for the ecosystem. The working group members designed a concept for a connecting and cooperative networking entity that puts the focus on the strategic development of the Munich startup and innovation ecosystem, enables and networks through cooperation and exchange between the members, and markets the ecosystem nationally and internationally.
  • One central location to gather a whole ecosystem under one roof:
    A place within the city center for startups, innovators, academia, industry representatives and entrepreneurs to grow their business, network, and benefit from the community is a missing component. Three possible measures for the establishment of this kind of space were discussed during the strategy workshop: the establishment of a new physical space, the bundling of already existing activities, and/or a virtual exchange platform. It was suggested that the operators of the existing sites exchange on a regular basis to examine how transparency can be improved and what joint activities can be developed. This could be through a format with different physical locations or a series of workshops to present the different locations and programs to the ecosystem.
  • International Point of Contact:
    Support is needed for international stakeholders to meet important contacts, find out who is who, and to identify the right access points to the ecosystem. Therefore, a list of improvement areas was created to identify the main issues international stakeholders are facing when trying to enter the ecosystem (inbound) as well as how to support local stakeholders who need support going international (outbound).
  • National and International Marketing:
    The internal and external communication of Munich’s innovation ecosystem and its driving forces can be improved. A central website as well as marketing tools would be highly welcomed to promote Munich’s activities.
  • International Representation:
    It would be helpful to have an organizer who bundles international activities and represents the innovation ecosystem jointly at the international level. This includes representation at international events as well as organizing and welcoming international delegations and representatives to connect within the Munich ecosystem, thereby bridging the local ecosystem with other international innovation stakeholders.
  • One Munich Pitch Deck:
    A cohesive pitch deck was designed as a marketing tool for the international presentation of Munich’s high-tech innovation ecosystem.
  • Personal vs Virtual Exchange:
    What type of exchange is missing: small or big events, one-on-ones, digital platforms?
    This question was intensely debated and many diverse answers were given, such as the personal exchange between stakeholders in smaller and more personal settings as well as bigger events or a digital platform for the regular exchange between academia, industry, startups, government, and science.
  • Target Group:
    An exchange and design of who we aim to attract to Munich was facilitated and drafted. What is the outside perception of Munich? What does Munich stand for? What does Munich have to offer?
  • Ecosystem Mapping: A better overview of Munich’s offerings, such as hubs, accelerators, experts, and tech-startups is missing and should be provided by the ecosystem.

Aside from the key findings, all participants welcomed regular exchange, networking, and further opportunities to play an active role in the development of the ecosystem. These diverse outcomes were part of a very fruitful and necessary process to drive the strategic development of Munich’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem forward.


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Katja Werner