On 5 July 2022, the region’s startup ecosystem met for a special summer event at Ulm University of Technology. The StartupSÜD SUMMIT provided an insight into the innovation potential of the startup region Ulm/Neu-Ulm/Biberach with inspiring presentations and in-depth expert panels on the central theme of “Cooperating with Startups”. A total of 230 participants, including 48 start-ups and over 40 company representatives, met to exchange ideas in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition to networking on two floors, there were also numerous discussion and input rounds.
After introductory words by the Rector of Ulm University of Technology, Prof. Dr. Volker Reuter, Lord Mayor Gunter Czisch welcomed the guests and pointed out that groundbreaking innovations are often born in unplanned moments.
Marco Bühler, Managing Director of Beurer GmbH, reported on the groundbreaking innovations his company has invested in over the last few years and how profitable cooperation between start-ups and SMEs can be in his key note.
In the further course of the event, Matthias Wallisch from the RKW Competence Centre shed light on the potential of cooperation between start-ups and SMEs. He showed that around 69% of start-ups are active in the B2B sector and can therefore be an important source of innovation for SMEs.
In the subsequent panel discussion, both speakers discussed with the co-founders of the University of Ulm start-up Day4Solution, Anna Literova and Reiner Taglang.
They talked about the added value of cooperation between start-ups and SMEs from both perspectives and how profitable start-ups can be for SMEs due to their speed and flexibility.
The dynamic regional start-up scene was also brought to life by getting to know each other. The foyer of the Ulm University of Technology provided a suitable platform for this. 40 start-up teams presented their start-up ideas and business models there. In the format “Startup meets SME #5”, organised by the Ulm Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Swabian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, companies, startups and experts also got to talk to each other and were able to exchange ideas in a relaxed atmosphere, for example on cooperation opportunities.
In the afternoon, there were two parallel discussion rounds. Track 1 discussed how universities can contribute to business model innovations. Representatives of the four StartupSÜD universities presented the research and transfer priorities of the universities as well as current example projects for innovation cooperation with companies in the region. In the subsequent
discussion with the audience focused on the advantages for companies and start-ups in their cooperation with universities for the joint generation of marketable innovations.
Track 2 dealt with the question of how companies find the right startup. Here, the founder of Holidaycheck, Jens Freiter, discussed with Christian Caro from Beurer GmbH. Both saw the team composition and the founders’ personalities as the most important success factors for working with a start-up.
At the end of the event, eight selected regional start-ups had the opportunity to present their business model in a pitch competition. The audience then chose the start-up karriereheld with its innovative recruiting platform as “Fox of the Year” via live voting.