The success story of an innovation ecosystem: How the Munich Innovation Ecosystem GmbH is shaping the future
Over the past few years, we have established ourselves as a successful partner for the start-up ecosystem. We’ve also set ourselves the goal of positioning Munich as a leading innovation hub, both nationally and internationally. Let's take a closer look at our steps and successes of the past three years.
2020 Review: Strategic development for a thriving ecosystem
In 2020, we laid the groundwork for the strategic development of the innovation ecosystem. In workshops and joint projects, topics and fields of action were defined for a common agenda. We also promoted networking between universities, the public sector, industry and the start-up community through various event formats on such topics as mobility.
The establishment of a regular overarching partner meeting between us and the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, the City of Munich and Munich Startup helped us to organize joint activities.
In addition, we prepared a white paper with PwC on the topic of "Munich as a growing hotspot for innovation and entrepreneurship" (German and English) and published it in 2021. To present Munich's potential, we identified and validated seven hypotheses by means of a quantitative and qualitative deep dive through research, data analysis and expert interviews. In addition, we strengthened marketing and communication through the development of a landing page, social media activities and the publication of relevant content to increase the visibility of the MUNICH INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM. These measures formed the basis for the strategic further development and networking of the Munich Innovation Ecosystem, which should lead to further growth and success in the coming years.
Review 2021: Strong together – networking and enablers
In 2021, we took important steps to further develop the strategy. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we defined key topics, including the promotion of AI-based start-ups by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection and the strategic role of the three major universities (HM, LMU, TUM) through the Munich Global Impact Sprint. We also established the event format “MUST Dialogues,” which successfully facilitated topic-specific exchanges by stakeholders from the Quadruple Helix. Furthermore, we implemented virtual topic-specific workshops with partners such as “Health & Resilience at Work” together with the LabCampus.
The introduction of a digital networking platform enabled the national and international networking of innovation drivers and made co-creation transparent. At the same time, we were able to continuously increase the visibility of the MUNICH INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM through active communication and marketing measures at all of its own events, lectures and projects, at external events in lectures and talks, as well as via its website, social media and the newly introduced digital platform. Regular meetings and the bringing together of the network for the AI+MUNICH model project additionally strengthened visibility and collaboration.
Review 2022: Ecosystem marketing for a bright future
In 2022, we continued our successful collaboration with key partners from the public sector, universities, industry and the start-up community. Our focus was on the strategic role of universities, especially in the context of the Munich Global Impact Hub (formerly Sprint) and the stronger networking of Munich's universities, as well as the promotion of AI start-ups within the framework of the AI+MUNICH model project, which is run jointly with the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship and the TUM Venture Labs.
Our 2022 activities also focused on higher-level, curated partner meetings, including the MUST Dialogues in Presence, which served to promote exchange within the MUNICH INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM. We also continued to engage with the public sector to implement joint activities.
Marketing and communication played a key role, with an increased online presence and collaborations. One task was the relaunch of the 2022 website, with the aim of presenting the players and activities in a clearer and more transparent way, so that potential partners could find out more and contact us directly. Participation in Bits & Pretzels 2022 led to significant growth in the community. The launch of a new platform, Start for Future, was seen as a better digital home for the ecosystem and strategic collaboration was driven forward.
Summary: Together into an innovative future with a focus on the SDGs
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic, our innovation ecosystem has made significant progress. The strategic development, networking and enabler function – first through digital and then physical formats – as well as ecosystem marketing, have helped to sustainably strengthen the ecosystem and establish it as a leading innovation hub. The high level of participation in the numerous events demonstrated the relevance and need for such formats.
From a strategic point of view, important conclusions were reached, and new directions revealed, for the following years based on the 2020-2022 period. These include
1) the MUNICH INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM as a digital space for virtual networking and collaboration.
2) the networking of the entire Munich university landscape, as universities play a special role for the ecosystem, and
3) the integration of new corporate partners of all sizes.
The goal remains to continuously increase the visibility and transparency of the MUNICH INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM as a shared brand name, both internally and externally, with the goal of continuing the promotion of start-ups and innovations to address current challenges through targeted collaboration.
Our success story shows how committed partnerships and strategic collaborations can unleash the potential of an innovation ecosystem. Together, they are shaping a promising future for founders, public sector actors, scientists, business innovation drivers, and investors, to name but a few.