Beyond Bear In Bavaria

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TEG's Startup Weekend came to Bavaria on May 10th. Find out what teams formed during the event and which of them pushed through!

On May 10th, Munich hosted TEG’s Startup Weekend, with the mission of discovering Munich’s best and brightest talent. Starting with open pitches, teams were formed by individuals gravitating to the ideas that they found to be the most inspiring. The following three days were then spent developing the products into a viable business models. After user testing and refinement provided by the participating mentors, the Sunday presentation showcased a number of apps designed to address the unique challenges posed by Bavarian living.

Unlike the cosmopolitan capital of Berlin, language is major hurdle in Munich and language based apps were fairly popular during the competition, demonstrating that there is a strong need for user-driven translation services.

The Teams

The winner, Find The Bear, helps customers solve everyday problems by connecting users to local experts who speak the same language. Contrary to other popular translation services, Find The Bear targets offline interactions such as hair appointments, healthcare, and household repairs. And as the only group to produce a live website and product that was ready to go to market, it’s easy to see why they were the champions.

The distinction of Most Innovative was awarded to the Job Ninja team and their focus on the low-skilled, low-wage job market populated by students. Similar to the American based app, Task Rabbit, Job Ninja matched temporary workers to employers needing extra hands. Challenges posed by strict German labor law aside, it won Judge Gerald Hörhan’s favor by “making complicated things simple” and “ conquers an untapped market”.

The Intimate Angel team won the award for Best Pitch for their attempt at tackling the uncomfortable area of sexual dysfunction. Users anonymously connected with proven experts to answer their most embarrassing questions. Judging by the uncomfortable laughter throughout the presentation, it appears that the market holds great potential.

Finally, the Microsoft Award of Best Web Based Idea was given to the White Rabbit team and their ecologically friendly laundry service.

Where the Money is

Many of the teams during the TEG event created service based apps that could be easily incorporated into a number of international environments. However, few created platforms that made use of the unique environment Munich’s startup scene has to offer. As one of the judges, Dr. Annette Leonhard-MacDonald, explained, Bavaria is home to many world-class research institutes and the region is ready for teams that can bring research to the market, specifically in areas of science and engineering.

While Berlin is known for “cheap and quick” development, Dr. Leonhard-MacDonald stated that Munich has many corporate customers that are willing to pay for high quality, science based innovations.

One such client is HypoVereinsbank, a sponsor of Munich’s next big hackathon, Burda Hackday. Echoing the doctor’s sentiments regarding scientific innovation, the aim of this event is to push the boundaries of the quickly developing financial technology sector. Let’s see what else the people of Munich have to offer.



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