In Munich: Forget Oktoberfest And Launch Immediately

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If you want to be an entrepreneur and live in a city with the perfect blend of wonderful nature, safety and the biggest beer festival on the planet - Munich is the place for you.

Don’t miss the infographic on How To Start Your Startup In Munich!

The city is located in the beautiful state of Bavaria, very close to Switzerland, Austria and France, and is extremely well-connected with the rest of Europe through great railways services. At the same time, the airport of Munich is the second busiest in Germany and 7th busiest in Europe, which provides you a great possibility to be connected to the world. Both Munich and Bavaria have long been considered the very traditional and conservative parts of Germany but this has been changing in the past 10 years and the city itself is becoming more and more of a modern-industry city, and also more international. The tech-startup scene in the city has been growing over the last years, and even though it’s still in the shadow of much larger Berlin, Munich is slowly positioning itself on the map of Europe as a strong startup hub.

In The Heart Of Bavaria: Munich

The startup scene in Munich is developing fast and there are many reasons why Munich is a great place to start a startup, but also there are a few things to be careful about during the process.

Advantages Of Starting Up In Munich:

  • High quality of life: Munich was ranked in many quality-of-life lists among top 5 cities in the world for a couple of years, above any other German city.
  • Strong social security and work-life balance: Germany in general offers great benefits to people working here: 14 months of parental-leave that can be split between mother and father as they prefer; minimum 20, but usually 25-30 days of annual paid leave etc.
  • Reputable universities and research centers: 14 universities and many other institutes of higher-education are located in Munich which results in a large proportion of highly-qualified employees. TUM and LMU are both ranked among top universities in the world and they both also have Entrepreneurship Centers for developing the startup community of the city.
  • Location in the heart of Europe: Munich is very easy to reach by rail, road or air, very well-connected with all the major (and even not so major) cities in the world.
  • Financially strong and economically diverse: Munich is considered to be one of the richest (if not even the richest) cities in Germany. Next to that, it also has a diverse economy and a mixture of both traditional and modern industries: tech is growing, but car-manufacturing is still strong (BMW is headquartered in Munich, Audi in Inglostadt very close to it).

What Startup Founders Have To Consider:

  • It’s expensive: Munich is by far the most expensive city to live in Germany, which might influence the expenses of your startup. On the other hand, it’s still cheaper than main startup hubs of Europe like London or Stockholm.
  • German language: The number of people coming from all over the world to Munich is growing and with it the number of English-speakers in the city. However, there are government sectors where people might not speak English at all and there are conferences/meetups being held in German, so it’s a good idea to work on your German language skills. Or consider having at least one German-speaking co-founder.
  • Limited communication inside the startup community: As the startup community in Munich keeps growing, it seems to go into sylos and there’s not too much communication going on inside the community itself.
  • In the shadow of Berlin: When people mention startups in Germany the first city that comes to mind is Berlin, a city that’s one of the main startup hubs in Europe itself. Munich has a strong scene, but Berlin is still much more developed in that regard.

Despite all the things that you need to consider, Munich is a place worth taking your business idea to and being a part of the ever-growing startup scene of the city.

Introduce Yourself To Munich’s Community


As already mentioned before, Munich’s startup community has been growing lately but there is still space to grow. Many events that happen inside the community are in German, and don’t even have websites in English which makes it difficult if you don’t speak the language. With the very strong academic scene and around 90000 students, the number of young people that see entrepreneurship as the way of building their career is constantly growing.

Upcoming Events, Meetups And Other Occasions:

  • Munich startup is probably the biggest portal you can use to get information about the startup scene in Munich. Next to an event calendar, there is a substantial amount of information as well as interviews with founders.
  • Eventbrite Munich offers a wide variety of events you can take part in, in many different areas of the business world (IT, marketing, entrepreneurship etc.)
  • Meetup is in general a good place to search for events, there are many very active communities for different areas and depending on your interest you can join many of them. A few communities that are focused on entrepreneurship will be pointed out below.
  • Munich Startups facebook is the biggest Facebook page dedicated to startups in Munich. Here you can find valuable information, many job offers, but people would also often post about networking events (Silicon Drinkabout being the most regular one) or meetups you can take part in.

Regular Events And Meetups:

  • Startup founder 101 meetup is a great community for every startup enthusiast out there. There are regular webinars on various subjects and also meetups organised in Munich itself, focused on helping startup founders through different cycles of their startup.
  • Lean startup Munich is a meetup group focused on sharing experiences on the lean methodology for startup development. They organise events (almost) monthly.
  • Every second Thursday of the month experts hold talks on a particular topic.
  • UX Munich is for anyone who is interested in the UX trends, this 2-day conference took part in 2013 and 2015 in March. It’s expected to be back in 2017 and keep it’s every-other-year tradition.
  • Google Launchpad is a week-long boot camp for early stage startups focusing on critical topics for startup development. Each day is dedicated to one specific topic and its goal is to achieve fast progress in short time span.
  • Push conference is a yearly conference paired up with workshop sessions connecting interaction designers, interface developers and UX professionals.
  • Product Tank is one of the best product-related meetups that happens in 40 cities all over the world. Originally created by the team behind Mind the Product (the biggest product conference in the world, organised in San Francisco and London). In Munich, it happens 3 times a year and each tank has a topic all the speakers focus on.
  • MobileTech Conference is a yearly conference about mobile tech happening every year in March. It’s in German, so you would need to speak the language in order to attend.
  • Internet of Things Conference is a conference to talk and hear about all what is happening in the very trendy topic of Internet of Things. The conference is held in German, so speaking the language is needed to attend.

Yearly Or Major Events, Festivals, Conferences:

  • Bitz & Pretzels is the biggest event for startup founders in Munich. It’s a three day conference with a huge networking event at the end – at the Oktoberfest itself! The conference takes part in late September every year.
  • The royal jungle is a new tech-startup festival, with 60 speakers that give insight on how to build and manage companies. It took place in March 2015, and is now happening in April 2016.
  • Cashwalk is a pitch day organised by LMU Entrepreneurship center, connecting 50 young startups with worlds leading VC and Angel investors. The 2016 edition happened in February, hopefully news about 2017 will be out soon.
  • Lean startup machine is a three-day workshop teaching startup founders how to build their business and products that market wants. The last event happened in August 2015, dates for 2016 haven’t been announced yet.
  • DLD stands for digital-life-design. It is a conference happening in various locations around the world, Munich being one of them. It focuses on design in the digital world and brings together startups, designers, influencers with the idea to discuss what’s the next next big idea.

Find A Place To Enhance Your Productivity In Munich


Coworking space is a great opportunity to meet other founders and talented freelancers, to share knowledge with others in the startup community in the city. There are only a few in Munich, but there is something for everyone: short-term solutions and long-term solutions are both present and they are mostly affordable.

Co-working Spaces In Munich:

  • ImpactHub Munich: Among other things, ImpactHub also offers great coworking options. They are an organisation focused on social entrepreneurship. There are also events to be attended but they are often in German.
  • Werk1 is the largest co-working space in Munich. Next to coworking space and a great community of other startups and freelancers, there are events organised by/at Werk1 that you can visit for free or at a reduced price as well as a gaming station when you need a break from work.
  • Allynet offers coworking desks or offices for startups in Munich.
  • Sheredesk is a global platform to search for coworking options in cities all over the world, including Munich. The filters offer you a chance to get the type of space you want and price range that fits your budget, helping you look for a perfect coworking space for you and your colleagues.

Search For Financing Opportunities In Munich


Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an early-stage startup or a business aiming to expand, you don’t have to completely resort to bootstrapping to pursue your venture here. Believe it or not, there are many funding programmes available for promising entrepreneurs and companies at every stage. Munich is one of Germany’s most important cities for entrepreneurs – attractive for many reasons, but especially because of its expansive network of business angels, venture capitalists and numerous other funding sources.


  • Rocket Internet is one of the best known company builders. It owns over 100 internet companies worldwide and supports them with teams, concept, technology and capital.
  • WERK1 is an incubator for digital entrepreneurship based on the concept of coworking. They provide facilities and an environment that support founders and innovators’ valuable events, free-of-charge workshops, flexible contracts and a community of entrepreneurs.
  • The Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) is a startup incubator at the Munich University of Applied Sciences that provides education and research programmes in the field of entrepreneurship.
  • NUTRION operates as Munich-based business incubator specifically to develop startups and entrepreneurial innovations. Nutrion also serves as a management consultant in the fields of organization, financing and communication.
  • The Innovation and Start-Up Centers for Biotechnology IZB offers start-up companies a creative environment in the top research area at the Martinsried campus, with excellent networks and high quality building infrastructure. These services help your business progress faster.
  • Impact Hub Munich has different challenges during the year connected with sustainability. They offer space and even living stipend for individuals and groups that have an idea.
  • The LMU Entrepreneurship Center supports startups spun off from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU). Its Lab provides free office space, coaching and access to the university’s network.
  • The Center for Technology and Innovation Management (CeTIM) is an entrepreneurship center run by the Universität der Bundeswehr München. The center has an international focus and supports industry-focused startup entrepreneurs from the academic environment by organizing networking activities, events and a wide range of other services.
  • Munich Technology Center, part of the MGH – Munich Trading and Technology Centre mbH, is open to companies from all sectors of the hi-tech industry and is not limited to any area. It follows the integrated concept of a technology park acting as an incubator for the initial start-up years.


  • AllianzX is for individuals and groups interested in InsurTech. They offer salary, business innovation guidance and mentoring. Costs of prototype and testing are also covered and if the company is a success, you will have the chance to incorporate the new company as a shareholder next to Allianz.
  • Wayra, the Telefónica Group’s startup accelerator, actively seeks business ideas in the internet and new technologies context. Funding, mentors, training courses, professional business consulting and access to the Telefónica Group’s own business network are available to startups – as is an office in the heart of Munich.
  • ProSiebenSat.1’s three-month accelerator program runs twice a year. It provides consumer-focused startups with advertising time worth EUR 500,000, startup cash totaling EUR 25,000, mentoring services and office space. In return, the media company acquires a share in the startups.
  • German Accelerator  provides the tools to support high-potential German technology and life sciences startups as well as emerging companies to successfully enter the U.S. market. They have 3-12 month programmes in New York and San Francisco and there is no fee as they are financed by the German Government and partners.
  • TechFounders is a 20 week international accelerator program, which brings tech startups together with industry partners and venture capitalists. During this accelerator programme, starters will have the chance to cooperate with one of our industry partners, who can help you develop your business.

Grants & Subventions:

  • People seeking to start a business as a way out of unemployment are eligible for a start-up grant from the Federal Employment Agency. The start-up grant is granted in two phases. For six months, the amount of the unemployment benefit last received for securing a livelihood and € 300 for social security are granted. € 300 per month can be granted for another nine months for social security if intensive business operations and full-time business activities can be proved.
  • The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology offers comprehensive funding opportunities for various target groups and sectors available all over Europe.
  • Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy maintains the subsidies database.

Crowd Investing Platforms:

  • Startnext is the largest crowdfunding community in German-speaking countries, where pages as well can be created in English in order to address international audience. It has voluntary commission – starters are free to decide themselves how much they want to contribute to Startnext.
  • Through a crowd-investing campaign on CONDA you receive venture capital from many small investors. Aside from the capital, you can also use a crowd-investing campaign as a very effective marketing tool. The campaign gives you the possibility to reach a wide range of people and thereby creates a lot of publicity.
  • Overview of existing crowdfunding platforms (here) available only in German.

Angel Investors:

  • Business Angels Netzwerk Deutschland: Business Angel financing young innovative companies get the necessary capital for the early stage. In addition you benefit from the expertise, management know-how and the contacts of your Angel.
  • List of Munich-located Angel Investors can be found here.

Venture Capital Investors:

  • Venture Stars is a company builder from Munich that establishes, supports and invests in innovative business models with the aim of building market-leading companies particularly in the areas of e-commerce and digital media. They provide start-up capital from own resources but additional financing can be achieved through the broad network of investors.
  • Munich Venture Partners in an independent venture capital organization concentrated on high-tech start-up companies with growth-oriented and profit-generating projects.
  • ASTUTIA invests in innovative founders and companies with outstanding growth potential. Focus areas are digital media and the internet business. They offer venture capital, international network, and specialised know-how for entrepreneurs and companies in their early growth stages.
  • Holtzbrinck Ventures is one of the leading independent European early stage funds. Their aim is to support the founders in developing their business as intensely as possible. Typical involvement starts with an initial investment in the € 500K – € 2.5M range and can grow up to a total investment of € 40M over several rounds and stages of maturity.
  • Earlybird is an international venture capital firm that invests across multiple stages.
  • With 300 million Euro under management, Target Partners is one of the leading venture capital investors in Europe. They invest in young technology companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
  • ALSTIN is venture capital for innovative and dynamic start-up companies in the Technology/Internet and Life Science/Health Care sectors.

Other Investment Opportunities:

  • BayStartUP runs the Bavarian network for all kind of investors that are interested in fast growing young companies. There are more than 200 business angels and around 100 institutional investors listed, such as venture capital funds, public investors, big companies’ venture subsidiaries and incubators. There is more information in German on their page.
  • Long-term and low-interest loans from the development banks LfA and KfW.
  • Gründer-Regio M is an umbrella organisation for universities, research institutions, business associations and consultants, venture capital and finance organisations, incubators and technology centres, the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Munich mainly focussing on young entrepreneurs freshly going out of universities.

Get Advice In Munich


  • UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at the Technische Universität München, accompanies and supports start-ups and established companies when founding successful businesses – from initial idea to growth stage.
  • 360° startup advice at the Munich Business Startup Office provides well-founded assistance tailored to your specific situation, helping you to weigh up the opportunities and risks inherent in self-employed activity.
  • Post Accelerator Network (PAN) meetup group provides you with mentorship, workshops and exposure to the right networks to help you with your startup.
  • Point of Single Contact can help business and entrepreneurship-related issues with approvals and formal requirements.
  • Startup Munich conducts a series of events to help prospective startup entrepreneurs prepare a business plan (available in German).
  • The Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria is the top address for people to turn to for consulting and information on entrepreneurial independence, and for professional help with all matters of business consolidation. They provide also information on Legal & Tax issues.


Last updated: August 2nd, 2016

The guides are like startup communities – they constantly change and grow. Make sure to check for updates and if you have something to add or want to publish one for your city, get in touch right away! And don’t forget to enrich the startup ecosystem by creating your company profile at StartUs!

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