• Bavaria’s startup scene is currently generating positive headlines
• Innovation hubs as driving force of development
• InsurTech Hub Munich and Digital Health Hub Nuremberg/Erlangen have started a joint innovation program for health solutions
Bavaria’s startups raise almost four times the capital, Free State starting to roll or Corona crisis cannot thwart the boom: Irrespective of the tight economic situation and the insecurities caused by coronavirus, many Bavarian startups – as well as the established companies and investors linked to them – are currently generating positive headlines. When it comes to startups and funding, Bavaria is catching up with the German startup capital Berlin, and in the European ranking Munich is positioned in the top league, next to London and Paris.
Bavariaʼs Minister of Economic Affairs, Hubert Aiwanger, says:
“The success stories of the past few months show: Bavaria’s startups are crisis-proof, and cannot be thwarted by coronavirus. Even in economically challenging times like these, the interaction between established enterprises, specialized Hidden Champions and innovative startups ensures a dynamic ecosystem that allows for the development of innovative business models. As part of the crisis management, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs successfully campaigned to tailor government aid and credit programs to the needs of our startups. And we plan on further improving the startup funding in Bavaria.”
Innovation hubs as a driving force and mediator between the worlds
Dr. Robert Heene, management board member of the Versicherungskammer Bayern (VKB) insurance group and one of the founding fathers of the InsurTech Hub Munich (ITHM) founded in 2017, agrees:
“This is to a large extent due to the fact that we, an old-established company, but also the local founders are provided with ideal conditions. Bavaria has a world-class university network, as well as infrastructure and recreational value, all of which attract High Potentials. And last but not least a decidedly innovation-friendly economic policy.” Networks such as the ITHM, the Mobility Hub in Munich, and the Digital Health Hub in Nuremberg play a key part as driving forces as well as mediators between the worlds, says Heene.
Heene, who, among other things, leads the innovation department at the VKB, refers to the most recent successes the ITHM supervised entrepreneurs achieved: Of the 40 international startups that had participated in the fifth “Innovation Program” organized by the ITHM during the first half of the year, more than ever before were able to immediately start working with the companies and investors. Alumni of former programs such as the Munich KI-Start-up e-bot 7, or the drone service provider FairFleet expand continuously. “The pressure to digitize is high”, says Heene.
The Minister of Economic Affairs, Hubert Aiwanger, emphasizes the importance of Digital hubs such as the ITHM for Bavaria as a business location.
“The ITHM is an engine for the digital transformation of the insurance industry, and, together with the remaining Bavarian hubs, constitutes an important network within the industry. Gaining digital competence in the insurance sector is crucial for the future development of one of our key industries.” With its important sites Munich, Nuremberg and Coburg, Bavaria is one of the largest insurance locations in Europe. Approximately 100.000 people work in companies of the insurance sector. As part of the “InsurTech Hub – Phase II” project, the ITHM has up to 1,55 million euros of subsidies at its disposal until the end of 2022. The financial support for Bavaria’s Digital hubs reinforces the innovation work of the companies, says Aiwanger: “We take innovative companies to Bavaria and get our business location in shape for the future.”
Advancing new Digital Health Solutions together
In the light of the current situation, the “H+ Digital Health Innovation Program”, which starts in September and which is organized by the ITHM together with the dmac/Medical Valley Digital Health Application Center from the Digital Health Hub Nuremberg/Erlangen, is of particular importance.
„Even before COVID-19, we and the ITHM had agreed on the importance of the subject of health“, says Prof. Dr. Erich R. Reinhardt, Managing Director of Medical Valley European Metropolitan Region of Nuremberg. The decisive factor for the cooperation promoted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs has been the so-called “Digital Healthcare Act” (DVG) adopted by the Bundestag and Bundesrat in November 2019. “It was impossible to predict that, considering the DVG and the pandemic, we would arrive at having two factors intensifying digitalization at the same time, and that this would erode hitherto existing reservations, for example towards telemedicine”, says Reinhardt.
He emphasizes: „All the more important that now, for the benefit of patients, doctors and clinics as the providing parties, as well as insurance providers as the reimbursing parties , we make modern, but at the same time lasting solutions available as soon as possible.” A few days ago, the ITHM and the dmac/Medical Valley announced the names of the 41 participants of the program running from September until November 2020: The teams are from 16 countries – alongside several European ones, the USA, Israel, China, Russia and Nigeria are represented. Many startups are led by female founders, “the subject of health is covered in its entity from prevention through diagnosis and treatment to rehabilitation”, says Reinhardt.
An overview of the program scheduled for H+ and of the participating startups can be found on the program website.
About the InsurTech Hub Munich e.V.
The InsurTech Hub Munich (ITHM) was founded in 2016, and is one of twelve innovation centers appointed as de:hub by the Federal Government of Germany. Its network consists of insurances, technology companies and cross-industry partners, startups, investors, mentors, universities and research facilities as well as governmental entities. The ITHM team guides founders through a variety of startup programs every year. Currently running is – in cooperation with the Digital Health Hub Nuremberg/Erlangen – the H+ Digital Health Innovation Program with a focus on Digital Health Solutions.
About the dmac and the Digital Health Hub Nuremberg/Erlangen at the Medical Valley EMN
The Medical Valley Digital Health Application Center (dmac) cooperates with enterprises, SMEs, startups and researchers, and supports them in the field of Digital Health. In addition to profound expertise, the dmac offers services relating to refund of expenses, health economics, clinical as well as technical evaluation, certification, and further relevant topics from the world of digital medicine.
Together with the Digital Health Hub Nuremberg/Erlangen, one of twelve national hubs that are subsidized by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, and as an essential part of the Medical Valley Europäische Metropolregion Nürnberg, the dmac has access to an excellent infrastructure and a strong ecosystem. Here, key players from research, industry, politics and healthcare work to live optimum transfer of knowledge, and to create health innovations that will shape the future of Digital Health significantly.