The NKF Summit is one of the most prestigious events when it comes to the digital revolution and invigorating inspiration. Now it took place for the first time in Dresden in the glass factory. It not only offered the Saxon startup scene a very, very big stage. “Startups meets Corporates” was the motto and Internet of Things, New Mobility and Industry 4.0 the topics.
The main stage in the middle of the factory was the scene of various panel discussions. For example, the panel on “Urban Mobility: Micromobility in the Cities of Tomorrow” made it clear that the cityscape will change faster in the next few years than we have ever experienced before.
New and individual mobility offers conquer the market. The automotive industry is experiencing a major change with electrification. Sharing models are establishing themselves in the areas of automobility, mass transit and micro-mobility. With the latter, the question of the last kilometer is often linked.
The world’s oldest mobility startup Nextbike from Leipzig also tackles the aspects of micro-mobility. The company from Leipzig is one of the pioneers in this field. Since 2004, they market their bicycle rental system from Saxony. They are now represented in more than 60 German cities and currently 27 countries.
But also other young entrepreneurs from Munich (UrmO GmbH) and Berlin (TIER Mobility GmbH and Electric Mobility Concepts GmbH / emmy sharing) discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the respective concepts and the future of mobility itself. Micromobility and sharing models have the potential not only to rid our cities of noise, smog and annoying traffic jams, says the organizer.
But there was also an important fundamental question in the room: what about Saxony’s innovative strength and friendliness? At the panel “Startup-Standort Sachsen”, four young entrepreneurs from Saxony shared their experiences with the audience. Whether with funding programs of the Free State of Saxony or with own funds – with a good idea and the right team, Saxony can also write great success stories, as the already sold Lovoo GmbH and Bike24 GmbH as well as established entrepreneurs like Nextbike GmbH or young start-ups like Packwise GmbH show.
The Saxon ecosystem is known for its great expertise, a high production rate, its proximity to Berlin and its high diversity. No matter what problem there is, Saxony will do research, think and develop solutions. The high density of research institutes, such as Fraunhofer, Max Planck or Leibnitz, the strong application-oriented universities, such as the Technical Universities in Chemnitz, Dresden or Freiberg, the strong middle class and not least the strongly promoted exchange between science and industry testify to the existing potential of Saxony.
Anyone looking for rough diamonds in startup Germany will find what they are looking for in Saxony. These locational advantages have been used by many German carmakers for many years. VW, BMW and Porsche have quietly but not secretly developed Saxony into the center of electric car mobility. Not without reason, therefore, did the fifth edition of the NKF Summit take place in the Transparent Factory, the site of the first mass-produced all-electric automobile of the largest German car manufacturer Volkswagen.
These messages also arrived at the present investors. A pioneer of the event, Andreas Winiarski, is already talking about a new phase of digitization and sees the future of investors in the core areas of the German economy. The field of mobility has long been changing worldwide with the “New Mobility Revolution”.
In the field of energy, alternative energy sources are changing the products of our everyday life faster and faster and the field of mechanical engineering is becoming smarter due to digitization.
In order to bring together young startups with established companies from the Saxon middle class and investors or venture capitalists from all over Germany, the organizer NKF-Media offered speed networking and other pitch options.
Finally, in so-called masterclasses, those interested could listen to lectures on interesting topics such as “Blockchain, beyond the hype” and ask questions. In addition, Jan Thomas and his NKF-Media have published a special issue titled “Startup Scene Saxony” by the Berlin Valley magazine, in which the participants can learn more about Saxony.
The NKF Summit was a win in its fifth edition; not only for Saxony. Andreas Winiarski, one of the pioneers of this event, also sees that and summarizes his most important lessons from the NKF Summit on his blog.