Corporate Innovation – Concepts for Cooperation Between Startups and Corporates

What can established companies learn from startups and what forms of cooperation are there? The first Innovation Journey on the occasion of Bits&Pretzels brought together CEOs from leading German companies with the makers of labs and workshops in Munich. Through insights into current product developments, research findings, and an intensive exchange in an exclusive setting, new contacts were made at high speed and inspiration gathered for the work in one’s own company.

"The journey was entertaining, diverse, inspiring".

Manager Innovation Management and Digitalization Munich airport’s Terminal 2 Gesellschaft

"The tour provides a colourful overview of innovations. It conveys knowledge in a new compact format in a short space of time."

Chairman of the Management Board DB Regio

"I am driven by the question of how technological innovations can generate customer benefits and how startups and established companies shape this process. The Innovation Journey supplied me with the answers."

Energy and Telecommunications Expert

The Experts

Kim Wlach

Kim Wlach studied communication science at the University of Hohenheim before joining the sales team at Business Analytics IBM. In addition to a further stop at Microsoft, she was active in the startup scene, organising the annual event for young founders “Startup Alm”. Since 2016 she has been responsible for marketing & business development at eluminocity, where she is committed to developing the intelligent city of the future in order to meet the requirements of global megatrends such as urbanisation and the strong increase in traffic volume.

Dirk von Gehlen
Süddeutsche Zeitung Digitale Medien

Dirk von Gehlen is an author and journalist. At the Süddeutsche Zeitung he heads the department for social media/innovation where he developed the longreads magazine Süddeutsche Zeitung Langstrecke. The qualified journalist has accompanied the changes in the media landscape over years on his digital blog and on Twitter under @dvg. He is one of Germany’s crowdfunding pioneers (“Eine neue Version ist verfügbar”) and writes on Internet memes for the Süddeutsche Zeitung under His most recent publications include “Mashup – Lob der Kopie”, as well as “Meta! Das Ende des Durchschnitts”, in which he analyses the consequences of personalization, data usage, and digitalization for the media and culture industries.

Sohaila Ouffata
BMW i Ventures

Sohaila Ouffata invests in innovative solutions for BMW i Ventures, which focus on BMW’s current and future business in the technology, customer relations, and service sectors. BMW i Venture’s current portfolio includes companies such as Zendrive, Chargepoint, Carbon, Moovit and Caroobi. Before joining the BMW group Sohalia Ouffata worked as senior innovation & business manager in the telecommunications and media industry.

Alissia Iljaitsch
IQ Gemini

Alissia Iljaitsch specializes in the development of strategies and products for new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence. With holistic methods and long-term programmes, she enables teams in classical structures to identify potential barriers to innovation at an early stage, to solve them on a collaborative basis and thus realize ideas or lighthouse projects.

Dr. Felix Kalischewski
SAP Deutschland SE & Co. KG

As Co-Innovation Architect at SAP, Dr. Felix Kalischewski is the central contact person for all questions related to SAP software and the service portfolio and how startups can best use these offers. His special focus theme is IoT co-innovations, that is, highly innovative solutions realised in close cooperation between SAP and startups.

Deepa Gautam-Nigge
SAP Deutschland SE & Co. KG

Deepa Gautam-Nigge built the Next-Gen Innovation Network in Munich for SAP. Together with customers, universities, startups, and venture capital companies, SAP has set out to develop the innovations of the future. In addition, Deepa Gautam-Nigge is a venture capital advisor for a venture capital company and a startup coach in the field of business development and sales.

Lorenz Hartung

Lorenz Hartung is Managing Partner of the accelerator TechFounders. Prior to this he founded numerous companies, including the ePetWorld GmbH. Before ePetWorld he directed the Executive MBA in Innovation & Business Creation at the TU Munich. Lorenz Hartung studied sport management at the TU Munich, followed by an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship.

Ulrich Schäfer
Süddeutsche Zeitung

Ulrich Schäfer has written for the Süddeutsche Zeitung since July 2003, initially at the parliamentary office in Berlin, subsequently in Munich. Together with Marc Beise he heads the SZ’s business section. The duo also moderate and organise the SZ Economic Summit, Germany’s biggest economic congress. He is the author of several successful non-fiction books, including “Der Crash des Kapitalismus” and “Deutschland digital – Unsere Antwort auf das Silicon Valley”. His focus as a business journalist is on globalisation and digitalisation, economic policy and the finance markets.

Dr. Andreas Sichert
Orcan Energy

Dr. Andreas Sichert is the initiator, co-founder, and CEO of Orcan Energy AG. Prior to this the 36 year old worked for IBM Germany in the field of application developments and corporate consulting and as a scientific editor. Dr. Sichert studied physics at the TU Munich where he was also awarded his doctorate. He is the author of several scientific articles and holds patents in the field of ORC technology. Dr. Sichert is an alumnus of the Bayerische EliteAkademie, the Sloan Swartz Foundation, and a supporter of the TUM’s startup programme. Since 2014 he has been a member of the SME Advisory Board of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Adora Wang Ziyuan
Munich Re

Since January 2016, Adora Wang Ziyuan has been Innovation Manager at the Munich Re Group with a focus on the data-driven optimisation of the customer journey. She has directed various customer groups and cross-departmental projects and develops strategies which supplement the existing business model with new digital revenue flows. Prior to this she worked for Allianz, the HSBC Bank, as well as Lianlian Pay, one of the largest independent payment service providers outside China’s banking sector.

PD Dr. Daniela Krause
Munich Re

PD Dr. Daniela Krause is a leading associate member of a research group at the psychiatric clinic of the Ludwig-Maximilian University and since January 2016 has worked as a medical consultant for Munich Re. Prior to this, from 2007, she was a scientist and medical specialist at the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich. She studied medicine in Erlangen and Rennes. In 2008 she was awarded her doctorate from the Harvard Medical School in collaboration with the DFG’s postgraduate programme. In conclusion she worked at the Albert-Einstein College of Medicine as a DFG scholarship holder. In cooperation with the Wealth Health Organisation she established a master’s programme for mental health in Ethiopia.

Vincent Aydin
Messe München

Vincent Aydin is responsible for Messe München’s digital product portfolio sales as part of the digital business division. In addition he supports the world’s two leading trade fairs bauma and ISPO in the area of sales and the development of open innovation projects for the sport and construction machinery industries. Prior to joining Messe München he worked as an innovation consultant, supporting companies such as E.ON in the introduction of open innovation platforms, and was responsible for the business development of a leading open innovation technology provider.