For us at STAR, innovations are an important strategic pillar for the future. That includes continuously monitoring the start-up scene in and around our Böblingen headquarters and to support interesting innovation projects. One example is our own STARt-up Award, which we inaugurated in the past year. Therefore, STAR could obviously not miss the first Start-up Summit Baden-Württemberg taking place on 14 July 2017.

Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann opens the Start-up Summit - STAR COOPERATION Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut talks about the importance of start-ups - STAR COOPERATION

Alexander Schülein, Managing Director of STAR DISTRIBUTION and responsible for the innovation management at STAR, intently followed Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann’s introductory words. Then, the state’s Minister for Economy, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, emphasized the importance of the varying initiatives when it comes to new foundations in Baden-Württemberg. Here, the state government has plans for numerous investments and development programs. The Innovation Atatlas by Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Cologne shows that this effort is worthwhile. According to this, the region around Stuttgart is a “hub for ideas of global importance”.

Speed dating for start-ups

In addition to the program on the main stage, the guests could visit the numerous cluster islands and meet the respective regions’ start-ups and their innovative ideas. Amongst others, a so-called speed dating was offered: the business model was presented to interested cooperation partners and investors at five minute intervals. Alexander Schülein also met many exciting start-ups: “I’ve got to know many varied ideas and business models in a short amount of time. Some were very good but didn’t fit our solutions portfolio. Others, we will invite to visit us in Böblingen to find possible starting points for cooperation.”

Overall, the Start-up Summit was a great format to bring together different stakeholder groups in one platform.