“Understanding how business works.” That’s the motto behind businesswochen Böblingen, which launched with an opening event in the Kreissparkasse forum last Monday. Over recent years, the event has become one of the biggest draws in the local district, where business topics are discussed from different perspectives. Some 250 guests attended the launch event, where they enjoyed an entertaining, informative and varied program.

Varied program in the Kreissparkasse forum

Over the course of three weeks from October 16 to November 3, participants can get a comprehensive look at the entire spectrum of business issues. The strength of businesswochen is that these topics can be explored and discussed in depth. Some of the fascinating events taking place as part of the series, which are related to business in Böblingen, include the second Sachverständigenforum (Expert forum), Schwäbische Sternstunden (Great moments in Swabian history), Cloud Computing and Leistungsstärke durch Achtsamkeit (Performance through mindfulness).

Traditionally, this series begins with a very special evening. On Monday, 250 visitors showed up to the Kreissparkasse forum in Böblingen to take part in a one-of-a-kind launch event. There was a colorful mix of topics – as diverse as business itself. The program was varied, funny, classical (complete with piano!), exciting and astonishing (mindreading!), and informative.

Joe Meixner - businesswochen

Ringing in the evening with some beautiful sounds

Exceptional pianist Joe Meixner provided musical accompaniment throughout the evening on a Bösendorfer grand piano. Meixner developed the concept of piano medicine, which entails creating medical music for deep relaxation. He composes piano music that harmonizes blood pressure, respiration and pulse, thus strengthening the immune system. On Monday, Meixner ushered in the evening with classical sounds, playing a piece by French composer Claude Debussy.

Tourism has arrived in Böblingen

The Böblingen/Sindelfingen airfield is steadily becoming one of the biggest economic factors in the region. Several hundred thousand guests visit the Motorworld in Böblingen year after year. A particular draw is the V8-Hotel, owned by Simeon Schad. The V8-Hotel Superior is currently being established as well, with construction nearly finished. It will open in December. “We get booking requests for the V8-Hotel from across the world,” says Mr. Schad, who has been dreaming about his new hotel for the last five years. Now, it has finally become reality.

Astounding, magical – or just a clever trick?

In contrast, Duo Sonambul’s performance seemed truly unreal. Vivian Sommer and Roman Maria von Thurau, the pair behind the ensemble, engaged in a special class of mindreading. The particular country a guest is thinking of, which document another is holding in their hand, what number is written on a banknote – Vivian Sommer knows it all. The guests hand Von Thurau the objects or whisper the name of the country in his ear, who then acts as a medium between the audience and his partner.

Baier the baker lights the way from tradition to modernity

However, it was no trick, but rather Jochen Baier’s hard work that transformed his family’s bakery in the Gültstein district of Herrenberg, Bäckerei Baier, into a one-of-a-kind, multiple award-winning business: Regional Prize for Baden-Württemberg, Top Founder in Craftsmanship and the Marktkieker – the Oscar of the baking world. “I’m a believer in our craft. After taking over the business from my parents, it was my goal to make the best bread with the best bakers under the best working conditions,” says Jochen Baier, whose funny and informative lecture captivated the audience.

STARt Up Award – “Shark Tank” atmosphere in Böblingen

Throughout the evening, the audience was treated to unique startup ideas from the region. The founders used this opportunity to make valuable business connections, market their products and talk with potential investors. Leading up to the event, the jury came up with a top five shortlist out of 30 submissions. The submissions were evaluated using the sophisticated, tried-and-tested assessment system developed by the neutral STAR network partner bwcon. The best three startups also had the chance to win over the audience through 8-minute pitch presentations on the stage, which were narrowed down to the final ranking using live voting. Dominic Dussault’s team and their LifePad® product, which helps with cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the event of the heart attack, ended up far ahead of the competition. As the winners, the team members earned spots in a “Cert Innovation Manager” further training program at the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich, Switzerland, worth EUR 3,000. Taking second place, the company Athesys Advanced Thermal Systems went home with a gift card for a team skiing weekend with jomotours. With its eye-tracking system, startup Driveaware in spot number three won a multi-month membership with the Venture Space with STAR COOPERATION. But those ranked fourth and fifth were by no means losers, since all the startup teams won a free mentoring session with a member of the jury.