What better place than the BMW Welt to present the future of mobility? Where BMW celebrates sheer driving pleasure, a young jeans-clad entrepreneur from UnternehmerTUM demonstrated sheer flying pleasure to 700 invited guests. "Our goal is a world in which anyone can easily fly anywhere they like all by themselves" – that was how Daniel Wiegand described the vision for his start-up Lilium.
His amazing idea of an ‘electric air taxi’ for town and country fascinated the audience, and even experienced media professional Dominik Wichmann, who presented the evening with routine elegance and eloquence, was truly captivated by all this pioneering spirit. "We all love Lilium!"
For the entrepreneur and founder of UnternehmerTUM Susanne Klatten, the evening’s host, all this euphoria is the key reason for her commitment. Up on stage, she gave relaxed answers to the moderator’s questions. Asked about the meaning of her work, she replied:
"It gives me great pleasure to support young people with good ideas." And she added: "I only do things that have social relevance – and good ideas always have social relevance."
Unique conditions for startups
With UnternehmerTUM, she has succeeded. Or, as CEO Helmut Schönenberger put it: "We have created a unique ecosystem for founders, to transform good ideas into actual companies." Every year, UnternehmerTUM produces around 50 start-ups – that’s an average of one per week. In a country whose economy is characterized by established companies, all those startups have the potential to do great things. The social relevance of new technologies was the main theme of the evening. Decision-makers from industry, from start-ups and from the scientific world all met at the Forum to discuss key topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Personalized Medicine or the Future of Mobility. This exchange of knowledge was made possible for the first time by five side events, at which the participants debated intensively with experts from the respective fields. In keeping with the global mission of UnternehmerTUM and the increasing number of international partners, the Forum UnternehmerTUM was held in English for the first time.
Smart Money for Smart Ideas
The grand finale of the Forum - the start of the European initiative "Industrial Innovators" - was just as international. This initiative, launched by UnternehmerTUM, is aimed at supporting and connecting the best tech founders throughout Europe in order to pave the way for the next Europe-based global market leader. The European Investment Fund is a co-initiator here, and was represented on the Forum podium by its boss, Pier Luigi Gilibert. The charismatic Italian, who has decades of expertise in the international financial services industry, summed things up neatly: "We want to turn public money into smart money."
Further information about the programme and the speakers at this year's Forum can be found at forum.unternehmertum.de