1. June 2021

MCBW START UP Design for Change

Start-ups and designers play a distinct role in the advancement of sustainability and innovation in our economy and society in general. They develop trend-setting applications for new technologies or design and create product and service cycles, often in unprecedented ways. On the basis of this background and following MCBW’s motto, Shaping futures by design, MCBW START UP 2021 addressed the plethora of opportunities for young companies to help shape the transition and the future.

The virtual MCBW START UP exhibition offered an inspiring overview of leading-edge topics and developments concerning Bavaria’s start-up scene. First and foremost, the exhibits included ecologically and socially responsible products and digital and technological applications for the architecture, healthcare, interior design, artificial intelligence, mobility, and fashion sectors. Visitors had the opportunity to embark on an interactive discovery tour of the products and services presented in a virtual exhibition space designed especially for MCBW START UP.

As part of a symposium, two themed panel discussions explored the MCBW START UP topics. Participants discussed the role of design in transferring key sustainable and innovative developments and technologies into products and services for tomorrow. The first panel dealt with circular design and investigated ways for company founders to design and manufacture products and services using new materials and in line with ecological cycles. Focus of the second panel was on technical innovations in artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The panel discussion was streamed live from MCBW Forum at Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film (HFF) in Munich.

Throughout MCBW, cooperation partners conducted workshops and sprint and coaching sessions to offer start-ups dedicated assistance and in this way contribute to their success. Design methods and creative techniques facilitated a cross-discipline transfer of knowledge for start-ups and future founders in the design industry.

Initiated by bayern design, for the seventh consecutive year the platform supported targeted exchanges among design-oriented start-ups, designers, business experts, and a wide audience during MCBW 2021.

Exhibition

In addition to ecologically and socially responsible products, this year’s virtual MCBW START UP exhibition, which was open to the public, focused on digital and technological applications for the architecture, healthcare, interior design, artificial intelligence, mobility, and fashion sectors. Visitors had the opportunity to embark on an interactive discovery tour of the products and services presented in a virtual exhibition space designed especially for MCBW START UP.

Did you miss the exhibition? Click here to visit it.

The virtual exhibition showcased up-and-coming companies that stand out because of their design and innovative entrepreneurial approaches. Their products and services exemplify how founders successfully employ design as a method, an environment for development, and a tool for creation at all stages of development. The spectrum includes architecture, interior design, healthcare and care, fashion, e-mobility, and artificial intelligence.

Ecofario, a green-tech start-up based in Munich, has developed a filtration system that eliminates even minute particles of microplastics from water without the need for physical filters. The High-G-Separator has only nine components thus making installation easy and maintenance user-friendly.

The cross-disciplinary team from the start-up Puray is made up of students and graduates of Munich Technical University and is active in the field of healthcare. Puray’s hand disinfecting device uses UVC light waves to eliminate all known pathogens detected on the skin without damaging any human cells. The use of the device is intuitive and contact-free.

Intuitive usability is a central goal at Qwello as well. This start-up develops charging stations for electric vehicles based on the operation of conventional fuel pumps. These charging stations require a minimum amount of space – particularly desirable in urban settings. Qwello’s mobile app can be used to check availability and to make reservations.

Hyperganic, a software platform for trailblazing design and engineering, uses artificial intelligence to design objects that can be printed on industrial 3D printers and used in innovative applications such as rocket engines.

In contrast, the team at the start-up nojin of Nuremberg focuses on genuine hand manufacturing: Its ecological, gender-neutral collection of durable slow-fashion products combines timeless and versatile design with craftsmanship. To keep the waste of materials to a minimum, nojin produces in small batches and based on demand.

Other companies showcased in the exhibition included Ambiletics with its sustainable yoga fashion; CAALA, a digital assistant used for designing sustainably; freisicht eyewear, a company that makes eyeglasses from solid wood; kommod Kleinmöbel; MARI&ANNE natural cosmetics; OUTENTIC, a maker of modular backpack systems; Sause, which makes sustainable foaming soap; sensor manufacturer tacterionTjiko modular construction; and urbandoo’s loop scarves that feature air filters.

The products and services presented in the dedicated virtual exhibition space could be explored interactively. The virtual exhibition was set up exclusively for MCBW in cooperation with Schroeder Rauch and Studio Jester Blank.

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Videos of interviews about the exhibition also can be viewed individually in our MCBW START UP 2021 YouTube playlist.

Symposium

MCBW START UP topics were expanded on at a symposium featuring prominent guests from the design sector. The discussion was streamed live from MCBW Forum at Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film (HFF) in Munich.

MCBW START UP topics were expanded on at a symposium featuring prominent guests from the design sector. Divided into two themed panels, participants discussed the role of design in implementing key sustainable and innovative developments and technologies in products and services for tomorrow.

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The panels were moderated by design journalist Martina Metzner and were streamed live from MCBW Forum at Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film (HFF) in Munich.

Panel 1 discussed sustainability and circular design for start-ups:

Panel 2 covered digital innovation and design for start-ups (in English):

Encompassing motivational speeches and brief Q&A sessions, the symposium addressed representatives of start-ups, established companies, and all other friends of design choosing to learn more about the collaboration with designers in companies and organizations.

Workshops

Throughout MCBW, cooperation partners conducted brief workshops and sprint and coaching sessions to offer start-ups dedicated assistance and in this way contribute to their success.

The design methods and creative techniques conveyed as part of the workshops facilitated a cross-discipline transfer of knowledge for start-ups and future founders.

Design methods for research and science

Architect and economist Christos Chantzaras and designer Tobias Förtsch of Munich Technical University’s Department of Architecture presented design methods and tools for researchers interested in founding new enterprises. With these specialized implements researchers can use their findings to develop visionary concepts for the environment building around us. The challenges and the potential of current use cases in urban settings were discussed as were issues concerning sustainability. Other topics covered included vision and mission, value proposals, use context analyses, impact, corporate identity, and other founding-related matters.

Lab: Design Your Future

Munich University’s Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) invited Carolin Kunert, founder of Knister Grill, and Julian Krauss, design strategist at FLUID DESIGN GmbH, to its Innovation Café to illustrate why exploring the issue of design is a must for entrepreneurs. Among other topics, their brief speeches focused on how design can help start-ups succeed, how to develop solutions to mankind’s genuine problems, and how to determine which products and services will remain relevant going forward.

Creative Entrepreneurship – founding music, art, and media companies

As part of this workshop three current start-ups at the Wavelab Start-up Incubator of Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich pitched their business ideas.

Representatives of the three start-ups active in the music video conferencing (Sirius), virtual reality experiences for museums (TimeLeapVR), and platforms for digital art (Sureal) fields shared their experiences designing services, products, and processes as they developed their ideas and established businesses. The pitches were followed with a discussion about the role of design in the process of idea development that involved all workshop participants and was moderated by Wavelab’s Jule Schröder.

From prototyping to testing

Leonie Moos, Head of Program at Grace - Accelerate Female Entrepreneurship of Berlin, and Susanne Scheerer, Senior Strategy, Design, Concept and Content Lead at ignore gravity innovation and strategy consultancy, introduced workshop participants to rapid prototyping and explained how to design initial test scenarios. The workshop addressed founders and start-ups intent on finding ways to transfer ideas to initial prototypes that can be tested by potential users or customers. Participants familiarized themselves with prototyping ideas in an affordable yet effective manner and creating experiences that can be tested with customers and facilitate invaluable and impactful learning without having to resort to big tech.