Start-up cooperation in full swingEnlarge image (© German Embassy)
Australian-German Start-up Hub Summit in Brisbane, 7 November 2017
The last few months have been very interesting for German-Australian bilateral economic relations, fostering cooperation and trade, innovation and investment – not only between Australia and Germany but also between the start-up industry and the big players of the corporate world. Following the launch of the Honorary Consul of Germany’s ‘David meets Goliath’ series came the grand opening of the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference (aprcperth2017.com) by Federal President Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on November 4 in Perth. Three days later, the Start-Up Hub Summit (#AGSUHS) in Brisbane brought together about 130 professionals from the Australian and German start-up scene, extending a promising series of bilateral economic meetings and conferences throughout this year.
Brisbane: Germany meets Australia
Whereas ‘David meets Goliath’ was launched by the German Honorary Consul in Brisbane, Prof Dr Michael Rosemann, as a means to create an open platform for communication, learning and networking between small Australian start-ups and well-established companies, the Start-up Hub Summit was particularly designed to build a bridge between the German and the Australian start-up scene.
German Ambassador Dr Anna Prinz was honoured to open this first Start-up Hub Summit, which was supported by the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce and its Australian partner Austrade, represented by Chief Executive Officer Dr Stephanie Fahey. Together they gathered high-level guest speakers from both Australian and German entrepreneurs and providers of start-up hubs to compare their different models, to learn from each other’s experiences and, thus, facilitate actual progress and closer collaboration among the relevant communities in both countries.
Enlarge image (© German Embassy) Start-Up Hub models in comparison
The German Embassy, supported by the German Institute for Foreign Relations (ifa.de), had invited German experts Dr Michael Gross, Managing Director at VC-Point, and Dr Helge Neumann from WISTA-MANAGEMENT GMBH to the APRC in Perth and the Start-up Hub Summit in Brisbane to discuss their expertise on start-up hubs with their Australian colleagues. One of the projects presented serving as an international benchmark for start-up hubs was the Science and Technology Park in Berlin-Adlershof, initiated and managed by WISTA-MANAGEMENT GMBH. Accounting for one of the fifteen largest science parks and incubator for start-ups worldwide, it is an instructive example of successful start-up promotion, development and investment. Another speaker was Prof Dr Friebe, lecturer at the University of Magdeburg and Board Member of three MedTech companies as well as investment partner of a medical technology start-up fund, who shared his perspective as a start-up investor and gave valuable insights into doing business with start-ups in Germany.
What to expect next? Start-up cooperation in 2018
After various comparative presentations and three panel discussions, German Ambassador Dr Prinz and Honorary Consul Prof Dr Rosemann, summarised the ideas and outcomes of the day, highlighting the importance of further, ongoing development and support of German-Australian science and business cooperation. Subsequent to this year’s success, David and Goliath are likely to meet again next year for another series of new pitches and the launch of a designated marketplace for knowledge transfer and networking. Also on the agenda for future German-Australian start-up cooperation: Another Start-up Hub Summit, this time possibly in Berlin, which could lead to closer ties between the start-up hub Berlin-Adlershof and its Australian equivalent “innovyz” in Tonsley-Adelaide. Thus, the 2017 start-up initiatives will continue well into the future.