The purpose of the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre (BITZ) Oberschneiding is to support people and organisations with outstanding inventions on their way to becoming a scalable company. In addition to concrete transformation support, the BITZ, based in Oberschneiding, stands for the development of a new scaling culture and sets new impulses for Bavaria. Founded in 2019, the BITZ is the acceleration and scaling campus of the Deggendorf University of Applied Sciences.
The top-class team of about ten people at BITZ Oberschneiding aims to use its projects to increase the number of scalable start-ups in Bavaria.
BITZ Oberschneiding supports teams with outstanding, application-oriented research results and teams with products with minimum viable product (MVP) status in the transformation into high-growth and sustainably successful companies.
Our foundations of transformation is based on the Silicon Valley mindset and aims for rapid market penetration.
The successful work of BITZ Oberschnitting has already received several international prizes: In the "Entrepreneurial Spirit" category of the WURI ranking (World's Universities with Real Impact), the Deggendorf University of Applied Sciences achieved 1st place in 2023 (2nd place in 2022, 5th place in 2022 and 8th place in 2020). In addition, on June 28, 2022, the founder and scientific director of BITZ Oberschnitting, Prof. Peter Schmieder, was honored by the ACEEU (Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities) as "Male Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year".
The BITZ Oberschnitting has its origins in the partnership with Santa Clara University in California, USA, which was founded in 2009, and the Silicon Valley Program (SVP), which has been established in 2014.
The personality psychology as well as the team composition and dynamics for acceleration and scaling ability are the focus of the research and teaching area Human Skills of Scale.
Contact person: Prof. Peter Schmieder
The research and teaching area Methodology of Scale deals, among other things, with the basics of the development of scalable business models, as well as related topics such as the creation of so-called 'customer personas', the analysis of willingness to pay, and the identification of attractive (international) customer markets and market segmentation.
Contact person: Prof. Dr. Tobias Strobl
The economic analysis and evaluation of inventions and innovations, as well as the financing of corporate growth through equity, debt and venture capital are the focus of the research and teaching area Economy of Scale.
Contact person: Prof. Dr. Veronika Fetzer
The Economy of Scale research and teaching area deals with the design of innovation ecosystems, the success factors in the acceleration and internationalization of start-ups and the outstanding importance of the entrepreneurial mindset of people in the transfer, founding and scaling process.
Contact person: Prof. Matthias Notz
The nine-month Silicon Valley Programme is the tailor-made scaling and transformation program of the Deggendorf University of Applied Sciences. For more than 12 years we have been supporting ambitious teams on their way from the minimum viable product to a company with a scalable business model that is ready for financing.
The Silicon Valley Programme contains the knowledge and experience of successful investors from Silicon Valley. They and the BITZ team, guide participants through a structured process with clearly defined content and milestones.
The Silicon Valley Program contains the knowledge and experience of successful investors from Silicon Valley. They and the BITZ team, guide participants through a structured process with clearly defined content and milestones.
Click here for the program: Silicon Valley Program
The BITZ has developed long-lasting relationships with world market leaders, investors, research institutions and accelerators both in Bavaria and in Silicon Valley and is constantly expanding them. Our partners benefit from the combination and access to two strong ecosystems
Since 2021, the EF.EU (European Forum for Enhanced Usability) has been supporting the promotion of research, teaching, studies and scientific training at the THD campus BITZ Oberschnitting. As a link between the regional economy and the Technical University of Deggendorf, the association contributes to the exchange between renowned companies in the region, providers of ideas and capital, start-ups, students and professors and brings them together.
There is strong cooperation between the start-up and technology centre ITC1 and the Deggendorf Institute of Technology. In addition to commercial space for innovative companies and start-ups, the ITC1 offers a variety of networking opportunities and workshops for young founders and start-ups. The ITC1 also promotes particularly promising tenants: every year, an ITC1 team is given the opportunity to take part in the Silicon Valley programme
BITZ Oberschnitting has been working closely with the LEAVEY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS at Santa Clara University (SCU) for many years. Along with Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, SCU is one of the top universities in California's Silicon Valley. Mutual learning is an essential part of the cooperation: Every year, BITZ Oberschnitting organizes part of the SCU Executive MBA Program (ranked #13 in the “Best Executive MBA Program” by the US News & World Report and among the top 25 of the “Best Executive MBA Programs” by Fortune Magazine) in Lower Bavaria.
On 28.09.2023 from 18:00 - 20:00 the Innovation Forum BITZ OPEN will take place at the BITZ Oberschneiding.
Prof. Matthias Notz will talk about:
Ecosystem Thinking instead of "Mia san Mia"
How do you build a successful start-up ecosystem in Lower Bavaria? - About the "Z" in the BITZ?
On 23.11.2023 from 18:00 - 20:00 the Innovation Forum BITZ OPEN will take place at the BITZ Oberschneiding.
Manfred Tropper, CEO & Founder of mantro GmbH, will speak on the topic:
Venture Studio approach: superchargers for early-stage start-ups.
How does active support in the early development phase increase the likelihood of success for start-ups?
Manfred is an enthusiastic founder and entrepreneur. He founded his first company at the age of 16.
The BITZ OPEN event series at the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre (BITZ) Oberschneiding of the Deggendorf University of Applied Sciences offers impulses on the topics of innovation and transformation and an opportunity for networking and takes place on the fourth Thursday of every odd-numbered month.
Check out previous events at BITZ.
The first BITZ OPEN - our innovation forum - took place on 24 November 2022.
Prof. Peter Schmieder spoke on the topic:
The story of Silicon Valley - success story of a structurally weak area.
Flyer BITZ OPEN - 24. November 2022
Our BITZ OPEN takes place on the fourth Thursday of every odd-numbered month.
Representatives of the Bavarian SPD informed themselves about the work of the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre (BITZ) Oberschneiding on 18 November 2022. The chairperson of the Bavarian SPD Ronja Endres and the deputy chairperson of the Lower Bavarian SPD Marvin Kliem were impressed by the diverse activities at the campus. Niederbayern TV was there: SPD visits BITZ Oberschneiding | Niederbayern TV Deggendorf
Image 2: Ronja Endres signs the Golden Book of Oberschneiding (left: Mayor Ewald Seifert)
The invitation was extended by the board of the EF.EU e.V. - ENGAGEMENT. PROMOTE. SUCCESS. IMPLEMENT
The members of the association had the exclusive opportunity to meet the venture teams of this year's Silicon Valley Programme. The teams presented their companies and products to the invited guests. In the evening, the three mentors Prof. Dr. Tobias Strobl, Dr. Ron Weissman and Geoff Baum were connected live to Silicon Valley during the SVP workshop.
After a "BITZ - Open doors - come and see the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Center" at the campus in Starubinger Staße, the event continued in a very American way - in Californian weather - with a baseball game "Ewald & Friends" versus "Peter & Friends" on the sports field and in the marquee of TSV Oberschneiding.
The "Peter & Friends" team took home the challenge cup.
Prof. Peter Schmieder bid a ceremonial farewell to our long-time mentors and co-founders of the Silicon Valley Programme, Patrick Guerra and Prof. Al Bruno. With live music and our BITZ cocktail, we enjoyed the celebration with our guests.
Niederbayern TV reports about our Homecoming Event on 19 May 2022 in Oberschneiding.
The final week of this year's Silicon Valley Program (SVP) could take place again this time in Santa Clara, California. After an eventful week with valuable lectures and company visits, venture teams presented their business models to investors and network partners. Niederbayern TV reports on the SVP and the final week.
Niederbayern TV was there in Silicon Valley: Report by Niederbayern TV about the final week of the SVP
In addition, our media partner Niederbayern TV reports in detail about the Silicon Valley Programme:
Niederbayern TV reports about SVP
This year's Deggendorf New Year's Reception took place on 21 January 2022 at 6.00 pm as smart.talk.deg in digital form. After the greetings from Mayor Dr. Christian Moser and President Prof. Dr. Peter Sperber, Ferdinand Seemann, CEO of se2quel Partners LLC, from Silicon Valley gave the keynote speech on the topic of "Myths, half-truths and why the digital transformation will be a real opportunity for Deggendorf through the university and the ITC".
Robert Hilmer, CEO of the Deggendorf start-up Easy2Parts, showed how the Deggendorf ecosystem works in practice. The talk and Q&A session was led by Thomas Keller, Managing Director of ITC Innovations Technologie Campus GmbH, and Prof. Peter Schmieder, Director of the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre (BITZ) Oberschneiding and founder of the Silicon Valley School moderated the evening.
Niederbayern TV was there live at the Oberschneiding campus: NIEDERBAYERN TV Journal vom 22.01.2022 | Niederbayern TV Deggendorf
New year, new programme - The "Silicon Valley School" in Oberschneiding!
28 December 2021
The "Silicon Valley Program" at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology has been running for 6 years now. Anyone who has an invention or business idea in mind can learn here, following the American model, how to develop it successfully for the market. The whole thing is implemented with workshops, web conferences and also particularly labour-intensive opening and closing weeks. At the newly founded Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre in Oberschneiding, those responsible have now transferred the successful Silicon Valley Programme into the Silicon Valley School. We talked to those responsible about what is new about the School and how the 2021/2022 programme is going so far.
"Without hard work, there is no success even in Silicon Valley!" says Prof. Dr. Tobias Strobl. The topic of his lecture at the Innovation Forum BITZ OPEN on 25 May 2023 in Oberschneiding was "Success factors and risk minimisation for the exponential growth of start-ups - lessons learned from Silicon Valley".
Tobias Strobl completed his doctorate in the field of aerospace engineering at the Technical University of Munich. He is the inventor of several internationally recognised patents, commissioned by the Airbus Group for innovative, all-electric aircraft technologies and has extensive professional experience in start-up, corporate and academic environments in North America, Europe and Asia. He teaches "Methodology of Scale" at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology.
His expertise as a lead mentor at the German Accelerator Silicon Valley, Open Austria and the ITU Seed Technology Accelerator as well as a lecturer at the INSEEC Business School and strategic advisor to several technology start-ups, he brings his expertise as a lead mentor to the Silicon Valley School at BITZ Oberschneiding.
For what reasons are investors interested in a company? What criteria do they use to make their selection? Tobias Strobl answered these questions in his lecture.Why should entrepreneurs always put their product and corporate strategy to the test? First and foremost, it is about understanding customer needs and their requirements and wishes for the product. This must be questioned again and again. No matter how difficult the hurdle is to conduct the so-called "customer interviews". Only the exact knowledge of the customer's wishes guarantees the success of a product. With this knowledge, the product must be further developed and re-tested in order to then start the next validation step.
Anyone who would like to learn more about these topics and the Silicon Valley School is cordially invited to the BITZ Oberschneiding. The BASEBALL, BEER & BURGER summer party is scheduled for 20 July 2023.
The next Innovation Forum BITZ OPEN will take place on 28 September 2023. Prof. Matthias Notz will speak on the topic: Ecosystem Thinking instead of "Mia san Mia". He will show how to create a successful start-up ecosystem in Lower Bavaria and what the "Z" in BITZ stands for. Further information can be found at www.th-de.de/bitz or www.th-deg.de/svp.
From 15 to 17 May, the World Conference of the Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU) took place in Fort Myers, Florida, USA. There, the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) and the BITZ Oberschneiding were voted number 1 in the worldwide ranking of the most innovative universities in the field of Entrepreneurial Spirit.
After a five-stage evaluation process, DIT was named the best university in the world in the area of entrepreneurial spirit. With this award, the university prevailed over more than 500 participating universities, including renowned competitors such as Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, Yale, Harvard and TU Munich. The decisive factor for the jury was DIT's 360-degree ecosystem, which is now universal. In particular, the trend-setting developments at the BITZ Oberschneiding, most recently the integration of venture studios for intensive support and financing of teams in the crucial phases of scaling, were judged to be unique worldwide.
The award took place as part of the WURI Ranking (The World University Rankings for Innovation), which was held during the HLU Conference in Florida. The WURI Rankings recognise universities and colleges whose innovative work has had a significant impact on the pressing challenges of transforming technology and shaping the economy and society.
This year, after a two-year break from Corona, the HLU conference was hosted by the renowned Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). DIT, with President Prof. Peter Sperber and Prof. Peter Schmieder, opened the Entrepreneurial Spirit part of the conference with a keynote speech and a case presentation.
DIT President Prof. Dr. Peter Sperber was newly appointed to the HLU Board of Directors this year. The reason for this was, among other things, the outstanding ranking successes from 8th, 5th and 2nd place in the years 2020 to 2022. "Even more than for me personally," said President Sperber, "this is a confirmation of the outstanding development of DIT, which thus receives worldwide recognition."
In a final ceremony, the baton was passed from FGCU to Franklin University in Lucerne, Switzerland, which will host the next HLU World Conference in 2024.
On 26 January, the second "BITZ OPEN" took place at the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre (BITZ) of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology. The series of events in Oberschneiding offers regular insights into the world of successful start-ups. This time it was Prof. Dr. Veronika Fetzer's turn. Her topic: "INVEST READINESS - Key figures from an investor's perspective for seed and growth financing".
How do start-ups meet the requirements of investors? What are the differences in technical risk, market risk and team risk? What distinguishes German business angels and which metrics do I use to measure success? Veronika Fetzer answered these questions using clear examples from her professional experience. She also explained the difference between business angels and venture capital. The former invests in very young teams that only have a prototype to show, but have validated it through numerous customer meetings. Venture capitalists, on the other hand, want to see first products, many users and, above all, high turnover.
Fetzer is certain: "Good key figures, properly applied, help investors to understand the start-up business and the risks and can also change a company's behaviour in the long term. "In the beginning, I always have to ask myself: am I really solving a serious problem with my product? Only in the next step do I ask myself the questions: are there customers for it and how big is the demand?"
As at the first BITZ OPEN in November, the feedback from the guests was very good: "It is always exciting for me to see the encounters and connections that come about at your event in Oberschneiding and the interesting network partners that come together at your event." said Philipp Gellert, himself a successful founder. The deputy district administrator of the district of Straubing-Bogen, Andreas Aichinger, is happy about the Innovations Campus in Oberschneiding: "In addition to entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ideas, we need people who understand how to successfully bring innovations to the market. Here we are very grateful for the support of the BITZ."
The BITZ OPEN series continues on 23 March, then with Prof. Matthias Notz. He will speak on the topic: Ecosystem Thinking instead of "Mia san Mia": How do you build a successful start-up ecosystem in Lower Bavaria? About the "Z" in the BITZ? The event starts at 6 pm. After the lecture, there will again be plenty of time for questions and discussions with the BITZ Oberschneiding team. Further information can be found at: www.th-deg.de/bitz.
First "Meet the Teams" on 13 October in Oberschneiding. Prof. Peter Schmieder, founder and director of the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre (BITZ) took this opportunity to present the work of the Innovation Campus and to provide insights into the focus of the individual professors and mentors in this year's Silicon Valley Program (SVP). The invitation was extended by the board of the "ENGAGEMENT. PROMOTE. SUCCESS. UMSETZEN" (EF.EU).
The members of the association had the exclusive opportunity to meet the founders of the SVP at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology. Since the start of the programme in July, these so-called venture teams have been cooperating intensively with national and international mentors and Prof. Dr. Veronika Fetzer as instructor. The aim of the programme is to bring innovative products to market in such a way that they are attractive to investors and at the same time create regional jobs.
The venture teams presented their companies and products to the invited guests. In the evening, the three mentors Prof. Dr. Tobias Strobl, Dr. Ron Weissman and Geoff Baum were connected live to Silicon Valley during the SVP workshop. Mentor Dr Markus Ortmann was in Oberschneiding in person. There was an exclusive opportunity to experience the pitches of two founder teams. Including feedback from their mentors.
The chairman of the EF.EU Förderverein, Christian Schambeck, was enthusiastic: "I was already able to experience the results of the work in the SVP in Silicon Valley in April. Now we were able to see for ourselves once again how the teams develop their products in line with customer needs." In Schambeck's view, this is the only way to ensure sustainable success. Finally, the sponsoring association invited guests to enjoy pizza, beer and conversation. According to Prof. Peter Schmieder, precisely such networking opportunities are an essential building block for success. "I am glad that we receive such strong support with our EF.EU, especially from an entrepreneurial perspective. This takes our teams an extra step in the right direction."
The aim of EF.EU in this framework is to promote science and research as well as the active networking of companies, idea providers, supporters and professorships.
Prof Peter Schmieder was named “Male Entrepreneur Leader of the Year” in Florence on 28 June. For the head of the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre (BITZ) Oberschneiding, it is the reward for more than ten years of hard work in the field of business start-ups. Schmieder has thus made history with his Silicon Valley Program in Lower Bavaria and for the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT).
As the best leader for founders and young companies in Europe has Prof Peter Schmieder accepted his winner’s trophy when his name was called last by Prof Dr Thorsten Kliewe, Chairman of the ACEEU (Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities). A top-class, 60-member jury had made the decision. “The competition was strong with renowned competitors from the other countries. Of course, I hoped so, but I still didn’t think that my team and I would actually come out at the top in the end,” Schmieder said, “unbidden” with joy about the Triple-E title. “This is an award for all of us in Oberschneiding and for the Silicon Valley School. It shows that we are on the right track.” The three “E”s of the award, incidentally, stand for Entrepreneurship, Engagement and Education.
The Triple-E Award is intended to draw attention to a necessary transformation at colleges and universities in the European region. “We are very resourceful in Germany when it comes to new technologies. But when things work in the lab, that’s often the end for us. We leave the marketing of such an idea to others and prefer to devote ourselves to new problems again,” Schmieder explains the dilemma at our universities. It’s different at the famous US universities. There, researchers are supposed to go a few steps further. The idea is to become a product, the product is to be scaled to large markets and thus develop benefits for many people. And, of course, profit for those who discovered, developed and brought it to the market. It is precisely this successful, American approach of the DIT Silicon Valley Program that trains professors and is the brand essence of the BITZ in Oberschneiding-
For Schmieder, winning the Triple-E Award is a great achievement: “Our Silicon Valley Program increases the entrepreneurial potential of regional business and management teams. And it does so through a scientifically based, continuous and accompanied process.” And that is precisely what the programme has now been awarded for. For the DIT professor, the matter is clear. He wants the best of both worlds: “German ingenuity and Silicon Valley mindset.”
The Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) has been among the best in worldwide university comparisons for years. This is also confirmed by the WURI Ranking 2022, which was published in mid-June. In the category "Entrepreneurial Spirit", DIT takes second place. Ahead of universities with a global reputation, such as Berkely University of California and Princeton University. A decisive point for this is the "Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre" (BITZ) in Oberschneiding.
WURI, which stands for "World's Universities with Real Impact", i.e. those that make a difference. For years now, DIT has been among the TOP 10 when it comes to entrepreneurship and start-ups. The WURI places 8 and 5 in previous years prove what the Deggendorfers achieve in this respect. This year, DIT is now the highest ranked university in Europe in terms of entrepreneurship and the only German university in the WURI TOP 50. President Prof. Peter Sperber is certain: "With the work at our BITZ in Oberschneiding, we have made it straight to the top of the world. Our university is unique in the world with this campus and the Silicon Valley School". He added that the Valley had already been brought to Lower Bavaria to some extent and that Bavarian companies were being successfully supported in market development and acceleration. Overall, DIT ranks 24th among the "Global Top 100 Innovative Universities".
Prof. Peter Schmieder, founder and director of the Silicon Valley School and scientific director of BITZ is certain that the location in Oberschneiding has once again raised the Silicon Valley Program to a whole new level. "We can keep up with the big players in the international academic landscape," Schmieder proudly explains. In the entrepreneurship category, he says, we are even ahead of Berkely University, with which we have had a partnership for years, and also ahead of Princeton University. "That," adds the DIT professor, "is a huge incentive for our further work."
This year's WURI ranking again included entries in the categories "Industrial Application" (DIT ranked 33rd), "Entrepreneurship" (ranked 2nd), "Ethical Value", "Cosmopolitanism", "Crisis Management" (ranked 8th) and "Fourth Industrial Revolution". This approach allows smaller universities the same chances in the evaluation as large established universities. The presidents of the participating universities are actively involved in the evaluation process. Finally, the members of the WURI Evaluation Committee conduct a rigorous review and recommend a list of universities for the global Top 100 rankings.
The WURI ranking is organised by the Institute for Policy and Strategy on National Competitiveness (IPSNC) in South Korea and is supported by the Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU) in the Netherlands, the Institute for Industrial Policy Studies (IPS) in Seoul, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Geneva and the Tailor Institute of Franklin University (FUS) in Lugano. The results are available on the internet at www.wuri.world.
Big honour for Prof Peter Schmieder, head of the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre (BITZ) Oberschneiding. The professor of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) is one of five finalists in the category “Male Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year” at the international “Triple-E-Award”. The final decision and award ceremony will take place on 28 June in Florence.
The three “E”s of the award stand for Entrepreneurship, Engagement and Education. The prize is awarded to individuals and universities who, in addition to teaching and research, are particularly committed to their so-called third mission. That is, the transfer of knowledge and technology to society and the economy. For example, also in the form of promoting start-ups, as is done with great verve in Oberschneiding.
On the one hand, the Triple E Award pays respect for achievements. On the other hand, the attention generated is intended to further promote the corresponding change at colleges and universities in Europe. The decisive factor for Prof. Schmieder’s nomination was his success with the Silicon Valley Programme at DIT. The jury’s statement reads: “Prof. Peter Schmieder has demonstrated his outstanding leadership qualities over a period of more than ten years through the creation, development and advancement of DIT’s Silicon Valley Venture Development Program. The programme enhances the entrepreneurial potential of regional business and management teams through a science-based, continuous and guided process. As an excellent networker, he brings together the best of both worlds: German ingenuity and Silicon Valley mindset.”
Peter Schmieder is very pleased about his nomination: “Being among the five finalists proves that we are on the right track with our Silicon Valley School.” Especially with the team at BITZ, which will be strengthened in spring 2022, much more can be achieved for German entrepreneurship and the regional economy in the future. Not only Schmieder, but the entire team in Oberschneiding is eager to do so. Schmieder has already received several national and international awards for his excellent teaching.
The teams of the Bavarian Innovation and Transformation Centre (BITZ) in Oberschneiding have pitched again. After their trip to Silicon Valley a few weeks ago, five venture teams met a panel of top-class investors and experts from Eastern Bavaria in Oberschneidung on 19 May. In their search for investors, the venture teams wanted to convince them with their innovative business ideas in just a few minutes.
The panel at the “Homecoming” event in Oberschneiding included Karl Blaim (CFO Siemens Mobility), Martin Ebner (Managing Director Strama Group), Dr Christian Grams (CEO Munich Consulting Group GmbH), Dr Markus Ortmann (CEO mantro GmbH) and Mario Tauscher (CFO Pareto Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH). Peter Schmieder, head of the Silicon Valley School is pleased about this next important step: “We are bringing the spirit of Silicon Valley and the Californian mindset to Oberschneiding and Bavaria. The Silicon Valley weather has already arrived.” Not only the weather, but also photos and videos of the California trip in April provided the right starting points for good conversations. The week in Silicon Valley at Santa Clara University is one of the highlights of the Silicon Valley Program at BITZ Oberschneiding, which is part of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology. The teams travelled to the Valley with Peter Schmieder, the BITZ team and representatives from politics and the region. Since then, there has been enough time to apply what they have learned, the experiences and the feedback from the investors and network partners. The best conditions for the five pitches, which were successful. The first implementations were planned later in the evening.
Alexander Dorn, Program Manager Silicon Valley Program, thanked the investors and experts for their constructive feedback. As a thank you, he presented them with the Oberschneiding owl: “We like to speak in pictures and in Oberschneiding the owl stands for wisdom, foresight and all-round vision. It is an excellent hunter and sees well even in the dark. Our owl has also been manufactured at a DIT Technology Campus and thus stands for practical implementation.”
Start-ups from Lower Bavaria put their business models to the test last week in Santa Clara, California. They took part in the Silicon Valley Program of the Bavarian Innovation and Transformation Centre (BITZ) in Oberschneiding, which is part of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT). They presented their ideas in front of Silicon Valley investors and learned how experts assess their chances on the global market. The trip to America is the conclusion of the course, which lasts several months, and a chance for founders to grow internationally.
According to Prof. Peter Schmieder, founder of the Silicon Valley Program, the 2022 teams were very successful in convincing the investors: "The investors have made intensive contact with all six teams. Some already have up to three follow-up appointments. Some investors will still travel to Germany in April to already invest in substantial development of the teams. An accolade". To get there, the six teams prepared for several months. During the one-week stay at the university in Santa Clara, the start-ups were specifically prepared for the planned investor pitches one last time. Each team had only ten minutes to convince the investors to invest in a German start-up. According to Peter Schmieder, the eight months of the Silicon Valley Program were no picnic for the teams, especially not the incredibly intensive final week: "We meet professional experts and investors at the end. They only respond to teams that are best prepared and highly professional". For each founding team, there were therefore intensive individual training sessions with their American mentors as well as guest lectures by top-class speakers on entrepreneurship, start-ups, fund raising, venture capital and digital marketing. Company visits to Google, Zollner, Jabil and NVIDIA made the Silicon Valley experience perfect.
The Silicon Valley Program has existed since 2014 as a cooperation between DIT and Santa Clara University, which is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. This has resulted in an impressive network to help German start-ups achieve international success. Information about the programme and the target groups can be found on the DIT website: https://www.th-deg.de/silicon-valley-school. Since 2021, the programme has been located in Oberschneiding at the BITZ in order to grow further. A delegation from Oberschneiding therefore also took part in the trip with great interest: Ewald Seifert, First Mayor of Oberschneiding, representing the district, Konrad Schmerbeck, Second Mayor of Oberschneiding, and Christian Schambeck, Managing Director of Schambeck holding GmbH.
On Thursday 20 January 2022, DIT president, Prof. Dr. Peter Sperber, officially appointed Dr. Tobias Strobl professor for the field “Methodology of Scale” at the Bavarian Innovation and Transformation Centre (BITZ) Oberschneiding.
Professor Dr. Tobias Strobl currently lives in Las Vegas, he works and gives lectures in the Silicon Valley.
He is mentor and “accelerator” for German Entrepreneurship and looks forward to working at the DIT campus in Oberschneiding.
“It was beyond all question to apply for this position at DIT. I have known the Silicon Valley Program and the work of the teams for years. International rankings evidence the high quality of the program. That is why I am looking forward very much to actively participate in shaping the campus.” Tobias Strobl was born in Hilpoltstein and studied aerospace technology at the Technical University of Munich. After his studies, he worked as R & D engineer for Airbus Group Innovations in Munich. He earned his PhD in the field of aerospace technology at the Technical University of Munich.
Strobl invented several internationally approved patents for fully electric aircraft technology. He continued his career as management consultant for 3DSE Management Consultants GmbH, where he was involved in international projects in the fields aerospace & defense, automotive and transportation. He gained further international experience in start-up and company management at Business Models Inc in San Francisco.
Tobias Strobl is co-founder of the company ARIAx. He successfully consults start-ups in the company founding stage, during development and scaling in international markets. Moreover, Strobl is leading mentor in support programs for young German entrepreneurs founded by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy, such as the German Accelerator Silicon Valley. He also works as lecturer and strategic consultant at INSEEC Business School.
The mayor of Oberschneiding, Ewald Seifert, warmly welcomed Tobias Strobl: Welcoming such a renowned scientist and highly-experienced mentor is an excellent confirmation of our common work”. The scientific director and founder of the Silicon Valley School, Professor Peter Schmieder, is looking forward to the collaboration with his new colleague and to the new academic partnerships with Berkeley SkyDeck, University of Berkeley and the Design School of Stanford University. Peter Schmieder added, winking: “It’s a very good beginning. But this is only the beginning”.
At the beginning of December, a delegation from the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) led by President Prof. Dr. Peter Sperber and Prof. Peter Schmieder, Director of the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre (BITZ) Oberschneiding, visited strategic partners of the university in Silicon Valley. In addition, talks were held with potential investors of start-ups in the USA. DIT start-up teams with above-average potential are to be helped to achieve a successful market breakthrough.
On the campus of Stanford University, the DIT delegation, which also included Chancellor Birgit Augustin and Alexander Dorn, responsible for Venture Development at BITZ, first met Justin Lokitz. He is an advisor at Berkeley SkyDeck, the global hub of the University of California Berkeley. Lokitz will act as an active mentor at the BITZ and represent the Berkeley SkyDeck in Oberschneiding. Artificial intelligence and intellectual property rights were the topic of another meeting with WilmerHale, one of the leading US law firms in business law. One of WilmerHale's partners, Daniel Zimmermann, will also support the Silicon Valley School at the BITZ in the future. His expertise in corporate transactions and venture technology issues will be in particular demand.
In order to deepen existing networks and partnerships, talks were also held with the three long-time mentors Prof. Albert Bruno, Geoff Baum and Dr. Tobias Strobl. Bruno from Santa Clara University (SCU) is the founding director of the Center of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Baum, in turn, co-founder of Garage.com, a high-tech capital company specialising in start-up financing, is an adjunct professor at SCU as well as Vice President of Marketing at Acceldata. Finally, Strobl has lived and taught in Silicon Valley for years. He was appointed professor for the "Methodology of Acceleration and Scale" at BITZ Oberschneiding.
Dr. Robert Brancatelli, Senior Associate Director of the Silicon Valley Executive Center and the Leavey School of Business at SCU, praised the intensive exchange with DIT: "The Silicon Valley School is an expression and symbol of the deepening partnership between Deggendorf University and the Silicon Valley Executive Center. The mentoring, intensive support as well as the networking of the venture teams are comparable to other start-up programmes on both sides of the Atlantic, but surpass them in many ways." According to Brancatelli, he knows of very few programmes that are based on a similarly strong bond between science and business.
After visiting the new Discovery & Innovation Campus, one of the largest STEM facilities in the US, DIT President Sperber was impressed. "A whopping US$270 million has been invested here. That is really fantastic!" Sperber also emphasised, however, that the group of now 13 DIT technology campuses could certainly keep up. What happens centrally in a research centre in Silicon Valley is spread over nine districts in Bavaria. The DIT president: "Our technology campuses offer innovation for an entire region. The BITZ Oberschneiding is a great reinforcement in this circle."
INFO │ THE SILICON VALLEY PROGRAM AT DIT
Prof. Peter Schmieder is the founder of the Silicon Valley Program at DIT. He has been cooperating with the elite American university Santa Clara in California for more than ten years. In the years from 2014 to the present, around 60 founding teams went through this programme. "Germany," says Schmieder, "is a country of inventors. However, these inventions, the 'Inventions', all too rarely become real innovations." This is precisely where the Silicon Valley Program comes in. Together with the mentors in California, the founders are given the know-how, concept and strategy to actually bring an idea successfully to the market. The basis for this lies in Lower Bavaria, Schmieder explains: "The experts in Silicon Valley tell us quite clearly that what is being done at the BITZ in Oberschneiding is unique." As early as April 2022, the next teams from Lower Bavaria will complete their "pitch" in California. If they are successful, investors and a top-class network of experts will be on hand.
You can find out more about the Bavarian Innovation Transformation Centre (BITZ) in Oberschneiding at: www.th-deg.de/bitz-oberschneiding-en
The municipality of Oberschneiding organised two events during which the Scientific Director Professor Peter Johann Schmieder was given the opportunity to present the recently established Bavarian Innovation and Transformation Centre "BITZ" to numerous interested participants.
The so-called "Silicon Valley Program" (SVP) which is accompanied and mentored by the Californian Santa Clara Elite University - provides assistance and training to highly qualified start-up teams, with the aim of bringing an idea or a product successfully to market. The partnership between the two institutions was founded ten years ago and has seen more than 500 participants.
"Campus" Oberschneiding will be the platform for workshops, in which the teams work out a concept for transformation of their business idea or innovation, to pave the way for their ideal "go-to-market" strategy. These workshops will be followed by company visits. In April 2022, the current teams wil take the challenge to sucessfully perform an "on-site-pitch" at Santa Clara University in California.
The aim of the programme is to create value and jobs within the own region. The best example is the company S.A.I. Schweiger which has established a company location in Oberschneiding with six employees starting from an invention in the field of robotics technology.
In Oberschneiding in Lower Bavaria, German inventive talent will meet American market management in the future. The Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) has found a location there for its world-leading Silicon Valley Program and will establish the Bavarian Innovation and Transformation Centre (BITZ) on the grounds of the Alte Spenglerei. Bavarian Minister of Science Bernd Sibler and Member of the State Parliament Josef Zellmeier announced on Wednesday, 12 May that funding from the Free State of Bavaria amounting to three million euros will flow into the centre over six years.
Science Minister Bernd Sibler emphasised: "Rooted in the homeland and internationally networked: The BITZ fits perfectly into the modern university landscape and integrates perfectly into the structure of DIT. With the core of the Silicon Valley Program, we are creating a new Bavarian start-up and scaling culture. Here in Oberschneiding there will be a high-calibre course offering with exclusive company visits in the USA, but also at branches of Bavarian companies. I would like to further strengthen the forward-looking field of 'entrepreneurship' in the Bavarian university landscape. Especially in the up-and-coming regions of Lower Bavaria, such offers fall on fertile ground."
Professor Peter Schmieder, scientific director of the BITZ, illustrated how closely connected Lower Bavaria will be with Silicon Valley in the future with a live link to Santa Clara University in California during the press conference. Santa Clara University has been a permanent partner of the Silicon Valley Program for years. BITZ Oberschneiding is thus not only the first institution of DIT in the district of Straubing-Bogen, but also of the American university. Anyone who has an invention or business idea in mind can learn here from and according to the American model how to make it successful for the market. The next round will start in June 2021.
The most recent participants of the Silicon Valley Program of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) began their exciting nine-month journey in mid-July. They want to bring a business idea to the market and learn how to do it with help from the Silicon Valley Program. The role model is the Silicon Valley start-up scene in California, where the journey will continue for a week at the end of the certificate programme.
The eight groups laid the foundation for marketing their projects during the introductory week. Each project group got to know their mentor from Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley, California, via video conference. The American elite university has been a partner in the certificate programme since the beginning. Over the next nine months, the project groups will contact their mentors once a month via video conference and present the progress of their work. Prof Peter Schmieder, founder of the programme, and Alexander Dorn will support them in this process. In addition, the participants will be provided with working documents online via a learning platform.
The airm of the programme is to make the teams or their business ideas eligible for investment. The participants will be supervised until the final pitches, which will take place in March 2021 at Santa Clara University if the corona situation allows it. Often, howver, is is only then that the participants really get started. If investors are found when their business plans are presented, the dream of their own company could quickly come true, like it has for many previous participants.