From Kevin Spacey to Sir Richard Branson, inspiration at Bits & Pretzels 2016

Legendary Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson and Hollywood-star

From September 25 – 27, the fourth edition of Bits & Pretzels was held under the motto from founders for founders.

5.000 participants gathered in the International Congress Center in Munich for the largest founder festival within the German internet and digital economy scene.

The participants included market leaders such as Uber, Airbnb, Mozilla, Home24 and much more. With around 1.500 more participants attending, the interest in the event was even more overwhelming than last year. The event raised within three years from a small breakfast meeting for founders of the Munich startup scene to one of the most considerable events in the digital sector.

Legendary Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson and Hollywood-star, Oscar-Winner and Start-up Investor Kevin Spacey, visited the Bits & Pretzels 2016 festival to talk tech, startups, and inspiration.

Richard Branson praised the Bits & Pretzels event and regret to have missed the opening speech of Hollywood star Kevin Spacey on Sunday.

Kevin Spacey had a speech about storytelling, which was definitely a piece of art, although sadly we don’t have any video because we weren’t allowed to film. He shared his story of how he got into acting as a teenager and how the amazing Hollywood legend Jack became his mentor and friend. From that insight into his life, Kevin Spacey talked about how technology can be used to tell stories in many different ways now.


Huge potential in Virtual Reality

He spent some time talking about virtual reality quite a bit. He sees the huge potential for virtual reality changing not just entertainment, but also the world.

VR enables people to experience what it is like to be someone else. This could lead to a better understanding of many different aspects of life. One his recommendations to the attendees at the end of his speech is that only drinking beer will not keep them hydrated during the event.

“Drink water too! Now, go have a beer. There is a beer bar open already all morning – Bits & Pretzels is a true Bavarian event.”


From a small gathering to a must-attend event in Europe for entrepreneurs

Bits & Pretzels began as a small breakfast meeting for founders of the Munich startup ecosystem, but quickly became one of the most important startup events in Europe hosted by Andreas BruckschloÌ, Bernd Storm van’s Gravesande and Felix Haas.

By consistently showing passion, attention-to-detail, and delivering valuable content for startups and investors, Bits & Pretzel became the 3-day founders festival to be attended prior to joining Oktoberfest.

Founded in 2014, Bits & Pretzels takes place every year in Munich. Under the theme “from founders for founders, the most famous entrepreneurs from all around the world, as well as startups and other enthusiasts meet to share and discuss experiences and trends.

The first two days at the International Congress Center in Munich featured a program with keynote speeches, workshops, panel discussions and a startup competition. While day three, housed networking opportunities at the original Oktoberfest.


Dedicated to networking

Further speakers on the main stage include Nathan Blecharczyk (Co-Founder & CTO Airbnb), Mitchell Baker (Chairwoman, Mozilla Foundation & Corporation), Tony Fadell (co- creator of the iPod), the investors of the German TV show “Die Höhle der Löwen”, Judith Williams, Carsten Maschmeyer, Frank Thelen and Jochen Schweizer and many other high- profile CEOs and founders.


“We are very pleased that with Kevin Spacey and Richard Branson two well-known speakers as well as many other very successful international entrepreneurs and investors followed our invitation to Munich.” – Felix Haas, Chairman & Co-Host of Bits & Pretzels.


Moreover, after two days of exciting pitches, the winner of the Google Startup Pitch was announced on the main stage. With her startup Spottster from the event cluster Future Commerce, Freya Oehle convinced the eight-headed jury and won among others a visit to Richard Branson’s Virgin Islands.

The third day of the event was dedicated to networking. All the participants gathered at the renowned Oktoberfest using the same tried and true networking concept with “Table Captains” in one of the famous beer tents. The young founders and investors connected in a relaxed atmosphere with beer and chicken.

Beside the stage program, the conference provided many opportunities for an exchange of ideas and knowledge: Whether it was at the exclusive speaker’s dinner on the first evening of the conference in the Munich Residence or at the official Bits & Pretzels Afterparty on the Praterinsel – Munich’s famous Isar river island.


“As we want to improve the event each year we started with the first preparations for Bits & Pretzels 2017 directly the day after the event last week. We started selling 500 Crazy Bird tickets which were sold out in only 29 minutes. It pleases us incredibly that our participants were so excited right after the event and already bought a ticket for next year.” – Andreas Bruckschlogl, Co-Founder & Host of Bits & Pretzels.


Image: ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media

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