Best of HR –® reports on Bits and Pretzels 2016: Meeting Kevin Spacey and Richard Branson

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Bits and Pretzels is a three-day festival for founders, start-up enthusiasts and investors, hosted by the 25. to 27. September 2016 takes place in Munich - this year also with Kevin Spacey, Richard Branson and the jury from the "Cave of the Lions". And we are there too.

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Here writes for you: Simone Janson is a publisher, German Top20 blogger and HR communication consultant. Profile

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From the founder's breakfast to the festival


The story of Bits and Pretzels in September 2014 actually began modestly: As a cozy Weißwurst breakfast of the Munich start-up scene, initiated by Andreas Bruckschlögl and Dr. Bernd Storm van's Gravesande.

The event soon became known as probably the biggest founder breakfast in the world, which already took place twice in the Löwenbräukeller in Munich. At the third edition in September 2015, the two founders together with Chairman Felix Haas established a completely new event concept: Bits and Pretzels was filled with 3-day Founders' Festival with keynotes and discussions and a historic finale at the Oktoberfest on the last day of the event. 5000 participants are expected this year.

As the patron and supporter of the grand event, 2016 also acts as the Bavarian Minister of State for Economics and Media, Energy and Technology, and Deputy Prime Minister Ilse Aigner.

Kevin Spacey and Richard Branson as speakers


Among the speakers, the organizers have even surpassed this year: In addition to the two-time Oscar winner and Hollywood star Kevin Spacey also Virgin founder and self-college billionaire Richard Branson will speak to the guests.

Other high-profile speakers include:

  • Nathan Blecharczyk (Co-Founder and CTO Airbnb)
  • Mitchell Baker (Executive Chairwoman Mozilla)
  • Steve Hafner (Co-Founder and CEO KAYAK)
  • Riccardo Zacconi (Co-Founder and CEO King Digital Entertainment)
  • Leila Janah (CEO of Sama and Laxmi)
  • Valent in Stalf (Founder and CEO NUMBER26)
  • Jochen Schweizer, Judith Williams, Frank Thelen, Carsten Maschmeyer (The Lion's Den)

The sequence


During the first two days of the festival, the visitors will be keynotes and presentations by successful and influential founders from the digital world. There are also workshops and panel discussions. The goal is to provide a wide range of target group-specific content for all participants.

Startups in particular are offered a well-balanced program by the Startup University with specific presentations for start-up founders and a new format in the pitch competition: one hundred startups compete against each other on the first day of the pitch pitch.

The winner will be announced at the end of the second day in the big pitch final on the main stage. In order to facilitate the exchange between the participants, new networking opportunities are offered with the help of a networking tool as well as meeting areas at the event including pre-appointment. This makes it possible to network with all participants and to arrange appointments with each other.

Networking at the Oktoberfest with prominent table-captains


The third day will be held again this year with well-established networking Concept At the Oktoberfest, participants can choose in advance, based on the "First Come - First Serve" principle, at which "Table Captain" they would like to sit.

The Table Captains are people from the digital start-up scene who like to share their experiences with the interested visitors.

Among them are among others

  • Ruth Fend (Editor-in-Chief Business Punk),
  • Tobias Ragge (CEO HRS),
  • Jens Müffelmann (CEO of Axel Springer Digital Ventures),
  • Florian Gschwandtner (co-founder Runtastic)
  • Sonja Schwetje (chief editor n-tv).

More speakers, table captains and information at:

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