Technology and Startup Centers program

With the program, munich business pursues strategic projects that improve and supplement the supply of suitable space for startups and scaleups.

Spaces for startups and scaleups

The City of Munich is committed to helping innovative startups grow into important, successful companies. One key factor is modestly sized working spaces that offer flexible conditions and the right infrastructure. Such spaces are limited in Munich and rents are high, meaning that new companies in the startup and growth phase often have difficulties finding suitable premises.  

munich business launched its Programm Technologie- und Gründerzentren in München (Technology and Startup Centers in Munich Program) in 2021 with a focus on precisely this issue.

Munich is one of Germany’s top 3 startup locations in Germany thanks to the generally excellent ecosystem for new businesses here.

Analyses and surveys have shown that startups and young companies in particular face challenges trying to find suitable premises. The program’s aim is to therefore make Munich more startup friendly by helping to diversify the supply of suitable spaces.

The projects

Here we present the most important projects that munich business and the City of Munich are currently pursuing, both with partners from the startup ecosystem and in cooperation with private-sector companies.

These projects are either already in development or have adapted their provision to become more appealing to startups and scaleups.

  • Spaces for Scaleups: curated network of private workspace providers
  • Expansion of WERK1 with the WERK 1.4 building
  • Hybrid new building for the Gewerbehof Ostbahnhof industrial and technology center
  • MTZ Munich Technology Center 
  • Munich Urban Colab

You can find more details below.

Search platform for office space

Recently launched, the Spaces4Scaleups - web platform attractively presents curated space offers from real estate partners. The platform is specifically designed to facilitate match-making between growing startups and real estate providers. In cooperation with the Munich-based company ShareYourSpace, Spaces4Scaleups shows suitable offers between 100 and 400 m² and all important space details that growing startups are asking for. Searchers can contact the providers directly.

Quickly growing young companies and startups – commonly known as scaleups – face particular challenges finding suitable working space as the private-sector commercial property market offers almost no affordable spaces that are larger than 100 m2, divided into smaller units, expandable, and also available for short-term rent.

Therefore munich business launched a curated network of private suppliers, “Spaces for Scaleups”, in 2021 with the aim of increasing the supply of premises of at least 100 m2 for scaleups. If a suitable office space is available, this can be crucial in helping emerging companies move more easily from "Phase 2" to "Phase 3" of the startup life cycle.

This initiative by the Economic Development Department has attracted the interest of the property sector and raised awareness of scaleups as a target group. To date, dialog with portfolio holders, developers, investors, suppliers of coworking spaces, and other service providers have lead to a customized "Spaces for Scaleups" portfolio of exclusive offerings.

munich business will continue to work toward the creation of suitable offers that come closer to the target group in terms of size, rent levels and flexible conditions or complement the spaces with suitable infrastructure and services.

Münchner Werksviertel: Werk1

The WERK 1 startup center has ten shareholders, including the Free State of Bavaria (26%), WERK1.Bayern GmbH (24.5%), the Landkreis (district) and the City of Munich (10% each respectively).

The WERK1 target group comprises founders of innovative digital startups, self-employed persons/freelancers, students, and other entrepreneurs still at the start of their journey. At WERK1 they come into contact with a diverse and open-minded community of coworkers, startups, alumni, mentors and corporates.

Following an application and selection process, the startup offices are available for a period of twelve to 24 months. WERK1 also offers access to workshops, events, corporate partners, and development programs (Games Bavaria, InsurTech Hub Munich). BayStartUP, the Free State of Bavaria’s startup network, offers on-site coaching for meetings with potential investors.

WERK1 is currently being expanded. The new WERK 1.4.  building will provide around 7,000 m2 of additional space. This means that from summer 2023 a total of around 10,000 m2 will be available, featuring new startup offices, coworking spaces and larger offices for scaleups. There will also be coliving apartments (see our announcement), a new WERK1 café, a rooftop terrace and additional meeting and event spaces.

WERK1 is thus notably expanding its services for Phase 2 startups and in the future can help bridge the gap between university-based entrepreneurship centers and the traditional commercial property market.

The Ostbahnhof Industrial and Technology Center was built in three phases from 1983 to 2001 and offers around 26,000 m2 of rental space. The plan is to now replace the first-constructed section, which no longer meets contemporary standards, with a new hybrid building. The new building will also provide an additional 10,000 m2 of space.

The new space is intended not only for use by traditional businesses, but also technology-focused companies and startups.

A comprehensive potential analysis of the location concluded that the new center would benefit from a broad mix of sectors from the region (technology/media/telecommunications/software/IT). The plan is to provide multifunctional flex spaces that can be used either as offices or for production. It is essential that spaces can be divided up and adapted easily to new forms of use.

The architectural competition is already over, the submitted plans can be seen here:

The city authorities and the MGH are currently planning specific aspects and a funding concept for the new hybrid building.

The Munich Technology Center (MTZ) helps startups get established and develop into sustainable, competitive businesses by providing suitable working spaces, professional coaching, and tailored services. MTZ is an ideal partner for young companies that have moved beyond the pre-seed phase.

The Munich Technology Center (MTZ) is part of the associated company Münchner Gewerbehof- und Technologiezentrumsgesellschaft mbH (MGH). Around 100 companies are based in the roughly 10,000 m2 of space that the business and technology center provides.

The center offers compact spaces ranging from 25 m2 to a maximum of 280 m2, office services, meeting and training rooms, an events space, a cafeteria, and two laboratories.

Startups can benefit from BayStartUP’s support for new businesses. The organization is based at MTZ and offers an incubator program and advisory services, including coaching, mentoring, and access to investors.

MTZ plans to focus on sustainability and smart city topics in the future. Rental contract length will be from three to a maximum of five years.

The Munich Urban Colab is also an important new space for startups thanks to its unique selection of programs.  It is especially aimed at innovative, technology-focused entrepreneurs and startups in the initial development phase that benefit from Munich universities’ startup centers and compact, subsidized working spaces available for short-term use.

Since opening in June 2021, the Colab has managed to successfully connect startups with established companies, stakeholders from science and academia, the city government, and citizens, to jointly work on solutions to urban challenges.


Meeting im Wintergarten des Munich Urban Colab

The city government has an on-site contact point, the Munich City Lab, which informs the Colab community about the City of Munich’s innovation needs. Regular events such as “Meet The City” and “Inspiration & Talk” foster dialog and networking.

Various city-backed projects, including “Digital Twin” and the “zero waste hub” (kicking off in 2023) are also based here. The latter project aims to collaborate with startups to develop greentech solutions in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energies.

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