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Innovation Hotspot Augsburg

By Christina Hertel

Media professionals and digital innovators are often attracted by big cities. However, smaller towns also provide interesting perspectives and surprising offers. Innovation hotspot Augsburg is just one example of the industry’s hidden gems.

Office & Mediengarage

Office & Mediengarage

Working as a media professional without a proper workplace can be very exhausting. Marco Licht had to endure this for many years, as he simultaneously juggled his work in television and his creative pursuits of writing a musical. “I would have liked to have a place where I could work in peace and quiet for a few hours in between shootings,” he stated. However, at the time such a place did not exist, so Licht often had to make do and work on his laptop in noisy cafes. Wanting to change this, he founded Office & Mediengarage, a coworking space where media professionals can rent one of five office spaces in addition to a photo and a podcast studio. The workplaces can be booked at short notice and are also available for those looking to work for just a couple of hours. The minimum rental duration is one hour.

Augsburg Media Forum

Augsburg’s media professionals who “make courageous ideas come true, have an opinion, assume responsibility, and open new perspectives” can apply for the Augsburg Media Award. This year’s motto is “courage – position – perspective.” The Augsburg Media Forum, a network of media professionals and interested parties, is now on its eleventh year of awarding the prize. A true flagship event, the ceremony is held at the Augsburg Congress Center and radiates far beyond the city of Augsburg, according to Media Forum president Eiko Trausch. In 2019, more than 2,000 people attended the awards ceremony, which takes place every year on July 24th.

This year’s application phase for the Augsburg Media Award will be closed on February 16th.

Coworking Campus

Coworking Campus

What is so special about the University of Ausburg’s Coworking Campus? “Our doors are open for every industry,” Chamber of Commerce and Industry Swabia spokesperson Anna Kliger has stated. Start-up founders, freelancers, and SMEs from various industries work together in a space of 800 square meters. According to Kilger, the Coworking Campus is the largest, youngest, and most modern coworking space in all of Swabia. It has been opened since last year and is a collaborative project between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Swabia and Cowork AG, a company that plans and runs coworking spaces with local authorities. The Coworking Campus, which offers around 100 permanent and non-permanent workspaces, is a relaxed environment where people needn’t worry about clearing away their work material or projects. Conference rooms, such as one named the Co-Creation Lab, are also for rent. These rooms have writable walls, projectors, and modern technology adapted to new brainstorming methods (with one example being Design Thinking).

Networking is particularly important, Anna Kilger has declared. Brunches are therefore often organized to encourage coworkers to come together and exchange ideas. The location also gives several presentations and offers workshops on topics such as online marketing, brand and patent law, and stress management.

Trendcamp

If you would like to attend an event, what do you do? You generally begin by reading the title, you think about whether you’re interested in the topic, and in the end you decide if you’re going to attend or not. Marketing company Kommdirekt has made this easy and personalized since 2019 with their event series Trendcamp. Sign in and choose three topics of interest (a few examples are Virtual Reality, Content Marketing, and Digital Brand Image). Kommdirekt‘s experts then invite the users that voted to the most popular event selected. These events encourage the audience to go beyond just passively listening and consuming. People can also ask anonymous questions via an interactive software and vote for other participants’ questions to be covered.

It is the first event of this kind in Bavarian Swabia. “We are moving away from the standard concept of passive listeners and active speakers. We want to have real and interactive discussions,” Kommdirekt’s project manager Katja Hopfes has declared.

Save four dates in 2020: February 19th, May 13th, October 8th and November 12th.

Digital Day

Kommdirekt created yet another event series in 2019: Digital Day. On this special day, regional companies present their digital innovations that focus on network and knowledge exchange. Topics can vary! One notable event had an actor speaking about the fears that come with change. Another event had a manager from German company Siemens talk about forward-thinking cooperation between humans and machines. One other interesting event introduced an educational expert who explained how young and digital generations can help companies develop. The next Digital Day takes place in summer 2020 and offers presentations and workshops about digitization trends and solutions.

Rocketeer Festival

The Rocketeer Festival is a platform for visionaries, pioneers, and creative people of the region. Jan Sekulla from Media Group Pressedruck (which also publishes the Augsburger Allgemeine journal) has explained that this event gathers enthusiasts—from start-up founders in hoodies and sneakers to experienced CEOs in suits—to discuss and learn about digital innovations and future trends.

In the exhibition sector, start-ups can present their ideas and sell their pitches to an interested audience. In 2020, there will also be a “Revolution Stage” which will focus on topics such as climate and sustainability.

The end of February will see the first Rocketeer Magazine published. There will be two editions per year that provide an overview of digital trends and innovations. What is the target group? “People that take initiative and keep their eyes open, that are interested in new things, that let ideas come to fruition, that question the status quo, and that develop their own visions,” Sekulla has stated.

The Rocketeer Festival takes place on April 24th.

Newscamp

Newscamp

The target group of the Media Group Pressedruck’s second event is a bit smaller—the annual Newscamp addresses decision-makers and digital managers from publishing houses and media companies. Newscamp treats topics such as digitalization, innovation, and technological development in the media industry. Since 2013, approximately 450 participants and more than 60 speakers have come to Augsburg per year. In 2019, Google’s Richard Gingras, ARD’s Pinar Atalay, journalists from the Washington Post, and representatives from Axel Springer Publishing House and DPA were in attendance. In 2020, the audience can learn about media technology innovations on the new “tech stage”.

Newscamp 2020 takes place on April 22nd and 23rd.