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Startup Safary: follow the signs and $cents

in My Leipzig/Start up/What's on by

Leipzig’s bite is bigger than its bark.

For a city-spanning 20 minute bike ride, a heck of a lot is packed between the pedals and if your wandering eye is keen, you’ll spot evidence of a rampantly playful yet ambitious pack of hounds, running amuck. They’re digging up the city’s industrial past and transforming it into a new play field full of balls, bones and postmen into which we can all (proverbially) plunge our teeth.

This Thursday and Friday, I suggest you journey through Leipzig on a “safary” of startups and get to know the people and companies turning their dreams into your reality. Most sessions are in English and there should really be something for everyone.

I report to you from the trenches, and have a few recommendations I’d like to share.

So here is my pick of the pack for Startup Safary:

Thursday, 11 May

9:30

Kick Off
Glass Dome, Leipziger Volkszeitung – Peterssteinweg 19
Visit Leipzig’s largest coworking office, meet new friends such as Saxony’s Oberbürgermeister Burkhard Jung, and get last minute updates.

Scene from a past Startup Safary. Photo courtesy of Sam Jozeps.
Scene from a past Startup Safary. Photo courtesy of Sam Jozeps.

10:30

Startup Pitches: Local vs International
Glass Dome, Leipziger Volkszeitung – Peterssteinweg 19
8 startups, 2 teams, 1 stage. Locals will pitch against companies from Israel, USA, Turkey and Poland for two days worth of ultimate bragging rights. You will decide who wins.

12:00

WAVELABS – LEDs accelerate the solar energy revolution
Wavelabs – Markranstädter Str. 1
Over on the sunny side of the street, WAVELABS contributes to making solar energy more affordable for everyone. Pay them a visit to learn how they do it.

Leipzig according to the Startup Safary hounds. Image courtesy of Sam Jozeps.
Leipzig according to the Startup Safary hounds. Image courtesy of Sam Jozeps.

13:00

SPREADSHIRT – Making Decisions Under Uncertainty
Spreadshirt – Gießerstraße 27
Go west! Visit the custom T-shirt company taking the world over one print at a time.

14:00

SPINLAB STARTUP FAIR
SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator – Spinnereistr. 7
Drop by SpinLab’s home sweet home at the Baumwollspinnerei and meet companies past and present who’ve grown up under its wing. No less than 11 will be on show.

15:00

Phew! You might need a break.
Oorrrr…. You could visit Lecturio (Käthe-Kollwitz-Straße 1) and learn about New Ways to Improve Medical Education.

16:00

BINEE – First Steps in Implementing a Circular Economy
Starter Space – 1st floor, Höfe am Brühl
Visit Starter Space at the mall to meet the team behind binee – responsible recycling of electrical products that comes with a kick!

17:00

TOUGH ONE!

At every festival there are tough decisions to make. For me, it comes now. 1-on-1 consulting with Deutsche Bank? Not bad. Go to Korea on a Startup exchange? I could do that. Engraving workshop with local heroes signuu? Sign me up! Decisions, decisions…

18:00

SOCIAL IMPACT  LAB: Pitch and Beer
Social Impact Lab – Weißenfelser Str. 65h
Time to multitask! Tour beautiful Social Impact Lab and hear pitches from 5 of their tenants’ projects, all the while drinking beer. Are you up to it?

19:00

DIGITAL MEDIA WOMEN: Business Speed Dating
Basislager Coworking – Peterssteinweg 14
Ready… get set… and go go go! Business speed dating is on with digital media women (men and anyone in between also allowed).

Startup Safary logo.
Startup Safary logo.

Friday, 12 May

9:00

BASISLAGER: Community Breakfast
Basislager Coworking – Peterssteinweg 14
Fuel up! Time to go. Come to Basislager Coworking, meet the team, learn about its projects and drink as much coffee as you can. You’re gonna need it!

10:00

ULYSSES: How to get featured on the App Store
Ulysses – Peterssteinweg 10
We all want to know. Heck, even if we don’t have an app! The Ulysses app is constantly featured in the store, the program has over 100,00 users world wide and won the renowned Apple Design Award in 2016.

11:00 

MOUNTLYTICS: Customer Intelligence in Tourism
Basislager Coworking – Peterssteinweg 14
Data-data-data. It’s not dissimilar some concept of God; astonishing in Its omnipresence and staggering in Its incomprehensibility. Mountlytics is Data’s preacher to the tourism industry, channeling messages with context and clarity.

12:00

BESSERMITTAG: Optimize Your Health and Productivity
Basislager Coworking – Peterssteinweg 14
While you’re in the data zone, and because its midday, there’s only one thing to do. Utilize this opportunity to optimize your body! Bessermittag will show you how. #upscalelyf

13:00

The hat-trick: learn about SMILE, future economy markets, or watch live negotiations
Here’s today’s tough decision; three fantastic events each catering to your own special interest. I feel ill equipped to advise you either way. If only I had access to ready packaged data…

14:00

WORDCRAFT: Rethink Translation – Digital, Collaborative
Basislager Coworking – Peterssteinweg 14
If a German dog woofs at a French dog, does the French dog understand? Wordcraft manager Maik Mehlhose probably won’t answer that question for you, but he will give you insights into communicating your project across borders using people language.

15:00

MEDIA CITY: LEAVR VR Studio Tour & Networking
Media City Leipzig – Altenburger Str. 13
Learn about new AR & VR technologies and meet the people behind them.

17:00

BMP: Mastering the VC Game
Basislager Coworking – Peterssteinweg 14
David Stuck is a VC analyst for BMP, who’ve been investing in startups for over 20 years. In this session, learn how to press the right buttons and tickle the right fancies. Super important, of course, for any entrepreneur.

21:00

CLOSING PARTY
Elsterartig – Dittrichring 17
By this time your appetite for the future will be well and truly whet. Now get your whistle wet with new friends and digest the safari (or “safary”) that was.


Leipzig is fantastic for startups because it’s cheap, agile and central. It’s burgeoning industry (spearheaded by organisations including SMILE, the Social Impact Lab, SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator, Basislager Coworking, Starter Space and the Handwerkskammer zu Leipzig) that keeps saliva freely flowing from the jowls of these ambitious beasts, building our city’s future.

Tip: Check out your ticket options in advance and make sure to secure your seat early for events with limited capacity.

Sam Jozeps in his Basislager habitat. Photo courtesy of the author.
Sam Jozeps in his Basislager habitat. Photo courtesy of the author.

Sam Jozeps is an Australian expat currently celebrating his one-year anniversary in Leipzig. He works for Basislager Coworking and is a co-manager of Starter Space. He also enjoys capturing stories in photos and films.

Sam is Australian and enjoys writing, making films and taking photos. In Australia he worked as a digital marketer for international arts festivals and in Germany he works for Basislager Coworking and Starter Space. Through documentation, Sam enjoys discovering exciting things in mundane happenings. See more of Sam's work at www.samueljozeps.com

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