Bits & Pretzels

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Bits & Pretzels
Company typeStartup Events UG
Founded2014 in Munich, Bavaria, Germany
FounderAndreas Bruckschlögl, Bernd Storm and Felix Haas
ProductsConference and workshops

Bits & Pretzels is a three-day conference for founders and enthusiasts from the start-up scene, which takes place in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, during the Oktoberfest.[1] So far, speakers included international and national founders and investors, among them the founders of Virgin, Airbnb, Lottoland, Shazam, Tinder, Zendesk and Evernote.[2][3][4][5] The goal of the event is inspiration through lectures and the networking of the participants among each other.


September 2014 the first founder event took place as a breakfast, which was founded by Andreas Bruckschlögl and Bernd Storm. Since January 2015, Felix Haas joined the team as the third co-host and since then the event is organized as "Bits & Pretzels".[6] In May 2019, Britta Weddeling, formerly from Handelsblatt, joined as "Editor-in-Chief".[7]

At the first event in September 2014, 1,400 participants came together in the ballroom of the Löwenbraukeller in Munich. Among the first speakers were the founders of Qype, mydealz, Stylight, and XING and various start-up pitches took place. Ilse Aigner, who is also the patron of the event, led a panel discussion on current political topics. The proceeds from the event were donated to the Munich Tafel.[8][9]

The second Bits & Pretzels took place on 16 January 2015.[10] This event already drew 1,800 participants. In addition to national speakers, international speakers were also present this time.[11] Philip Inghelbrecht and Avery Wang gave a talk about SHAZAM! and talked about their initial problems. Other speakers included Jonathan Badeen from Tinder and Ray Chan from 9GAG.[12][13][14]

The third Bits & Pretzels with around 3,500 participants took place from 27 to 29 September 2015. Instead of it being a breakfast, this event was planned as a three-day festival for the first time. The last day of the conference ended in the Schottenhamel tent at the Oktoberfest.[15] The speakers included, among others, the CEO of Adidas Herbert Hainer or Niklas Östberg, CEO of Delivery Hero.[16]

From 25 to 27 September 2016, over 5000 participants came together for 4th Bits & Pretzels. As in the previous year, the first two days took place at the International Congress Center of Messe München and the last day at the Oktoberfest. Speakers included the British entrepreneur Richard Branson, the American actor Kevin Spacey, the founder of Airbnb Nathan Blecharczyk, CEO of the Mozilla Foundation as well as the investors of the TV show Die Höhle der Löwen.[17][18]

From 24 to 26 September 2017, another 5,000 participants came together in Munich, after the number of participants for this event was capped. The speakers at the 2017 event included Stefan Raab, the former World (Soccer) Players of the Year Philipp Lahm, and Oliver Kahn, the Dutch actress Carice van Houten (famous for her role in Game of Thrones) and the CEOs of adidas, Infineon and E.ON.

For the event in 2018, the satirist and television presenter Jan Böhmermann, the former F1 world champion Nico Rosberg, the founder of the #MeToo movement Tarana Burke, as well as the CEOs of Vodafone Germany, Volocopter and FlixMobility have already been confirmed.[19][20]


At Bits & Pretzels, founders of national and international companies tell their success story and give tips. Keynotes, workshops, panel discussions, masterclasses, and a start-up competition are scheduled for the first two days of the conference at the International Congress Center in Munich. The speakers on the main stage wear Bavarian costume to combine Bavarian tradition with innovation. The third day of the event is all about networking, so once again all the participants come together at the Oktoberfest. Following the "Table Captain" principle, the young founders and investors network over beer and chicken in the packed Oktoberfest tent.[21]

In 2017, "Topic Tables" revolving around one specific topic were introduced for the first time. With a Corporate Innovation stage and an Investor's stage, new areas of focus have been set in 2017. The topic of "matchmaking, was strengthened on site with a specially designated area to facilitate networking among the participants. In addition to industry-related content, an entertainment program with comedians and bands provided some diversion. In 2015, the Bavarian Comedian Harry G was on stage, and in 2016, the German band Sportfreunde Stiller gave a concert. In 2017, the band Moop Mama played in the Oktoberfest tent as a surprise. Previously implemented on a small scale, in 2017 the Bits & Pretzels Start-up Night, during which even non-Bits & Pretzels-participants were able to attend evening events all over Munich took place for the first time.

Speakers (selection)[edit]

At the event, national as well as international speakers form start-ups, international companies and large DAX companies give speeches.

Year Organization Speaker
2014 Bigpoint Heiko Hubertz
Qype Stephan Uhrenbacher
Westwing Delia Fischer
Zooplus Sven Rittau
XING Lars Hinrichs
Jochen Schweizer Jochen Schweizer
mydealz Fabian Spielberger
2015 9GAG Ray Chan
Tinder Jonathan Badeen
Tune Peter Hamilton
Shazam Avery Wang and Philip Inghelbrecht
Zendesk Mikkel Svane
Prezi Peter Arvai
Evernote Phil Libin
LeWeb Loïc Le Meur
2016 Virgin Sir Richard Branson
Actor Kevin Spacey
Airbnb Nathan Blecharczyk
Mozilla Mitchell Baker
Nest Tony Fadell
Recode Kara Swisher
TechCrunch Mike Butcher
2017 Comedian Stefan Raab
Actor Carice van Houten
Amazon Werner Vogels
E.ON Dr. Johannes Antonius
Infineon Dr. Reinhard Ploss
adidas Kasper Rorsted
Schranner Negotiation
Matthias Schranner
Board Member
Linde, Munich Re &
Prof. Dr. Ann-Kristin
2018 Comedian Jan Böhmermann
former F1 Driver Nico Rosberg
American civil rights activist Tarana Burke
2019 US President Barack Obama
The Honest Company Jessica Alba
Dropbox Drew Housten
LinkedIn Reid Hoffmann
Shazam Chris Barton
Plug & Play Saeed Amidi
Freigeist Frank Thelen

Table Captains (selection)[edit]

The Table Captains are representatives from the fields of media, economics, or education, tasked with stimulating discussions at their assigned tables on the third day of Bits & Pretzels at the Oktoberfest. According to the "first-come, first-served" principle, participants can select in advance which table captain they would like to share the table with.

Table Captain Position Company
Katharina Borchert Chief Innovation Officer Mozilla Corporation
Jan Christe Editor-in-chief t3n Magazin
Alexander Görlach Editor The European
Wolfgang Grupp Owner Trigema
Florian Langenscheidt Venture Capitalist
Nico Lumma Founder Next Media Accelerator
Sonja Schwetje Editor-in-chief n-tv
Cherno Jobatey Editor Huffington Post
Max Wittrock Founder Mymuesli
Jess Erickson Program Director 500 Startups
Alexander Kudlich Managing Director Rocket Internet
Adam Bird Senior Partner McKinsey & Company Inc.
Hannes Ametsreiter Chief Executive Officer Vodafone Germany
Ulrich Schäfer Chief Business-Editor Süddeutsche Zeitung Verlag
Antonella Mei-Pochtler Senior Advisor The Boston Consulting Group
Jackie Hunt Member of the Board Allianz
Ralf Wenzel Chief Security Officer Delivery Hero AG
Ralf Kleber VP. Country Manager

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Bits & Pretzels: Gründer in Lederhosen - WiWo Gründer". WiWo Gründer (in German). 28 September 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  2. ^ Kutsche, Katharina (23 August 2016). "Aufgebrezelt". (in German). ISSN 0174-4917. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Bits & Pretzels bringt Gründer in München zusammen -". (in German). 18 December 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Shazam-Gründer ermutigen Firmengründer". FOCUS Online (in German). Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Bits & Pretzels: Deutsche Gründerszene schaut auf München | Nachrichten". 1 October 2015. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Interview Bernd Storm/Felix Haas/Andreas Bruckschlögl: "Wir wollen mit Bits & Pretzels die geilste Gründerkonferenz der Welt etablieren!"" (in German). Venturate Magazin. 18 June 2015. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Wirtschaft, Handel & Finanzen: Start-up-Konferenz Bits & Pretzels will Medienplattform werden". (in German). Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Bits & Pretzels: Gründer geben Gründern Tipps -". (in German). 26 September 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  9. ^ Tönnesmann, Jens. "Wahl des Unternehmensstandorts: Das sind die besten Städte für Gründer". (in German). Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Bits & Pretzels Konferenz: Mekka der Start-Up-Männer | Nachrichten". 20 January 2015. Archived from the original on 20 January 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Bits & Pretzels: München wird zum Mekka der Start-ups - News". CHIP. 31 May 2015. Archived from the original on 31 May 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  12. ^ Verkaufen, Werben &. "Bits & Pretzels goes Oktoberfest | W&V" (in German). Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Bits & Pretzels wird zum Festival". Gründerszene Magazin (in German). 4 March 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Milliardär Richard Branson: "Deutschland ist ein großartiges Vorbild."". t3n News (in German). Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  15. ^ ""Lasst Euch keinen Bullshit andrehen": Kevin Spaceys fulminante Keynote bei den Bits & Pretzels › Meedia". (in German). Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Bits & Pretzels: Das große Gründerfestival geht in die nächste Runde". Gründerszene Magazin (in German). 11 September 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Nicht nur für Gründer interessant: Bits & Pretzels 2017 in München - MUCBOOK". MUCBOOK (in German). 14 September 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Jan Böhmermann als Keynote Speaker auf der Bits & Pretzels - Munich Startup". Munich Startup (in German). 3 July 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Bits & Pretzels 2018 - Nico Rosberg kommt als Center Stage Speaker". Das Portal für die Grüne Gründerszene (in German). 3 July 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Bits & Pretzels 2018: Me Too-Gründerin Tarana Burke als Keynote Speakerin bestätigt - Munich Startup". Munich Startup (in German). 18 May 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Bits & Pretzels lädt Gründer zum Oktoberfest". Das Magazin für die Internationale Startup-Szene (in German). 21 July 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2018.