Bits & Pretzels 2023 Recap: Insights and Learnings


Bits & Pretzels 2023, one of Europe's top events for founders, was a whirlwind of inspiration and connection. SymbiaVC was right in the mix, mingling with startups, entrepreneurs, and fellow investors, all while keeping our eyes peeled for exciting opportunities in various industries.

Sunday: The Power of Your Brand

Einstein once said it is easier to disintegrate an atom than a prejudice. In the case of Oliver Kahn it is a positive one, but still hard to change. The legendary goalkeeper retired in 2008 and despite his remarkable career as manager and founder, he’s still working to shake the goalie image. It’s proof that building a strong brand from the get-go is crucial because changing people’s perceptions later can be a real challenge.

Monday: Women at the Forefront

Monday at Bits & Pretzels was a showcase of female power in business. The stage was packed with incredible women from startups, venture capital, politics, and more.

If you’re fluent in German, we recommend checking out the Fast and Curious podcast hosted by Lea-Sophie Cramer and Verena Pausder, two luminaries in the start-up world who share wisdom on entrepreneurship.

Cathie Wood, Founder & CEO of ARK Invest, explored the differences between venture capital and the public market and how global changes impact our world. Plus, a woman clinched the Startup Pitch competition with groundbreaking research on gene markers for endometriosis. Marlis Baurecht, our Investment Manager, called it one of the best pitches she’s ever seen.

And the icing on the cake? Michelle Obama delivered a powerful speech about her life, racism, gender equality, and motivation for founders to believe in their visions.

In the evening, the Female Investors Network and Atopia Space, a Munich-based startup creating a metaverse for the fine arts, hosted a fantastic side event.

Tuesday: Oktoberfest Fun

Bits & Pretzels Oktoberfest was a blast, offering not just beer and pretzels but also some valuable insights. We had the chance to chat with industry leaders like Thomas Ehemann, Head of Digital Strategy & Innovation at FC Bayern München, and Bonita Grupp, HR Manager at Trigema, a German sports fashion company.

Later, we enjoyed a great evening hosted by UVC Partners at Bräurosl, where we mingled with other investors and founders from the UVC portfolio.

All in all, these three days at Bits & Pretzels have energized us to keep investing in and supporting diverse teams of the future. It’s been a remarkable journey of learning, connecting, and growing.