100 participants, 24 hours, 10 flashes of inspiration that were turned into prototypes: This was the fifth Burda Hackday
The Who’s Who of the FitTech scene, exciting discussions, live sessions with famous influencers, networking in a beach atmosphere and a competition for one million euros’ worth of advertising space: Europe’s first FitTech Summit, which took place in Munich on Tuesday and was organized by Burda Bootcamp, belonging to Hubert Burda Media, was more than a conference. It attracted approximately 800 participants from all over the globe, who came to Beach38 to compare notes about current trends. The fitness and lifestyle magazine Fit for Fun was a media partner and co-organizer of the event.
“We have always looked into the future. Twenty years ago, I already realized that the internet will revolutionize the world. The FitTech Summit allows us to move into a new area that is still unoccupied in Europe.
Hubert Burda, publisher
“The first FitTech Summit was a complete success. Burda is moving into the rapidly growing young FitTech industry, and from an investment perspective it was interesting for us as well“
Stefan Winners, board member at Hubert Burda Media
Natalia Karbasova, head of Burda Bootcamp: “FitTech is one of the most widely discussed topics in the fitness industry right now. I’m pleased we were able to bring together so many promising start-ups, big investors and renowned companies at the successful opening of our FitTech Summit in Munich. The event was a great team achievement.”
Innovation, activity and networking
FitTech Summit combined information, activity and networking in a relaxed sportive atmosphere. The program on the main stage included keynotes, panels, interviews and panel discussions, presenting exciting information relating to the world of FitTech: Ben McAllister (Under Armour) talked in his panel “Everything is a sensor: Creating connected fitness experiences“ about what constitutes a product combining fitness and technology, such as a running shoe. His three theses were that it had to be easy to use, adjust to existing behavior and solve a problem. The subsequent talk with Focus editor Markus Götting gave insights into this world of digital fitness products.
On the investment panel “VCs in search of the next fit thing“, Camilla Dolan (Burda Principal Investments), Julia Belaya (Plug and Play), Eugene Borukhovic (Bayer) and Ben Penkert (Sportstech) discussed with Burda board member Stefan Winners what FitTech area might be particularly interesting for investors in the future. The answers of the panel participants showed that FitTech is a many-faceted field offering countless promising opportunities: Examples ranged from platforms supporting people to remain active and fit and the entire area of body analysis to sensors measuring brain behavior, personalized diets and connected clothing. Belaya pointed out that the best ideas not only came from Silicon Valley anymore. It was still an important place producing great ideas, but not the only one. Many ideas came from Germany as well by now, for instance.
The panels covered every conceivable topic relating to FitTech: Manuel Ronnefeldt (7 Mind) gave a talk entitled “Back to the roots: Democratization of meditation”, explaining how the need to meditate clearly increased with the advent of the first smartphones. Other panels focused on how mental strength influenced performance (bottom line: “It’s about believing in yourself and doing what you love”), whether artificial intelligence could replace human coaches and how the world of wearables has changed in the past 20 years.
Workout with Charlotte Kuhrt and 1 million euros’ worth of advertising space for „Bikemap“
The summit participants exercised vigorously on site as well, of course: A workout program took place on the activity stage for six hours – ranging from virtual reality sessions and yoga to workouts with influencers, such as Charlotte Kuhrt from “Beautynotsize”, among others. Numerous young companies presented their offers in the start-up area, inviting participants to try them out. They included a mirror checking if exercises are performed correctly and a virtual reality device that you can move through a fictional world based on your own body coordination.
For ten start-ups, the most exciting part of the event began at the end of the day: A four-member jury, consisting of Jens Pippig (managing director, ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator), Philipp Walter (head of marketing DACH, Under Armour), Camilla Dolan (principal, Burda Principal Investments) and Peer-Gunnar Simon (director Tech Industry Team Bavaria, HypoVereinsbank), decided which start-up would win advertising space worth one million euros. In an exciting pitch, “Bikemap” was successful in the end, an online community for cyclists focusing on bicycle routes. “Fitfox” took third place and “Mommymove” ranked second. During the pitch competition the participants' pulse was tracked. Manuel Perez Prada of Mommy Move stayed cool in this challenging situation, had the calmest pulse and was awarded the "Coolness Award" and a pulse watch from Polar.
On Monday night, speakers, selected startups and event partners gathered in the Burda Bar for an exclusive VIP get-together. Natalia Karbasova welcomed the guests, including Burda CEO Paul-Bernhard Kallen.
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For more information on FitTech Summit, click here.