Full house at the Pitchlab event

Building bridges in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania

Steinbeis organizes Pitchlab networking event in Greifswald

The Pitchlab networking event, which began in Rostock, is all about adding value, stimulating new ideas, and encouraging people to leave their comfort zone in order to forge networks and get to know one another. Katja Wolter, who heads up the Institute for Resource Development, a Greifswald-based Steinbeis Research Center, has grasped the potential of the networking event and is now one of its patrons in Greifswald.

At Pitchlabs, speakers give a quick speech on their business idea, the underlying concept, and if they want to, their complete, crazy life story. “The key point is that it’s about providing value for the audience,” explains Maik Herfurth, who fi rst established the format in Rostock. Pitchlab aims to bring the audience into contact with people on the same wavelength, irrespective of age, profession, status, or background. What’s important is the experience and exchange of ideas.

The atmosphere at the evenings is relaxed and laid back, and participants address each other with the informal German pronoun “Du.” As a result, from the outset there is very little of the typical northern German reservedness and any fear of strangers fades into the background. With this format, even the most thick-skinned business leader can be asked diffi cult and totally direct questions – and the audience looks forward to hearing straight-up answers. There is also plenty of time for networking and honing contacts between and after talks. Pitchlabs are a chance for established businesspeople, potential startups, students, and many others to experience something new. It’s a given that no-one leaves afterwards without new contacts. “If we achieve this in one evening, then we’ve done everything right. Then bridges have been built,” emphasizes Wolter. This was palpable at the fi rst event held in Greifswald in December 2016. Every seat in the auditorium in the BioTechnikum building was occupied, and the audience was brimming with enthusiasm. “We’re establishing an effi cient network across different locations in Mecklenburg and West Pomerania, thereby creating a knowledge-sharing infrastructure that’s strongly focused on Mecklenburg-West Pomerania,” underscores Wolter.


Katja Wolter
Steinbeis-Forschungszentrum Institut für Ressourcen-Entwicklung (Greifswald)