Student housing is one of the most pressing problems in Munich.

Let us start with the overall objective: immediate impact. An interdisciplinary team of 18 students worked for one week on a solution that guides you through the jungle of Munich’s student housing market. Flatling – as it is called – provides significant time savings for both parties in the housing market: flat seekers and flat providers. Flatling does not only bring efficiency to the market. On top, it enables users to find the right match for their future flatmate. By focusing on personality and desired lifestyle rather than solely on apartment price or room size, users will not only find a flatmate, but a flatling. A flatling is understood as a special someone you share a common understanding about your comfort zone with and potentially becomes a good friend.

Making Munich smarter now. Not in two years, not in five years. Right now.

It all starts on a Monday morning at 9:00 am. A group of excited students with business, computer science, electrical engineering and other backgrounds gather in the conference room. The purpose of this meeting is the beginning of the elective course “Center Venture”, which is a hackathon offered once a year. For one week, the group meets every day at 9:00 am and stays late into the night to work together on the same startup idea to solve the challenges of our time. This year’s topic is Smart City. During two weeks of pre-research, the students compiled a diverse set of potential use cases for exploiting open data to make Munich smarter. The ideas range from e-mobility, a more diverse cityscape to inclusive infrastructure. Despite the time constraint and limited published open data sets of the city of Munich, the students want to devote the week to a venture idea that could have an impact already within a week – the idea of flatling is born.

Building a startup from scratch within five days.

The project is supervised by the center assistants Michael Chromik and Philipp Nägelein who act as scrum masters. Their experience taught them that the fast, agile and autonomous scrum-methodology is ideally suitable for a five-day hackathon such as the Center Venture. After some basic instructions, the students start to work in functional teams: technical development, design thinking, strategy and marketing. Three times a day, the group comes together for a scrum meeting to ensure a constant exchange between the various functional teams. On Friday at 6:00 pm, after one week of endless iterations and sleepless nights, it is finally time to launch the prototype, a go-to-market strategy and a product vision in front of a public audience.

Flatling is just the beginning – Now it is our turn.

Since CDTM and its students always aim to have a significant and sustainable impact on society through their actions, flatling is just the starting point of this year’s product vision: the students want you to come up with new Smart City ideas and directly implement them to provide a valuable impact on the beautiful city we live in. To enable this, the students put together a Data Fusion Hub, which collects and aggregates open data sets such as free parking spots and the income differences between the city districts of Munich. The aggregated data is then open to the public true to the motto “data of the people, by the people, for the people”. Flatling is hopefully the first of many examples of the use of this Data Fusion Hub to make Munich smarter. Now it is our turn.

You missed the final presentation? You can watch it now on our CDTM YouTube channel:

Author: Konstantin Huneke