Elaborations by Sina Gritzuhn, Founder and Managing Director of Hamburg Startups

3-Sentence Pitch on the local Startup Ecosystem:

Hamburg is a beautiful city with international flair and high quality of life. Our established industry is strong and offers numerous possibilities for startups. Nevertheless, it’s also is a tough place to found a startup. It’s rather costly to start a company due to high living standards, costly business premises and well-paid employees, which means that our startups are forced to be more business-driven and eager to find a business model right from the beginning. Along with that, it’s hard to find qualified and payable employees as startups are constantly competing with established industry which is pretty strong in our area. This is probably one reason why our founders are eager and willing to face and cope with challenges. Along with that our startup ecosystem is very helpful and open-minded for newbies. This makes it a wonderful place to start a company in.

More information on Hamburg can be found on www.hamburg-startups.net and in the digital magazine “Startup Hotspot Hamburg”.

Regional Hubs

Since Hamburg is a city-state, one cannot speak of “regional hubs”. However, there are some meeting points for the startup scene within the city – mainly Co-working Spaces in the city center: Betahaus, Mindspace, Shhared. Not to forget Startup Dock at Technische Universität Hamburg in Harburg.

Sectoral Focus of the Startup Ecosystem

According to our Hamburg Startup Monitor (StartupSpot Hamburg) Hamburg has more than 616 Startups scattered across the following sectors. At the moment FinTech is the sector with the highest attractiveness for investors.

  • Commerce, 22%
  • Services, 19%
  • Media, 13%
  • Tech, 13%
  • Food, 11%
  • Games, 5%
  • FinTech, 4%
  • Fashion, 3%
  • Others, 10%

Local Financing Landscape/Presence of VCs

There are several VCs in Hamburg. Among them:

  • eVentures
  • Neuhaus Partners
  • New Commercial Room
  • Shortcut Ventures
  • Deutsche Telekom Capital Ventures
  • Bauer Ventures
  • Gruner + Jahr Digital Ventures
  • Neuhaus Partners
  • 20 Scoops

You will find an overview of VCs in Hamburg here: www.hk24.de/produktmarken/branchen/finanzwirtschaft-versicherungen/service/venture_capital_liste/1158930

Furthermore, the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank has early-stage funding for highly innovative startups: IFB with InnorampUp Program and the Innovationsstarter Fond: www.hamburg-startups.net/portfolio-item/ifb-innovationsstarter-gmbh/)

Presence and Industrial Focus of Established Industries

  • Commerce: OTTO Group
  • Logistics: Hamburg Harbour
  • Aviation: Airbus and Lufthansa
  • New Media: Headquarters of Facebook, Google, Dropbox, Playbuzz
  • Games: Goodgames Studios, Innogames, Bigpoint


Presence of Incubators/Accelerators

Incubators/Company Builder:

  • Hanse Ventures
  • Greenhouse Innovation Lab, Gruner + Jahr
  • Truventuro
  • liquid labs


  • next media accelerator
  • airbus bizlab accelerator
  • comdirect Startup Garage
  • Social Impact Lab
  • Music WorX Accelerator

Presence of Research Institutes and Universities

  • Technische Universität Hamburg (TU HH) – Startup Dock
  • Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (HAW)
  • Universität Hamburg
  • Desy – Forschungseinrichtung (Uni Hamburg)
  • Helmut Schmidt Universität
  • Hafencity Universität
  • Hamburg Media School (private)

Noticeable Events

You can find a list of events in Hamburg here: www.hamburg-startups.net/startup-events-hamburg-2017.

Sina Gritzuhn