Elaborations by Thomas Funke, TechQuartier

3-Sentence Pitch on the local Startup Ecosystem:

Within the state of Hesse, the city of Frankfurt has a strong corporate involvement, a huge basis of talents (more than 100 k students, 5,5 Mio inhabitants in the wider region) and an attractive infrastructure (international airport etc.).

Regional Hubs

Next to Frankfurt, the cities of Offenbach, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, and Mainz have a startup-scene. However, Frankfurt is by far the main hub within Hesse. For an overview of startups, investors, networks, etc. please visit www.innovation-map.de.

Sectoral Focus of the Startup Ecosystem

FinTech and eCommerce are the strongest sectors.

Local Financing Landscape/Presence of VCs

There is a strong Business Angel Scene and several public grants and credits for starters (e.g. from WiBank), but also a handful of VCs (e.g. Creathor Ventures).

Presence and Industrial Focus of Established Industries

There is a very strong corporate involvement. Several companies provide infrastructure and/or accelerator programs (MainIncubator, Deutsche Bank Digital factory, Merck in Darmstadt etc.) but also community support.

Presence of Incubators/Accelerators

  • Frankfurt Accelerator,
  • Black Print Partners,
  • Climate KIC accelerator,
  • TechQuartier,
  • Deutsche Börse FinTech Hub,
  • MainIncubator,
  • Social Impact Lab,
  • Deutsche Bank Digital Factory.

They all welcome foreign startups.

Presence of Research Institutes and Universities

There are many talents and research institutions. E.g. Goethe University (40.000 students all different disciplines) TU Darmstadt (technical focus), Frankfurt School (Business focus), JKU Mainz (no focus, all disciplines). Hochschule Rhein-Main (Wiesbaden), European Business School (Business focus).

All the mentioned universities have entrepreneurial education integrated into its curriculum to some extent. This also includes an idea competition for students and scientists that is organized every year.

Noticeable Events

There are many different and diverse events – no one needs to be explicitly mentioned as all provide a good access to the community. Please see www.innovation-map.de.

Dr. Thomas Funke