Elaborations by Tobias Gebhardt, Entrepreneurs Club Rostock
3-Sentence Pitch on the local Startup Ecosystem:
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is located at the Baltic Sea and thus the gate to Scandinavia. Based on our traditional pillars of the economy in tourism, shipbuilding, and agriculture it is now our challenge to establish a new one in information technology. By doing so, the startup ecosystem in our state is relatively small but promising what is exemplarily shown by existing hidden champions in E-Commerce as well as other innovative ventures.
The two universities and the associated research are the main drivers for the startup scene in Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania. Hence, Rostock and Greifswald are the main hubs in our state. In addition to that, the cities Wismar, Stralsund, and Schwerin also show an increasing trend to establish a local entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Sectoral Focus of the Startup Ecosystem
Market leaders in their specific E-Commerce segment (e.g. leather products, tennis and archery equipment) are based in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
In addition to that, digital health and life science might become another outstanding strength of our state. That is reasoned by the excellent universities and clinics in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Local Financing Landscape/Presence of VCs
GENIUS Venture Capital and the “Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft MV” are two investors that are active in our state.
As a regional venture capital investor, GENIUS Venture Capital GmbH funds innovation-driven technology companies in their startup or early growth stage on behalf of the Ministry of Economics, Employment and Health of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Moreover, some business angels do investments in startups from our region. However, it can be stated that there is a lack of investment capital for startups in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
World market leaders in mechanical engineering (Weber Maschinenbau), as well as iron and metal foundry (Eisengießerei Torgelow, Mecklenburger Metallguss), are based in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Moreover, established companies from the cruise and the wind power industry have their headquarters in Rostock. Cooperations between those companies and startups can be still improved.
Presence of Incubators/Accelerators
Incubators or accelerators are not existing in our state up to now.
Presence of Research Institutes and Universities
We have two comprehensive universities in the cities of Rostock and Greifswald. Both have extraordinary competencies in medicine. Moreover, talented IT professionals are also coming from the Faculty of Informatics of the University of Rostock. Mechanical engineering with the focus on shipbuilding is another strength of this university.
Moreover, five Universities of Applied Sciences are present at the cities of Wismar, Stralsund, Neubrandenburg, Rostock, and Güstrow.
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.
In addition to that, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research in Rostock is doing excellent research in the field of visual computing with the main focus in maritime business.
Last but not least, two Max-Planck-Institutes exists in the cities of Greifswald and Rostock. One is specialized in demographic research and the other one in plasma physics.
The annual MVpreneur Day is the biggest entrepreneurship event in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. A few hundred participants are coming from all over the state to the campus of the University in Rostock. Moreover, student entrepreneurship clubs are organizing startup events where local entrepreneurs share their stories from time to time. Another opportunity for startups to pitch themselves is the networking event 12min.me in Rostock.