Elaborations by ISB (Investment and Economic Development Bank of Rhineland-Palatinate)

3-Sentence Pitch on the local Startup Ecosystem

In a nutshell, the startup scene in Rhineland Palatinate (RLP) is vital and diversified. Entrepreneurial activities are fostered by the scientific excellence of several high-class university campuses and institutes in Mainz, Kaiserslautern and more than 10 other high-school sites in RLP (e.g. 123 k students, 2 Max-Planck Institutes, 2 Fraunhofer Institutes).

The economic backbone of Rhineland Palatinate is led by highly specialized SMEs with a strong focus on the manufactural sector. Together with well-known international players like BASF, Boehringer and Schott Glas, they show an increasing involvement in startups and their innovative solutions.

In addition to good infrastructural and financial conditions startups get plenty of support and networking in a fast-growing ecosystem.

Regional Hubs

Besides the local founding centers, the main Hubs in Rhineland-Palatinate are located in


Sectoral Focus of the Startup Ecosystem

The local startup ecosystem in Rhineland-Palatinate shows specific strengths in artificial intelligence internet services and medical research.

A further strong development can be seen in manufacturing services (Industry 4.0)

Local Financing Landscape/Presence of VCs

Startups/Entrepreneurs in Rhineland-Palatinate benefit from a good public financing system that shows great readiness to invest. The strongest VC player is the ISB (Investitions- und Strukturbank Rheinland-Pfalz) with several funds and access to governmental grants. https://isb.rlp.de/en/home.html .

In addition to that, there is a close cooperation with the Business Angels Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. http://www.business-angels-rlp.de/

Presence and Industrial Focus of Established Industries

The state’s principal industrial employer is the chemical and plastics processing industry: BASF in Ludwigshafen is Europe’s largest chemical factory complex and Rhineland-Palatinate’s largest manufacturing firm.

In addition, important for employment and strong in R&D are:

  • Boehringer Ingelheim (pharmaceuticals)
  • A. Benckiser (chemicals, cosmetics),
  • Schott Glassworks in Mainz
  • and Europe’s largest television network, ZDF

Presence of Incubators/Accelerators

All Hubs/ Accelerators mentioned above are open for foreign startups and investors.

Presence of Research Institutes and Universities

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Kaiserslautern is a non-profit public-private partnership. In the field of innovative commercial software technology using Artificial Intelligence, DFKI is the leading research center in Germany. https://www.dfki.de/web

The University of Mainz has an advanced university medical center where the focus is on oncology. http://www.unimedizin-mainz.de/

Initiatives for industry 4.0 trends :



RLP has more than 123.000 students at universities and universities of applied sciences with faculties in all fields of study. Usually, the universities are conducive to the startup ecosystem as they provide assistance for startups in various ways.

Noticeable Events

Within the startup ecosystem of RLP, there are several events for local startups and entrepreneurs and also educational programs offered by the universities.

For further information and in case of startup cooperations or investment inquiries:

please contact ISB RLP https://isb.rlp.de/en/home.html