Lisa Flieg

“Our mission is to make the regional startup ecosystems visible across the whole of Germany!” | Event review – launch party of StartupSpot BaWü

Following the fantastic news that Stuttgart has officially been named one of twelve digital hubs in Germany, on May 17, 2017 it was full steam ahead for business founders in Baden-Wuerttemberg thanks to an exciting lineup of activities. The launch of StartupSpot BaWü, the new startup relationship tool initiated by Sina Gritzuhn, the founder of Hamburg Startups, was marked by an amazing opening party at CODE_n SPACES in Stuttgart. Just under 80 special guests were invited, most of them representatives of the regional startup scene, businesses, and partners in the local community. Not only was this a chance to mark the official launch, there was plenty of time to forge contacts and do some networking. As well as the party itself, there was a unique presentation on the StartupSpot database and some of the new business ideas being worked on by local startups. Discover more about the background to the event, browse pictures taken on the evening, and read fun and fascinating facts about the initiative and the role it will play in galvanizing the activities of all kinds of startups in Baden-Wuerttemberg!

Exclusive insights into the startup scene

StartupSpot BaWü will help raise the profile of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and make the whole setup more transparent. The StartupSpot was actually launched back in September 2016 as a free support service for startups in the region, and even though that’s not too long ago, its database has quickly become a popular tool for gaining an overview of the many different teams operating in the area. What startups does southwestern Germany have to offer? What areas of industry are they working in? And what impact will they likely have on businesses and the economy? It was these questions that the spot for business startups decided to tackle at the launch event on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. A variety of guests at CODE_n SPACES took advantage of the exclusive opportunity to learn the answers.

After a short welcome speech by Moritz Gräter of CODE_n, the initiator and host of the event, Sina Gritzuhn moved straight to the initiative partners Deutsche Bank and Best Audit. Referring to the event motto – it’s all about networking – both project partners underscored how important it is to make it easy to access information on the German startup scene through a comprehensive database. One reason: to help startups meet possible collaboration partners.

This was followed by an exclusive peek behind the scenes, as Sina revealed information already gathered by the StartupSpot since its soft launch in September 2016. The data indicates that the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg leans strongly toward high-tech solutions. Compare this to the scene in Hamburg, which gravitates more toward general commerce. That said, there’s still a bit of catching up to do in the Southwest when it comes to women entrepreneurs. For example, as Sina explained, in the Hamburg region there’s a larger concentration of female business founders. All of the available real-time data can be viewed at any time by going to http://baden-wuerttemberg.startupspot.de, where the figures are automatically updated.

Here’s just a glimpse of some of the current real-time data. It’s not totally representative in statistical terms, but it does provide a good indication of trends in the startup scene.

Share of startup profiles in the StartupSpot, by sector of industry

The StartupSpot currently holds data on 145 startups. The technology industry (tech) is the number one sector followed by general commerce.

Founding date of each startup featured in the StartupSpotMost of the startups were founded in 2015. There was a dip in new companies being founded in 2016.

Core target market of startups featured in the StartupSpot

The region stands out for its strong focus on B2B business models.

The information session was followed by three cool pitches: the first was staged by the startup flickstuff (pitched by Annabel Daferner); then came CODE2ORDER (pitched by Alexander Hausmann); and to wrap things up, there was a pitch by RegioHelden Stuttgart (pitched by Feliks Eyser).

After the official part of the program, the guests relaxed, celebrated together, and enjoyed cold drinks and the yummy wraps of eatclever as they turned their attention to networking.

Smiles all round: guests at the StartupSpot launch party celebrate the local startup scene and community partners

 

All photos of the event can be viewed on flickr.

StartupSpot: An initiative already launched in northern Germany in 2014
The initiative goes back to 2014, when the team behind the first StartupSpot launched a database. Their mission was to set up a national network of the key players who are investing time, energy, and resources in startups across the whole of Germany. They wanted the new service to show a detailed overview of the national startup ecosystem and ensure that any information provided is a real-time reflection of latest developments. The region of Hamburg came on board three years ago and there are currently more than 600 startups registered in the regional database. The initiative was followed by the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in 2016, which became the first member of a national platform. The economic region along the Rhine and Main rivers joined the initiative in March 2017, with the Northwest following in April 2017. Further regional spots are also currently being set up.

Talking about the launch of the StartupSpot in Baden-Wuerttemberg, the first location under the national platform, founder Sina says:

“The reason Baden-Wuerttemberg holds so much appeal is that there’s such a variety of self-sufficient business ecosystems in a single state. There’s Stuttgart, with its clout and visibility as a business location and initiatives like Startups Stuttgart and CODE_n, but of course there’s also Karlsruhe with CyberForum and even locations like Tubingen and other smaller ecosystems, all of which have their own raison-d’être. This starting point – plus the fact that we see the startups here as highly promising, mainly because of the strong focus on B2B – means Baden-Wuerttemberg fully deserves to be put on the map. The collaboration opportunities with established members of the business community are huge here, so sometimes startups even target the development of their concepts deliberately to enter into a dialog with larger companies. Putting all that together makes Baden-Wuerttemberg something special and completely unlike the other locations – unlike Berlin, Hamburg, and the regions along the Rhine and Main rivers.”

Southwestern Germany – an up-and-coming region for innovation and entrepreneurship
The southwestern corner of Germany is continuing to move in leaps and bounds when it comes to innovation programs, entrepreneurship, and networking. Following a series of recent developments (such as the announcement that Stuttgart is now a digital hub and the growing popularity of the state capital as a hub of technology startups – see CODE_n article, part of the global tech startup hub series), other cities in the area like Karlsruhe are earning a name for themselves as up-and-coming sponsors of innovation. There are also our own CODE_n Community Partners, such as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the high-tech business network CyberForum, both of which are now doing a lot to foster and set up the networks necessary to establish the region as a hotspot of high-tech innovation. These institutions are providing sustainable support to the entrepreneur networks in the region, laying solid foundations for an ecosystem that will not only answer local needs, but also providing important impetus to tech startups in Karlsruhe and beyond.

Moving forward, we’ll be excited to see how each of the activities in the region will unfurl – and naturally we’ll keep you up to speed. Look forward to further news and updates on the startup scene and innovation initiatives.

 

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