Aviation, media, e-commerce, mobility, logistics – various industries, sponsors and the city of Hamburg make for a lively start-up scene in the city. In terms of the sheer number of start-ups, Hamburg ranks first in a national comparison with Berlin. Internationally successful companies such as Xing, Jimdo or MyTaxi have launched their as start-ups in Hamburg. And tech giants like Google, Facebook and Snapchat run their business from the Hanse city.

Inspiration and knowledge

Every year, almost 100,000 people relocate to Hamburg including many founders brimful of fresh ideas. Start-ups thrive on inspiration and know-how and universities play an important role in their progress. More than 112,000 students including almost 10 per cent from abroad, study and conduct research at 36 universities in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. More and more companies are keen to reap rewards from the wealth of ideas and spirit proffered by the young founders not to mention all kinds of co-operations and investments.

City for networking and launching pad to Europe

But what else is special about Hamburg’s start-up scene? A multitude of networking events and happenings take place in trendy locations in the city centre, the harbour, the numerous co-working spaces and can take the shape of start-up slams and nocturnal hackathons. Yet the venture capital companies, the growing number of accelerators and start-up hubs with international connections and a close-knit network are shaping the city’s start-up ecosystem. Not surprisingly, Hamburg is now regarded as a launching pad onto the European market.

Many additional, professional, promotional offers such as Hamburg Invest’s Startup Unit are also available. The unit offers information and support from a single source to people interested in setting up a business and to founders with a focus on knowledge- and technology-oriented business models.

Hotspot for future technologies

Hamburg is known for its high standard of living. In 2017, the New York Times recommended the Elbe metropolis to its readers as an “oasis of architecture and design” exemplified by the Elbphilharmonie – Hamburg’s latest, cutting edge landmark. Events such as the Online Marketing Rockstars (OMR) conference have also garnered Hamburg a reputation as an advertising and online marketing capital. The creative scene meets in trendy bars and quirky cafés to network and turn ideas into exciting, riveting projects. And Hamburg is increasingly becoming a hotspot for future technologies such as virtual reality and 3D printing.

Award: Hamburg seeks world’s most innovative start-ups

Launched on August 30, 2018 at this year’s Hamburg on Tour festival in London, the FUTURE HAMBURG AWARD also supports this network and gives innovative start-ups an opportunity to expand their European business. International, national and regional start-ups with a digital business model are eligible to apply and can submit their application online until January 5, 2019 on www.future.hamburg/award. First-prize winners can access Hamburg’s most exclusive workspace and coaching sessions with industry leaders from urban accelerator and venture capital ecosystems for six months. The winner will also have an opportunity to present their start-up on stage at the OMR Festival in May 2019, which attracted over 40,000 trade visitors last year. All winners receive a media package with five-digit marketing services, which is likely to prove an attractive boon.


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