- The first report on the startup ecosystem in the OWL region shows how an impactful and lively founder scene can develop in non-metropolitan regions. To date, the startup ecosystem comprises more than 120 startups resulting in more than 1.200 new jobs.
- When compared with international levels of investments, the region has much lower investment activity by venture capital firms – investments into startups like Schüttflix from Gütersloh are the exception. Around half of all startups in the regions are being financed by business angels.
- The region’s profile as a B2B haven with a strong presence of Mittelstand companies makes it attractive to startups with B2B business models as shown by the percentage of startups active in that field: 85%.
Bielefeld, 17 December 2021: The first report on the startup ecosystem in the OWL region provides practical insights into the expansion and development of the regional ecosystem. Far away from well-known startup hubs like Berlin or Munich, a lively startup culture has emerged in one of Germany’s strongest regions in terms of economy. However, further steps towards more growth have to be taken before the region becomes visible in the European startup scene.
The OWL region is a great example for other non-metropolitan regions how an impactful and lively founder scene can develop. The regional the startup ecosystem comprises more than 120 startups resulting in more than 1.200 new jobs. There’s change in the air – OWL is developing a dynamic and future-oriented innovation culture. A few years ago, traditional company setups were still the standard, now more than 80% of startups in the region are digital. The reason for this startup grwoth can be directly traced back to an increase in entrepreneurial training opportunities for founders. Training programs with easy accessability, like the Founders Foundation’s Startup School in Bielefeld or the programs offered by Garage33 in Paderborn, have significantly improved the starting conditions for aspiring founders and facilitated a transfer from university to the market.
Venture capital investments into startups within the ecosytem as growth catalyst are not as common when compared to international levels. Howver, the investment of 50 million EUR into Schüttflix from Gütersloh shows that the first startups from OWL are managing to get follow-up investments. Comparable rounds of financing through venture capital firms are rather rare in the region: Only 8% of startups have received venture capital from venture capital funds (German average: 20%). 50% of startups have received financing through business angels (German average: 30%). The relatively high percentage of business angels investments shows that the regional ecosystem is still in its early phase. At the same time, scalable SaaS business models, which make up 50% of the regional startup models, are proof that there is much potential for growth.
The OWL regions with its strong economy and strong presence of Mittelstand companies offers a slod foundation for founders with scalable business models. The takover of the Flaschenpost startup by family company Dr. Oetker which was a business move worth millions, is a remarkable example of how established companies and startups can achieve mutual profit. The region’s profile as a B2B location with many established global leaders is a strong economic advantage: 85% of all startups that have been launched in the region are using B2B business models. Compared with other regions in Northrhine-Westfalia, this percentage is top-tier – and its much higher than the German average.
Guest articles from outstanding figures from OWL, like Christian Miele (CEO of federal association Deutsche Startups e.V.), Dr. Stefan Scholle (Managing Director Melitta Group / Melitta Corporate Ventures, Start-ups and M&A), Oliver Flaskämper (partner Priority AG and founder Denkwerk Herford), Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck (managing partner GOLDBECK) and Kevin Pamann (CEO Pioneers Club), provide analyses on still untapped potential in the region. The report data has been gathered using Founders Foundations surveys and compared with data provided by data platforms of startups Genome, Dealroom, Startupdetector, and the federal association Deutsche Startups e.V.
Startup Ecosystem Report Ostwestfalen-Lippe
Press Contact: Anna-Luisa Korte, Director Brand & Content, firstname.lastname@example.org; fon: 0160 99244635
We from the Founders Foundation train the next generation of successful founders, right in the heart of the German “Mittelstand” – the family businesses, the salt-of-the-earth type companies that form the foundation of the economy. We are pioneering the training of founders using our own holistic Founders Foundation Education Model. The region of Ostwestfalen-Lippe is our shining example; here, we prepare the soil for entrepreneurial activities by bringing New and Old Business together. In this context, we launched the tech conference “Hinterland of Things”. As a non-profit organization, the core of all our efforts is a success- and impactful cultivation of tomorrow’s founders.