What exactly defines an ideal startup region? Co-working spaces and stylish cafes or rather local companies and a proximity to various industries? We will have a closer look at why Bielefeld is the perfect location to launch your startup.
What Makes a Region Attractive For Startups?
Let’s start with the big picture: What is it that makes a region attractive for young innovative companies? Such a region is defined by many different factors. Some of the most important ones are:
- Networks and Resources
A region that offers a solid network of resources and servics for startups can be highly advantageous for founders. This includes resources such as co-working spaces, incubators, accelerators, mentoring programmes, and other formats that can help aspiring founders to launch or grow their companies.
- Proximity to Potential Customers
When you are building your company, one of the most crucial success factors can be the proximity to potential customers: A theoretical idea can only grow into a concrete and successful startup through engagement with the target group. The region should consequently be home to companies that are relevant for the startup.
- Access to Funding
A region that is attractive for startup activities offers various opportunities to secure funding, among them investors, venture capital, business angels, and other types of funding. The availability of financing options is a crucial success factor for startups and can substantially help company launch and growth.
- Talent Pool
A region that is home to many qualified professionals and talented people with an academic background can also be attractive to startups. Having a talent pool to recruit from, can be a helpful resource for startups through the very fact that the qualified and skilled people necessary for startup launch and growth are already in the vicinity.
A well-infrastructured region can make startup launch and growth easier. Such an infrastructure has a well-connected transportation network, fast internet connection, a stable power grid, and many other technical aspects that startups need to efficiently conduct their business.
- Culture and Community
A region that is attractive to startups should also possess a strong and dynamic startup culture. One that is focused on innovation and creativity and fosters an atmosphere where founders can exchange ideas and learn from one another. Such an atmosphere promotes startup launches and growth as well as scaling.
- Legal Environment
Lastly, a legal environment that makes launching and growing a company easier is very helpful. Aspects such as simple launching processes, an easily-understood tax system, laws for protecting intellectual property, and other regulatory conditions are important for startups.
A healthy ecosystem comprised of dedicated players from the startup scene and the industry can also make it easier for startups to take off and grow by providing them with the resources and the support they need to achieve long-term success.
For that reason, state governments, companies, and organizations focus on supporting startup creation and growth in their regions by creating and maintaining an ecosystem that is beneficial to startups.
Why Bielefeld is the Perfect for Launching Startups
Aspiring startup founders often flock to large metropolitan areas such as Berlin, Hamburg, or Munich. These cities offer attractive infrastructure and the vicinity to even more startups. Consequently, areas outside of major conurbations are often outperformed by such a competition even though they are home to well-established companies and many potential startup customers.
The area of Ostwestfalen-Lippe with its more than 2 million residents is home to both international brands and companies such as Claas, Melitta, Miele, Hella, Bertelsmann, Schüco or Dr. Oetker as well as high-grossing Hidden Champions such as WAGO, Weidmüller, Phoenix Contact, or Hettich. Many companies hail from this region and have a long tradition of entrepreneurship with their headquarters basically being “right around the corner”. The region is characterized by a cluster of Mittelstand companies that has branched out into many industries. The largest city in the region is Bielefeld with its 330.000 residents – the home of the Founders Foundation.
70% of startups in and around Bielefeld cooperate with established local companies. In the Startup Monitor 2022 poll, they rate that cooperation with “good” or even “very good”. The local founders have understood that the proximity to potential customers is a decisive factor in developing their business cases. The region with its many Mittelstand companies and Hidden Champions from various sectors of industry is a real hot spot for B2B company launches! 83% of startups are already working in B2B, most of them using SaaS business models. The close proximity to potential customers and the shared contacts in regional networks offer the best preconditions for aspiring founders.
Many initiatives, local projects, and university programs support the exchange between well-established companies and the growing number of aspiring startups. This network helps the region’s growth and future prospects.
Bielefield and the whole region of Ostwestfalen-Lippe is in the midst of an exciting transformation process that requires innovative solutions for established companies – this is the perfect play and testing ground for entrepreneurially minded founders!
Startups that Shape the Region
Our education programmes have jumpstarted several amazing startups which have gone forward to impact the market and help transform the regional and national economy.
B1nary is a B2B startup that offers an all-around solution for planning and executing agile projects.
Betriebsmittelhelden is a digital marketplace for all aspects of agriculture. The founder team has created a platform that connects farmers and agriculture traders with each other, simplifies communication, and creates price transparency.
Fire safety and occupational health and safety requires adherence to a massive set of rules. Brandschutz Zentrale helps to organize relevant safety inventories including the provision of fire extinguishers, first aid kits, fire wardens, first responders, and defibrillators.
coindex is the first platform for index-based crypto savings plans in Germany. On coindex, investors can deposit a one-time amount (and/or create a savings plan) in data-driven, index-based cryptocurrency funds – just as they’re used to from ETFs.
With circuly’s B2B SaaS solution, companies can adapt their business model to and optimize for circular economy.
Curawork is an innovative online platform for health workers and nursing professionals. Instead of applying for jobs with employers who dictate conditions, the health workers provide their preferred working conditions and demands on the platform and employers have to apply with the employees.
edyucated offers personalized advanced training for all employees. By providing a more individual, more efficient, mentor-led learning experience, edyucated aims to improve employee training.
As a SaaS solution, easimo automates and digitalizes crucial core processes in real estate administration. The platform connects caretakers, owners, tenants, and contractors with each other through a simple browser- and cloud based application.
EASI Control is a software that helps companies with conforming to occupation health and safety regulations. It provides a contact for all aspects of occupational health and safety, offers an intuitive, digital solution, and simplifies all processes that are relevant for occupational health and safety.
Evermood is a web-app for employers to support their employees. This solution helps companies to digitalize all their employee health and well-being measures and centralize them on one platform.
FindIQ is a fast, knowledge-based assistance system that processes the expert knowledge of experienced service technicians so that rookie technicians receive better assistance and the company can free up service potential.
Imogent is a one-stop solution for real estate agents that makes real estate visualizations less time-consuming and more efficient.
innow (formerly inngo)
innow (innovation now) is a software solution that helps decision makers in hospital IT to make digitalization processes more efficient by combining management and user knowledge and experience and by cooperatively creating a form-fitting digital master schedule.
Using the lemon.markets API automated strategies can be linked to stock markets.
margin is the first company worldwide to develop a dedicated terminal for trading crypto currency that enables users to connect to multiple stock markets through its built-in advanced interfaces.
Mate is the first saas solution that requires no design expertise. It helps employees in medium to large-sized companies to create professional graphics and complex animated videos (e.g., for social media communications) on their own.
The mykori team is designing a digital tool for managing social projects in companies. This solution links up employers and employees and helps companies of all sizes to discover the benefits and potential of shared social projects.
Through their plug-and-play solution, PRODASO helps manufacturing companies to gather and visualize their production data.
Recommendy helps both small and large online shops to apply next generation AI technologies so that they can compete with Amazon and other online shopping giants. The founders met each other in the Founders Foundation Startup School (back then still called Academy).
saasmetrix is the central command center for the administration of saas tools. The team helps companies to identifiy unused licenses, give new employees access to all tools with just one click, and to optimize the saas inventory.
Synctive gives industrial companies the option to offer pay-per-use services to their customers by using machine usage data to generate validated billing data.
The founder team of Type Studio is developing a AIO audio and video editing software that, in addition to plenty of other features, makes adding subtitles, generating audio transcripts, and translations much easier.
Unchained Robotics wants to make automation technology simple, flexible, and transparent. Opposed to their competition, the company acts as an intermediary for technology solutions and is not involved in engineering
Valuedesk’s software solution is the key component in a value management system that enables employee and vendor collaboration in austerity and optimization measures.
Weframe is the first wholly integrated video company that produces various content from tiktok campaigns for influencers to e-learning series or tv ads. The team is located in Berlin, London, and Bielefeld.
Widgetbook is a collaboration platform for app development that connects UI/UX designers and developers making frontend reviews much easier than before.
Zahnarzt-Helden is the go-to startup when dealing with the acquisition and technical maintenance of dentistry equipment as well as starting or taking over a medical practice.
Our Wall of Fame
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