“Daring to win” or preferring to stay in comfort zones?

Startups in northern Germany

“Dare to win”: That’s what Bremen’s about; that’s what the Hanseatic tradition is about. But what’s this daring and winning attitude like on the German startup scene?

Are startups from abroad more willing to take risks, more innovative, and indeed simply more prepared to get involved in completely new working environments like the “kraftwerk – city accelerator Bremen” co-working space?
Or is the situation on the German job market currently just too good, and an employment contract simply too attractive, to bother with new business ventures?

Is the German market, where funding for startups can occasionally be very loose, saturated because corporate groups are attracting attention with their own boot camps and accelerators?

Perhaps Bremen’s not sexy enough as a startup location for Germans? Because, while international startups flock to the Weser, locals tend not to.

These are the findings which have been raised during the application phase for the “Smart Tech Trophy 2017”, running until 13 August. So far, almost all applicants have been from abroad, and most enquiries have come from the USA, Scandinavia and Asia. But Germany? Virtually nil.

According to the “2016 German Startup Monitor”, there were 3,043 new business owners and 1,224 startups last year. It is also worth noting here, however, that one in ten startup owners comes from another EU country. The number of new business owners has also declined since 2000. And only 8.5 percent of startups in Germany use the professional support offered by incubators such as the “kraftwerk – city accelerator bremen” as a platform for developing their products or services for market launch.

New energy concepts, digital business models, industry 4.0 and new waste solutions are all issues for which the initiator swb and its partners the Mercedes-Benz factory in Bremen and EWE have purposely given great scope to enable creative startup ideas – and to give as many young entrepreneurs as possible the chance to participate. We are eager to see which startups subscribe to the ideas of the future at the kraftwerk.

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