Complaining is easy. Alas, you rarely change a bit by sheer moaning. Thus, in order to create a constructive atmosphere of exchange and discussion about startup conditions and supporting programmes for founders, the junior chamber of Bremen invited to their sixth regulars’ table for founders. Their aim was to optimize the existing eco system for startups. Actually, in national comparison, the “scene” in Bremen is not that bad. The city-state is on rank four according to the KfW monitoring of 2016. Nevertheless, this is a descent, as the Hanseatic city was right behind Berlin and Hamburg the year before. Likewise, the marks for aiding startup businesses given by DSM were not that good in 2016. How come? What can we do? Where do we see need for improvement?
Four people representing Bremen’s institutions for founders came to give full explanation: Tania Neubauer (B.E.G.I.N.), Kai Stührenberg (WFB-Bremen), Andreas Mündl (Bremer Aufbau-Bank) and Holger Ruge (BRIDGE). What then happened at the regulars’ table of the junior chamber was a lively, though hardly helpful and rather tiresome discussion on financial support for startups. Micro-credits, venture capital, private investors… without any doubt, financial support is necessary if you want to realise huge projects and great plans, especially if you are talking about innovative technologies. But not all of the startups deal with (new) technologies. Plus, money does not necessarily make a startup successful. What about politics, the education system, cooperation with established enterprises and entrepreneurs, what about the existing infrastructure and facilities? Last but not least, it is mainly the people and entrepreneurs themselves that put an idea forward.
So what is the result of the regulars’ table? Andreas Mündl concedes there is room for improvement concerning financing and loans for growing startups. Kai Stührenberg agrees, also highlighting education. Tanja Neubauer, on the other hand, wants to stop the self-condemnation. “We really do a great job supporting our startups!”, she emphasizes. Money would not help. It is rather about a passing on of the drive and spirit that have evolved over the past two years, as Holger Ruge adds. There are many persons involved who want to do something. “You just have to be open and communicative.”