Furtwangen University Festively Opens ‘startUPcampus’, Freiburg and Offenburg Invite to Sustainable Innovation to Reach Mountain Peaks
Chances are, if you ever considered relocating to Germany, that you already heard of the country’s Schwarzwald region – haven’t you? Well – in a nutshell, the Black Forest, which is also referred to as ‘Schwarzwald’ in German, is located in the state of Baden-Würrtemberg and hosts the state’s highest mountain ‘Feldberg’…Notably, the Feldberg is also the highest mountain outside the Alps, which makes the Schwarzwald region an ideal place to go for a hike and take a break from city life. Small towns and villages with a unique rural character as well as traditional architecture, lakes, rivers, creeks and thermal spas make this area a place to explore what the German quote ‘the early bird catches the worm’ (‘Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm’) means!
Among others, to use the energy which we have early in the day as a gift to turn the rest of our day(s) into a blessing! And how could this be better done through an early morning hike? This article serves to inform expat entrepreneurs in Germany about what the Schwarzwald region has to offer in terms of business opportunities! You heard us right – The Black Forest Accelerator is located just conveniently between mountain peaks and has supported more than 100 start-ups with their ‘climb’ up the business trail. Meanwhile, Furtwangen University has recently launched a new programme for start-ups and the cute and lively university city Freiburg im Breisgau offers various connecting points for young entrepreneurs with sustainability remaining a keyword to what its founders have brought forth in the past five years!
Furtwangen University Festively Opens ‘startUPcampus’…
By the end of April 2022, the Schwarzwälder Bote online newspaper announced that Furtwangen University festively opened their new ‘startUPcampus’ to underline that the university values a “lively founder culture”, which has so far coincided with its support for 120 start ups. In cooperation with the innovation- and research centre (IFC) Tuttlingen, Furtwangen University has already offered targeted support programmes for founders and entrepreneurs since 2018, whereby the IFC ultimately aims at bridging science, business and creativity. “Humans inspire humans” as it is stated on the website of the IFC and they also contribute to the “science and technology transfer”, which the IFC at Furtwangen University is so keen to support amid recent times.
The start-ups, which Furtwangen University has brought forth so far come from a variety of domains. Leftlane Media and make a smile media both offer services with regard to film shooting, whereby the latter also operates in the domain of web design aligning your company page with data protection rules. Meanwhile Cineamo aims at improving customer service through its cinema app, which serves both avid movie addicts and movie theatres, who are able to more effectively track sales. Different from the latter companies, HB microtec offers (the installation of) cutting tools in medical settings and Pinke Welle offers customized and cute period underwear as an alternative way to curb sustainability in the domains of women’s health and fashion. Want to find out more? Then visit the website of Furtwangen University’s startUPcampus here and, if you’re curious, attend one of its upcoming events!
Freiburg And Its ‘Sustainable’ Business Scene
As the regional founder initiative ‘startinsland’ (‘start [up] into the country[side]’) declares on its website, “sure, Baden-Württemberg is not California and Freiburg is not the Silicon Valley, but world-changing start-ups also exist here”. If you are curious to find out more about developments around start-ups in the Freiburg area, it might be particularly interesting to follow the ‘start-up updates’ of the Badische Zeitung, a regional newspaper that also covers some worldly news and most recently featured news around the start-ups LABMaiTE GmbH and Twicky Stickys. As LABMaiTE GmbH emphasizes, their vision is to “[m]ake personalized cancer therapy the standard”, which is based on the deployment of AI technology and cell intelligence.
Having grown out of a project in cooperation with the University Hospital Freiburg and BioThera – Roland Mertelsmann Stiftung, a foundation with the aim to support “international communication and cooperation in the domains of medicine, science, humanities and arts to promote a better understanding of the world”, LABMaiTE GmbH has thrived on an interdisciplinary approach and a strong mentorship network. Meanwhile, Twicky Sticky is a two-man business. As Jasmin Bergmann writes in an article, which was published by the SWR news outlet, Peter Scherer and Bulhan Yalcin “have all designed and manufactured [more than 100 motives] on their own”. And, of course, Twicky’s edible stickers are not only a beautiful add-on to a freshly brewed cappuccino, but are also vegan, allergy-free and healthy. Want to find out more? Then ask the business experts via the contact form on their website! Let’s not forget, the most simple innovation is scalable!
And Twicky Sticky certainly could provide a little extra for different stakeholders in the coffee- and hospitality industries…Are we soon to hear from coffee rather than tea ceremonies, and from edible cappuccino art rather than Black Forest cake? German culture is changing and adapting to climate change, don’t you think so? Innovation in the food industry might be one way to look beyond old horizons, but have you heard of NexWafe yet? As Semiconductor Engineering announced in April 2022, NexWafe secured €7 million in a Series C funding round, whereby Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Hemma Group, Eit InnoEnergy, Reliance Industries Limited and Ecosummit Berlin were among the investors. As NexWafe has declared itself, it sees itself as “accelerating the renewable energy transition with more efficient, lower cost, greener solar wafer technology for photovoltaic manufacturers globally”. More concretely, this means that the companies’ “monocrystalline silicon wafers [are] directly [made] from inexpensive raw materials, going […] from the gas phase to finished wafers”. Want to find out more, read further here!
The ‘Schwarzwald’ Accelerators – startUp.connect and Black Forest Innovation
startUp.connect is home to the city of Offenburg in Baden-Württemberg, which is located in proximity to the French border and Strasbourg and presents itself as the accelerator for the entire Ortenau district, which actually spans itself across the area between the Rhein river and the black forest. What this accelerator makes possible is, among others, to find jobs in the local start-up scene and work in the technology park in Offenburg, which is home to the Foundation Technology and Economy (‘Stiftung Technologie und Wirtschaft’) and the Black Forest Innovation accelerator, which supports with knowledge and expertise in relation to “suitable business models, creative ideas and product- and service solutions”.
Notably, the Black Forest Innovation accelerator has partnered up with a variety of stakeholders as has startUp.connect! Among others, the Volksbank eG, First Innovation Invest, Offenburg University and the City of Offenburg have been working together towards creating positive impacts through Black Forest Innovation. startUP.connect does not reveal all its partners via its website, however it does share its large pool of start-ups – who inspire each other with the most up-to-date innovation! Whereas it is difficult to sum up all the domains, which they are active in, some of the start-ups are: heybico, which manufactures reusable cups from corn and sugarcane; Aimilios Organics, which offers organic products such as tea, oil, spices and beans all across the German-French border region; Biting Bytes, which supports start-ups through startUP.connect by coaching them on their field of expertise – digital innovation; HelioHeat GmbH, which grew out of the work of the DLR’s Institute for Solar Research (‘DLR-Institut für Solarforschung’); Micro Mim Japan, which has specialized itself in “self-developed micro MIM (μ-MIM®) technology”; Retamo, an online management platform which allows companies to track reviews about them from a huge variety of online platforms; Alphaben, which is an app with which children can learn reading; and many more…
Curious to start-up a business in Germany’s Schwarzwald region or closeby? Write to us via our contact form and we will concentrate all our efforts to provide you with targeted legal support! In a nutshell, our team is specialized both in supporting businesses between Germany and Africa across a variety of legal domains, in supporting businesses with their scaleup in Germany and in multiple African jurisdictions. Our support starts with providing help on immigration and relocation matters, but it does not end there – taxes, tech, intellectual property…You heard us! Write us, if you want to find out about possible synergies and the support, which we will happily offer you on the way to success!