Discovering Düsseldorf’s Startup Ecosystem

A few hours away from the big matchmaking event that will bring together startups from Luxembourg and Düsseldorf, let’s take a look at this ecosystem just a stone’s throw from the Grand Ducal capital. Discover the startups to follow and the Startup-Unit set up by the city authorities and its economic development department in particular. Hanns Tappen, Chairman of the Board of StartupDorf, shares his thoughts.

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Tell us about StartupDorf.

StartupDorf is a startup community accelerator, local platform, and entry to the startup-ecosystem in the “digital economy” in Düsseldorf and the region between Rhine and Ruhr in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

It is an independent network for everyone who is part of the startup and entrepreneurship culture. StartupDorf is a private startup club. Driven on a voluntary basis for founders by founders. It is an open place for all startups, stakeholders, and interested persons.

StartupDorf works to increase the visibility and potential of the growth sector “digital economy” and represent the interests of startups and the startup ecosystem. Therefore, StartupDorf brings the startup community together and gives a voice to startups.

What do you do?

StartupDorf is committed to link up founders, the industry and politics by supporting startups and companies in the startup ecosystem. This promotes sustainable development and strengthens the flourishing startup-community.

To do so, StartupDorf organises events, where startup founders can exchange information, network and meet up with relevant contacts within the startup-community in the Rhine-Ruhr region. It has different types of events and workshops e.g. the “Dorfschule” where startupknowledge is provided, the mentor program or the Gründerstammtisch, a monthly “founder’s gettogether” which brings the startup community together.

StartupDorf organises matchmaking events with corporations, co-founders, and investors (See our article “Opening up its network: Silicon Luxembourg moves up a gear“).

How is the city supporting to the development of startups?

The City of Düsseldorf (Capital City of North Rhine-Westphalia) with its Office of Economic (Startup-Unit) is an ecosystem builder improving the framework for startup and their development on their journey addressing each one at their stage with relevant support.

The city’s Startup-Portal is available in English. Additional to the Startup-Journey from the idea to growth stage we address the international. startups with the Scale-up-Journey ready for entering the German and European markets in Düsseldorf.

How many startups are there in the city?

Düsseldorf has a young and innovative startup ecosystem with more than 400 startups.

What are the highlights each year?

The highlight events are the Startup Week with more than 120 single events in 8 days and the Digital Demo Day, Germany’s leading Startup Expo & Conference for Industrial Tech in February.

What are the sectors and industries in which startups in Düsseldorf prefer to work?

B2B industry tech

What are the best tech success stories in the city?

There are many success stories about startups in Düsseldorf to tell, Trivago, Auxmoney and Toniebox are probably part of the most popular ones. Here are some examples of newer successful ones:

  • JustSpices produces and sells 100% natural spices & spice mixes with mixtures from all over the world
  • Cognigy, in the field of voice & chat AI to “enhance your customer experience within minutes rather than days”.intueat teaches its customers a “revolutionary way of intuitive eating which leads to a longterm weight loss” without tons of different diet programs
  • Metalshub, “the future of metal trading” is a global and digital platform for trading ferroalloys and metals
Which startups should be followed at the moment?

Some which are up and coming include:

  • Dentalheld, the comparison platform for dental materials with a fully automated shopping basket optimization
  • yuccaHR provides an automatic and professionalized way of employee onboarding
  • GetBaff, brings analogous surfaces to life with Augmented Reality
  • Dermanostic, an app where one can receive a diagnosis, therapy recommendation and prescription from their dermatologist within 24 hours
  • FoxBase digitizes sales and increases efficiency with their software “Digital Product Selector”

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