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Startups Benefit From Cross-Border Cooperation

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The House of Startups (HoST) in Luxembourg and the Digital Devotion Group (DDG) in Kaiserslautern are exploring within the EU-TRIBE project opportunities to improve and extend their network across national borders.
(Featured Image: (seated from l. to r.) Karin Schintgen, CEO of the House of Startups; Alexander Fridhi, CEO, DDG (standing from l. to r.) Tom Baumert, Director Entrepreneurship of the Chamber of Commerce; Cécile Rivière, project manager at the House of Startups ; Carlo Thelen, Director General of the Chamber of Commerce / Image Credit © Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce)

Spaces that are inspiring can help foster innovation and creative ideas. For startups, working in spaces that favour sharing experiences and ideas can optimise growth. To build the economy of tomorrow and maximise the chances of success, integrating startups into an ecosystem is essential. With this in mind, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce founded the House of Startups (HoST) in 2017 – a creative, innovative, and inspiring space.

The House of Startups (HoST) concentrates on the specific needs of innovative startups and operates on two levels: it is home to several incubators such as the Luxembourg House of Financial Technologies (LHoFT), the Luxembourg-City Incubator (LCI), the Hub@Luxembourg, and the ICFA Luxembourg (International Climate Finance Accelerator), and also offers a number of specific services to startups and to established corporates.

“The DDG’s ecosystem is the prototype of how a regional innovation network can be established.”

One of their most recent initiatives is the EU-TRIBE project, which aims to create, promote and support a cross-border innovation scene in the Greater Region. EU-TRIBE will serve as a fast-track for startups wanting direct access to the four European markets in the Greater Region.

To develop this project, contacts within the Greater Region are being established both in the private and public sectors. An initial agreement has now been concluded with the German Kaiserslautern-based Digital Devotion Group (DDG). “The DDG’s ecosystem is the prototype of how a regional innovation network can be established”, said Karin Schintgen, CEO of the House of Startups. Based in Kaiserslautern, the DDG benefits from a thriving programming and tech scene, backed by the city’s university. It has also been active in Luxembourg for several years and opened the Luxembourg branch of the Kaiserslautern-based startup Urban Time Travel, a company specialising in virtual time travel.

Alexander Fridhi, CEO and founder of DDG, believes that their success is largely attributable to having several locations – in Kaiserslautern, Frankfurt and Luxembourg. “Luxembourg is an important partner for us, especially as its international status gives us access to international markets. The city itself is also a good market for innovative products, for example it’s a pioneer in Smart city technology.”

“Cross-border cooperation can create enormous output potential.”

Both sides agree that cross-border cooperation based on sharing knowledge and experience will increase their presence in the Greater Region and beyond. Startups, established companies, universities, educational institutions, and municipalities would all benefit from a broader, diverse network that could have a multiplier effect on many levels. Both sides are confident that “by putting our resources together through cross-border cooperation, we can create enormous output potential. In the long term, we envision creating a common platform where startups can get together and pool their resources, via this new form of virtual cross-border incubator”, said Karin Schintgen. “But first, we want to build a solid cross-border network together, and then see where to take it from there.” Doing so also relies on the political will to support the Greater Region as a leading centre for technology, an initiative strongly backed by EU-TRIBE.

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