Universities and corporations hold key levers in driving Frankfurt from a startup to a scaleup ecosystem. With a strong startup culture, fast growth in funding, and a globally-leading Fintech cluster, Frankfurt can create billions in economic value.
The Frankfurt-Rhein-Main region can double in size as a startup ecosystem, creating new jobs and billions in economic value—if the area’s world-class universities and corporations fully leverage their strengths to help startups become scaleups.
This is according to Startup Genome’s ‘Frankfurt Startup Ecosystem Report’ – commissioned by Goethe University, alumni and serial entrepreneur Yi Shi, and local startup hub TechQuartier. They report Frankfurt as a vibrant and growing European startup ecosystem in the “Activation Phase” of the Ecosystem Lifecycle. To grow into a globalized ecosystem, in line with the region’s own Masterplan, Frankfurt will need to leverage the strengths and resources the region’s university and corporate communities.
‘‘The message is clear: Frankfurt is showing lots of promise as an ecosystem, but there are still key areas where the collaboration is much needed.’’ says Thomas Funke, co-director of TechQuartier. ’’We have the qualified talent pool, we have very deep industry knowledge in specific sub-sectors, and we have started to build some global reach. Our primary need is a stronger effort towards helping would-be entrepreneurs make the jump, and supporting them from there.’’
’’The report highlights the importance of attracting international talent, as well as improving the effectiveness of university Entrepreneurship programs. We firmly believe in doing both. As we finalize our own in-depth study on talents and scale ups to be published in fall, we continue solidifying our ties to the local startup ecosystem, as well as other universities’ entrepreneurship initiatives.” said Prof. Andreas Hackethal, Dean of Programs at Goethe University and Academic Director of the Goethe-Unibator startup center.
“Capitalizing on its strengths in international finance, the Frankfurt startup ecosystem is growing rapidly and showing the culture of a thriving community,’’ JF Gauthier, CEO of Startup Genome, explains. “We are proud to join Tech Quartier and Goethe University in clarifying the key focus areas for leaders to build on its momentum,” he adds.
For the first time, Startup Genome also looked at some of the factors that drive scaleup creation. Scaleups are defined as high-growth companies with valuation of 50M$ within first 10 years. When it came to financing the study, this was an important piece of the puzzle to serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Yi Shi.
“Over the past few years, I’ve travelled extensively across the world and discovered different mindsets, different methodologies that impacted how businesses are built and scaled. My intention to support this study, together with my alma mater, is to systematically analyze the macro and micro economic factors of building a successful startup ecosystem, in order to get a deep understanding of which measures could be done better by different stakeholders inside of the system.”
The report also highlights measures and policy steps to increase scaleup output and ultimately propel Frankfurt into the Globalisation Phase: closing the early funding gap, enabling corporate employees as potential founders, linking universities to scaleup programs, driving international funding sources, and more.
To view or download Startup Genome’s full report on the Frankfurt Startup Ecosystem, click here.