The Financial Centre Frankfurt Rhine-Main has plenty to offer, including an excellent start-up ecosystem. As part of the dynamic and international Rhine-Main region, the City of Eschborn is an ideal breeding ground for FinTechs and start-ups, attracting a growing number of companies. In our interview, Dong-Mi Park-Shin, Head of Economic Development of the City of Eschborn, explains why so many innovative companies and start-ups pick Eschborn as their preferred business location.
Eschborn is currently experiencing an enormous boost as a top location for businesses. Many innovative companies take up residence in the city, expanding the variety of industries based in Eschborn. What advantages is that trend creating for the City of Eschborn and the Financial Centre Frankfurt Rhine-Main?
The strengthening of Eschborn economic capacity is a major benefit. The increasing number of successful and innovative companies – which create and make use of synergies between companies and industries – allows the city to be positioned even more broadly in the future. By doing so, Eschborn can guard itself against industry-specific risks such as a financial crisis.
Due to the latest newcomers to the business scene and consequentially growing opportunities for cooperation and networking, the existing corporate landscape becomes increasingly attractive. Moreover, the fact that Eschborn is a key business location for well-known and high-profile companies – especially from the Pharma and Life Science sector – makes the city even more appealing.
Intensive cooperation between companies and surrounding universities – such as knowledge-sharing and financial support of research and development projects – creates further opportunities for all stakeholders involved. Besides fostering innovation, this also puts companies in a leading position in the “war for talents”: highly qualified talents can be effectively tied to the company and the region at an early career stage.
How are the City of Eschborn and the wider region benefiting from that?
The city generates a high trade taxes income, which is not only of benefit to the people living and working in Eschborn but also to the Financial Centre Frankfurt Rhine-Main. Due to municipal allocations and compensation, revenue generated by Eschborn is distributed and reinvested in various infrastructure measures. In addition to expanding schools, kindergartens, hospitals, and ambulances, the city supports cultural institutions such as English Theatre, the Städel and Dialogue Museum, the Opel Zoo as well as the preservation of the Eschborn-Frankfurt cycle race.
All these aspects contribute to a high quality of life in Eschborn and the Financial Centre Frankfurt Rhine-Main, which increases the attractiveness of the entire region and is a competitive advantage in the global competition – especially with regards to various Brexit scenarios.
Many start-ups opt for Eschborn as their business location. What are the decisive factors attracting up-and-coming companies?
Young entrepreneurs – at least in my experience – think, live and work nationally or globally. As part of the dynamic, international and successful Frankfurt Rhine-Main region, Eschborn has all the advantages the region has to offer.
What does this mean precisely?
Great mentors, networks, financially strong companies or venture capitalists (VC) with the necessary know-how are fundamental factors to the success of young companies – they are able to assess, evaluate and support start-up ideas. As an established financial hub, the Financial Centre Frankfurt Rhine-Main provides start-ups with a large number of committed business angels and VCs that have international networks.
In addition, many sponsors and partners such as the TechQuartier, Ernst & Young, Deutsche Börse, Deutsche Bank and GFT Technologies SE are based in Eschborn. This proximity allows for getting in touch with local companies much faster.
How does the City of Eschborn support young companies? How can start-ups and established companies foster mutual knowledge-transfer?
In cooperation with the RKW Kompetenzzentrum, the city of Eschborn advises start-ups free of charge. Furthermore, the city enables participation in various networking events such as Startup meets Mittelstand, Startup Safari, the Founder Summit, the Fintech Forum, and the EY Academy. Moreover, young entrepreneurs and companies have access to contacts and established networks of Eschborn’s Economic Development Agency. We are committed to the start-up economy of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region and hence, are becoming more and more active. Promoting the cities start-ups in the local magazine “Standortmagazin” draws the regional founder’s attention to the business location Eschborn.
How will the business location Eschborn look like in the coming years?
The integrative urban development plan “Eschborn 2030+” is currently being worked on. It contains a management plan for the future of the city and the business location Eschborn. Thus, it is a prerequisite and framework laying out the conditions for companies and start-ups. Eschborn’s Economic Development Agency actively engages with political decision-making bodies in order to bring attention to the interests of the companies while taking the global megatrends into account. Only if these interests are taken into consideration, companies and the closely associated city and region can continue to develop in a positive direction.