Checking out the startup scene in Bremen with a delegation from Groningen. On June 1, Founded in Groningen went on tour, taking 11 companies on a trip to the second most populous city in Northern Germany to check out the hotspots and meet the locals.
The Bremen startup scene is active in the following sectors: Energy efficiency, infrastructure, reduction of food waste, IOT, event management, facility management, automotive industry and aerospace industry, with some big companies in the region, like Daimler and Airbus.The companies from Groningen visited coworking spaces, accelerators and incubators, to introduce themselves with a short pitch and talk with local startups and corporates.
Neusta, kraftwerk & Weserwork
The Bremen incubator and accelerator kraftwerk was first on the list. Sponsored and mentored by companies like Airbus and German energy company SWB. Besides guidance, startups get an office and a fixed monthly fee to grow their business.
Neusta is also an incubator, but with a twist. Entrepreneurs come with ideas, and Neusta will help with the resources they already have in their full service company, like programmers. So that would make it more like intrapreneurship than entrepreneurship. Weserwork, beautifully located in the Bremen harbor, is the largest coworking space, with a collection of cool startups.
Little differences & just around the corner
Wilco Stollenga, founder of Agrifly, a startup that uses drones to measure and analyze crop health, was part of the Groningen delegation. He met and talked to representatives of Airbus, who were really interested in his concept. “I realize now that Germany is actually not that far away and pretty accessible. Down the line, when we’re further developing Agrifly, I’m considering to offer our services in Germany too. We’ll have to see about how Airbus could help or play a role, but I’m very curious about their response!” Wilco says.
Harro Boven, founder of Movit Sport, a mobile platform that handles booking of sports facilities, was curious about the little differences. “I initially decided to come because I also wanted to meet other startups from Groningen in a different setting, but I also was curious about how the startup scene in Bremen was different from Groningen”, Harro explains. “It’s interesting, because Bremen is more streamlined and elegant, but it doesn’t have the dynamic atmosphere and creative chaos of Groningen.”
Inspiration & new contacts
Ernst de Groot of Virtuprove, a startup using VR for home interior decoration and rebuilding, enjoyed the inspiring change of scenery too: “We didn’t really came along with a goal in mind or certain expectations. We wanted to network, see and get inspired. The funny thing is, we also got to know the startups from Groningen better and we learned a lot about what other startups are up to, and more importantly, why they do what they do. We hope Virtuprove was interesting for the other startups too!”
Ennio Wolsink of Rimote, a full service internet agency and hosting provider was really enthusiastic about the trip to Bremen: “You don’t often have a chance to talk to fellow entrepreneurs all day long about pitches, business models and marketing. I came to learn from other entrepreneurs and also the German entrepreneurial culture, and that’s exactly what I did! It was also just a lot of fun and Bremen is a cool city, so I’ll definitely come along next time too.