The Digital Economy in NRW
Digital applications and technologies are becoming the growth engines of the global economy. In Germany, industry and government are making great strides towards digitization. North Rhine-Westphalia plays a key role as the state offers ideal conditions for the digital transformation of the entire value-added chain. NRW offers great market potential for companies from Germany and abroad with strong industrial structures and a broadly based ICT sector. These prospects also accelerate the development of the ecosystem for startups. Startups find important prerequisites for growth In NRW: In addition to customer proximity at the location, these also include support from the political community, numerous networks and above all a considerable pool of qualified specialists. The classic economy and young digital companies are jointly driving digital change. New business models, services and products are being created. In NRW, promising investments present themselves to foreign VC companies. NRW has put everything in place to become the leading location for the digital economy in Germany and Europe in the future.
Interfaces between SMEs, industry and innovative startups
With its high density of industrial and commercial enterprises, the location offers countless customers and cooperation partners for digital technologies along the entire value chain. The startup Mapudo, for example, utilizes this proximity to industry successfully for its online marketplace for materials. It automates the distribution as well as the procurement of metal and plastic products for both large and small companies. The fact that NRW is the most important German steel region was of great benefit to the founders.
Bitstars, a spin-off at RWTH Aachen University, also profits in NRW from the strong industrial landscape as buyers for its products. The success story of Bitstars began with augmented reality applications for mobile devices. Later, 3D developments followed which are used in the construction or operation of industrial plants. With international success – Bitstars now has a branch office in Silicon Valley. Another location advantage in NRW: The company is able to draw on a broad talent pool in the RWTH Aachen University research environment. The founders recruited their team completely from the ranks of their former fellow students.
For the startup scene in North Rhine-Westphalia, the internal exchange – and well as vital contacts with investors – takes place at numerous events. One of the highlights is the annual PIRATE Summit. This is where startups from all over Europe and the Middle East meet with investors for first-class networking. Local startups offer international VC companies interesting investment opportunities away from major locations such as New York or London. Till Ohrmann, co-founder and CEO of Germany's most unusual start-up festival, PIRATE Summit, sees NRW as offering the best growth prospects for young startups.
The digital location NRW is distinguished by a mixture of established companies and a multitude of innovative startups. Global players based here include:
The lively North Rhine-Westphalian startup scene includes:
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