Discover new insides! Business in Cologne.

  • EXECInsurtech specialises in networking start-ups, large financial and insurance groups and investors. © Felix Mayr
    EXECInsurtech specialises in networking start-ups, large financial and insurance groups and investors. © Felix Mayr

Start-up hotspot, traditional industrial and commercial city, international hub, innovative media metropolis and a leading logistics location: Cologne and its region have not only become one of Europe’s most important economic centres but also a hidden champion of the start-up scene. Innovative sectors such as the digital economy, biotechnology and life sciences are also gaining significance. The Cathedral City is situated in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), One of Germany’s most populous and affluent regions. Numerous large ...

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Start-up hotspot, traditional industrial and commercial city, international hub, innovative media metropolis and a leading logistics location: Cologne and its region have not only become one of Europe’s most important economic centres but also a hidden champion of the start-up scene. Innovative sectors such as the digital economy, biotechnology and life sciences are also gaining significance. The Cathedral City is situated in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), One of Germany’s most populous and affluent regions. Numerous large cities in the Rhineland and Ruhr areas are no more than an hour away.

Cologne's got talent.

Cologne is becoming increasingly popular with young talents and start-uppers. In the city area alone, some 650 start-ups generate around one billion euros in revenue per annum. In addition to a huge variety of industries, Cologne is home to innovative technologies, an open creative attitude and a lot of ultramodern coworking spaces.

Germany’s smartest building

The start-up trio behind FOND OF started out marketing school bags. But now they have launched a platform for developing potential and are building an ultradigitalized office building in Cologne Ehrenfeld. Dubbed THE SHIP, the building, which will be the most modern office building in Germany, will house offices, a fitness studio and a public cafeteria. After they have moved in, FOND OF plans to network with other companies and start-uppers across the building’s seven floors – the aim being to establish a thinktank that is focussed on sustainability.

Support for start-ups

The City of Cologne’s Start-up Unit supports young founders by inviting them to swap insights at networking events of all sizes. The Digital Hub Cologne also brings companies, science and industry together and helps to evaluate innovation topics for their own companies during workshops. The aim of the initiative is to create new values within and for the digital economy. Important conferences and start-up meetings that regularly take place in Cologne include the PIRATE Summit and StartupCon. Fairs such as DMEXCO and gamescom make the location even more attractive to founders.

Any time, any place. Coworking spaces.

By 2021, in cooperation with startupregion.koeln and the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry, some 18,000 m² of creative office space will be available to founders, start-ups and freelancers between the city squares of Rudolfplatz and Friesenplatz. A resource that’s unique in Germany.

The insurance revolution.

As a leading insurance centre, Cologne is proud to have founded InsurLab Germany. Germany’s biggest insurance business platform brings together established companies and start-ups from Germany and abroad. In Cologne Mühlheim, InsurLab Germany offers ideal working conditions for start-ups. On two floors coworking spaces and FlexDesk models are provided to up to 80 founders or InsurLab Germany’s own digital teams. InsurLab not only gives members access to the digital world, it also creates new jobs and helps secure existing ones.

Pioneering artificial intelligence!

They call themselves things like customer understanders, experts for the office of the future, tradespeople helpers, visionary planners and translation artists. But all share something in common – a passion for artificial intelligence (AI)!
Cologne-based start-ups are pioneers in the research and use of AI. Artificial intelligence is regarded worldwide as a technology gamechanger. The state of NRW plans to invest 25 million euros in AI research and development by 2023. The competence platform KI.NRW will link science and industry in order to transfer research results to industry.

The automotive industry. An important economic factor.

Cologne is at the heart of one of Germany’s most important vehicle manufacturing regions. Cologne's automotive history began early when in 1864 the inventor of the internal combustion engine, Nicolaus August Otto and partner Eugen Langen founded the world's first engine factory. Today, the headquarters of automobile companies from all over the world – Citroën, DAF, Mazda, Renault and Toyota – are in Cologne. With its European headquarter in Cologne and a 20,000 strong workforce, Ford is the city's largest employer and an important economic factor in the area.

Innovative. Environmental economy in Cologne.

Cologne’s environmental economy is heavily focused on research and innovation. Ideas and local projects on the “climate and renewal energies” as well as efficient transport and energy connections can be found at SmartCity Cologne.

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Meeting Point Cologne

Cologne and its surrounding areas boast a long trading and industrial tradition. All in all, it’s home to a future-proof mix of industries. Find out more in our section ‚Meeting Point Cologne’.

The "Meeting Point Cologne" is comfortably readable as an e-paper. We would also be pleased to send you the magazine as a print brochure.

Also don't miss to read through our interviews with inspiring characters from the science and business sectors in Cologne.