100%x200

Startup ecosystems can be fragmented, competitive, and hidden to newcomers, which is detrimental for local startups and community growth. The Startup Ecosystem Canvas seeks to provide local entrepreneurs with a clear list of resources for every stage of their startup journey, and outline a basic framework for communities to map their ecosystem.

With applications for the Cologne Founder Institute coming to a close, we are excited to release the updated Cologne Startup Ecosystem Canvas, which is currently in Draft v1 below! It was developed by the Cologne Founder Institute and local leaders Nikhil Madan, Parul Madan, Timm Neu.

This is just a DRAFT, and more input is needed, so please leave your comments on this collaborative Google document to help us complete the list. There are definitely omissions on this current version.

For links to all of the resources, you can also refer to the list below!


Startup Stages


There is no one right way to build a technology company, but for the sake of simplicity we have outlined a basic, common, sequential framework.

1. Idea Stage

This is where new entrepreneurs get inspired, learn best practices, develop skills, validate ideas, and begin to build their team and product.

  • Inspire
    • Startup Media: Centralized local information, listings, and news. (i.e. startup blogs/ publications/ lists/ FB groups/ newsletters, Startup Digest)
      1. Cologne.io
      2. CologneBay
      3. Deutsche Startups Köln
      4. EU Startups Cologne
      5. Kölner Startups
      6. NRW Startups
      7. RP Gründerzeit
      8. Startup Digest Cologne
      9. Startup Region Köln
      10. Vidar Andersen
    • Inspirational Events: Open, inclusive, beginner startup events (i.e. Startup Weekend, idea fairs, and inspirational meetups)
      1. Cologne Startups
      2. Data Science Meetup Köln
      3. DevHouseFriday Chillout
      4. dmexco
      5. Entrepreneurs Club Cologne
      6. FinTech und InsurTech Meetup Cologne - Bonn
      7. Golang Cologne/Bonn
      8. IOTA Meetup Germany
      9. Köln ICO für Startups Meetup
      10. Rails Girls
      11. Smartistenten
      12. Startup SAFARI Cologne
      13. Startup Weekend Cologne
      14. Team HODL I Der Krypto Stammtisch
      15. Tech on Deck
      16. Tech Startups: Diversity & Openness
      17. Women Startups & Entrepreneurs Köln & Bonn
      18. World Shaping Program
  • Educate
    • Best Practices: Beginner knowledge-sharing events. (i.e. beginner events that serve to educate more than inspire, like Startup Founder 101, etc).
      1. Angular Cologne
      2. Autonomous Driving Cologne
      3. Camunda User Group Rheinland
      4. Cologne Cloud
      5. Cologne Virtual Reality Meetup
      6. Cologne Web Performance Optimization Group
      7. CryptoGold Köln-BN-SU
      8. CryptoMonday | Bitcoin Cologne
      9. Design Thinking Meetup Köln
      10. Elm User Group Cologne
      11. inovex Meetup Cologne
      12. Köln eZ Platform Meetup
      13. Köln PHP Usergroup
      14. Kotlin User Group Cologne
      15. Office 365 Meetup
      16. PHP / Web-Entwicklung Meetup Köln
      17. Python User Group Köln
      18. Rust Cologne
      19. Startup Founder 101 Cologne
      20. Startup Grind Cologne
      21. Treffpunkt Semicolon
      22. WordPress Meetup Köln
      23. Write the Docs Rhineland
    • Training & Feedback: Skill & Idea development. (Ex. bootcamps and comprehensive training programs, like Founder Institute, etc)
      1. .net user group Köln
      2. 1nspiring
      3. akkuraum Meetup
      4. Azure Cologne Meetup
      5. Beyond Design Thinking
      6. Codiviti
      7. Cologne.js
      8. Cologne MasterMind Meetup
      9. Docker Cologne / Köln
      10. Founder Institute
      11. HigherLevels of Agile Leadership
      12. Humane Tech Rheinland
      13. Köln Liberating Structures Meetup
      14. Lean Startup Machine Cologne
      15. Longevity Hub
      16. MAK3it
      17. Mobile.cologne
      18. NobleProg
      19. ObjektForum Köln
      20. Pirate Skills
      21. PowerBI User Group Köln
      22. Product Owner Meetup Köln
      23. ProductTank Cologne
      24. PyData Cologne
      25. Startup Pitch Bootcamp: Learn How to Pitch from Top Entrepreneurs
      26. Startup School Meetup
      27. Symfony User Group Cologne
      28. ThoughtWorks Köln
      29. Voice & Text Bots Cologne
  • Validate
    • Team Formation: Resources for teaming up. (i.e. events or other resources that facilitate early-stage recruitment and cofounder matching”)
      1. 12min.me Köln
      2. Business Women Network Cologne
      3. CoFoundersLab
      4. Cologne AI
      5. Cologne AI and Machine Learning Meetup
      6. Cologne CoFounders | Perfect your pitch - Avoid "ad nauseam"
      7. Cologne Salesforce Developer Group
      8. Digitale Leute Köln
      9. Domain Driven Design Köln/Bonn
      10. Entrepreneurs’ Organization
      11. Founder2be
      12. FounderDating
      13. Game Creators Cologne
      14. Pirate Summit
      15. STARTUP SUCHT
      16. STEM 4 Health Cologne
      17. Tech Shuttle
    • Build First Product: Hackathons & resources to build. (i.e. hackathons and other builder-focused events and resources)
      1. 6th Installation - Hackathon at gcx
      2. Alexa Hackathon
      3. Arduino Meetup
      4. c4
      5. CocoaHeads Cologne
      6. cologne.innovate.healthcare
      7. Cologne Game Lab
      8. DingFabrik
      9. Google Home Hackathon
      10. Hack Institute
      11. Hack Your City Köln
      12. Hackers/Founders Cologne
      13. MGM Hackathon Köln
      14. OKLab Köln Meetup
      15. Open Data Day 2018
      16. open hack.lab //by hack.institute
      17. Open Source Audio Meeting Cologne
      18. React Cologne
      19. Softwerkskammer Köln
      20. Tech_Hub Köln
      21. Trust in Tech Cologne

2. Launch Stage

In this stage, entrepreneurs establish and formalize the company, develop the product, get feedback from customers, and prepare for the next step.

  • Start
    • Establish: Law firms & banks for startups  
      1. AHS Rechtsanwälte
      2. BBBank
      3. BNP Paribas Germany
      4. CMS
      5. Commerzbank
      6. Deutsche Bank
      7. DLA Piper
      8. GRP Rainer
      9. HSBC
      10. KPMGlaw
      11. Loschelder Rechtsanwälte
      12. LUTHER
      13. Osborne Clarke
      14. PNHR
      15. Postbank
      16. PSD Bank Köln
      17. Quirin Privatbank
      18. Santander Bank
      19. Schnittker Möllmann Partners
      20. Sparda-Bank West
      21. Volksbank Köln Bonn
    • Workspace: Co-working and flexible workspaces (note: “official” office space goes in 3.1.a. Infrastructure)
      1. Akkuraum
      2. Clusterhaus
      3. COLABOR
      4. Cowoki
      5. CoWork-Lab
      6. Design Offices
      7. District097
      8. Ehrenspace
      9. HEADQUARTERS Cologne
      10. Poolie Space
      11. Solution Space
      12. STARTPLATZ
      13. Wertheim Cologne
      14. WNDRFUEL
  • Develop
    • Formalize: Accounting, development and HR for early-stage startups.
      1. AppCologne
      2. BPS Personalmanagement
      3. DHR International
      4. Ebner Stolz
      5. Kanzlei Utzerath
      6. KBHT
      7. KHS
      8. Mazars Group
      9. Müller, Cremer und Partner mbB
      10. Nuromedia
      11. Railslove
      12. Rechtsanwalt Wellmann
      13. TitanShark
      14. undev Studio
      15. Zacharias & Demmer
    • Prepare for Seed: Incubators and advanced mentorship. (i.e. advanced knowledge sharing, later stage events and resources for startup TEAMS)
      1. betafabrik
      2. Cologne Game Farm Business Incubator
      3. Excubate
      4. GATEWAY
      5. InsurLab Germany
      6. netSTART
      7. STARTPLATZ
  • Launch
    • Seed Accelerators: Seed funding mentor programs (Techstars-style programs that provide funding)
      1. InsurLab Germany
      2. SpielFabrique Accelerator Program
      3. STARTPLATZ Accelerator
      4. Venista Ventures Accelerator
    • Pitch & Demo: Show local startups for investment (i.e. demo days for companies seeking seed investment)
      1. ChemTech Innovation Night
      2. DIP.COLOGNE
      3. NUK-Prämierungs- und Abschlussfeier Stufe 3 – Gründerpitch
      4. Rheinland-Pitch #55 in Köln
      5. STARTPLATZ 2018 Demo Day
      6. UQBATE Startup Days Vol. 11
      7. Your perfect pitch - how to talk to money?


3. Growth Stage

Here, a startup proves their utility, receives recognition, and scales up. This usually requires funding, angels, VCs, and ways to connect them to startups.

  • Recognition
    • Investor Networking:  Connect professional investors with founders. (i.e. events or groups that facilitate connections with professional investors)
      1. Angel Investment Netz
      2. Business Angels Netzwerk Deutschland
      3. Business Angels for Ventures Fund
      4. NRW Venture Forum
      5. Rotonda Business Angels
      6. Spätschicht
      7. StartupCon
    • Major Media: Mainstream local business press. (i.e. major local or regional publications that frequently champion local businesses)
      1. Express
      2. Handelsblatt
      3. Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger
      4. N-TV
      5. RTL
      6. The Local Cologne
  • Funding
    • Angels / Micro-VCs: Seed-stage investors (search AngelList, Gust, Crunchbase)
      1. Andreas Kwiatkowski
      2. Arndt Rautenberg
      3. Felix Binsack
      4. Felix Müller-Irion
      5. Frank Antwerpes
      6. Henning Lange
      7. Ibrahim Evsan
      8. Joerg Feldmann
      9. Johannes Schmitz
      10. Laurenz Apiarius
      11. Lorenz Graef
      12. Manuel Koelman
      13. Mehrdad Piroozram
      14. Oliver Thylmann
      15. Oliver Wimmeroth
      16. Steffen Wicker
      17. Stephan Schubert
      18. Thomas Grota
      19. Till Faida
      20. Tim Schumacher
    • Venture Capitalists: Series A and beyond
      1. Capnamic Ventures
      2. CologneInvest
      3. Coparion
      4. CrossVentures
      5. Curious Capital
      6. DvH Ventures
      7. Genes GmbH Venture Services
      8. InsurTech
      9. Locust Walk Capital
      10. Media Ventures
      11. STS Ventures
      12. Venista Ventures
  • Growth
    • Infrastructure: Office space, HR, local business insurance. (i.e. office space/ HR/ insurance providers for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
      1. Adecco
      2. Engel & Völkers
      3. Hays
      4. HOWDEN CANINENBERG
      5. Instant Offices
      6. Kelly Services
      7. Kienbaum
      8. KremerLundehn
      9. LoopNet
      10. MIRASCON Insurance
      11. R+V Versicherung
      12. Randstad
      13. Regus
      14. Robert Half
      15. Search Office Space
      16. Zurich
    • Expansion: Growth accelerators/consultants. (i.e. programs and business consultants for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
      1. Boston Consulting Group
      2. Capgemini
      3. Ciber Global
      4. Deloitte
      5. Ernst and Young
      6. Interbrand
      7. Klick Consult
      8. KPMG
      9. McKinsey & Company
      10. PwC
      11. Simon Kucher & Partners
      12. Willis Towers Watson


4. Success Stories

Successful homegrown companies that have raised significant institutional funding, employ a large workforce, or have achieved liquidity.

  1. Adblock Plus / Eyeo
  2. AYOXXA
  3. Bongour
  4. Crowdfox
  5. DeepL
  6. Desino
  7. Direvo
  8. eyeo
  9. Giant Swarm
  10. Golf Post
  11. gridscale
  12. Homelike
  13. itravel
  14. Launchr
  15. MAD by AI
  16. Mediakraft Networks
  17. moneymeets
  18. Musicplayr
  19. NonWoTecc Medical
  20. Puttmee
  21. quintly
  22. rankingCoach
  23. Reputami
  24. Sevenload
  25. SHAREaCAMPER
  26. Studitemps
  27. SugarTrends
  28. Voxeo



Supporters


To facilitate the steps, every ecosystem needs strong supporters.

1. Evangelists

Successful local founders who lead the ecosystem & frequently mentor newbies.  (i.e. Local leaders who have taken a leadership position, speak at a lot of startup events, mentor all the programs, etc)

  1. Axel Schmiegelow
  2. Carsten Thiel
  3. Christian Angele
  4. Corinna Voss
  5. Daniel Engelhardt
  6. Erik Filter
  7. Gerd Wolfram
  8. Lorenz Kramer
  9. Mark Waechter
  10. Markus Anding
  11. Milan Vukas
  12. Miralem Gazibegović
  13. Miriam Mertens
  14. Moritz Delbrück
  15. Nikhil Madan
  16. Niko Varwig
  17. Oliver Gassner
  18. Parul Madan
  19. Peter Rost
  20. Puja Abbassi
  21. Ralf Bruestle
  22. Reza Moussavian
  23. Sascha Juch
  24. Sascha Wolter
  25. Simon Höher
  26. Stefan Böck
  27. Till Ohrmann
  28. Timm Neu
  29. Uli Huener
  30. Wolfgang Hennes


2. Government

Public organizations that facilitate local economic development

  1. Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  2. Digital Hub Cologne
  3. German Economic Institute
  4. Innovation Network Cologne
  5. Mediacity Cologne
  6. Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen
  7. NRW.INVEST
  8. Stadt Köln



3. Talent

Major local business or tech universities and employers that attract and retain local talent.

  • Local Universities (universities with prominent technical or business programs)
    1. Cologne Business School
    2. Cologne - Rotterdam Executive MBA
    3. Hochschule für Medien, Kommunikation und Wirtschaft
    4. International School of Management
    5. Köln International School of Design
    6. Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln
    7. Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln
    8. TH Köln
    9. Universität zu Köln
    10. WHU
  • Local Employers (Major technical employers, like Microsoft or Google or large local companies, with large local offices)
    1. Bechtle
    2. Bertrandt
    3. cleverbridge
    4. Covestro
    5. Dell
    6. Deutsche Telekom
    7. DLR
    8. Evonik
    9. GE
    10. HRS
    11. IBM
    12. Johnson Controls
    13. Lufthansa
    14. Microsoft
    15. QSC
    16. REWE
    17. Siemens
    18. Ströer
    19. Trusted Shops
    20. T-Systems
    21. Vaillant Köln
    22. Wipro


Learn more about the Startup Ecosystem Canvas here, and leave us your thoughts on the Cologne Canvas on this collaborative Google document (This is just a DRAFT, and more input is needed!)

Related Insights

More insights
100%x200
Startup Ecosystem Canvas

The Chicago Startup Ecosystem Canvas: A Giant List Of Startup Resources

By DrewZias on 2018-05-08
100%x200
Grad Profile

This Denver Startup Connects Planets with Nuclear-Powered Spacecrafts

By JoeGarza on 2018-05-09
100%x200
Startup Ecosystem Canvas

The Cologne Startup Ecosystem: A List of 300+ Resources for Entrepreneurs

By DrewZias on 2018-05-08

Are you ready to join the world's premier startup launch program?

Apply to the Program