Growing Fast: The Startup Community In Leipzig

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Located next to Dresden, Prague and Berlin Leipzig offers a fast-growing creative scene, thriving young population, growing industry and active startup community – Learn in this guide how to found in this historical city.

Leipzig has a fast-growing creative scene and thriving young population. With incredibly cheap costs of living and an environment where young people can create. If you consider visiting the beautiful and vibrant city of Leipzig you’ll fall in love with it straight away.

The city is located about 200km south of Berlin, approximately 120km west of Dresden and only 2 hrs 30 mins from Prague, Czech Republic. The constantly growing population and not least the modern industry are only two reasons why Leipzig is called Hypezig. More and more companies are moving in, such as BMW, Porsche, DHL or Amazon. Furthermore the infrastructure is a big plus – it is easy to reach by train. Your destination in Leipzig is the biggest railway terminus in Europe. In addition there is a large airport with a lot of airlines offering cheap flights to major European capitals including Barcelona and London. The city is bike friendly, full of parks and nature, as well as spectacular architecture. Also, the startup community is growing very fast. Some well-known startups started here and their headquarters are still located in Leipzig.

In The Saxony Region

Advantages Of Starting A Business In Leipzig:

  • You get the chance to start-up in a beautiful City.
  • With approximately 550 thousand inhabitants it is not too big and not too small.
  • Use your chance to co-create this emerging ecosystem.
  • You get all the pieces you need for your startup. Get in touch with several supporting contact points to concentrate on the focus instead of distraction.
  • You have different possibilities to found your corporation quickly. E.g. it is possible to found an “Unternehmergesellschaft (haftungsbeschränkt)” (short UG – similar to an Incorporated) with one Euro starting capital.

What Startup Founders Have To Consider:

  • Leipzig itself still has a lack of specific investors. So relevant investors for your startup have to come from outside.
  • Additionally you will find a shortage of deep know-how transfer.
  • We too are experts in complexifying simple things – our bureaucracy is very strong.
  • Although Leipzig is well interconnected (we have one of the top-business schools in Germany), the city is not as international as Berlin.

The startup ecosystem is emerging and you can be part of it. Give it a chance and you will love it.

Leipzig And Its Startup Community

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After the German reunification Leipzig was a symbol for poverty. But the development in the last years, especially the economic upswing, ensured that Leipzig is the fastest growing city in Germany. The comparatively cheap living costs and the attractiveness for young and creative people are reasons for many founders to start here. For interconnecting with other entrepreneurs you find plenty of events all over the city.

Find Info About Upcoming Events, Meetups & Other Occasions:

  • On Basislager you get information about coworking spaces and upcoming events. Use the Basislager Coworking Calendar and the startup event calendar for Leipzig curated by the Basislager startup coworking Space.
  • Use Facebook to get in contact with the largest group of the startup-scene in Leipzig.

Regular Events & Meetups

  • Once per month the startup scene of Leipzig meets in Plan B to discuss ideas, meet each other and welcome new members of the Leipzig startup ecosystem. In German this event is called Stammtisch der Startupszene – a regular’s table of the startup scene.
  • Also a monthly networking event with many surprises, interesting knowledge transfer and nice atmosphere is the Founders Breakfast. It is free but you have to bring something for breakfast to share with others.
  • Last but not least are the so-called Fuck up Nights Leipzig. Many people attend each event to hear a few entrepreneurs share their failures. After each speaker, there’s a question/answer session, as well as time for networking.

Yearly Or Major Events, Festivals, Conferences:

  • Startup Safary Leipzig is a two-day open doors event to showcase the regional startup ecosystem. Startups, tech companies, VCs, accelerators, incubators and coworking spaces invite attendees to their offices. Attendees have a chance to meet the teams, founders and investors.
  • The Best of Both Event aimed at know-how transfer between Old and New Economy, the generation of valuable business opportunities and the promotion of Leipzig as a hotspot for international startups. Different sectors are targeted. So, sometimes Best of Both Leipzig focused on innovative Biotech startups and digital business models with a high relevance for established industrial companies
  • Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.
  • If you are interested in Design you have to come to Leipzig at least during the Designers Open – the leading design festival in Germany.
  • The oldest business school in Germany, called HHL, organizes the International Investors Day. The last event, the “Entrepreneurial Network Event sponsored by KPMG” with a panel discussion and a get-together afterwards took place at the “Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei” (Leipzig Cotton Mill) in cooperation with “SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator”.
  • Pre-selected top entrepreneurial teams had the chance to present their ideas in front of investors and a jury to win the HHL Best Founders Award.
  • The next HHL International Investors Day will take place on June 14-15, 2016 in Leipzig.
  • Already thinking about a career in a young and cool company with entrepreneurial spirit? We might have something interesting for you! Come and join the Accelerate@HHL Conference. Meet top speakers and distinguished entrepreneurs to discuss with students, founders, investors and industry leaders. Meet interesting people, get in touch with our sponsors and partners at the career fair and present your business idea during the elevator pitch contest.
  • TEDxHHL aims to foster an environment for spreading ideas, with live speakers and TED-Talks videos, serving as a means to inspire deep discussions and connections between individuals from various backgrounds.

Co-working Spaces In Leipzig

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To actually get the things done you are lucky to work in one of the most attractive cities for creative people. Either you do your job in one of the parks in Leipzig or you use a coworking space. In the following paragraph you’ll get an impression of the opportunities our city offers you.

Co-working Spaces In Leipzig:

  • Basislager Coworking is the first coworking area for startups in Leipzig. This accommodation is the host of different startup events like Startup Weekends, Fuck up Nights and others.
  • At Social Impact Lab Leipzig you will find very nice coworking space and incubators for startups aiming for social impact.
  • Chaos Coworking is a small coworking area in a beautiful location. Furthermore it is the host of networking events for founders like Founders Breakfast.

Search For Financing Opportunities In Leipzig

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You are the chosen one if you can fund your business idea on your own. But it is not necessary to stick your head in the sand if you don’t have enough capital to realize your dream. In Leipzig you can find a number of possible finance partners. It is your task to choose the right one.

Incubators:

  • BIO CITY LEIPZIG is a strong symbol for the high priority of biotechnology and biomedicine in Leipzig. The city provides all of the necessities for peak performance with uniquely favorable conditions. With its office and laboratory facilities, conference center and additional facilities, it presents the ideal location for companies to successfully develop future technologies.
  • Social Impact Lab Leipzig: In the industrial monument “Stelzenhaus”, the Social Impact Lab Leipzig offers support and space for social entrepreneurs on 260 square meters. The project is enabled by the Drosos foundation. Social startups receive support consisting of co-working space, consulting, coaching, workshops and networking. Selected projects may be offered a cost-of-living allowance.

Accelerators:

  • SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator supports the growth of entrepreneurial and innovative teams by providing access to infrastructure (co-working office space and technology), coaching and mentoring, as well as international network of successful business founders, established market players and leading investors.
  • Founderscope supports and co-found startups. The team has deep expertise in lean startup methodology, growth hacking and has developed the gamifiedstartup toolkit to enable startups to systematically apply lean principles.

Grants & Subventions:

  • INVEST – Zuschuss für Wagniskapital is a grant for venture capital. It is interesting for founders as well as for Business Angels. Investors get 20% of their investments refunded tax-free. So there is a larger chance to convince a Business Angel to invest in your idea.
  • Business Angels Sachsen is an organization for the support and further development of innovative companies in Saxony. Additionally, they assist businesses during economic troubles.

Crowd Investing Platforms:

  • Vision Bakery is Germany’s 2nd largest crowdfunding platform. You benefit from free personal support and your individual project page with free support. A commission is only due if your project becomes successful.

Venture Capital Investors:

  • Monkfish could be your partner to fund your Internet startup. Get support through the Knowhow transfer and their network. By the way, the founders of Monkfish built up trivago, the premier European meta-search for hotels.
  • S-Beteiligungen provides Venture Capital for your business opportunity (Investment range: 200.000 to 4 million Euros). Create the USP of your startup and get in touch with S-Beteiligungen.
  • TGFS is a partner of S-Beteiligungen. So, their investments range is also from € 0.2 to € 4 million. Main topics are ITC, semiconductor and microsystems technology, medical technology, life science and new media/web 2.0.

Other Investment Opportunities:

  • Blue Corporate Finance is a M&A boutiques for small-to-medium-sized firms in German-speaking Europe. The primarily focus is on providing support for the sale, financing and purchase of companies.

Don’t Stop Looking For Additional Help In Leipzig

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Finally you should be convinced that Leipzig is one of the most suitable Cities to realize your dreams. You get versatile support, if you need to. If not you benefit from comparatively low cost of living whilst maintaining a high quality of life.

If you decide to come here as a student, you should have heard about SMILE – a startup-network, which supports students, graduates and research assistants to start their own business.

Even if you have nice ideas but not a complete business plan, you are welcome. Gründernest will help you developing a final business model and finding funding programs.

So you see, there is no reason to stay away from this beautiful and fast growing City.

 

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Last updated: July 31st, 2016

The guides are like startup communities – they contstantly change and grow. Make sure to check for updates and if you have something to add to one of them or want to publish one for your city, get in touch right away! And don’t forget to enrich the startup ecosystem by creating your company profile at StartUs!

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