Connecting ecosystems


Being in the heart of Germany and the gateway to Europe, Frankfurt is the ideal starting point to foster international cooperation and innovation. So, let’s walk the walk.


With our International Matchmaking we create and utilize synergies between startups, corporates, investors and politics on an international level.
In our virtual 3-day program, we provide our participants with profound insights into the respective ecosystem of the partner country, share best practices, match key stakeholder and promote innovation and cooperation across borders.Our participants can expect a diverse mixture of input from accelerators and innovation hubs, cultural activities and networking.

To guarantee a truly authentic local experience, the program will be organized partly by Frankfurt Forward and partly by our international partner. Plus, we closely cooperate with local partners.

By the way, the International Matchmaking is the very first co2-neutral exchange format of the city of Frankfurt.

from October 20th – 22nd, 2020
Frankfurt x Tallinn.
The first International Matchmaking.


The first International Matchmaking will take place from October 20th – 22nd, 2020: Frankfurt x Tallinn.

Jointly, we’ll discover Estonia’s ecosystem, both on a local and national level.

Estonia, better E-Estonia, is considered the world’s most advanced digital society. 99 % of allstate services are online. E-identity is common practice. In only 18 minutes entrepreneurs canstart a company.

Reason enough to focus on the govtech sector (incl. SmartCity, EdTech, RegTech, MedTech and SpaceTech) in our first International Matchmaking.

Insights into e-Estonia will be provided by our partner Tehnopol.

What to expect?

On all three days there will be closed, semi-public and public programs.

In addition to accelerator sessions by Mainstage Incubator and KOMPASS, the participating start-ups can expect a CEO/VC lunch, a townhall meeting with Estonian politicians, insights into the European Space Agency and the e-Estonia Briefing Center.

In public events our startups and politicians pitch their GovTech ideas. Impulses are given e.g.by Dr. Philipp Nimmermann, State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing; Astrid von der Malsburg; Honorary Consul of Estonia in Hesse; and Kalle Palling, start-up founder and former member of the Estonian Parliament. In a Virtual Cider, we also bring together start-ups from Frankfurt and Tallinn.

Official Welcome Session.
October 20th, 9:00 – 10:00 am (German Time)  

In the official welcome session, we’ll jointly kick-off the premier event of International Matchmaking.Markus Frank, Deputy Mayor and Head of Economic Affairs, Personnel and Sport for the City of Frankfurt am Main, opens the virtual three-day program.
Why shall we connect tech-driven ecosystems on an international level? Why Tallinn and FrankfurtRhineMain? Why GovTech? And what can we expect within the upcoming days? Answers and insights will be provided by Oliver Schwebel, Managing Director at Frankfurt Economic Development Agency, Kadri Tammai, Head of Startup Incubator, Tehnopol and Christian W. Jakob, Head of Frankfurt Forward.  
On top, we’ll learn more on our cooperating accelerators and innovation hubs Kompass, Mainstage Incubator and TechQuartier.  
Please register here to join the event: https://international-matchmaking-welcome-session.eventbrite.de

Accelerator Session hosted by Kompass: How to build and scale a company in Germany.
October 20th, 11:00 - 11:55h German time (Estonian time: 12:00 – 12:55)

Mustafa Tahir and Alexander Heckner will provide an overview on how to found and scale a business in Germany as well as on the main challenges and lessons learned. Practical insights will be shared by the Frankfurt startup have it back”.
The event is semi-public. Please contact to Frankfurt Forward team at info@frankfurtforward.com in case you would like to join the session.

Accelerator Session Hosted by Mainstage Incubator: How to Pitch to a German/European Customer but also focusing on your Brand, not Branding! October 20th, 12:00 - 13:00h German Time (Estonian time: 13:00 – 14:00)
Oftentimes sales people, mostly CEOs of startups, sell their products/services focusing too much on their product and not the requirements of a customer. Swen Wegner (Mainstage Incubator) will walk you through his personal "TOP10 mistakes as a sales person" and will give you tricks on how to overcome those Mistakes.
On top, Alexander Wipf (Clear Deutschland) will walk you through some key aspects on how to build the perfect brand so that you can go ahead with your sales pitch in a much-structured way.
The event is semi-public. Please contact to Frankfurt Forward team at info@frankfurtforward.com in case you would like to join the session. TechQuartier

TechQuartier Visit.
October 20th, 14:00 - 15:00h German Time (Estonian time: 15:00 – 16:00)

Get to know TechQuartier, the Frankfurt innovation platform for entrepreneurs and disruptors from the financial industry and beyond. On top, we’ll gain some insights on the Financial center Frankfurt.
The event is semi-public. Please contact to Frankfurt Forward team at info@frankfurtforward.com in case you would like to join the session.

Insights into Estonian startup community.
October 20th, 16:30 - 17:30h German Time (Estonian time: 17:30 – 18:30)
On the 20th of October, the Estonian startup community comes together to have a discussion panel together to talk about the current situation in the startup community, recent trends, good and bad experiences, cool initiatives and many more. We will dive deep into the interconnected network and why and how it is also beneficial for the startups (or why it is not). We will have Zane from Startup Wise Guys, Marili from sTARTUp Day, Kärt from Lift99 and Maarja from Latitude59. The moderator for this panel is Triin Ilves, the Community Manager in Tehnopol Startup Incubator.
Please register here to join the event:  https://fienta.com/estonian-startup-community-insights

Politicians' Pitch.
October 20, 19:00 – 20:00h German time (Estonian time: 20:00 – 21:00)
Politicians from Frankfurt and Estonia will reverse pitch their GovTech ideas (e.g. e-government, digitalization of administrative sessions) in 5 minutes.
- Dr. Philipp Nimmermann, State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport & Housing
- Alar Streimann,
Estonian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany
- Uwe Becker
, Mayor and City Treasurer, Head of Department of Finance, Investments and Churches
- Keit Pentus-Rosimannus,
Deputy Chair of Reform Party Fraction
Once all concepts have been presented, both startups from FrankfurtRhineMain and Estonia provide feedback. The event will be moderated by the journalist Falk Heunemann.
Please register here to join the event: https://international-matchmaking-politicianspitch.eventbrite.de/

European Space Agency & cesah Visit.

October 21, 09:00 – 11:00h German Time (Estonian Time: 10:00 – 12:00h)
Space pioneers welcome! We have some exclusive insights for you, live transmitted from the ESA press centre and the INTEGRAL control room.  In a joined session by the European Space Agency (ESA) and its Startup Incubation Center cesah, we will learn how their missions come alive and how startups can make a huge impact through SpaceTech. Furthermore, there will be a short introduction of the many possibilities for startups to join ESA activities through its different programs. And spoiler alert, it’s gonna be huge! The first German astronaut in space, Thomas Reiter, will share his fascination with manned space flights. The event is semi-public. Please contact to Frankfurt Forward team at info@frankfurtforward.com in case you would like to join the session.

CEO & VC Lunch.
October 21, 12:00 – 13:00h German Time (Estonian Time: 13:00 – 12:00h)
In an exclusive lunch event for the participating startups, we’ll bring together our 10 participants with top-notch CEOs and VCs.

Startup Pitch.
October 21, 17:00 – 18:30h German Time (Estonian Time: 18:00 – 19:30h)

We’ve asked our 10 participating B2B or B2G startups from Tallinn and FrankfurtRhineMain to pitch their GovTech solutions. Feedback will be provided by top-level decision makers from both cities. The event will be moderated by Carolin Wagner, Station Frankfurt.
We’re looking forward to hearing more from our candidates: Blockchain HELIX, BidrentoPRO, Otto ID Solutions, BruceBEM, Mobileeeee, Kraftworks, NAIX Technology, MaaSXT, Nutiparkla.
Please register here to join the event: https://international-matchmaking-govtechstartuppitches.eventbrite.de/

Virtual Cider.

October 21, 18:30 – 19:30h German Time (Estonian Time: 19:30 – 20:30h)
Grab yourself a cider and mingle with top talents, entrepreneurs and key players of the FrankfurtRhineMain and the Estonian tech ecosystems. We also kindly invite you to network with our 10 particicpating startups from Tallinn and FrankfurtRheinMain. The virtual cider will be opened by Lauri Karp, serial entrepreneur and wayfarer between Estonia and Germany. Please register here to join the event: https://international-matchmaking-virtualcider.eventbrite.de/

Digital Estonia by e-Estonia Briefing Centre and Invest in Estonia.
October 22, 10:00 – 11:30h German Time (Estonian Time: 11:00 – 12:30h)
Estonia is very popular for its number of unicorns per capita and its digitalization since there are only 3 things that cannot be done online. During an e-Estonia briefing, you’re given an inspirational introduction to the underlying mechanisms of digitising the Estonian society and its major success stories. It includes an overview of the main challenges and policies, as well as an understanding of the infrastructure, e-solutions, and services with examples.
This is an exclusive event for the 10 participating startups.

Scaling in Estonia through the cooperation between corporations and startups
October 22, 12:00 – 13:00h German Time (Estonian Time: 13:00 – 14:00h)  
Growing the competitiveness of Estonian companies through innovation is of critical importance. Those companies, who are able to look beyond their current business logic in the search for new and more efficient solutions will prove to be truly successful. On the other hand, we have startups, who have nothing to lose, it gives them the courage to make risky decisions, experiment, and move forward quickly. As a result, more accessible, convenient and valuable products can reach customers and large companies should adapt to this tempo and working model, in order to be successful.
But how to put corporations and startups working together? At the beginning of this summer, Science and Business Park Tehnopol together with SEB, second largest bank in Estonia, started the Innovation Leaders Club, which aims to unite innovators within companies into a single community, to support the transplanting of open innovation and to increase the capacity to manage change within Estonian companies. In this event, Kadi Villers, the Innovation Manager at the Science and Business Park Tehnopol will dive deep into, why the cooperation between startups and corporations is important and how this cooperation can be successful.
Please register here to join the event: https://fienta.com/scaling-in-estonia-through-the-cooperation-between-corporations-and-startups

Tallinn as a smart city.

October 22, 15:00 – 16:00h German Time (Estonian Time: 16:00 – 17:00h)
We would all love to live in a good environment, where smart solutions make our everyday life more efficient. That is why last year Science and Business Park Tehnopol together with the City of Tallinn announced the innovation competition called Tallinnovation to find and implement smart city solutions in Tallinn. Which were the results of this project, which smart city solutions we have already implemented in Estonia and what we see should happen in the future regarding of the transportation, bicycle traffic, recycling etc. Discussion on that and many more is brought to us by Ragmar Saksing, the Green Technology Manager in Science and Business Park Tehnopol and Einari Kisel, Head of Partnerships and Strategy at FinEst Twins - Smart City Center of Excellence.
Please register here to join the event: https://fienta.com/tallinn-as-a-smart-city

The Future of Government.

October 22, 17:00 – 18:30h German Time (Estonian Time: 18:00 – 19:30h)
Jointly, we’ll identify the drivers of governmental innovation; discuss how technology transforms public services and have a closer look on GovTech best practices that support company’s growth and competition internationally. On top of that, we’ll gain deep insights into AccelerateEstonia project, a startup minded agile innovation project initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and powered by the Tehnopol Startup Incubator and Startup Estonia.
Insights will be given by:
- Prof. Dr. Kristina Sinemus, Hessian Minister for Digital Strategy and Innovation
- Oliver Schwebel, Managing Director, Economic Development Agency Frankfurt
- Kalle Palling, COO, Cachet and former member of the Estonian parliament
- Taavi Einaste, CEO, Nortal Germany
- Astrid von der Malsburg, Honorary Consul of Estonia in Germany
- Uwe Paulsen, Chairman of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Women, Die GRÜNEN
- Mikk Vainik, the Head of Accelerate Estonia
Please register here to join the event: https://international-matchmaking-thefutureofgovernment.eventbrite.de/


To join our premiere International Matchmaking, start-ups, accelerators and partner can apply online until October 9th.
The program is open to all B2G and B2B startups with a high digital value add and great disruptive potential from FrankfurtRhineMain and Talinn. The startups need to be 2-5 years old and already on the market, offering a solution that is clearly applicable to the govtech sector.
Apply now!
For each matchmaking, we offer up to three accelerators from FrankfurtRhineMain the opportunity to host a session (1 hour). Interested in hosting a session? We are looking forward to your application!
Sponsors & Partner
We are also happy to welcome further partner and sponsors on board. To learn more about the conditions and partnership models, please contact us here.


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