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Frankfurt Forward is the independent matchmaker and innovation driver for the FrankfurtRhineMain startup ecosystem. In several online surveys and a workshop, startups from Frankfurt and the region described their wishes in regard to the further development of the startup ecosystem, and how concrete recommendations for action for local players might look like. The impulses were summarized and published by Frankfurt Forward in the

Our common goal: a strong, innovation-driven and founder-friendly startup ecosystem.


In order to promote the innovative strength and number of startups, the framework for startups in FrankfurtRhineMain startup ecosystem can be optimized through the following measures:

  • The establishment of a central platform as an information, networking and application tool for startups can provide great support.
  • On the part of the startups, there is an expanded demand for cost-effective production and office space up to 150m2 with flexible contract terms.
  • An increased involvement of regional startups in public and company-initiated projects in Frankfurt and the region should be sought.
  • The startup mentality and culture of experimentation should be encouraged among the protagonists of the startup ecosystem.


The FrankfurtRhineMain region is a talent magnet. Innovation potential should continue to be recognized and promoted in the future:

  • The reinforced anchoring of entrepreneurship and STEM subjects - especially computer science - in the education system is desired.
  • Modern educational technologies or digital educational tools (EdTech) should be integrated into the entire school and university system.
  • The promotion of founders’ diversity, for example with regard to female and social entrepreneurs as well as industry diversity, would be desirable.


Forward-looking solutions to the challenges of our time can be found particularly through cross-industry networking and intensified knowledge exchange:

  • FrankfurtRhineMain is a region of short distances. This must be used to strengthen the exchange within the startup community thus all players can benefit from experience and contacts within the startup ecosystem.
  • Access to established corporates should be made easier for startups, e.g., with support of innovative networking formats or custom-fit placement offers. Medium-sized companies and industrial companies could be supported by an intermediary platform in establishing contact with startups.
  • Startups should be more involved in the dialog with political decision-makers. The voices of young entrepreneurs should be heard and included in political decision-making. Furthermore, the exchange between startups and policy makers should be advanced to explore opportunities in areas such as GovTech, Smart City, Mobility and HealthTech.
  • Networking with international startup ecosystems as well as support services for expansion plans abroad should be increased.


The goal is to promote the innovative and economic power of the FrankfurtRhineMain region. The financial chain for startups - from foundation to establishment - should also be strengthened.

  • In particular, success stories of startups as well as successful matchings from the region must be cross-intuitionally presented to the public. The aim is to attract the attention of national and international investors and to generate their lasting enthusiasm for the location.
  • Cross-industry standards and criteria for evaluating startups can create transparency for banks and investors and, at best, facilitate access to capital for young entrepreneurs.
  • The financial chain for startups in the FrankfurtRhineMain financial center for larger financing should be significantly expanded.
  • Access to public funding for startups and the interlocking of public funding measures is desirable. In addition, new, innovative funding offers would be helpful, such as direct participation in startups by public funders with clear, standardized conditions.

The STARTUP DECLARATION is a working paper that will be continuously adapted to current needs and developments. All actors from the startup ecosystem are invited to take up impulses from the STARTUP DECLARATION and to derive concrete fields of action.

Version 2.0, March 2021


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