Tobias Seikel, Partner und COO von Hanse Ventures - © Hanse Ventures BSJ GmbH / Fotograf: Andreas Rehmann

Hanse Ventures setting up start-ups in Hamburg

Company builder has kept a close watch on Hamburg's start-up scene for many years

More and more people are clients of start-ups or their services. And TV programmes such as “The Lion’s Den” make start-ups entertaining as they continue to gain stronger footholds in Hamburg’s economy. Around 600 start-ups now provide over 6,000 jobs in Hamburg, according to the Hamburg Startups Monitor. The Hanse Ventures company builder is now one of the first points of contact for founders and for the past six years, the incubator has played an active role in shaping Hamburg’s start-up scene.

Business concepts for internet and mobile phones

When Hanse Ventures launched in May 2010, Hamburg’s start-up scene was fairly modest and in stark contrast to today’s cityscape with university initiatives, urban offers, co-working spaces, and new media formats. Many new start-ups have emerged meanwhile and surpassed the incubator’s initial expectations. The founders Jochen Maaß, Rolf Schmidt-Holtz and Bernd Kundrun had set out with the aim of establishing their own business concepts for the internet and mobile phones and putting many sectors online.

Product development and online marketing experts

Hanse Ventures functions as a co-founder of starts-ups and contributes key components for success. Tobias Seikel, Partner & COO of Hanse Ventures, said: “Our start-ups are backed by top-class co-investors like Holtzbrinck Digital, ALSTIN, Rocket Internet, Earlybird, KfW, HTGF and many renowned private investors. The input from around 25 experts in product development, design, offline marketing, PR, HR, service centre processes and business intelligence helps us speed up growth in the start-ups.”

Stint at start-up worth having on CV

Thanks to Hanse Ventures’ network of investors, new start-ups can be put on the right path quickly and cost-effectively as they avoid typical errors from the start. Hanse Ventures puts teams of founders together depending on the business goal. Seikel noted in retrospect: “We had to do a lot of pioneering work in the past to bring the considerable potential of digital business models and how start-ups work closer to investors. You don’t find potential founders and staff on the street. That is still the case in parts today. But we notice far more awareness and interest now. Having a stint at a start-up on your CV is now often a mark of ambition, commitment and a certain entrepreneurial mindset. That is what companies look for in potential employees meanwhile.”

No “single way” to launch a start-up

Hamburg’s digital scene is maturing and more and more offers are emerging. Hanse Ventures has worked this field and grown with it. Seikel explained: “We are satisfied with the development of our company builder. We have 12 start-ups in our portfolio from diverse sectors and in different stages of development, who employ 300 people and are very promising.” The company builder is stirring up the digital scene with the luxury fashion web site, Rebelle, the proptech start-up Hausgold, the gift ideas website, Geschenke, the online expert for windows and doors, Vitraum, and the care website Start-ups will not find a classic “single way” of launching a business with Hanse Ventures, he added.

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