Hamburg News: Hafen und Logistik - Shipping-Container-Schiff - © HMG Christian Spahrbier
Plug and Play Soft Launch © Karolin Köcher

Plug and Play to open branch in Hamburg

Silicon Valley accelerator to focus on supply chain and logistics - 6,000 start-ups in network

The world’s largest start-up accelerator Plug and Play based in Silicon Valley announced plans Tuesday (June 18, 2019) to open a European branch for supply chain and logistics in Hamburg. The venture capitalist Plug and Play provides special programmes to link up established companies and start-ups with each other. Four Hamburg-based are among the partners on board, said Saeed Amidi, CEO of Plug and Play during the soft launch party in the Speicherstadt while other companies will lend support. The announcement comes amid the battle for the best employees, the most promising start-ups and innovations.

Putting Hamburg’s start-ups on global stage

Bringing such a successful programme to a thriving logistics location like Hamburg is perfect and matches the region’s future themes, remarked Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, during the launch. Plug and Play also works closely with Hamburg’s Digital Hub Logistics. Westhagemann added: “Today we’re looking at logistics, but I’m sure co-operation with other industries will be excellent.” Sallar Fariidi, the manager of Plug and Play’s new branch, told Hamburg News: “People are already mulling co-operation in the smart city and mobility sectors.” Faridi will manage the office with Nieky Ipektchi. Intelligent transport systems are gaining urgency as Hamburg gears up to host the ITS World Congress in 2021.

Recipe for success

Plug and Play is currently growing rapidly and has more than 6,000 global start-ups and over 300 corporates in its network. The accelerator’s success is based on an intense selection process. A Plug and Play team selects 100 start-ups out of 1,000 that focus on a special issue or product. Only 20 of the 100 selected companies are admitted to the actual programme. “We want to ensure that the right partners come together,” said Faridi. Hamburg is the company’s fifth location for Plug and Play after Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich.

Four Hamburg-based companies on board

Asked why companies need support, Ipektchi pointed out: “It would be far too expensive for them alone to scout a similarly large selection of potential start-ups.” Tchibo, Fiege, Panalpina and Schnellecke Logistics are among Plug and Play’s partners while the Center of Applied Aeronautical Research (ZAL), Hamburg Invest, and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce North will lend support. Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Managing Director of Hamburg Invest, remarked: “A very good day for Hamburg. Plug and Play is a perfect match for Hamburg and its future industries and Hamburg is a match for Plug and Play”. The senate and the Economic Development Corporation (Wirtschaftsförderung) had paved the way for the U.S. accelerator’s move to Hamburg at an early stage. “That was a great help for us and led to our choice of this location,” said Faridi.

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