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Hamburg Invest prioritising forward-looking sectors

Business development structures realigned - 2,151 new jobs created thanks to Hamburg Invest

Hamburg Invest presented Monday (February 26, 2018) key indicators of 2017 with 9,000 newly created jobs, nearly 1,200 companies served and investments to the tune of EUR 660 million. Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, noted: “Over the past two years, the Hamburg Senate has transformed the city’s business development corporation into a one-stop agency for investment, while at the same time expanding its staffing level. And these efforts are bearing fruit even at this stage.” Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Managing Director of Hamburg Invest, added: “We have sharpened our profile as an investment agency and have therefore given ourselves a new name – Hamburg Invest. The city’s business sector has now been provided with one central point of contact in Hamburg. At the same time, we are placing greater emphasis on Hamburg’s industries of the future. This has been well received by the companies. Between 2015 and 2016, we have been able to improve our figures considerably, and we are now recording additional robust growth.”

Focus on start-ups

In 2018, Hamburg Invest will be even more focused on the needs of knowledge-based companies, Horch announced. As part of these efforts, Hamburg Invest established a dedicated start-up unit in early 2018, which serves as the main port of call for technology and knowledge-based start-ups. Hamburg Invest is also responsible for developing, marketing and operating Hamburg’s research and innovation parks. “Hamburg is not just a trading city, but also a free port of innovative ideas,” Horch pointed out.

Hamburg Invest is also strengthening it’s real estate expertise to press ahead with the development, marketing and sales of municipal commercial and industrial spaces. From March 1, 2018, Birgit Detig, managing director of a development company established in early 2018, will expand this new business segment with Strittmatter as chairman.

Figures in detail

Last year, almost 1,200 businesses availed of Hamburg Invest’s services. This number has more than doubled over 501 in 2016. A total of 1,065 businesses availed of consulting services, 123 businesses relocated (2016: 60) or received support in terms of expansion (2016: 63). Five companies were supported in their search for a location in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. As part of 123 projects realised in Hamburg (2016: 98), a total of 2,151 (2016: 1,660) jobs were created, and 6,840 jobs were secured (2016: 5,062). The companies serviced reflect Hamburg Invest’s realignment. In terms of attracting new companies to Hamburg, special emphasis was on technology and knowledge-based companies.

Examples of companies:


The Los Angeles-based camera company Snap Inc. that produces Snapchat, Spectacles and Bitmoji, has selected Hamburg for the Germany headquarters. The city is already one of Germany’s leading media locations with major publishers such as Die Zeit, Der Spiegel and Gruner + Jahr. Hamburg is becoming a hotspot for tech giants as well and has attracted global players including Google and Facebook that now have their German headquarters in the city.

Starship Technologies

Starship Technologies is a robot delivery company that delivers goods locally within a 5 km radius in 15 to 30 minutes. The robots drive autonomously, but are monitored by staff who can take control at any time. Starship Technologies was established in Estonia and has its headquarters in London. Operations in Hamburg began with only two employees.

apoQlar GmbH

apoQlar are the brains behind Virtual Surgery Intelligence (VSI), a mixed/augmented reality application with integrated artificial intelligence. Using Microsoft HoloLens, a self-contained, holographic computer, VSI is designed to help surgeons perform complex surgery and to improve patient education. The VSI software displays CT and MRI scans in 3D and merges these with the surgical site for swifter orientation and greater precision. The company is based in the Health Innovation Port (HIP) in Hamburg’s north and also has an office in the city centre.


WeWork is a global provider of co-working spaces for both small and large businesses. In autumn 2017, WeWork opened it’s first branch in downtown Hamburg at 3 Axel-Springer-Platz. The site provides 7,800 square metres of shared workspace in the Hanse Forum. The company has more than 200,000 members all over the world and offers programming and other services in addition to collaborative workspaces. Plans are being laid for additional locations in Hamburg.

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