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Business start-ups - helping newcomers to get going

Innovative business ideas and motivated company founders are truly welcome in Osnabrück District. Their importance for the location is illustrated not just by the unbureaucratic and intensive support that young entrepreneurs receive in the Start-up House Osnabrück.Osnabrücker Land. They also find open doors in the new Innovation Centre Osnabrück (ICO) and in the Business and Innovation Park Quakenbrück (BIQ) in the north of the district. Furthermore, the Seedhouse is an accelerator offering special support in the fields of agricultural engineering, food and digitisation.


Good advice in the Start-up House


The region is shaped by a strong SME sector. The district offers successful start-up support for young companies with a large number of measures to support the economy and job situation on the local scale. Since 2007, the economic development agencies in the city and district have been working together in the “Start-up House Osnabrück.Osnabrücker Land”. Experts accompany and advise start-ups as they take the necessary steps to set up their own business, regardless whether this refers to freelancing, founding a new company or a corporate succession situation. The services offered extend from an ideas check via advice on drawing up a business plan and budget together with fund ing programmes through to more in-depth workshops. Lectures and presentations provide information among others about choosing the right legal form, marketing and tax-related issues. 


Space for business ideas in the Innovation Centre


The start-up helpers also take a purely local approach to keep them at close quarters to the needs of the business founders and in good company with technology-oriented firms. The Start-up House is based in the Innovation Centre Osnabrück (ICO) which opened in 2014 in the immediate vicinity of the Westerberg Campus of the University of Applied Sciences and Osnabrück University. The region’s technology and start-up centre offers space for innovative businesses and start-ups under the motto “Encountering Ideas”. Networks enhance professional sharing and exchange. The ICO is a joint initiative by the district and city of Osnabrück with support from the Sparkasse Osnabrück [bank] and Stadtwerke Osnabrück AG [municipal utility company]. Technologyoriented start-ups find a unique chance to tap into the potential offered by the academic sector for their own corporate development. Here the focus is on knowledge transfer. Benefits are also derived from the presence of important facilities such as the Joint Technology Contact Point run by the University of Applied Sciences and Osnabrück University, network and research initiatives such as the ikn state initiative, the energy network of excellence or the Professional School. Young companies have the opportunity of renting office space in the ICO. The aim is to create viable jobs, retain highly qualified skilled workers and generate economic growth effects from the academic sphere. One successful example is Commeo, one of the first tenants at the ICO. The founders used the ideal conditions in the ICO to develop highly efficient lithium ion batteries for industrial applications. The product was launched on the market after two and a half years of development work. Since 2017, Commeo GmbH has been manufacturing its products in Wallenhorst commercial estate. 


Impetus for the agriculture and food industry


Growth potential for important branch clusters is offered by the nationally unique start-up centre for agricultural engineering, food and digitisation, that has been affiliated to the ICO since 2018 with funding from the state of Lower Saxony. The Seedhouse aims to give start-ups from these focal branches the necessary impetus for getting their business ideas ready to launch on the market. The first “creatives” have already moved in, looking among others at animal food from insects, communication with plants and an innovative dairy product. 


Ideal conditions for start-ups in the BIQ


The food industry also benefits from the Business and Innovation Park Quakenbrück which was established in 2015. Located in the direct vicinity of the cooperation partner, the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL), it offers outstanding prerequisites for young companies and development centres in the food branch and bio-economy. Office space, labs and production facilities covering around 3,000 sm are available to start-ups. Furthermore, they also have recourse to a large range of support services, such as innovation advice and start-up aids. In addition, they can make direct use of the DIL’s know-how when it comes to product development, analysis, process technology and special engineering. The BIQ operates under the auspices of Osnabrück District and Artland municipality to offer ideal conditions for innovative companies and spin-offs particularly in the agricultural and food sectors, in the interests of a prosperous region. 


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Osnabrück District - Heart of Germany’s north west.

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