“Cologne as a business location is characterised by an amazingly diverse mix of industries. Trade, industry, services, logistics, media and digitalisation startups – all companies active in these sectors profit from the competition of ideas and the associated networking. The great emotional link that connects all industries and forms the very special bond that the people working here have with this city. It’s knowing you can celebrate anything here in Cologne, announcing a goal, a vision – you don’t have to wait until the project has become a reality.”
Michael Hüther, Director and Member of the Presidium of the Institute of the German Economy
“Cologne is the ideal business location for innovative companies because the metropolis on the Rhine, with a long tradition as a centre for creativity and innovation in the middle of one of Europe’s strongest economic regions in terms of turnover, offers the best opportunities for regional and national networking – in an environment that is tolerant, multicultural, cosmopolitan and truly worth living in.”
Henriette Reker, Mayor
“Its lightness, cosmopolitanism and quality of life: those are what make Cologne so liveable and lovable, both as a place for living and a place for doing business. I don’t know of a single case where the hiring of new employees would have failed because the applicant and their family did not want to go to Cologne – on the contrary.”
Werner Görg, President of the Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce
+550 Startups and Scaleups
745k men & women work in Cologne
3510 Startup Jobs
22k Startups Employees
+18 Universities (with +100k students)
+18 Research Centers
+50 Coworking and Business Center
+15 Accelerators and Incubators
9 startups valued over €50M+
It is known as the city on the Rhine. Cologne amazes with its natural beauty and outstands with a remarkable quality of life. For startups and entrepreneurs, it’s a straight path to success. With a central location – right in the heart of Europe -, great connections and infrastructure – both digital and non digital -, the city thrives to support your business. In Cologne, you will find Massive B2B & B2C opportunities in a friendly ecosystem (helping each other and open to others) and a hotspot for strong verticals, such as Insuretch, Digital Health, Games and much more. By landing on this trade fair city, you can be sure to achieve – cement – sky high talent.
Land & Start
SETTLING IN THE CITY
To travel to Germany as a foreigner, you will need a valid passport and visa:
- Schengen visa for brief stays (up to 90 days within one half-year);
- National visa for long-term stays (longer than 90 days).
A residence and work permit will also be required. All the info on how to get these documents is right here [pages 5 and 6].
STARTING YOUR BUSINESS
Who you need to talk to
Incubators and accelerators
Business Registration & Accounting
Useful contacts and links
Choose whichever bank you link in Cologne and know that online and direct banks are common in Germany. This should make things much easier for you.
Access to capital
|Advice about Capital||Major VC’s in the region|
Know all of Cologne’s active VC’s through this link.
Access to talent
Cologne boasts 18+ universities and colleges. The University of Cologne, in particular has been a German University of Excellence since 2012. Check out the list of the city’s universities – that offer both technical or business programs.
Since 2020, more than 30 startups and scaleups have joined Cologne. They’re all here and they keep coming!
Diversity and Inclusion
“Establishing means diversity”. This was the motto of last year’s startup week, a five day online event that revolved around female entrepreneurship. Since then, Cologne keeps advocating even more founders in the tech scene. Building the #FemupStartups initiative is one of the biggest next steps.
Cologne in the Media
5G in Cologne: funding for companies
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is funding 24 5G projects, six of which with Cologne participation. Know about the pioneering work the city is doing regarding this subject.
Funding programs for startups in Cologne: the 5 most important
There are five important programs that the Startercenter of ‘KölnBusiness’ promotes for startups. If you still don’t know them, click here.
Looking for commercial space? KölnBusiness can help
Whether you’re expanding or relocating your business, The business service of ‘KölnBusiness Wirtschaftsförderung’ can help you through the process. More details here.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CITY
ACTIVITIES & CASE STUDIES