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Last update: 24. Apr 2021
A Matchmaker, startup advocate, founder coach, and story teller. The #Foundersfirst movement in the administrative district of Düsseldorf (Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf). A membership association, led by entrepreneurs, a startup hub and community to foster startups in the whole startup eco-system NRW. A thriving entrepreneurial driven startup community with a positive impact on digital driven entrepreneurship in Germany. All active supporters, volunteers and especially our current and former board members do this job in their spare time – about 10000 hours since the association was founded in 2013. Top
Our Why: Since the beginning of our journey in 2013, we believe that successful innovation by founders and their startups for a better future is significantly stimulated by the right knowledge, mindset and founder-friendly environment. An environment that offers startups more attention and visibility. An environment that focuses on collaboration, networking and partnering in the ecosystem. An environment that grows organically so that 21st century entrepreneurship can flourish sustainably. An environment that attracts startup talent and investors. In German startup ecosystem rankings, the Düsseldorf metropolitan region still has deficits in some areas. We are here to change that. Top
Derived from our four strategic thrusts – PR & Visibility, Education, Advocating (Founders Voice) and Matchmaking, we provide offline activities, services and events, deliver online resources, several membership services and benefits. You have probably heard of some of our event formats: Gründerstammtisch (Founder’s Night), Unicorn(Zebra)Pitch, Dorfschule, StartupDorf Day, Dorfhack, Lean Feierabend Bier, StartupDorf Day Masterclass, Köpfe-Kapital-Kooperationen, and our newest one DorfDemo.
Focus of our online platform: startup promotion & pr, mentor matchmaking and attracting members as well as national and international startup ecosystem builder for collaboration and cooperation. Top
Founding a startup is hard enough – we understand, we help. StartupDorf offers several benefits for startup members, that makes founders’ life a bit easier e.g. a full featured web profile. The good thing about it – membership for startups is free-of-charge! We help to connect with like-minded peer groups, increase the visibility of your Startup through data, simple information, media and startup stories. If you are a startup, we help tell and spread your story.
StartupDorf e.V. and its members acts as little facilitators for entrepreneurs to promote their businesses, to match the right people, to learn and upgrade your skills as an founder and help as an evolving organism to build a sustainable startup community and ecosystem. We reduce the effort for all the participants of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the administration district of Düsseldorf to come in touch with each other, to work on projects that drives successful innovation. Find a bullet list with advantages and benefits here. Top
The idea for the initiative and the name “StartupDorf” came from Hanns Tappen (Initiator, Chairman StartupDorf e.V.) in 2013.
The name is influenced by the wording “StartupVille” in the must-read book for Startup Ecosystem Builder & Startup Communities “Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City” by Brad Feld. In the meaning of Ville as german “Dorf” Hanns saw a nice word game with DüsselDorf, and startups in our hometown. Top
After checking several legal forms (“Verein”, “GmbH”, “gemeinnützige…”) we came along with an ideal form for our activities. We founded the association “StartupDorf e.V.” with seat in Düsseldorf. “e.V” stands for “eingetragener Verein”. The democratic constitution of our “Verein” helps us to act as a true representative that give a voice to all awesome startups in the District Düsseldorf District (Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf) with more than 5 Million inhabitants, the economic power region and capital city of the state of NRW. Top
Our legal seat is at the Coworking Space Startplatz in Düsseldorf, Speditionstraße 15a. You can find us in our StartupDorf office on (virtual) events and meetups. Like to get in contact? Use our contact details, connect with Members of our Board on Linkedin Twitter or tweet us. Please note: We do not offer regular office hours. Please announce your visit some days in advance Top.
Primary Note: We offer our listing service (map and web profiles) for startup companies which are located in Düsseldorf and/or in the District of Düsseldorf (Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf). The startups needs to operate in the Digital Economy and related HighTech segments with an innovative and scalable business model. Only for members of our Startup Club (Association/Verein) we can offer a full web profile, with many Startup PR-related features and matchmaking functionality, e.g. (C)VC.
To enter the map, means to become a member of StartupDorf e.V..The membership for startups is free of cost. The process to become a StartupDorf Startup Member is very easy and can be started online with your application. Top
Our listing service is designed to give an overview of the startup landscape and also to give our members of the association (Startup Vereinsmitglieder) more features to “pimp” aka present themselves in a full web profile. Different sections of text, video, images, social profiles, startup and vc-industry related info to enhance PR & visibility. Startup-PR by StartupDorf for founders by founders. To cut a long story short: If you want to expand (pimp) your profile, you are invited to become a member of our club with your innovative startup. As a club member you can profit with your startup essentially from the advantages of our offers in the areas Matchmaking, Education, Visibility & PR and the “One Voice” functionality as startup advocate. A startup membership is free of cost. By the way: The free startup membership is one of our StartupDorf Mantra, since the establishment of our Club (Verein) in the year 2013. Top
StartupDorf e.V. as a membership association (Verein) offers for Startups in the administrative district of Düsseldorf (Regierungsbezirk) and for members and supporters of the worldwide Startup Eco-System different membership types.
The StartupDorf Membership for startups in the administrative district of Düsseldorf (Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf) is free (kostenlos).
The StartupDorf Supporting Membership (Corporate Membership) and the Individual Membership (Personal Membership) have different annual fees. The respective company size (employees) and personal role determines in each category the annual fee/contribution. Top
StartupDorf e.V. is the first independent Startup & Startup Ecosystem Builder Association in Germany to foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state capital Düsseldorf and in the entire administrative district of Düsseldorf. Our local approach combined with our understanding of international startup methodologies and startup community building experience helps Düsseldorf Startups and Ecosystem to grow faster and to grow more sustainable. It was founded in 2013 as a grassroots movement by serial entrepreneurs and community builder, and is based in Düsseldorf (state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia – NRW). Startup community building is a long term project and needs to build up from the founder perspective, without strings attached by Governments, Universities and established institutions – but with their unconditional support so that true independence leads to sustainable and organic growth of the community. The StartupDorf Mantra #Foundersfirst helps all startup ecosystem participators to focus and adapt to the needs of founders in 21st century for a better future. With a set of different measures (programs and events) in four core areas Matchmaking, PR & Visibility, Education and Startup Advocating, StartupDorf e.V. has repeatedly been able to create pioneering accents, impulses and further development of the startup community. Over the years, StartupDorf has developed into a strong brand that belongs to Startup Entrepreneurship in one of the most successful regions in Europe. The local approach and the international networking with other startup communities worldwide underlines the open and collaborative mindset of the volunteer-led association. Top
A full membership as a Startup (Startup Member) become young companies in Düsseldorf and in the entire administrative district of Düsseldorf, especially those having or developing an innovative and scalable business approach via digital or “tech” solutions (e.g. Internet, Mobility, E-Commerce, AI, Blockchain, etc. as well as Creative Industries with growth orientated digital product/service).
Become a member and fill in the application form online today.
Thanks to our voluntary work, thanks to our supporting members and sponsors StartupDorf e.V. can offer the membership as a startup free of charge (0,00 €/year). Top
Companies and institutions, which are not a startup, may become a supporting member. Our supporting members are fueling the community with knowledge, expertise, experience and represent the important access to B2B references, pilot customers, resources and growth.
Become a supporting member and fill in the application form online today.
Thanks to your financial contribution, we are able to speed up our voluntary work for a better startup community and startup ecosystem.
The Support Membership starts at 250,00 €/year and ends at 1.000,00 €/year. Please find a membership fee overview here (PDF).
We have special sponsorship packages available for our supporting members (Corporate Membership). Our pricing policy enables interested companies to enjoy comparatively unbeatable benefits that no similarly established association offers. Feel free to contact us, we will show you the different possibilities. Top
Individuals like Business Angels, Mentors and Volunteers, which are not a startup, may become an individual supporting member. These people want to invest in startups in many different ways. In addition to financing (e.g. seed investing), this means advice, tips, mentoring and coaching in particular, which are provided/matched via our platform. For people without the specific intention to participate financially in startups (Angels), or to support founders with their expertise and experience (Mentors), but who want to help develop the community and club structures with their voluntary work (Volunteers) they find in the individual support membership the right fit.
Become a supporting member and fill in the application form online today.
Thanks to your financial contribution, we are able to speed up our voluntary work for a better startup community and startup ecosystem. The Support Membership for Individuals (Personal Membership) starts at 50,00 €/year and ends at 150,00 €/year. (Volunteers do not pay) Please find a membership fee overview here (PDF). Top
Starting and leading a successful startup correlates with the ability to make quick decisions. Many strategic questions arise. In these moments young entrepreneurs can benefit from mentors. The right mentoring can be invaluable. As we know from studies and research projects, like by a Harvard Business School research, which has shown that startup businesses that receive mentoring are more likely to experience sustainable business growth. This is the reason why we have developed this Mentor programme “Uplevel Mentoring” for our startup members aka founders to scale their startups to scale-ups. In a light version, we provide a kind of mentoring for ideas on the concept level via the initial idea coaching programme.
Our mentors are either series founders or experienced senior executives from the corporate world. Among the mentors are also scientists from universities and business coaches who make their expertise available. They want to share their expertise on entrepreneurship with member startups on a voluntary basis.
StartupDorf handles the mentor and founder match and provides the framework for uplevel mentoring. Top
Building an entrepreneurial ecosystem is driven by entrepreneurs #foundersfirst, but impossible without the guiding help of local government, universities, investors, mentors, service providers, large companies and overall passionated volunteers – the movers and shakers.
Because we know that there are different interests of the different participants, we have started to moderate these interests for us founders. We have created offerings that manage to combine our strategic directions* with the interests of the various players. The offers are primarily events and digital services. Some of these offers are exclusive and only available selectively for a few ecosystem participants, namely our Supporting Members.
In addition to our classic member-offers and -types as well as our standard sponsor packages, we are also happy to enter into larger cooperations with our supporting members, where we jointly develop projects and programmers, e.g. matchmaking events, master classes, dorhacks, etc.
We are always interested in establishing and expanding partnerships with ecosystem participants so that founders and startups have a better environment to successfully bring innovation to the world.
If you want to belong to the group, please feel free to sign up and become a supporting member.
(strategic directions: PR & Visibility, Matchmaking, Education, Advocating Founders) Top
Events play a special role in achieving these goals. Over the years, we have developed, tested and successfully expanded various event formats. We have noticed that there is now an event industry that wants to make money with the overarching theme of startups. That’s not a bad thing, but unfortunately it also creates ambiguities. Therefore, StartupDorf will continue to work to ensure that there are 100% startup events without label fraud. Our event formats:
Gründerstammtisch (Founder’s Night), Unicorn Pitch, Unicorn Pitch Grand-Prix, Dorfschule, Uplevel Mentoring, Startup Dinner’s, StartupDorf Day, Dorfhack, Lean Feierabend Bier, StartupDorf Day Masterclass, Köpfe-Kapital-Kooperationen, and our newest one DorfDemo.
Our association works in four strategic directions. PR & Visibility, Matchmaking, Founder Education, Advocating Founders.
The Founders’Night (the so called: “Gründerstammtisch”) is one of the most successful startup and founder scene (Gruenderszene) event formats in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region in recent years. Since 2013, founders, people interested in founding, innovation and creative workers, as well as large parts of the start-up ecosystem from NRW have found their way to Düsseldorf* – Rhineland every first Wednesday of the month.
The continuity and the different startup and innovation topics, startup pitches (UnicornPitch), as well as the lived and beloved startup culture in dynamic networking has brought the Gründerstammtisch into the top ten of German Entrepreneur Meetups**. The format serves all strategic thrusts of the association.
The Founders’Night takes place every first Wednesday of the month. Is free of charge with prior registration (RSVP). Registration is via Eventbrite & Meetup or Zoom (Covid).
* Online / Zoom during Covid-19
** Source: https://www.meetup.com/topics/business-entrepreneur-networking/de/
With the Education Programme Dorfschule, current startup knowledge and startup leadership principles for practice is imparted in various subject areas (modules). With the help of experienced trainers, lecturers, experts and mentors, the Dorfschule takes place within a community-driven and cost-neutral movement for members. The offer is also open to interested people outside the association. The “Dorfschule teachers” are members of the association.
StartupDorf can offer this form of practical training at regular intervals only with the help of the lecturers and programme sponsors. Among others, the support comes from association (supporting) members, who are experts in their field as founders or employees of their consulting companies.
You can find more information about the programme here. If you would like to support us as a lecturer or as a programme sponsor, please contact us via our contact options.