StartupDorf: A success story

Since the first activities in spring 2013 and the foundation of the association in winter 2013, some noteworthy things have happened in StartupDorf over the years, which we would like to share with you in this chronology. Forgotten a few points for sure 😉

In our social channels as well as on Twitter (from March 2013) and Instagram (from April 2016) you can find many more entries that give you a good picture of our club history. Have fun.

Year 2013

May 2013
Hanns Tappen initiates various meetings, meetups of well-known players in the fragmented startup-scene and startup ecosystem in Düsseldorf to form a modern and founder centric initiative for startups in the digital economy.

August 2013
The first startup regulars’ table (Founders Night aka Gründerstammtisch) for startup founders from the digital economy was held at Seifenhorst (Düsseldorf Unterbilk) and sparked a spirit of optimism for the previously unconnected startup scene. First every two weeks, then in a monthly rhythm.

September 2013
Hanns first public presentation of StartupDorf strategy and concept on how Düsseldorf can become an “Awesome Startup Hub”. Startup Community Building initiated by founders from a founder perspective. (Slideshare)

December 2013
Official founding of the association StartupDorf e.V.

Year 2014

July 2014
StartupDorf website goes online with comprehensive functions and programs (e.g. Mentor Program) for startup members

November 2014
StartupDorf as initiator of the workshop series: “Beyond Silicon Valley – How to build a Startup Metropolis in Düsseldorf” with 5 workshops over 5 weeks. Supported by the US Consulat General Düsseldorf, EBC University, the Düsseldorf Office for Economic Development, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf, Heinrich Heine University, EON Agile, Sirus Ventures and in cooperation with Prof. Michael Goldberg, Cleveland (Ohio)

December 2014
– Publishing: Analysis of and demand for the Startup Ecosystem Düsseldorf (Study)
– The StartupDorf Founder’s Night (Gründerstammtisch) moves to the “Düsseldorf Mitte” Hotel with help of a new sponsor from Berlin (Amano Group)
– Rheinische Post reports “Düsseldorf needs a start-up centre” in an interview with Hanns Tappen and the City of Düsseldorf started the search for an operator of a location at the Düsseldorf harbor. Finally, Startplatz from Cologne was awarded and expanded to Düsseldorf (Link)

Year 2015

February 2015
Internationalization and inspiration on an invitation-only tour of the USA. In one week together with other startup ecosystem developers from Germany: Washington DC, Baltimore, Tucson and Phoenix.

March 2015
– U.S. Professor Michael Goldberg visits the StartupDorf and EBC University of Applied Sciences as a follow-up to last year’s “Beyond Silicon Valley” Workshop with lecture and expert discussions at the invitation of the U.S. Consul General
– StartupDorf brings Startplatz’ Rhineland-Pitch to Düsseldorf for the first time. A proven pitch format arrives in Düsseldorf connecting Cologne’s and Düsseldorf’s ecosystem. (Startplatz Blog)

May 2015
StartupDorf participates in the international format “How Local Ecosystems Can Support the Creation of Start-Ups” in Berlin and expands its international network into other startup ecosystems. (Blog Connective Cities)

June 2015
– Startup summit in cooperation with “Düsseldorf Digital” (by Rheinische Post) im Wirtschaftsclub. Our startup members introduce themselves at the Wirtschaftsclub Düsseldorf. (RP Zeitgeist)
– StartupDorf organizes the first Rhineland Pitch Final in Düsseldorf with other Düsseldorf partners, such as the Digitale Stadt Düsseldorf, IHK-Düsseldorf, Marketing Club Düsseldorf and the Economic Development Agency Düsseldorf and made it the largest pitch event for Startplatz. StartupDorf provides a jury member (Startplatz Blog)

August 2015
– StartupDorf and Düsseldorf Economic Development Corporation sign cooperation agreement to, e.g., support the Founder’s Night (Gründerstammtisch) as a regular event format.
– StartupDorf becomes a member of the startup network Go-Dus

November 2015
Hanns Tappen (StartupDorf) presents the space requirements of startups and creatives (New Work, Coworking Space) at the Heuer Immobilien Dialog in Düsseldorf.

December 2015
Garage Bilk (first co-working space in Düsseldorf) and StartupDorf deepen cooperation and Garage Bilk provides StartupDorf with office and meeting spaces.

Year 2016

Januar 2016 – March 2016
DUS Highflyer Award: For Düsseldorf Airport #DUS StartupDorf developed in cooperation with betawerke, the management consultancy specialized in corporate – startup projects, the largest startup competition in the state capital up to that time.

April 2016
– Organizing the 5-day Finals of DUS Highflyer Award at the Airport #DUS as a Lighthouse event for the first Startup Week (Startupwoche Düsseldorf) (Video/Youtube)
– Second lighthouse event as part of the 1st Startup Week Düsseldorf: StartupDorf brings US Ambassador John B. Emerson from Berlin to the joint event with WHU “Corporate Innovation and Corporate Venture Capital – from Silicon Valley to Rhine Valley” due to the good relations US Consulate General and thus opened direct access to the international VC scene for its startup members. (Video/Youtube)

June 2016
Participation of StartupDorf at the “Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair” in Chengdu, China

July 2016
StartupDorf becomes co-opted advisory board member of digihub Düsseldorf / Rheinland GmbH

August 2016
StartupDorf welcomes a first Startup Delegation from Asia

September 2016
StartupDorf is Media & Event Partner of the 1st DWNRW Summit in Essen

December 2016
– StartupDorf is co-opted member of the board of digihub e.V.
– Continuation of the cooperation with the Düsseldorf Economic Development Agency for a further year
– At the end of 2016, the largest startup membership increase since StartupDorf was founded was celebrated

Year 2017

January 2017
Move of both StartupDorf and the Founder’s Night (Gründerstammtisch) to Düsseldorf’s new coworking space “Factory Campus”

February 2017
StartupDorf now welcomes startup members not only from Düsseldorf itself but also Düsseldorf’s administrative district

April 2017
Launch of the Lean Feierabendbier Special in cooperation with Lean Coffee. Supported by Düsseldorf Economic Development Corporation and codecentric AG

June 2017
StartupDorf welcomes Startup Delegation from Latin America (Image)

September 2017
2nd Lean Feierabendbier in cooperation with Lean Coffee. Supported by Düsseldorf Economic Development Corporation and codecentric AG

October 2017
Lieutenant Governor Michael R. Cooney (Montana, USA) and Lieutenant Governor John A. Sanchez (New Mexico, USA) visit the StartupDorf

November 2017
– StartupDorf is media and event and program partner of the 2nd DWNRW Summit in Düsseldorf (Blog/Images)
– 50th Founder’s Night/Grüdnerstammtisch at DWNRW-Summit (Blog/Images)
– Launch of the “Corporates meets Startups” format at the “StartupDorf Day” #SDD in Sturmfreie Bude in Düsseldorf in cooperation with Henkel, Evonik and Innogy. #SDD17 Night with Winter BBQ and Top DJ Gregor Wagner. Check (Blog/Background)

December 2017
– Launch of a new StartupDorf #Education program part. Workshop series format DorfSchule attracts great attention
– Continuation of the cooperation with the Düsseldorf Economic Development Agency for a further year

Year 2018

July 2018
A big summer party was celebrated. The DorfFEST. At the same time, the association StartupDorf e.V. moved to the new coworking space Super7000. (Foto Gallery)

August 2018
Founder’s Night (Gründerstammtisch) also moves to super(7000)

November 2018
– Launch of a new StartupDorf #EDUCATION offer for our (startup + supporting) members. Launch of StartupDorf Masterclass. Kicked-off at the StartupDorf Day #SDD with CREAVIS and Evonik (Blog/Background/Pictures)
– 2nd StartupDorf Day #SDD18 at Sturmfreie Bude and Winter BBQ and Roof Terrace invite-only members club (Gallery)

December 2018
Continuation of the cooperation with the Düsseldorf Economic Development Agency for a further year

Year 2019

January 2019
StartupDorf’s Founder’s Night/Gründerstammtisch is recognized as one of ten Germany’s largest networking events. Only Berlin and Munich have larger events. (Source:

April 2019
Launch of the “Dorfhacks” format – 1st Startup Community Developer Conference in Düsseldorf with community developers from Rhine and Ruhr as well as the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Poland. (background event website)

July 2019
New office space at super(7000) and regular office hours of StartupDorf board members

September 2019
First students / interns to support our daily networking activities were recruited

December 2019
Continuation of the cooperation with the Düsseldorf Economic Development Agency for a further year

Year 2020

March 2020
StartupDorf is one of the first startup networks in Germany to initiate an online survey for startups on the current Corona situation (1st StartupDorf Corona Survey) and offering a link list with daily updated help offers and information for founders and start-ups in the first months of Covid-19.

April 2020
Results of the 1st Corona survey have been published on Slideshare

May 2020
Update May 2020 to determine the pandemic impact on digital economy startups by COVID-19 in the Düsseldorf administrative district via second Corona survey (2nd StartupDorf Corona Survey)

June 2020
Results of the 2nd Corona survey have been published on Slideshare

August 2020
First Pan-European online matchmaking event for the startup ecosystems in Düsseldorf and Luxembourg. Deepening the partnership with Silikon Luxembourg and its European neighbor Luxembourg for the purpose of exchanging the corresponding startup ecosystems through various activities, such as a virtual matchmaking event (Blog/Background)

Year 2021

January 2021
Relaunch of our website with new functionalities. Startup map with several hundred entries, startup profiles, etc.

March 2021
The StartupDorf Unicorn Pitch Competition is introduced and startups from all over NRW apply for the kick-off

June 2021
Event cooperation “It’s a match- Meet Your Co-Founder” with the Women Entrepreneurs in Science network, StartupDorf and the fe:male Innovation Hub. The Women Entrepreneurs in Science project is a network for female students, employees and graduates of NRW universities. (Background/Blog)

September 2021
– The first physically held Founders’ Roundtable (Founders Night, Gründerstammtisch) since March 2020. The other monthly events ran virtually
– StartupDorf is an exhibitor at the Digital Demo Day and Hanns Tappen holds a workshop on the topic of cooperation between startups and Mittelstand (SMEs)

October 2021
Co-op event kick-off with XING Pulse Tech Düsseldorf (Instagram)

December 2021
At the end of 2021, the largest startup membership increase since StartupDorf was founded could be celebrated



StartupDorf e.V.
Speditionstraße 15a
40221 Düsseldorf
+49 (211) 176 072 93
(answering machine)

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Copyright StartupDorf. All rights reserved.
Made with love in Düsseldorf.

Back to Bello home

Copyright StartupDorf. All rights reserved. Made with love in Düsseldorf.



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