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We Came Here to Grow: Hamburg, the Destination for GreenTech Scaleups

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(c) Mediaserver Hamburg / Christian Brandes

Hamburg has been attracting founders and entrepreneurs from all around the world for decades. With its strategic location, international trade connections, and a thriving startup ecosystem, Hamburg is the perfect destination for entrepreneurs looking to expand their business. From April 2023, GreenTech startups from all over the world can apply for two support programmes of the City of Hamburg: the Future Hamburg Award and the Scaleup Landing Pad Hamburg. One of the highlights of the Future Hamburg Award is the opportunity to participate in an attractive accelerator program by Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley. The Scaleup Landing Pad Hamburg offers particularly promising scaleups a tailor-made offer for the boost they need to grow from Hamburg.

Metropolitan regions around the world are facing the same challenges, such as increasing traffic, rising emissions and limited space – and all of these developments call for innovative approaches. With the Future Hamburg Award and the Scaleup Landing Pad Hamburg the City of Hamburg aims to support smart solutions for the city of tomorrow. GreenTech startups and scaleups that contribute to a sustainable change in urban life in the areas of energy, sustainable mobility, logistics or construction and all related fields are invited to apply online.

Europe’s hotspot for GreenTech startups and scaleups

Founders from around the world value Hamburg as a location for kick-starting their digital business ideas because the city’s startup ecosystem is considered to be one of the strongest in Europe. Global players such as Adobe, Facebook, Google, Snap or Yelp have chosen Hamburg as the location for their corporate headquarters. A major centre of trade in Northern Europe, Hamburg is an ideal place for tapping new markets based on innovative ideas. Moreover, Hamburg offers excellent opportunities for networking with established world market leaders and innovation champions. Some of the most successful startups such as the German e-commerce unicorn About You, the breaking-edge cleantech scaleup 1KOMMA5°, the sustainable banking-app Tomorrow or the B2B smart-mobility plattform Wunder Mobility were founded in Hamburg. And thanks to a growing number of coworking spaces, more than a dozen international accelerator programmes and startup hubs, Hamburg’s attractiveness has increased even further during the last decade. This diversity creates a rich and dynamic entrepreneurial environment, where founders can learn from each other and collaborate across industries.

Hamburg is frequently ranked as one of Europe’s most liveable cities and is also a leader in key industries like aviation and renewable energies. Very early the city realized that sustainability is the key-factor to secure the quality of life of the citizens and economical wealth. With its own ambitions climate targets to be CO2-neutral by the year 2045, Hamburg is setting also the pace to reach the climate-goals. Germany’s second largest metropolis is also emerging as a leader in the shift towards renewable energy and approaches for the ramp up of an functioning green hydrogen economy until 2035.. As an internationally well renowned real lab the city offers also blue prints for the implementation of intelligent mobility systems or sustainable housing. This setting makes Hamburg an outstanding location for all GreenTech startups particularly in mobility, logistics or green hydrogen.

Beyond that, the hanseatic city attracts international attention as one of the few European cities with its own startup-programmes with a specific focus on Green Tech. Two of them are now open for applicants:

Future Hamburg Award

The Future Hamburg Award is asking for new ways of thinking that comes to life in future-oriented projects. The tender is aimed at companies whose business model and work have an impact on sustainability and urban quality of life. On the search for innovations that will help to make the city life of the future better – in the realm of logistics, mobility and GreenTech.

The Future Hamburg Award offers three companies in an early start-up phase (from 2 to 4 years) access to one of the most vital start-up ecosystems for the further development of their business model, contacts to potential industry partners or investors and, in addition, opens up a wide range of opportunities to enter the German and EU market from Hamburg.

The three winners will be supported in maintaining and consolidating their business and make their work even more successfull:

a one-month international accelerator program by Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley,

media package, pitch trainings and corporate readiness workshop by Plug and Play

mentorship with a leading technology innovation expert.

International startups can submitt their projects between 17 April and 9 July 2023 at

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Scaleup Landing Pad Hamburg

The Scaleup Landing Pad Hamburg supports growth companies with sustainable technologies from the mobility, logistics, energy and construction sectors in Hamburg for their expansion activities into Germany. The offer aims to link these so-called scaleups with relevant companies from the Hamburg metropolitan region and to accompany them in further developing their business in the Hanseatic city with economic success. The selected scaleups will receive services tailored to their individual needs worth up to 50,000 euros as well as personal one-to-one support until the end of 2023.

They can choose from four components (up to the total value above), delivered through a curated network of external service providers with Hamburg expertise:

  • Business Development: active matchmaking of scaleups with relevant business partners, support in initiating, finding funding and implementing pilot projects.
  • Living & Workspace: up to 8 weeks of accommodation in a furnished flat in the centre of Hamburg as well as up to 8 weeks of co-working space or individual offices
  • Location Consulting: Market and location analysis, advice on organisational and process development, recruitment services to determine staffing needs and to hire new employees.
  • Business Services: Support with marketing and administrative issues such as visas & work permits, insurance, legal & tax, business registration.


The Landing Pad is accepting applications online via its website from now on (until 30 April 2023).

Hamburg – a powerful partner to scale

One of the many success stories for the impact of both initiatives is Infinite Mobility, an urban mobility startup from Norway. Founded in 2020, Infinite Mobility develops lightweight, solar-powered vehicles for short inner-city journeys. Their company’s solar tuk-tuk is cost-effective, safe, compact and contributes to the three UN Sustainable Development Goals of climate change, sustainable cities and poverty alleviation.

In 2021 the company was one of the winners of the second edition of the Future Hamburg Award and could particularly benefit from the cities test field for mobility solutions in the port of Hamburg and networking activities around Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress, which took place in Hamburg in the same year. Infinite Mobility convinced the jury with its great range of usage opportunities and the high disruption potential of its forward-looking business idea. As Infinite Mobility was in an early seed phase at that time, the Future Hamburg Award was glad to support the company in taking its vision to the next stage.

Already aware of the opportunities Hamburg can offer to proceed with the very own business idea, Infinite Mobility applied for the first round of the new Scaleup Landing Pad Hamburg in 2022, which fitted perfectly to their profile. With more than a dozen other trailblazing scaleups the company joint the first round of this new offer for international startups and composed their individual scaleup-menu with the Hamburg Invest Startup-Unit.

The quest for the right investor

Hamburg is an economic powerhouse, based on a centuries old tradition of international trade and commerce. More than 170.000 companies generate the highest GDP per capita. But the wealth of the metropolis and its citizens also was always related to innovations and business ideas that emerged in this unique ecosystem, which always relied on freedom, exchange and tolerance.

According to the database of Startupcity Hamburg the ecosystem here is linked to more than 500 investors with a broad range of backgrounds and connections to various industries. In addition to private investors, Hamburg offers founders an excellent infrastructure of public funding and financing programmes. Numerous offers such as startup advice and accelerator and incubator programmes enable startups and scale-ups to grow and drive innovative ideas forward.

An overview of all investors and the whole ecosystem in Hamburg is offered by the online-platform www.StartupCity.Hamburg offered by the Startup-Unit of Hamburg Invest.

In conclusion, Hamburg is the ideal destination for innovative entrepreneurs looking to grow and scale their businesses. With its strategic location, international trade connections, and thriving startup ecosystem, Hamburg offers founders access to resources, funding, and mentorship, as well as a supportive community of like-minded entrepreneurs. We came here to grow, and Hamburg is the place to do it.

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Veronika Reichboth

Head of Startup-Unit Hamburg





Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at

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