Innovative business ideas and motivated company founders are truly welcome in Osnabrück District. Their importance for the location is illustrated not only by the intensive unbureaucratic support that start-ups receive in the Start-up House Osnabrücker Land. They also find open doors in the 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.
Well advised 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 local economy and job situation. Experts in the Start-up House Osnabrücker Land accompany and advise start-ups as they take the steps involved in setting up their own business, regardless whether this refers to working freelance, 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 funding 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.
Focus on the food industry and food technology
Space for business ideas in the InnovationCentre
The start-up helpers are organised on a purely local level to put them close to the needs of the business founders and in good company with technologyoriented 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).
Technology-oriented start-ups find a unique chance to use the potential offered by the academic sector for their own corporate development. Young companies can rent low-priced, top quality, well-furnished office space in the ICO. The aim is to create viable jobs and to retain highly qualified skilled workers, while generating 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.
The ICO is also home to the Start-up House Osnabrücker Land. Photo: ICO InnovationsCentrum Osnabück GmbH, Osnabrück
Impetus for the agriculture and food industry
Growth potential for important industry clusters is offered by the nationally unique Start-up Centre for Agricultural Engineering, Food and Digitalisation, that has been in existence 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. Numerous “creative minds” have already passed through the Seedhouse, dealing among others with animal food from insects, communication with plants, a sustainable food coating and an innovative dairy product.
Ideal conditions for start-ups in the BIQ
The food industry in particular benefits from BIQ, the Business and Innovation Park Quakenbrück which was established in 2015. Located in the direct vicinity of the cooperation partner DIL (German Institute of Food Technologies), it offers outstanding prerequisites for young companies and development centres in the food branch and bioeconomy. Office space, labs and production facilities covering around 3,000 square metres 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.