The Startupbootcamp Smart City program started out in Amsterdam in 2015. During the first three program cycles, 32 Smart City & Living startups participated, of which 29 are still active.
After the initial success of the Amsterdam program, a dedicated Smart City program was set up in Dubai, and Smart City sourcing areas were added to the accelerator programs in Cape Town and Melbourne. Essen will be the third dedicated Startupbootcamp Smart City program, adding to the global partner- and startup network in the domain.
Ruud Hendriks, co-founder of Startupbootcamp said: “The Ruhr area presents immense opportunities in the Smart City domain. We believe that Essen can become the starting point for the next chapter of innovation on a global level. In long time Startupbootcamp mentor Jochen Berbuer and the team at FAKT AG, we found the right launching partner to help us build the Smart City ecosystem in the region, with a lot of potential for a worldwide impact.”
After launching seven years ago in the real estate sector to “bring the Ruhr into the 21st century”, FAKT AG now has a portfolio of prestigious properties and landmarks which it wants to revitalize and maintain for future generations. To do this, the Essen-based company has founded FAKT: Innovation initiative, which was initiated by Jochen Berbuer (CINO of GoToMarket Solution GmbH) and his team.
Professor Hubert Schulte-Kemper, CEO of FAKT AG commented: “We want to make the Ruhr conurbation a leading location for digitalization and a Smart City offering safe, convenient living for its entire 5.2 million population and for future generations, providing the best possible health care, innovative mobility concepts and education while at the same time protecting the environment by easing the burden on resources.”
Erik Schäfer, President of FAKT International AG, wants to use their proximity to Germany's leading startup initiatives centred on the WHU in Koblenz and Düsseldorf to create an ecosystem in the Rhineland and Ruhr areas as a counterpoint to the startup scene in Berlin. “We have far more opportunities in the Ruhr,” he says. “Political decision-makers at local and state level are active supporters, and the added value and experience is huge thanks to the industrial environment. We've also got a well-embedded root base for manufacturing businesses right on our doorstep – all things the German capital simply cannot offer.”
For the Ruhr conurbation, the timing could not be better, having just mastered the structural transformation from coal and steel to become a key location for service and technology businesses. Digitalization and intelligent networking of buildings, energy supplies, mobility, education, and healthcare are currently top of mind at many local industry leaders, and the Startupbootcamp Smart City & Living program aims to accelerate innovation on these topics in the region.
The Essen program aims to open applications in early 2018.
Visit https://www.startupbootcamp.org for more information.
Founded in 2010, Startupbootcamp is an award-winning global network of industry-focused accelerator programs. With 20+ programs in Europe, Asia, North & South America, MENA & Africa, selected startups gain access to the most relevant mentors, partners, and investors in their industry.
About FAKT group
The FAKT group of companies specializes in project development – its core segments being real estate, selected municipal infrastructure and capital market issues, and projects aimed at environmentally-friendly energy production and efficient use of scarce resources. In Germany and on the international markets, the FAKT Group operates in conjunction with a professional network of established cooperation partners and representatives in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, London and Paris. The Group currently has 20 subsidiaries and project companies under its umbrella.