Hohenlohe – Scholarships to attract startups to SWR Aktuell

Baden-W্টrttemberg lags behind when it comes to start-ups – especially in rural areas. An initiative of Hohenlohe provides grants to make the location more attractive for start-ups.

Anna Gimera prepared herself. He presented his idea to the jury of companies and mayors: his own shop for pet supplies, an online store with fairly manufactured and economically sustainable products.

He has already rented a room in Bad Margentheim (Maine-Taber-Chris) for this. A scholarship from the “Hohenlohe 4 Talent” program will help him go through a tough start-up phase with better financial security. Anna Zimmer was one of five applicants who made it to the finals of the competition.

Financial support for founders

A total of 50,000 euros will be distributed to the winners of the first funding round. For many founders, they are a welcome injection of money, as it is still difficult to find money as a start-up in Germany – especially in rural areas, organizers say.

“We’re not in Berlin or Munich, but that’s exactly why we create this kind of incentive system to give something away.”

The area around Hohenloh offers a lot more than the program, says Thorben Henriques, a supervisor at Hohenlohe’s 4 Talent. Economically strong areas with many local companies provide the best conditions for a start-up.

“We’re already aware that this may be just the beginning, it’s a start to creating a start-up culture here – a start-up culture in rural areas.”

Baden-W্টrttemberg’s “founding state” lags behind in startups

Action is needed in Baden-W্টrttemberg: Of the five billion euros that flow into start-ups in Germany each year, only three percent goes to Baden-W্টrttemberg. For comparison: Bavaria currently gets about 30 percent of the cake, Berlin even 60 percent.

The average start-up in Baden-Württemberg is smaller and has lower sales than the national average. Founders are older, often male, and rarely have a migration background. And: Almost all start-ups are located in cities, not in rural areas. For example, while 57 start-ups were established in Stuttgart last year, none were established in the Hohenlohe district. So there is something to be done in rural areas.

Successful with an air sensor?

They want to bring something back to the countryside: Frederick and Ralph Wistup come from Brother Kunzelsau and are developing a sensor that is intended to detect viruses in the air at an early stage, meaning “high technology made in Hohenloe”. Corona is up to date, but also important for future epidemics. The name of their project is MeiLuft.

They also presented themselves before the jury. Frederick Westup, who was responsible for the artificial intelligence (AI) of the censors, was a bit nervous, but the jury applauded both brothers.

The jury is still deciding

Anna Gimera was also apparently excited before her pitch. The last few minutes in the preparation room were a real challenge.

“It was horrible. I thought I was fainting. They probably all rejoiced together and thought ‘Oh my God, poor thing’, but I’m glad it’s over now.”

On Friday, the jury announced which of the five applicants would receive the grant: the winners are Elysium, LocalBoxx, MeiLuft and PackPart. One winner of the competition was clear from the start: the Hohenloe area could be looking forward to exciting new startups.

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