Germany: Start-ups ready for take-off

Nuremberg Exhibition Centre is top for start-ups. An efficient cost-benefit ratio thanks to sponsored pavilions lets start-ups present themselves here.

Area for young innovative companies: Many start-ups reap the benefits – like here at BrauBeviale.
Area for young innovative companies: Many start-ups reap the benefits – like here at BrauBeviale.

More than 1,000 “Young, Innovative Companies” have taken part in the eponymous trade fair programme organised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) at NürnbergMesse events since 2007.  For 2019, the BMWi is providing sponsorship at 63 fairs across Germany, most of them  – 12 – being in Nuremberg, as the trade fair company points out. “The young companies reveal a lot about the viability of entire sectors,” says Peter Ottmann. “And they constantly impress me with their fresh frank views on topics and products,” says the CEO of NürnbergMesse.

With its “Young Innovative Companies” trade fair programme, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs helps small companies based in Germany that are less than ten years old. They are given the opportunity to take part in a sponsored pavilion for the same event up to a maximum of three times. NürnbergMesse is a regular front runner in terms of the number of trade fairs with sponsored pavilions, stress the managers of the venue in the Franconian metropolis. Exhibitors who take advantage of this benefit not only financially. They also receive organisational support: This is a great advantage, especially for inexperienced newcomers to trade fairs.

In terms of costs, there is a big difference between participating in a pavilion and organising one’s own trade fair attendance.  The pavilion offers a way for young companies to gain first trade fair experience and familiarise themselves with the market and their competitors without any great risk. It also gives them a chance to meet potential business partners face-to-face. This is another reason why offers for start-ups are in such great demand: At this year’s embedded world exhibition 2019 there will be an additional start-up area next to the pavilion sponsored by the ministry for the first time.  The available space is already fully booked for the premiere. 

Among others, the founders of Babo Beverages have successfully used the platform for start-ups in Nuremberg. The young entrepreneurs with their blue beer got off to a flying start after taking part in BrauBeviale in 2015 and 2016: “We made important new contacts whom we are still working with today,” recalls Ludwig Gerlinger. “In the fields of raw materials, empties procurement and shipping services,” says the co-founder of Babo Beverages (

Author: Peter Borstel

This article was published in TFI issue 1/2019


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