Ample office space and connectivity: Is this German region the ideal place to launch a business?

3 min read
22 Jan 2019

efore embarking upon your business journey, it’s important to find the right place to. With ample office space and a supportive community, the region of Frankfurt Rhein-Main may be a great option.

Location is key when it comes to choosing a place to start a business or set up a new office, and Frankfurt Rhein-Main has its own unique set of assets.

The third-largest metropolitan region in Germany, Frankfurt Rhein-Main is the area surrounding the city of Frankfurt and covers more than 14,800 km2. The five biggest cities in this region are Frankfurt am Main (known as Frankfurt), Darmstadt, Mainz, Offenbach and Wiesbaden.

FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH International Marketing of the Region, an investment-promotion agency, aims to present and actively market the numerous strengths of Frankfurt Rhine-Main. In addition, FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH implements targeted measures to position the region in the global competitive environment.

Eric Menges, CEO and president of FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH, discusses the advantages of the region and the ways that entrepreneurs can navigate its ecosystem.

Eric Menges. Photo: Startup Guide

When selecting a new company space, there are a number of factors to consider, such as tax regulations, access to training or networking programs, affordable housing and ease of transportation. It’s also worth thinking about your company’s planned growth and future space requirements.

“Office space is abundant in the Frankfurt Rhein-Main region,” Eric says. “It’s high quality and low cost. And Frankfurt is a super international place, perhaps due to its long tradition of being a trade fair location where millions of people come from around the world every year, but also because of the financial services industry.”

Among the advantages that Frankfurt can offer startups and later-stage companies is the “connectivity,” in Eric’s words. With impressive transport links to and from the airport, as well as with the rest of Germany and Europe, getting from place to place is quick and simple.

“Within the region, it hardly ever takes more than thirty minutes to get to the airport or another city in the area,” Eric adds. This enables individuals to spend less time commuting and more time building up their businesses.

While many people see Frankfurt as a financial center, Eric says the region is home to an array of different industries that are often overlooked.

“There are big names in IT, like Software AG and SAP, that have been here for a long time. In the pharmaceutical and life sciences space, there are major companies like Sanofi-Aventis, Merck and Fresenius within the region.”

Office space is abundant in the Frankfurt Rhein-Main region. It's high quality and low cost.

“A lot of people don’t realize it, but Frankfurt Rhein-Main is a big automotive hub, with large companies like Opel/PSA and Continental, as well as several Korean and Japanese car-makers, setting up branches here.”

For anyone thinking of Frankfurt as a place to launch a startup, scale a company or open a R&D center, Eric suggests that you reach out to governmental initiatives or business promotion agencies, like FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH, that are keen on fostering the startup climate in an area.

These organizations can guide you with everything from ways to get financing to finding special entrepreneurial support programs. Moreover, they may have contacts in the city or region which you may not have found otherwise.

In addition to its Frankfurt am Main location, FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH has offices in London, Chicago, Shanghai and Pune for those that have questions or concerns about setting up shop in the region.

Germany, unlike other European countries, is very decentralized. There are a range of industry clusters.

Engaging with the local startup scene and making yourself known is an integral first step for budding businesses, according to Eric.

“You need to be out and about at events and conferences, talking to people,” Eric says. Expanding your network is crucial to the growth of your business. It can help with connecting with partners, acquiring customers, building a community and finding talent.

A good way to scope out some spots in the region before settling on a place is to check out some shared offices or coworking spaces in preferred areas.

“Germany, unlike other European countries, is very decentralized. There are a range of industry clusters,” says Eric. “Maybe you want to be close to universities or the banks, or the automotive industry. Regardless, it’s worth looking around and exploring a bit before making a decision on where you want to base yourself. Take your time with finding the right place.”

This article was originally published in Startup Guide Frankfurt.

Main photo: Unsplash/Jan Philipp Thiele