Business development

In Cologne start up companies encounter ideal conditions: Numerous technology parks and new business centres provide new companies with the optimal infrastructure for their development, and assist entrepreneurs in converting their ideas into reality, sometimes with the help of »incubators«.

The University of Cologne, the University of Applied Sciences Cologne, and the German Sport University Cologne have joint forces to establish the University Start-up Network Cologne.

The Cologne economic region is at the cutting edge of many key technologies, both in North Rhine-Westphalia and beyond, including information, communications and media technologies, biotechnology as well as aerospace engineering and research, making start-ups here especially attractive.

The Cologne Chamber of Commerce (Industrie- und Handelskammer - IHK) acts as contact partner for the entire region, supplemented by local trade and industry associations dealing with the individual communities. Both Cologne saving banks are involved in financing start-ups, either directly or via subsidiaries, in addition to their participation in the technology centres.


Overseas Involvements: the China und India Initiative

The linking of the regional economy with overseas is of special importance. In early April 2005 the city of Cologne started its »China Initiative« with the aim of further expanding Cologne as a bridgehead for the Chinese economy. Today over 120 commercial enterprises from the People's Republic of China have their headquarters in Cologne, such as Genertec Europe Temax, whose parent company is one of the most important foreign trade companies in China.

And Cologne can point to the »India Initiative« – founded in 2006 – as a similar success. Since then this programme has brought such companies as the two Indian IT firms MindTree Consulting and Wipro Technologies to Cologne. The initiative makes it easier for Indian employees to obtain residence and work permits. The Cologne Business Development Corporation also assists Indian companies to look for suitable properties, international schools for children of staff and to establish networks with other companies. And there are also special promotional campaigns such as India Week which was started in May 2009 and which is intended to intensify German-Indian relations in the fields of business, science and culture.

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