STARTPLATZ - the largest German-speaking community for startups


Data, figures, facts about STARTPLATZ, pictures, logo, contact persons, press releases, reports, and videos.


STARTPLATZ is a startup incubator and accelerator with locations in Cologne and Düsseldorf and a meeting place for the Rhineland startup scene. It was founded in 2012 by the managing directors of the Gräf family holding company, Dr. Lorenz and Matthias Gräf. An ecosystem was created on around 4,500 square meters in Cologne's Mediapark and 2,000 square meters in Düsseldorf's Media Harbor that offers aspiring startups and innovative companies room to grow, advice and coaching, workshops & events as well as access to the large network. More than 300 startups have already worked on their business ideas here, over 200 million euros have been invested in them, and more than 200 teams have been supported in the accelerator program. Together with partners from the ecosystem, STARTPLATZ also offers various solutions from the startup world to corporations and medium-sized companies to successfully implement and drive digitalization and innovation processes.


At the heart of the Rhenish start-up scene in Cologne's Mediapark and Düsseldorf's Medienhafen, the STARTPLATZ Startup Incubator and Accelerator is a meeting place and first point of contact for innovative startups and established companies. This has created an ecosystem in which the old and new economy, science and politics can exchange ideas to create synergies and learn from each other. With its huge expert network, STARTPLATZ provides the ideal environment for aspiring startups that want to quickly establish themselves in the market. In addition, STARTPLATZ offers various formats for established companies, where corporations and SMEs have the opportunity to learn solutions from the startup world in order to successfully implement and advance digitization and innovation processes.


Our vision is to drive innovation culture in the Rheinland region as the largest startup competence center in NRW and establish it as an internationally significant location for innovation and digitization. As the number one accelerator and incubator in the Rheinland, we aim to accompany and support company founders on their way from an idea to a tangible and established product in order to ensure sustainable growth in the market.


At STARTPLATZ, members not only share their workplace, but also knowledge, successes, mistakes, and of course, lunchtime. We believe in the potential of every idea, regardless of its origin. That's why we actively promote open exchange and want to give every idea the chance to unfold. Only in this way can innovative ideas be further developed and improved.


Only those who are passionate about their idea can show the necessary perseverance during difficult phases. We create an inspiring and motivating working environment that encourages our members to pursue their ideas, because giving up is not an option!


Diversity is one of the main ingredients for innovative ideas and their successful implementation. That's why we offer people from different cultures, industries, and backgrounds a second home and tailor our diverse offerings to set new impulses and promote different business ideas.

Team Spirit

Everyone can make a difference, but together we create real change. We support each other and provide tips and inspiration. STARTPLATZ and its community stand for cooperation and team spirit, from joint projects to a game of foosball and networking events that have already led to a few successful matches.


Innovation is at the center of our daily actions and represents the most significant aspect of our values. The inspiring work environment strengthens the innovation and team spirit of all actors in the ecosystem - both the new and old economies. The result: an open exchange among each other, passionate entrepreneurs who are dedicated to their ideas, and a diversity of ideas as individual and unique as the founders themselves.

Numbers, Data, Facts


  • Established in 2012
  • 4,500 sqm of space in the Mediapark
  • More than 500 workspaces
  • 7 meeting and conference rooms
  • About 80 startup teams

STARTPLATZ Düsseldorf:

  • Opened in 2015
  • 2,000 square meters in the media harbor
  • More than 250 workspaces
  • 5 meeting and conference rooms
  • About 30 startup teams

STARTPLATZ Infographic 2021:

Did you know that over €327 million have been invested in startups from STARTPLATZ so far? The incubator and accelerator has supported over 1,000 startups in total and over 4,000 connections have been made through the digital community alone. Check out our infographic for more numbers from 2021!


STARTPLATZ Logo (color)
STARTPLATZ Logo (white)

Management Pictures

Dr. Lorenz Gräf, Managing Director
Dr. Lorenz Gräf, Managing Director
Johannes Gräf, Managing Director
Johannes Gräf, Managing Director

Press Releases

+ 2019

+ 2018

+ 2017

+ 2016

+ 2015

+ 2014

+ 2013

STARTPLATZ in the Media

+ 2021

+ 2020

+ 2017

"The Makerthon at STARTPLATZ" - Sonntags, ZDF / 09.04.2017

+ 2016

"STARTPLATZ - the start-up hotspot in the Rhineland" - Digital Republic, Mobilcom Debitel / 24.11.2016
"The best co-working spaces in Europe" - Nomad Capitalist / 16.08.2016
"KRAFT VISITS STARTPLATZ" - CSR Jobs & Companies / 16.08.2016
"Rheinland-Pitch 2016 - The summer final in Düsseldorf" - Digital City Düsseldorf / 15.06.2016
"Düsseldorf Digital" - RP Online / 01.06.2016
"How's the startup scene in Rheinland?" - Gründerszene / 31.05.2016
"Popular Coworking Spaces in Germany" - Gründerszene / 09.05.2016
"Radbonus: The reward for cycling" - Köln Nachrichten / 18.04.2016
"Coworking: An office for office nomads" - WiWo Gründer / 12.04.2016
"Coworking Spaces Cologne" - Gründerküche / 01.04.2016
"Düsseldorf aims to remain attractive for the startup scene" - dü / 21.03.2016
"Mayor is excited and promises support" - Köln Nachrichten / 29.01.2016
"From an idea to a business in one weekend" - Köln Nachrichten / 27.01.2016
"Startup Weekend Cologne seeks entrepreneurs of tomorrow" - Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger / 21.01.2016
"Awards for the best business idea" - RP Online / 20.01.2016
"What the Fintech?!" - IT Finanzmagazin / 18.01.2016

+ 2015

"Start-up Weekend Women" - WirtschaftsWoche / 29.10.2015
"STARTPLATZ Düsseldorf in the Media Harbor" - Mediencluster NRW / 30.09.2015
"New Center for Young Entrepreneurs Opens" - Antenne Düsseldorf / 29.09.2015
"Late Shift Talk in Kölle" - Gründerszene / 31.08.2015
"Cologne Aims to be Digital Capital" - Gründerszene / 25.08.2015
"SPD Mayor meets CDU Entrepreneurs" - RP Online / 21.08.2015
"Academy for Digital Transformation" - Beraternews / 21.08.2015
"Academy for Digital Transformation" - Mittelstand Nachrichten / 19.08.2015
"Startups are Trending" - RTL / 19.07.2015
"130 network on the founders' ship" - Rhein-Zeitung / 29.06.2015
"Rheinland-Pitch with 850 guests in Düsseldorf" - Köln Nachrichten / 26.06.2015
"Rheinische startup scene" - NRW Startups / 25.06.2015
"Rheinland-Pitch" - Digital city Düsseldorf / 25.06.2015
"The path to the startup metropolis" - RP Online / 16.05.2015
"Kölle is e jeföhl" - Deutsche Startups / 13.05.2015
"Second 'Startplatz' location in Düsseldorf" - Mediencluster NRW / 12.05.2015
"Also a STARTPLATZ in Düsseldorf" - Köln Nachrichten / 12.05.2015
"New STARTPLATZ for Start-ups" - Die Welt / 12.05.2015
"Interactive Cologne Festival 2015" - CityNEWS Köln / 04.05.2015
"Success can be nurtured" - Startups-Im-Internet / 04.04.2015
"In three months to a viable business model" - Köln Nachrichten / 31.03.2015

+ 2014

"Next stop: Rheingold Valley" - Circle Cologne Business Magazine / 01.12.2014
"Let's Startup" - Express Köln - 15.10.2014
"Hans Sarpei moves into Startplatz" - Express Köln / 10.10.2014
"Here's the APP" - Express Köln / 07.04.2014

+ 2013

"Where Cologne startups learn to run" - Kölner Stadtanzeiger / 11.12.2013
"Cologne - new generation on the Rhine" - Werben und Verkaufen / 10.12.2013
" wins Rheinland-Pitch" - Startups im Internet / 02.06.2013
"German startup incubators and accelerators" - Internet World Business / 27.05.2013
"Startplatz invests in Tanked" - / 14.05.2013
"Rheinland-Pitch at Startplatz" - Gründerszene / 12.04.2013
"Gunter Dueck on Innovation" - Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger / 19.03.2013
"Entrepreneurship: First ridiculed, then fought, then acknowledged" - Existenzgründer-Jungunternehmer / 19.03.2013
"Startplatz invests in Maple Apps" - Gründerszene / 08.03.2013
"The Open Data Day Cologne" - Gründerszene / 20.02.2013
"Gunter Dueck's first visit to Cologne" - Startups im Internet / 05.02.2013

+ 2012

"Startplatz starts at Mediapark 5" - Köln Nachrichten / 09.11.2012
"Cologne gets new incubator for startups" - Creative.NRW / 08.11.2012
"Startplatz for Start-ups" - digital:next / 05.10.2012
"What is Startplatz incubating in Cologne?" - Gründerszene / 26.09.2012
"Startplatz enters the fray in Cologne" - / 17.09.2012