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The Baden-Württemberg region is located in the southwest of Germany. Historically, Baden-Württemberg with it’s 10,7 Mio. inhabitants is one of the most prosperous and wealthiest regions in Europe with a number of well-known companies of the automobile industry, mechanical engineering and the ICT sector aswell as a large number of SMEs. Today, around 13.000 companies representing more than 50.000 jobs give destinction to the ICT sector in Baden-Württemberg. For web entrepreneurs, these companies have a huge potential as partners and clients. Various institutions in big and small cities offer a variety of incubation and acceleration support to startups.

bwcon GmbH is a regionwide, well networked facilitator for innovation in several technology sectors connected to ICT, e.g. creative industries, e-health or mobility and provides comprehensivce advice to both new and expanding companies. bwcon organises a wide range of events in its throughout the year, such as business roundtables, business lunches involving high-calibre speakers from industry, seminars, and other regular events, including a summer academy for entrepreneurs and investments forums. The success of the ecosystem managed by bwcon is based on a set of proven services and initiatives that will be opened to web entrepreneurs from all across Europe within the scope of ePlus ecosystem. Amongest others, services for web entrepreneurs as well as for high-tech startups in general, comprise:

  • Venture Development System: A distinctive online development system for ventures, that follows an holistic business planning approach in systematic manner. It allows venture teams to develop interactivly their venture. Entrepreneurs are also able to connect to other entrepreneurs on the system and invite experts into their venture development group.
  • CyberOne Hightech Award: Business plan award for entrepreneurs, start-ups and growing companies to present and validate their business concepts. The event provides a platform to get access to potential investors and business partners. CyberOne Award has two categories: Start-ups or spin-offs from research institutions not older than three years and maximum revenue of € 1 million and mid-sized growth companies pursuing high-risk business field diversification.
  • Heidelberg Innovation Forum: Investment Forum for the early innovation phases consisting of a coaching and a pitching day.
  • Summer Academy: Two weeks intensive training for founders and startups on entreprenuership.


Person in charge

i.A. Simona Pede, Innovation Programme Manager, bwcon GmbH – Turning Ideas into Business, Pede@bwcon.de


Key figures in the digital sector


Economic weight
  • About 13 000 companies in ICT  achieving sales of more than 65 billion Euros
  • More than 150 000 people employed in the ICT sector
  • Annual average employment rate in ICT growing more than twice that the overall economy since 2000
  • Belonging to the worldwide top group of ICT patent applicants with about 1 500 patent applications made to the European Patent Office
  • Overall turnover of 407 billion Euro in 2013
  • GDP growth of 0,9% in 2013
  • 173 billion Euro generated by Export in 2013
Research & Innovation
  • Leading federal state within Germany for research and development activity and among the top European regions
  • R&D expenditure as a proportion of GDP was 4.8% in 2012, 2.1 percentage points above the national average for Germany (2.7%)
  • 16 of the 85 Max Planck Society institutes and 14 of the 60 Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany are located in Baden-Württemberg
  • Baden-Württemberg’s universities occupy top positions in rankings of the Centre for Higher Education for 2011/2012
Entrepreneurial drive
  • 14.900 new ventures founded in 2014
  • 99 billion Euro of foreign direct investment in 2011
  • Most attractive destination for foreign direct investment in 2012
  • 15 incubators and start-up centres at regional universities


Baden-Württemberg in a nutshell


  • Flagship branches in technology sectors: automobile production and mechanical and electrical engineering
  • Global players such as Daimler (Mercedes Benz), Bosch, Porsche, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen and SAP are based in Baden-Württemberg
  • A successful network of small, medium-sized and large manufacturers, closely intertwined to research facilities and production-oriented services
  • 9 universities
  • 41 universities of applied science
  • 21 private universities 
  • 100 independent research institutes
  • A network of technology transfer centers (Steinbeis-transfer centers) provides the bridge between private industry and research institutes

Source: Statistical office of Baden-Württemberg