Regionalmanagment NordHessen presents its three good practices in business scaling up to SCALE UP consortium

Within the Interreg Europe project SCALE UP, our Study Visit Nordhessen took place on the 9th of September as a video conference with 67 participants. The aim of the study visit, hosted by Regional Management Nordhessen, was to present the situation for SMEs in the region Nordhessen and to showcase the three selected best practices of the region. The moderator Dr. Astrid Szogs guided the participants through the well-structured and technically perfect video conference. Based on a SWOT analysis given by Svea Gockel, the participants were informed about the current situation in Nordhessen and about the three best practices identified: the MoWiN Innovation Lab, the Scale Up Initiative of EEN Hessen and the innovation consulting of the IHK Hessen.


Dr. Astrid Szogs and Stefan Rötzel (Science Park Kassel) reported on their first experiences with the MoWiN Innovation Lab, which is intended to promote regional innovations and at the same time facilitate networking. Benjamin Federmann (doks. innovation) and Sven Rath (Faubel) presented their logistics innovations that have grown out of the Innovation Lab. While doks. innovation aims to revolutionize intralogistics by using optical sensor data, Faubel-Logistics tries to advance from the health industry into the logistics sector with a novel, reusable and versatile label. Questions were asked about IP issues, advertising procedures and the budget of MoWiN Innovation Lab. Stefan Rötzel mentioned that IP issues are secured by signing an NDA document. A further question was about how to get informed that a service like this exists and how to participate. Astrid Szogs outlined that the advertising mostly works via clusters and that they ask the companies if they have something new to be discussed in the format.


The Scale Up Initiative of EEN Hessen was presented by Olaf Jüptner (HTAI). According to their definition, scale ups are fast growing, mostly young companies. They are characterized among other things by an ambitious but realistic business model, but already have first noteworthy sales and specific needs. The Enterprise Europe Network Hessen and its partners help scale ups to successfully continue their rapid growth. As a successful example, Joe Menninger explained how makes relatively unknown start-ups from the German-speaking countries known throughout the world. In the following discussion, the first question was posed: „How do you help scale ups to find the right financing? Do you support filling out the forms?” Olaf Jüptner answered: We do not write the proposal but we give feedback to improve the proposal.” Another question was: „How do you cover recruiting and onboarding needs during the scale up phase? Do you recommend any specific partner or collaborator for this topic? Olaf Jüptner mentioned: “We either do this on our own or we recommend some free-lance consultants. For the pitching workshop, we e.g. had an expert from Berlin.”


Michael Dietzsch (IHK Kassel-Marburg) reported on the innovation consultation of the IHK Hessen. This business model was mostly unknown to the participants from the other regions. Mr. Dietzsch explained in detail the field of activity of the IHK in connection with consulting activities for young, innovative companies. Questions were mainly directed to the topics such as „How does the IHK- system work?” and “Do you have any cooperation in the region?”. Michael Dietzsch mentioned that a close co-operation with all the stakeholders and relevant institutions is mandatory. Otherwise the intention of supporting the prosperity of the region’s economy will be accompanied by a waste of resources.

As long as a German company is a member of a chamber (here: chamber of commerce and industry) by law, they have to pay an annual membership fee. But about 50% of those companies (the smaller ones) are free of charge. Most of the rest pay an annual basic amount of 40€. Bigger companies pay an additional 0,19% of their annual profits. All those companies are paying small sums but if they have questions or need help, it's free of charge. This is because the resources are already paid for, quite similar to an insurance company, but with no economic interest. Among responsibilities of public administration, such as organising the in-plant training and to administer the corresponding tests or to issue certificates of origin, there are additional services provided to member companies. In case of the innovation consultancy these are funding, product safety and IPR consultancy.


All in all, the study visit Nordhessen received very good feedback from the participants and guests and thus represented a successful start for the following study visits in our partner regions.