"Founding is always a big step and the Corona Pandemic does not make it any easier for young entrepreneurs," says Heidelberg's Oberbürgermeister Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner. "We are therefore even more delighted that Heidelberg has once again been awarded this year's prize as a startup-friendly community in Baden-Württemberg."
The award is the result of the successful cooperation between the Department of Cultural and Creative Industries of the City of Heidelberg, the Office for Economic Development and Science of the City of Heidelberg, Heidelberg Startup Partners e.V. and the Rhine-Neckar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Katharina Pelka from the Cultural and Creative Industries Heidelberg as well as Raoul Haschke and Thomas Prexl from Heidelberg Startup Partners e.V. presented their contribution to the "Digitalization of startup support during the corona crisis". Heidelberg's startup supporters reacted to the new circumstances early on at the start of the pandemic and created all the organizational and technical prerequisites to provide the best possible support for startups during the corona crisis. Many measures have had a very positive effect and lessons learned are being used to optimize and expand the services offered. For example, the digitalization of the services simplified inclusion and international collaboration with partners.
The presentation of the Heidelberg team convinced the jury of entrepreneurs with entrepreneurial experience as well as experts in the pitch on October 14 and 15 in Stuttgart and received the award "Gründungsfreundliche Kommune - Ausgezeichneter Ort 2020/2021". A total of 26 municipalities in Baden-Württemberg can now hold this title.
Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut congratulated the winners: "We need communities that actively support those wanting to set up a business and that play an active role in regional startup ecosystems. The winning municipalities offer services that the founders really need. Congratulations to all award-winning participants. Their commitment is important to make Baden-Württemberg one of the most dynamic regions in Europe for startups".
The state competition "Start-up BW Local" aims to support the entrepreneurial dynamics in Baden-Württemberg. In addition, the visibility of the measures and the commitment of the representatives of the actors at the municipal level is increased. The competition format "Start-up BW Local" was awarded as national winner of the European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) and was nominated by an international jury for the European final (shortlisted). It is thus already considered an international "best practice".