ZOLLHOF: We make Entrepreneurship happen! Part 1/2

First established in 2017, ZOLLHOF - Tech Incubator’s mission is to make entrepreneurship happen! To do this, ZOLLHOF is transforming Nuremberg into being one of Germany’s premier go-to places for tech-driven entrepreneurship. With the huge support of industry leaders like Prof. Kempf, president of the Federation of German Industries, corporate innovators like Siemens, Schaeffler, NÜRNBERGER and HUK-Coburg, the city of Nuremberg and — last but not least — having Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg down the road (Germany’s #1 innovative university and #5 in Europe), the location could not have been more perfect for ZOLLHOF to start accomplishing their mission.

However, it is not only the location that is most advantageous for ZOLLHOF to have.

ZOLLHOF has experienced early success in working towards achieving their mission thanks to their staff. Now +22 people strong, ZOLLHOF has a bright future ahead, but it’s worthy to look back on all of the groundbreaking work they’ve done so far.

As Nuremberg’s first tech startup incubator, ZOLLHOF has unique and previously untouched opportunities to help them in achieving their mission. ZOLLHOF is most passionate about focusing on the technologies of today and tomorrow, especially when it comes to digital topics. The main topics that ZOLLHOF and its in-house startups focus on are:

  • Digital Health
  • Urban Mobility / E-Mobility
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Internet of Things
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • Big Data

ZOLLHOF makes entrepreneurship happen by working with 3 key target groups:

#1 Startups

Being a tech incubator, ZOLLHOF loves to work with startups specializing around hot topics trending in the techsphere. At ZOLLHOF, startups find a great support system that includes a very competent team with a lot of cumulative experience and expertise around working with startups. ZOLLHOF’s academic and corporate network system ensures our startups that they will have access to the best possible resources and technologies at hand. As ZOLLHOF’s goal is to help its startups grow and advance, ZOLLHOF’s staff are committed to their startups’ needs, and will do whatever it takes to help them on their path to success.

Since its founding, ZOLLHOF has already held two successful startup recruitment periods, Batch #1 and Batch #2. In these recruitment periods, startups from all over the region are encouraged to apply to take part in ZOLLHOF’s Startup Incubation Program. This program is very comprehensive, and the competition is generally fierce to gain one of ZOLLHOF’s spots in their startup office. Check out some of the benefits ZOLLHOF startups cash in on once chosen:

  • Amazing office space available for the startup’s whole team at below the market price (89 € / month)
  • 5 extensive business reviews
  • Ability to learn and seek advice from seasoned entrepreneurs
  • Free coaching and hands-on support from ZOLLHOF staff and network
  • ZOLLHOF workshops
  • Access to networking with ZOLLHOF Investors, Corporate Partners and official mentors
  • Access to a software starter kit (worth $30,000!)
  • Free coffee, water, printing and wifi
  • So much more!

P.S. ZOLLHOF has a ‘no-shares’ policy! Unlike most tech incubators, ZOLLHOF does not take shares in its companies!

At ZOLLHOF, we seek to enable the vital momentum that startups need by connecting them to influential groups, offering hands-on help, know-how and premium software packages in order to help them reach the next level. We provide in-house services tailored to our startups, and with our help, they can then focus on growing and making a difference. Check out ZOLLHOF’s current in-house startups, and keep an eye out for our Batch #3 application period on ZOLLHOF’s website, hopefully starting in the beginning of 2019!

#2 Corporate Innovators

Located in the Medical Valley (Erlangen, Fürth and Nuremberg), many of the world’s largest and biggest regional companies in Germany, such as Siemens, NÜRNBERGER Versicherung, N-ERGIE, HUK-Coburg and Schaeffler, all helped in the creation of ZOLLHOF back in 2017 as founding partners. Today, many have also taken on the role of becoming one of ZOLLHOF’s corporate partners. Many of these partners already have innovation projects ongoing within their companies; however, they look to ZOLLHOF for collaborative work opportunities in digitalization topics, either with ZOLLHOF’s in-house startups or student Talents from the ZOLLHOF Talent program. More on that soon.

In addition to the collaborative in-house work with our partners, ZOLLHOF also works with these corporations in order to organize and execute innovation events, such as ZOLLHOF’s annual Hackathon or our famous Know-How Events. Check out a German presentation from one of our most successful Know-How Events in 2018 over Blockchain here.

#3 Students

Thanks to its location, ZOLLHOF is placed in the center of student talent, surrounded by a number of well-known German universities. Both special and unique to ZOLLHOF, the ZOLLHOF Talent Program is a program offered to both local and international students that have passions for entrepreneurship, those that are interested in starting their own company and those seeking to learn more about how startups innovate. In this 3 month program, Talents receive the exclusive opportunities to work on corporate innovation projects with ZOLLHOF’s corporate partners. In addition to their corporate work, Talents will also experience how ZOLLHOF’s in-house startups operate and achieve success.

What differentiates the Talent Program from any other internship is the fact that the Talents are given complete control regarding their projects with ZOLLHOF’s corporate partners. While they receive help and guidance when needed from their ZOLLHOF mentors, the Talents take ownership and are responsible for the success of their projects from their side. ZOLLHOF has found this aspect of the program produces the best project success and provides top Talent motivation. All of ZOLLHOF’s previous Talents have nothing but great things to say about their experiences! Check out what ex-Talent Paul Schärfe had to say about his time at ZOLLHOF here.

Are you a student interested in entrepreneurship and ZOLLHOF’s Talent Program? Click here to open the ZOLLHOF Talent Application, and see what other talents have to say about the program!

Read the 2nd part of to article to learn more about our focus on digital health and how events help us in our mission to “Make Entrepreneurship happen”.



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