Hamburg: Capitalising on its entrepreneurs

Over the years, Hamburg has developed a strong digital entrepreneurship culture. This is demonstrated by the fact that many start-ups originally from Hamburg (e.g. Facelift and Xing) have become known worldwide and digital giants have chosen Hamburg as the location for their headquarters in Germany. Nevertheless, in order to truly transform Hamburg into the “Smart and Digital Community” as wished for, all stakeholders who have embarked on the digitalization journey will need to learn to work together despite their diverging interests.

The process of digitalisation in Hamburg started in the mid ‘90s and has affected all business clusters, yet differently. In early 2000s, Hamburg’s Parliament and the State Government drafted a holistic visionary strategy to digitize the city centre and the entire metropolitan region, connecting, government, port, business, citizenry, healthcare, academia, public safety, while involving local businesses in every step of the digitalization process. Hamburg is now full of dynamic and young digital businesses, most notably linked to entertainment software and computer games. Since 2000, city leaders have consolidated the vision of what Hamburg should become: a “Smart and Digital Community”, or, as some call it, a futuristic Seatropolis. In 2015, they have launched Hamburg’s Digital City Strategy to create the modern Hamburg, With 3,7 million euro of investment in S&T and the creation of a Digital City Control Centre, they aim at enhancing digital engagement further.

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