It Takes a Region to Raise a Startup – Interview with Fabian Karau

One thing that comes across when talking with Fabian Karau, it is his passion. He makes it clear from the beginning of our conversation : this project is born purely out of love for the startup community.

Here is the idea : a poster where all key players, namely startups, corporates, universities, accelerators, along with the most important trends, are pictured. The concept was adopted last year in Munich (pictured below), and according to Fabian had a pretty nice impact.

”The beauty of the project is its simplicity. It’s essentially a flag for the local startup community, a way to bring some transparency and give a voice not only to established startups, who can often afford their own visibility and PR; but also the up-and-comers. It’s something that the participants are proud to take part in and then get to hang on their office walls. In Munich there was really a lot of enthusiasm about it” said Fabian, who himself had his own startup and is currently working on the prototype for his next one.

After living for 10 years in Munich where he met Sascha Bever – who invented the poster in March 2017, Fabian came back to work in Frankfurt and immediately started getting involved with the local startup scene. According to him there is a lot of momentum right now in Frankfurt RhineMain, which motivated him to renew the project with a local twist. Indeed, the first difference we notice between the Munich and Frankfurt version is that ”It takes a city to raise a startup” became ”It takes a region to raise a startup – FrankfurtRheinMain”. It’s free for startups and quite a good ROI in terms of visibility!’

In Munich the ecosystem is much more centralised, whereas RheinMain has a lot of clusters, universities, initiatives and hubs. It’s a bit more fragmented here, which makes ideas like this poster even more valuable in my opinion, as a way to bond together and show the opportunities to new founders” said Fabian.

When Fabian, who works at PwC, which supports “it takes a region”, is asked to talk about the differences between the Munich and Frankfurt startup ecosystem, he sees no benefit in comparing ecosystems. But there is one obvious differentiator: “In Munich it is the three entrepreneurship centres of the universities that really provides tremendous support to the startups. They are a huge networking intersection and support the startups with many initiatives, events, acceleration, funding, incubation, advisory and more. There is room to grow for that in RheinMain. In RheinMain every city has its own ecosystem and network, initiatives, accelerators, incubators and events everywhere but it’s time to bring them all together, share the knowhow and the opportunities for the startups, to give them the best overview of possibilities.”

If you are a startup and interested to participate, you still have a couple of days left! Applications are open until the 22nd of April at this address: (Sponsors interested in supporting the initiative, a non-profit, can connect directly with Fabian at