At the heart of Lower Saxony's burgeoning entrepreneurial scene lies startup.niedersachsen, a government-backed organization committed to fueling innovation and fostering business growth.
Its mission? To create a vibrant, interconnected ecosystem where startups and potential investors can seamlessly connect.
To achieve this, they leveraged the power of LoftOS to create innomatch, a networking platform that blossomed into a full digital community, experiencing substantial growth within a single year tailored to meet the unique needs of startups and investors alike.
Through innomatch, startup.niedersachsen set out to transform a disjointed ecosystem into an integrated network of thriving startups, eager investors and cooperating corporates.
To gain insider insights into this exciting transformation and understand how startup.niedersachsen utilizes LoftOS to reshape the startup landscape of Lower Saxony, we had an enlightening conversation with Kevin Bruns, one of the key players at startup.niedersachsen.
The Catalyst - A New Vision for Streamlined Collaboration
Kevin enthrallingly describes the genesis of innomatch as a journey instigated by a simple yet powerful vision: to create a platform that would catalyze connections between startups, investors, and companies in Lower Saxony.
Just over a year and a half ago, the team at startup.niedersachsen was approached by a prominent association representing the economy of Lower Saxony. Their message was clear and compelling — Lower Saxony's startups needed a platform to facilitate connections, a place to exchange ideas and experiences and to connect with potential investors.
Recognizing the gap and the growing need for a more cohesive and expansive networking platform, startup.niedersachsen had a vision. The idea was clear and compelling; what they needed now was the right platform to bring this vision to life.
Identifying the need was just the first step, an inkling of a grand idea. The challenge that lay ahead for startup.niedersachsen was sourcing the perfect platform to turn this ambitious idea into a tangible reality.
The Problem – Juggling Inefficacy and Complexities
Upon joining startup.niedersachsen, Kevin was immediately confronted with an array of disparate, homegrown platforms. The team realized these were simply too localized to effectively serve the diverse and widespread startup community of Lower Saxony.
Despite their best efforts, some of the smaller platforms failed, reinforcing the need for a centralized approach.
Kevin, reflecting on their decision, stated,
I think the move to centralize things from a Lower Saxony perspective was a positive one, not only for efficiency but also because it established a neutral platform, operated by the state with no vested investment interests or profit-oriented intention
This neutrality truly emphasized their commitment to promoting a flourishing startup ecosystem in Lower Saxony.
But this was just the beginning.
At the same time, working with government entities is not for the faint of heart. Is often a tricky terrain. As Kevin pointed out, creating software for government bodies comes with a labyrinth of regulations and complexities. Furthermore, convincing those in the governmental sphere to trust in new software is no easy task.
Trust is paramount, but with LoftOS, they found a partner that had previously navigated these bureaucratic waters successfully.
Additionally, he stressed the importance of a platform’s sustainability. Smaller centers with limited staff could close down swiftly, leaving users in the lurch. This understanding underscored the need for a robust, reliable platform like LoftOS, capable of standing the test of time.
The LoftOS Solution - A Centralized Platform for Innovation
Upon identifying the challenges faced by startup.niedersachsen, the Innoloft team sprang into action, armed with a solution designed to revolutionize the innovation ecosystem of Lower Saxony.
The LoftOS platform, with its robust marketplace and inbuilt chat functionality, offered an ideal solution that hit the sweet spot of the organization's needs, allowing not only startups but all players in Lower Saxony's innovation scene to exchange ideas seamlessly.
This inclusive, centralized, and easily accessible platform stood as a haven of streamlined communication and connection, its marketplace providing a hub for interaction and its chat function expediting the process of idea exchange.
Kevin also points out the significant impact of our group function introduced. With this, the need for frequent individual calls was practically eliminated, replaced by a group communication system that ensured the simultaneous engagement of multiple companies.
The reduction in time and effort was considerable; previously, 20 separate sales calls would perhaps only reach a fraction of the companies. Now, a single group message could engage up to 50 companies, an impressive boost for scaling.
This praise was echoed by the Minister for Economic Affairs, Olaf Lies, who quoted innomatch, powered by LoftOS, as the "platform of all platforms in Lower Saxony," a testament to its transformative influence on the startup landscape.
The Result - A Vibrant Startup Network in Lower Saxony
The implementation of LoftOS has brought about a transformative shift within startup.niedersachsen, with the growth of innomatch serving as a prime testament to this.
Today, user registration and active engagement have soared, with the platform expanding to over 2,500 users in less than a year, and 126 newly founded startups in Lower Saxony alone in 2022.
A testament to the effectiveness and appeal of LoftOS.
On top of that, Kevin mentions that since getting on board LoftOS they have experienced the following:
- Subscriber Growth: The innomatch newsletter, a key communication channel, has attracted over 1,200 subscribers, affirming the platform's appeal and its capacity to engage and retain users effectively.
- Greater Visibility: innomatch has not only fostered a more streamlined and efficient process but has also amplified startup.niedersachsen's visibility significantly. At a major fair in Hannover, for instance, Kevin comments, a whopping 70% of discussions revolved around innomatch, reflecting the buzz and interest it has generated.
Why did startup.niedersachsen Choose LoftOS?
startup.niedersachsen chose LoftOS as their platform of choice for several key reasons, as articulated by Kevin. Primarily, the competitive pricing strategy of LoftOS was highly attractive to the organization.
Plus, LoftOS's proven capability to effectively collaborate with government entities served as a significant advantage.
This was bolstered further by LoftOS's strong commitment to data security - a vital consideration for any digital platform. Kevin recalled a past incident where they had to abruptly discontinue using another software due to data security concerns, underscoring the importance of this aspect.
The fact that LoftOS is German-based, adhering to stringent data protection laws, was a notable plus point that significantly influenced their decision.
LoftOS's intuitive design and flexible customization options allowed startup.niedersachsen to swiftly and painlessly import its extensive startup map database, providing a comprehensive overview of the startup ecosystem in Lower Saxony.
2 Speedfire Questions about LoftOS for Kevin
Q: What's one LoftOS feature you couldn't live without?
Groups and the Speed Dating function. It wouldn't work without it.
I got a lot of networks joining innomatch today because of these functions. But of course, when we've got a big event lined up, we use the event module, and we get 100 to 200 new users a day. Of course, that's big.
Q: Any advice for businesses looking to try LoftOS?
LoftOS is a great tool to build a community, to reach out to people and connect them. But be prepared to work with it. It's not going to walk on its own.
And...one more thing: don't build a platform on your own. It's way better to get a company that specializes in platforms like Innoloft than building software on your own. Otherwise, you’ll just drown.
The innomatch Experience - Empowering Connectivity with LoftOS
The innomatch journey with LoftOS sheds light on the transformative power of the right digital platform in revolutionizing a regional startup ecosystem.
It has seamlessly bound together all stakeholders - from startups and investors to everything in between - into a dynamic, interactive 'platform of platforms’ for the Lower Saxony region.
Now, it's your turn to experience the magic! Don't wait around while the world innovates.
Jumpstart your innovation journey with our easy-to-use regional innovation network template. Unleash the potential of your ideas, engage with your community, and bring your visions to life. Just like startup.niedersachsen did.
Join the innovation revolution and start using LoftOS today!