Ahead of their talks at TechWeek Frankfurt, Cecilia Fernandez de Cordoba, DevOps transformation Lead for Deutsche Bank’s retail arm, and Steffen Mueller, Senior Manager Cloud Sales Strategy for T-Systems, explain why Frankfurt is fit for business
Germany’s largest economy and third largest city has established itself as the country’s foremost hub of digital transformation and connectivity. It mixes a robust finance sector with leading tech fairs, and is home to world-class universities, corporations, and a thriving startup community.
Frankfurt’s identity has been intertwined with international trade since the 12th century. The city lays claim to the world’s first international fair, apparently dating back to 1140, according to a letter signed by Emperor Frederick II. 300 years later the fair’s merchants successfully petitioned for the opening of an exchange, vastly increasing the range of goods that could be sold and setting the precedent for another 500 years of trade.
Fast forward to today and Frankfurt’s financial and trade fair roots are still clearly visible. Home to the European Central Bank and 70,000 workers in the financial services sector, Frankfurt is the financial capital of the continent. Its trade fair at Messe Frankfurt is officially the world’s largest. According to recent estimates, only four other cities are more globally connected.
800 years ago books were the order of the day. Today, a new cohort of tech aficionados flock to Messe year-on-year to share sector insights and buy and sell the latest tech. Roughly 19,000 suppliers showcase their tech to 1.1 million prospective customers each year.
Not only does Frankfurt boast this gargantuan footfall, it is also fertile ground for the next generation of tech entrepreneurs, creatives, and developers. According to Startup Genome, Frankfurt is only a few years away from transforming into a truly globalised startup ecosystem, providing universities and corporate communities continue to nurture the city’s innovators and they attract more international talent.
This should be no problem when you consider that powerhouses like Deutsche Bank and T-Systems call Frankfurt their home, and educational tech torch-bearers such as the newly-launched Frankfurt School Blockchain Center are churning out top talent at a rate of knots.