Or: It's all about the right mix!

Where and what is Mainland?

Mainland has a rapidly growing fintech ecosystem. You may ask yourself “What is Mainland and why is it interesting for me and my fintech startup?” Good question!

What exactly is Mainland? It is our name for the conurbation of the Rhine Main area with cities like Frankfurt, Offenbach, Darmstadt, Mainz, Wiesbaden and Aschaffenburg. Each city offers varying locational advantages and contributes to the Mainland ecosystem. Getting the whole picture may not be easy at first. That’s why we wish to give you an overview of the mix making Mainland one of the most interesting and vibrant places to be for your fintech, certainly in Germany and Europe but even worldwide. Let’s see what Mainland can offer you.

Mainland has banks!

It’s a no-brainer, but it needs to be stated. Mainland is home, or at least second home, to most German banks, such as Aareal Bank, BHF Bank, Commerzbank, DeKaBank, Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank, HeLaBa, or KfW Group. Also, almost any major international bank has offices or subsidiaries in the German financial capital, e.g. Bank of America, Bank of China, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and UBS. According to the German central bank, 215 banks are registered in Frankfurt of which 152 are foreign banks. Mainland also is the home of the European Central Bank, the Bundesbank, Deutsche Börse as well as of the German financial services regulator BaFin. The three top rating agencies, the big four accountants as well as most major global management consultants and law firms have offices here. After Brexit, all signs point towards an expansion of this sector in Frankfurt.

Mainland features a great start-up community and is home to a good part of the German fintech scene. Two examples for Frankfurt-based fintechs: Traxpay offers a platform that facilitates 24/7 B2B payments and has just been featured on the FinTech50 list for Europe. 360t is a forex trading platform that has been bought by Deutsche Börse for €725million. Also, many banks have established incubators in Frankfurt, cumulating in the creation of the Tech Quartier, implemented by several financial institutions, the Hessian state government, and Goethe university. Offenbach, located directly next to Frankfurt, features a large creative industry and on a per capita basis it has had the largest number of company startups in Germany in the past few years. Also, entrepreneurs throughout the area are well-connected, with at least one meetup or networking event every day.

Mainland is a place of short distances

Mainland is characterised by a good public transport system and a remarkably densely built city structure. You can hop on an underground train in Offenbach and arrive in the financial district of Frankfurt within 8 minutes. From many Mainland business districts you can reach Frankfurt International Airport within 20 minutes. From there, it is possible to take direct flights to almost any major airport in the world. You don’t like flying? No problem! From Frankfurt’s main train station, you can reach the city centres of Paris or Berlin within 4 hours and even London in about 6 hours.
Distances between you and many of your future clients are extremely short. You may visit three or four banks and not even have to leave the building. Achieve more in less time.

Mainland is flexible and dynamic

While being a hotspot of entrepreneurial and creative activities, Mainland still leaves you room to develop and implement new ideas and business models. Small, inexpensive, and connected office space enables your fintech to form networks and join clusters. Entrepreneurs are not trapped in a museum, where things cannot be changed, but are understood as a driving force for local and regional development.

Mainland offers what you need

Office space in Mainland can be really inexpensive averaging around €10 per square foot per annum for startup compatible office space – or €8.50 per square meter per month as we would put it over here. Mainland also offers you a highly trained labour pool, with the right skill set for technology startups. Goethe-University, TU Darmstadt, Gutenberg-University Mainz, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Offenbach University of Art and Design, and others provide a great talent pool for financial specialists, management experts, IT developers, and designers with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Mainland is a place worth living

Work is not everything. And Mainland offers you more than just a fantastic ecosystem for fintechs. Mainland has an international vibe, you will live in an urban society made up of almost 200 nationalities. This is reflected in many areas, such as the great variety of cuisines. If you want to whip something together yourself, you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables from all over the world in the many ethnic grocery stores or farmers markets. If you are looking for culture, you can either visit one of the 30 museums or go see an opera or a play. Many movies are also shown in the English original version and there is even an English Theatre. Mainland is also world-renowned for its electronic music and techno scene, with clubs such as Robert Johnson or Tanzhaus West. If you are not into clubbing - no problem. Visit Offenbach’s Wilhelmsplatz for dinner and drinks, have a night out in the Bahnhofsviertel, the area around Frankfurt’s main train station, or experience traditional Hessian culture in Alt-Sachsenhausen with a glass of Äppler (or cider). Or just visit your local pub. Your choice. Whether you want to visit a great farmers market, go clubbing, sit in a café, or just get out for a drink, Mainland offers a plethora of great things to do.

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