why mainland is great for startups 2018-01-22T11:26:39+00:00


MainLand has a rapidly growing start-up and fintech ecosystem. You may ask yourself “What is MainLand and why is it interesting for me and my 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 or other start-up, certainly in Germany and Europe but even worldwide. Let’s see what MainLand can offer you.


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. Due to Brexit looming large, many of these have announced their intention to move more people to Frankfurt. 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 thriving start-up community and is home to a good part of the German fintech scene. A few examples: Frankfurt-based 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 and real estate companies have established incubators in Frankfurt, cumulating in the creation of the Tech Quartier that serves as a focal access point for the start-up and fintech community. It was founded by financial institutions, professional firms, the Hessian state government, and Goethe-University. But MainLand is much more than Frankfurt, e.g., Offenbach on Main, south of the river, features a large creative industry due to its renowned Offenbach University of Art and Design and, on a per capita basis, this city has had the largest number of start-ups 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 characterised by a very 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 a direct flight 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.


Being a hotspot of entrepreneurial and creative activities, MainLand leaves you room to develop and implement new ideas and business models. Small, inexpensive, and connected office space enables your start-up or fintech to form networks and join clusters. Entrepreneurs are appreciated as a driving force for local and regional development.


Office space in MainLand can be really inexpensive ranging upwards of GBP 8.50 per square foot per annum for startup compatible office space – or from EUR 8.50 per square meter per month as we 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.


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 excellent 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.