Press release
 NürnbergMesse expands cooperation with start-up incubator ZOLLHOF

Looking forward to further cooperation: Benjamin Bauer (ZOLLHOF), Carolin Hofmann, Dr Michael Melcher, Dr Martin Kassubek (NürnbergMesse) and Anne Christin Braun (ZOLLHOF) (from left to right).


Press release NürnbergMesse

NürnbergMesse expands collaboration with start-up incubator ZOLLHOF

21. April 2023
  • Successful partnership focused on digital offerings has been extended by another five years
  • Mentoring, screening, Metaverse, Web3: Agreement reached on trendsetting collaboration at different levels
  • NürnbergMesse is and remains the No. 1 exhibition venue for start-ups in Germany

NürnbergMesse’s collaboration with the start-up incubator ZOLLHOF in Nuremberg will not only be continued but expanded: The exhibition company and the start-up hub in Nuremberg will now work together for another five years on the development of new digital offerings to complement NürnbergMesse’s in-person events. In addition to continuous sharing of expertise, targeted mentoring programmes, and screenings at which start-ups present their ideas for innovative exhibition formats, the collaborative venture is also focused on the future development of trade fairs, including trade fairs to be held in the Metaverse. “ZOLLHOF is a true power house in Nuremberg, brimming with innovative strength in the collaboration between start-ups and established enterprises. The same founder spirit drives the transformation of our own business model to the benefit of our exhibitors and visitors”, said Dr Martin Kassubek, member of the senior management team and Head of Corporate & Digital Development at NürnbergMesse. “In order to grow, start-ups need partners whom they can trust. Cooperation between companies like NürnbergMesse and ZOLLHOF is important because opportunities for genuine collaboration and growth well beyond the Nuremberg greater metropolitan area can only be created by working together”, said Benjamin Bauer, CEO of ZOLLHOF.

Both NürnbergMesse and ZOLLHOF stand to benefit in many respects from the continuation of the partnership that began in 2018. Innovative ideas and concepts from ZOLLHOF’s start-up ecosystem will boost the exhibition company’s own business. Conversely, start-ups will benefit from having their solutions tested and refined in NürnbergMesse’s real-life operations and concrete applications. The exhibition company will also seek to use the cooperation with ZOLLHOF to expand its own “digital partner network” by gathering together companies that enrich NürnbergMesse’s portfolio of events and services with digital components.

As an especially important part of the collaboration venture, joint “Know-How Events” will be held together with start-up and tech experts to inform NürnbergMesse’s employees about new technology and innovation trends. NürnbergMesse will also benefit from the “Start-up Screening” sessions where suitable partners from the start-up network can pitch their products or services. This gives the exhibition company an opportunity to formulate detailed requirements. Workshops to be held on the subject of “Events of the Future” will analyse current trends in the event-organising business. Particular emphasis will be placed on technology trends like Web3 and the Metaverse. Working together with ZOLLHOF’s experts, NürnbergMesse will evaluate potential new applications and business models. One of the highlights of the previous collaboration between NürnbergMesse and ZOLLHOF was the Digital Tech Summit 2019, where more than 800 hackers came together in Nuremberg’s Max Morlock Stadium to jointly devise solutions to actual problems of NürnbergMesse.

Start-ups at the Nuremberg exhibition venue

Collaborating with start-ups is important to NürnbergMesse because today’s “shooting stars” will often be tomorrow’s exhibitors. To help start‑ups take their first steps in the world of trade exhibitions and connect them with important players in their respective sectors, NürnbergMesse organises pavilions for start-ups, which are sponsored by the German federal government, at many of its exhibitions. In the current year, 45 such pavilions will be held in Germany, including 14 in Nuremberg alone. This makes NürnbergMesse the No. 1 exhibition venue for start-ups in Germany, the same as in the previous year. Through its engagement with ZOLLHOF, NürnbergMesse is also living up to its responsibility as an important economic engine in the Nuremberg greater metropolitan region, This is a distinction shared with ZOLLHOF, which like NürnbergMesse is sponsored by the Free State of Bavaria and the City of Nuremberg.

About ZOLLHOF – Tech Incubator

We make entrepreneurship happen: That is ZOLLHOF’s mission. As one of Germany’s fastest-growing tech incubators, it helps both start-ups and established companies take their digital business ideas to the next level. This makes it a key pillar of the digital eco-system. Under the de:hub Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Economy, ZOLLHOF is the hub for digital health. Founded in 2017, it has 30 employees at its offices in Nuremberg. You can find more information at:  

Dr. Ulf Santjer
Dr Ulf Santjer
Press Spokesman NürnbergMesse
T: +49 9 11 86 06-80 28
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Maximilian Hensel
Senior Manager Corporate Communications
T: +49 9 11 86 06-85 15
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About the NürnbergMesse Group

The NürnbergMesse Group is one of the 15 largest exhibition companies in the world. It includes NürnbergMesse GmbH and that company's 15 subsidiaries and affiliates. The Group employs more than 1,000 people at eleven locations in Germany, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Greece, Austria and the USA. It also has a network of international representatives in more than 100 countries. Its portfolio comprises some 120 national and international exhibitions and conferences held in person and as digital events, focusing on five general fields: Retail & Consumer Goods, Building & Construction, Process Technology, Electronics & Security, and Social & Public. Its events safeguard jobs; generate tax revenues as well as billions of euros in purchasing power effects each year, making NürnbergMesse a major economic engine for the Nuremberg metropolitan region and Germany as a whole. As an employer and organiser of major events, NürnbergMesse assumes responsibility for people and the environment. It shapes its corporate actions in accordance with the 17 UN SDGs with the aim of achieving climate neutrality in energy supply by 2028.