A hymn to Bielefeld…
… stubborn, persistent and combative. We are East Westphalia and P-ton is right in the middle of it.
Iwould have liked to start this post with a snappy comparison of the start-up scene and DSC Arminia Bielefeld. Our Bundesliga soccer club in East Westphalia, the pride of so many Bielefelders and the passion that unites this city. But let’s look the facts in the eye: 2nd Bundesliga and 16th place in the table. Perhaps not exactly the best comparison to start with.
“Things are moving forward and that’s why we’re all here.”
But let’s perhaps just stick to the attributes that Arminia claims to be: “Stubborn, tenacious and combative” – As a native of East Westphalia, I can of course only agree with a euphoric “jo, passt!”.
And even more, it not only fits the general East Westphalian, but also the local start-up scene and Bielefeld in particular. Founders here are “stubborn and persistent”. Because those who perceive “it’s OK!” as the highest recognition for an achievement from their earliest childhood are not easily thrown off course by a “no” in a pitch or a rejection for a competition. And founders are “combative”. Why not challenge the “big” start-up cities and show them what we can do between the Wiehengebirge and the Teutoburg Forest? You think Bielefeld doesn’t exist? We’ll show you!
“The time is ripe to turn up now. The time is ripe to go our way.”
All right, the second-highest density of billionaires in Germany and an above-average number of global market leaders in the region naturally provide a certain amount of backing. But it also shows that founding a company is almost a tradition in East Westphalia. How many founders have set up companies in the past that became highly specialised suppliers to the big players in the textile and food industries? How many patents were once developed in garages, kitchens or cellars in Bielefeld?
And today it is no different. Talented founders sit at the university, in the Founders Foundation, in the Pioneers Club and at P‑ton and develop new companies – in Bielefeld and for the world. Together, the start-ups are building an eco-system that supports and benefits from each other. WEGE, the business development agency in Bielefeld, creates a significant framework for this with its “Startup Package” and its offers. Together with the established companies and the young start-ups, it is building a truly unique network that supports and benefits from each other.
“Don’t give up, let’s look to the future together.”
And perhaps it is the “together” that makes Bielefeld and East Westphalia so attractive. We are stubborn, but we like to help. We are stubborn, but we have good sense. And we are combative, but not unfair. Maybe we’re playing second division football at the moment, but in the start-up sector we’re building our own league. Let’s see who can keep up.
„Heut ist der Tag endlich wieder soweit,
bei jedem Spiel stehen wir bereit,
es geht voran und darum sind wir alle hier.
Ob man gewinnt, ob man verliert,
ganz egal, was auch passiert,
wir sind da und halten immer fest zu dir.
Die Zeit ist reif, jetzt aufzudrehen,
die Zeit ist reif, unseren Weg zu gehen,
gib nicht auf,
lasst uns gemeinsam in die Zukunft sehen.
wir sind die besten Fans der Welt,
und unser Herz schlägt nur für dich,
– Arminia Bielefeld Hymn –