Startup Factory Family Met in Cologne

May 2022

More than 20 of Startup Factory’s client companies met at IHK Cologne May 9th, and spent an intensive morning session with Startup Factory partners Bernd Reitmeier, Frank Gaenzle and Christian Haug. We had the big honor to get firsthand insights on Sino-German relationship from the German General Consul in Shanghai Pit Heltmann. On a panel Pit Heltmann then discussed the current situation and wide spectrum of China topics with our client company representatives Dr. Hans-Ernst Maute, Joma-Polytec, Ralf Stoffels, BIW, and Frank Konrad, Hahn Automation, in a very trusting atmosphere.

Furthermore, Startup Factory presented its handling and consequences in operations of the COVID restrictions in Kunshan and could start with the good news that at least Kunshan residents could re-start work again after 4 weeks of lockdown. The new Director of Kunshan German Industrial Park, William Wu, also shared his view on the situation with our companies via video conference from Kunshan.

Operative tasks and challenges of Startup Factory client companies have taken up the main space in the morning discussion. Startup Factory took the chance to introduce new services like warehouse and canteen and explained Smart Factory Kunshan and its benefit for the companies in more detail.

The participants enjoyed the exchange also among each other during coffee and lunch break.


In the afternoon, IHK Cologne organized an event on China in the neighboring hall “The Future of Business in China – Where Is the Journey Heading?” Under this title China experts Daniela Bartscher-Herold, Uwe Heizmann, EAC, Mathias Mueller, Roedl & Partner, and last but not least Bernd Reitmeier, Startup Factory shared their view on the perspective and challenges in China business and economics with more than 80 participants. A high-ranking panel with Ralf Stoffels, BIW Isolierstoffe GmbH and vice-president DIHK, Kirpal Singh Sian, CLAAS, Philip Buerkle, Hansgrohe and Sabine Dietlmeier, AHK Greater China discussed future of internationalization and current interruptions e.g. by supply chain issues or national policies from a company standpoint  moderated by Frank Hermann, SIHK Hagen.

A full day on China from a SME standpoint ended with typical Cologne beer Kölsch.