Startups from Ukraine to join the digital economy’s mega meeting in Hamburg

startup city Hamburg

Hamburg, 28 April 2023 – Taking place on 9 and 10 May, the OMR Festival of Online Marketing Rockstars is a magnet for all stakeholders from the digital economy. As many as 70,000 people are expected to attend the upcoming event in Hamburg. This year, the City of Hamburg will be supporting 12 startups from Ukraine and 12 startups from Hamburg via its Startup City Hamburg platform. The selected companies will have the opportunity to present their innovative business ideas in Hamburg – at Europe’s number one festival for the digital scene. A joint stand at OMR Expo will ensure increased visibility of the startups and their projects, and a customised programme during their stay will foster international exchange and provide additional access routes to the EU market from Hamburg. In 2023, Hamburg is also promoting young, promising companies with sustainable business models via two dedicated initiatives: the Future Hamburg Award and the Scaleup Landing Pad.


During the OMR Festival on 9 and 10 May 2023, Hamburg will be presenting itself as the capital of digital marketing. What began 12 years ago as an informal get-together of online marketers is now considered to be one of the meeting sector’s most innovative formats and the largest digital conference in Europe. As the 70,000 expected visitors will include numerous top decision-makers, the OMR Festival is the perfect place for startups seeking to gain visibility and, above all, make valuable contacts. This year, young enterprises from Hamburg and Ukraine will be joining the OMR Festival and will have the opportunity to present their innovative ideas in front of an expert audience.


The joint project is intended to create synergies to the benefit of everyone involved: at the conference, the selected startups will be able to connect with other professionals, present their business models and meet prospective clients and investors – while the City of Hamburg will be able to benefit from the exchange of ideas, technologies and expertise as well as long-term partnerships and potential incoming businesses in the Hamburg region.


Hamburg’s Minister of Economy, Dr Melanie Leonhard, said: “The OMR Festival is the family gathering of the digital and online economy. I am delighted that this year, 12 Ukrainian startups will be presenting their innovative business models at OMR. We aim to facilitate an intense exchange of ideas, technologies and expertise in order to build long-term partnerships. As a metropolis, Hamburg offers an attractive environment: an international spirit, innovative companies and quality of life – many reasons for the talent of today and tomorrow.”


Startups from the digital technology, marketing and GreenTech industries

In cooperation with the Ukrainian Startup Fund, the team of Startup City Hamburg has invited startups from Hamburg and Ukraine to apply for a place at the joint stand at OMR Expo. This initiative is supported by the Hamburg Startup Unit, the Ukraine Ministry of Digital Transformation, the Consulate General of Ukraine, Hamburg's Ministry of Economy and Innovation as well as other partners.


Dr Rolf Strittmatter, managing director of Hamburg Invest, said: “With the Startup City Hamburg platform, we facilitate access to relevant resources regarding Hamburg as a startup location. Not only local companies, but also international entrepreneurs in particular benefit from this municipal project as they can quickly find information e.g. on advisory services, funding programmes or investors. The joint initiative to support startups from Hamburg and Ukraine aims to provide young, promising companies with customised offerings.”


With the joint stand in Hall A4, Stand B.09.1–B.09.8 at OMR Expo, Startup City Hamburg will provide a total of 24 startups with a powerful forum at one of the most innovative events for communication and online marketing. In the forerun to this, 12 innovative startups from Ukraine and 12 innovative startups from Hamburg were selected from a pool of 40 applications. The 24 featured startups are from the fields of digital technology, marketing and GreenTech.


Thanks to their sustainable solutions in particular, some of these businesses have already attracted international attention:


  • Melt Water Club’s mission is to provide sustainable, maintenance-free and clean drinking water treatment. The company’s freezing technology effectively purifies water from a wide range of contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, pesticides and chemical reagents. This innovative solution does not create any waste.
  • Releaf Paper aims to minimise the use of wood cellulose to the greatest possible extent by replacing it with cellulose from the fibres of fallen leaves for use in paper mills worldwide. The company’s technology for producing sustainable paper from biowaste helps meet the continued demand for paper in an eco-friendly manner.
  • Global Innovative Online School - GIOS helps children get a grasp of maths and improve their critical thinking through fun, TikTok-style formats. The interactive online learning platform comes with a wealth of features, such as progress tracking for parents and a digital library. Teachers can make use of a flexible tool for designing courses as well as a STEM marketplace for sharing experiences.


The founder of the GIOS learning platform, Nataliya Limonova, will be presenting her company at the 5050 startup pitch in front of top investors on 9 May, and Alexander Sobolenko, CEO and co-founder of Releaf Paper, will be holding a talk on the OMR main stage on 10 May.


“At the OMR Festival and beyond, we aim to provide participants with opportunities for ever-increasing knowledge transfer, exchange and inspiration. Our goal is to highlight possible ways of pushing ideas forward. We are hugely impressed that, despite a permanent state of emergency, such strong companies from Ukraine are going to join us here. Therefore, we are particularly pleased to welcome these founders at the OMR Festival and to facilitate exchange with startups from Hamburg,” says OMR founder Philipp Westermeyer.


As a state-owned entity, the Ukrainian Startup Fund helps innovative projects and technology startups raise early-stage funding for launching their business models. The fund is aimed at driving the development of the local startup ecosystem and creating favourable conditions for the growth of the sector, while also strengthening the Ukrainian tech industry’s international image and representing innovative solutions from Ukraine around the world.


“Marketing technologies are part of the most powerful verticals of the Ukrainian tech ecosystem. Several MarTech companies, such as Restream, Netpeak Group and Amo by Genesis, are expanding globally with their services and products. Events such as the OMR Festival are great opportunities for Ukrainian startups to show that they have enhanced their solutions and are ready to represent them globally via such events as the global OMR Festival 2023 in Hamburg. Our mission is to find opportunities for talented Ukrainian innovators in new markets with the aim of attracting clients, cooperation with partners, and raising investments,” explains Pavlo Kartashov, CEO of the Ukrainian Startup Fund.


As a cosmopolitan city featuring one of the most vibrant startup ecosystems in Europe, Hamburg is an ideal location for international companies seeking to grow their business. What is more, Hamburg is one of the few European cities to promote sustainable startups via public programmes that are specifically geared towards GreenTech. In April and May 2023, for instance, GreenTech startups can apply for two funding programmes by the City of Hamburg: the Future Hamburg Award and the Scaleup Landing Pad Hamburg. Both initiatives are aimed at systematically promoting smart solutions for the city of tomorrow. One of the highlights of the Future Hamburg Award will be the opportunity to take part in an attractive accelerator programme at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley. The Scaleup Landing Pad Hamburg provides particularly promising scaleups with tailor-made support services to help them boost the growth of their business in Hamburg and beyond.

Go back