German Internet entrepreneurs have a new friend — Hanse Ventures, a Hamburg-based Internet incubator that has been co-founded by Jochen MaaB, founder of Internet marketing firm, artaxo and Sarik Weber, formerly of XING and co-founder of Cellity. The founding share holders of the new investment group are publishing house Gruner+Jahr’s Chairman Dr. Bernd Kundrun and Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment.
Weber and MaaB are responsible for the operational aspect of Hanse, which already has taken stakes in eight Internet start-ups. These include Carmio, a price comparison engine for auto parts and HochzeitsPlaza.de, a online wedding portal. Hanse Ventures plans to add between 6-to-8 start-ups every year for next three years to its portfolio. The start-ups are getting the usual physical infrastructure along with other services such as design, programming and online-marketing.
While Germany has become known for spawning “copy cat” start-ups that imitate the business models of some of the more successful US web companies, Weber tells us that the new group is focused on companies with original ideas. Hanse Ventures is part of a growing trend — several groups are trying to build a new start-up ecosystem that allows web upstarts cheaply develop ideas and products.
Photo by Eriwst via Flickr under Creative Commons License.