Johannes’ vision for chemstars
“My vision for chemstars is to create a dynamic and collaborative ecosystem where scientific brilliance converges with entrepreneurial spirit. I envision it as a hub, where diverse minds from various fields of chemistry come together to tackle pressing challenges. chemstars should be a driving force for positive change, fostering breakthroughs and scaling startups in the chemical industry.”

Dr. Johannes Velling

Director General “Digitalization, Startups and Services”

Professional Background
Johannes is Director General “Digitalization, Startups and Services” at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. In this position, he is responsible for various areas, from the digital economy, start-ups and financing to NRW business services portal and consumer-oriented services. Before moving to NRW in 2018, he was responsible for the Federal Ministry of Economy‘s various programmes in the field of start-up financing for more than ten years (High-Tech Gründerfonds, EXIST, INVEST, German Accelerator)

What was your motivation to launch
Launching chemstars was fueled by a deep passion for innovation and a desire to make a positive impact. I believe in the transformative power of chemistry to solve real-world challenges, especially when startups and industry work alongside.

What are the values that drive you?
I believe in the inestimable value that start-ups have for structural change and economic growth in NRW and Germany. We have set ourselves the goal of making NRW one of the top ten start-up regions in Europe. And we are on the right track.

What’s the one thing founders should always keep in mind?
Don’t be discouraged by setbacks, cause that’s part and parcel of a startup.

What’s your motivation to support chemstars?
I see chemstars as a catalyst for innovation and a platform where brilliant minds come together. Startups find the support they need to scale their ideas into breakthrough products.

What’s the single most important advice you can give founders?
Believe in your idea and think big, be prepared to question your business plans and pivot if necessary.