Founding Partners

The initiative AI for Hamburg (AI.HAMBURG) was founded in 2019 by the Smaato founders Petra Vorsteher & Ragnar Kruse and launched together with Hamburg@work, TUTECH, Hamburg universities and municipal partners.

Petra Vorsteher & Ragnar Kruse

AI for Hamburg (AI.HAMBURG) was founded in 2019 by the Smaato founders Petra Vorsteher & Ragnar Kruse.

Smaato, Inc. was founded in 2005 in Silicon Valley by Ragnar Kruse and Petra Vorsteher in their living room in San Mateo, CA. From San Francisco, they built the company over the years into a globally successful IT company with 240 employees and locations in the USA, Europe and Asia. The privately managed company opened its first German location in Hamburg in 2006. They sold Smaato in 2016 and left the company in July 2019 to dedicate themselves to AI.HAMBURG.

Petra Vorsteher

Founder of AI.HAMBURG and Smaato Vorstand International | Hamburg@work

Ragnar Kruse

Founder of AI.HAMBURG and Smaato Advisory board for AI at Hamburg@Work

Hamburg@work | DigitalCluster.Hamburg

Hamburg@work is the digital cluster in the north of Germany. With around 75 events a year, 1,500 members from 600 member companies and a network of 9,000 digital makers and opinion leaders in the metropolitan region, the organization has become an institution.

Hamburg@work understands digitization not only as a technical process, but also as a motor for transformation with significant changes for economy, state and society.

In this sense, Hamburg@work also promotes networking within the AI Eco-System and brings together the participating companies, organisations and institutions in an AI focus group. A specific programme of events complements the range of workshops and training courses.

Founded in 1997 as one of the first digital networks in Germany, Hamburg@work received the European Union’s “GOLD Label Cluster” award in August 2019. With this quality label, the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI) has attested Hamburg@work a high level of excellence in the field of cluster management. In contrast to municipal or national cluster support programmes, the “Cluster Organisation Management Excellence Label (Quality Label) GOLD” is an independent and voluntary mark of excellence in cluster management that is recognised throughout Europe.

Uwe Jens Neumann

Chairman & CEO at Hamburg@Work | Co-founder of AI.HAMBURG

Tutech & Hamburg Innovation

Tutech Innovation GmbH is a privately organised subsidiary of the Technical University of Hamburg and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Together with its sister company Hamburg Innovation, the two companies connect all public universities of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and numerous research institutions in the metropolitan region.

Tutech and Hamburg Innovation speak both languages – that of science and that of business – and have been successfully combining entrepreneurial and scientific potential for 25 years. They are active as consultants, brokers, initiators and coordinators in knowledge and technology transfer on a national and international level. And all this with the clear objective of creating sustainable values by applying the latest research results and inventions. With people and for people.

Martin Mahn

Managing directors Tutech Innovation GmbH and Hamburg Innovation GmbH

TUHH Hamburg University of Technology

The TUHH is an innovative and growing technical university, strong in engineering methods, new materials and digitization for the competence fields of Green Technologies, Life Science Technologies, and Aviation and Maritime Systems. The TUHH sees itself as a socially anchored university that meets the challenges of the present and the future with technical solutions.

Thanks to the high level of interdisciplinarity in research and teaching at TUHH, it is particularly successful in transferring disruptive technologies such as data science, artificial intelligence, digital twin, new materials or 3D printing into transfer and application. Artificial Intelligence is a key competence that is applied at the TUHH, for example in mechanical engineering, materials science, aircraft and shipbuilding, process engineering, civil engineering and electrical engineering. AI is used and further developed in cooperation with the mathematics and computer science departments at the TUHH as well as in cooperation with the University of Hamburg and the Hamburg computer science platform, which spans all universities.

The TUHH contributes to the development of the technical-scientific competence of society by training the next generation of engineers with modern teaching and learning methods and by promoting technology transfer and the establishment of companies.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Timm-Giel

President TUHH, Head of the Institute for Communication Networks

Hamburg Invest and Business Development Agency

Hamburg Invest is the One Stop Agency for investments in Hamburg. It is the central point of contact for all companies wishing to invest, expand, restructure, relocate or found a company in the Hamburg economic region. Under the umbrella brand Hamburg Invest, Hamburg proactively promotes Hamburg as an investment location both nationally and internationally. The SME pilot helps with complex approval procedures and, if necessary, mediates between companies and the administration.

Hamburg Invest offers a wide range of services for small and medium-sized enterprises in particular. There are specialised contacts for the areas of services & tourism, digital economy & e-commerce, industry & trade and research & innovation.

Hamburg is a hotspot of the German start-up scene. The strong and diversified economic structure as well as a lively start-up ecosystem form a good basis for successfully implementing ideas. The result is a growing and well-connected start-up scene. The Startup Unit is the first point of contact for young, innovative companies and offers support in the areas of growth, networking and internationalisation.

Dr. Rolf Strittmatter

CEO of HIW Hamburg Invest and Business Development

Ahoi digital

The University of Hamburg, TU Hamburg, HAW Hamburg, HafenCity University Hamburg and the Ministry of Science, Research and Equal Opportunities set up “” as a joint project at the beginning of 2017. The aim is to develop information technology at a top level and to establish Hamburg as a top information technology location. The holistic concept of the IT platform is unique in Germany: the platform is based on the three pillars “education”, “research” and “transfer”. It serves as a catalyst by strengthening education and research and, as a centre of competence and network, provides impulses for start-ups and innovation.

In addition, it is intended to strengthen cooperation with urban clusters and expand the links between science and business. In terms of content, the “” concept focuses on four core topics in computer science: “Cross-Modal Learning”, “Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) and Smart Systems”, “Information Governance Technologies” and “Data Science”.

Dr. Martin Semmann , M.Sc.

Managing Director Allianz Hamburg University of Computer Science (

Artificial Intelligence Center Hamburg (ARIC)

The AI Competence Center Artificial Intelligence Center Hamburg (ARIC) e.V. bundles in the metropolitan region the know-how in the field of Artificial Intelligence & convergent technologies in economy and science (private and public institutions) and makes it available as a real platform via different formats. A large cooperation network integrates the Hamburg innovation ecosystem and enables a mutual knowledge transfer. The centre will establish national and international cooperations and will strive for an exchange with the worldwide AI hotspots.

Alois Krtil

Artificial Intelligence Center (ARIC) Hamburg