Kickoff DIWODO 2023

Digital Week Dortmund International Program 2023

For the very first time, the Economic Development Agency Dortmund offered an international two-days special program within the scope of the 7th edition of Digitale Woche Dortmund #diwodo.

As a decentralized festival on digitalization, #diwodo attracts thousands of visitors every year to Dortmund companies, institutions, networks, and scientific institutions to jointly talk about digitalization, technologies and innovations. The Digital Week Dortmund is an offer of the Economic Development Agency Dortmund which provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience, the promotion of innovations and thus the strengthening of the local economy. The event covers a wide range of topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, Smart Cities and much more.

Let's take a look at our recap from 2023 and a short video of the entire Digitale Woche Dortmund program:


On Monday, the international group including international startups and entrepreneurs from India, Italy, Croatia, the Netherlands, Romania, Turkey and a delegation from Pittsburgh (US), accompanied by a film team, set off from the German Football Museum in the direction of the Technology Park and were able to get a further impression of Dortmund on a first short bus tour. First input took place the the Digital Hub Logistics Community Space: Within the scope of a workshop on "How to not f... up your international expansion", the participants were able to learn a lot about the pitfalls of entering the German market. Afterwards, they took a short walk to Fraunhofer IML and the very well-attended lab tours, which were offered in English. A second delegation from Ukraine joined the program during lunch break.

Next stop: Lamarr Institute for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, where the focus was set on sustainability issues. The distances in Dortmund are short, a mini-expo was arrived by Lachmann & Rink GmbH just across the street with the exhibition partners RIF Institut für Forschung und Transfer e.V., Institute for Production Systems, TU Dortmund, IPS Engineers, ZukunftProduktion, Netzwerk Industrie RuhrOst e. V. (NIRO). 

The beer brewed from a research project and with the help of AI had to be tested immediately and was unanimously rated as very successful. Last stop: the official kickoff of #diwodo at DASA including the DIVIR Award and the Transatlantic Fireside Chat on Real-World Innovations of AI, to which Rebecca Nugent (Fienberg Professor of Statistics & Data Science/Dept. Head; Carnegie Mellon University) had traveled from Pittsburgh and exchanged views with representatives of the Lamarr Institute on issues in the field of AI and applications in the "real world" and opportunities for cooperation.

On Tuesday, Julia Jäger and Sabrina Heix started the day with a short visit to ­­DIWODO TV. The business location tour through Dortmund started at 9:30 a.m., again accompanied by the film team and also external, international guests who traveled to Dortmund from NRW. After a brief refreshment, the DIWODO International group learned more about the topics of Smart City and iCapital. The event continued at the Dortmunder U, where the start-ups and entrepreneurs took to the pitch stage in the cinema at Dortmunder U and presented their business ideas to the audience on site and in the stream in front of the International Pitch Stage.

During a speed dating session with the stakeholders of the International Garden Exhibition (IGA 2027), they discussed how the business ideas could enrich the exhibition on the theme of "How do we want to live tomorrow?". A brief stop at the Hansa coking plant, the venue for the IGA2027, was of course a must. Last but not least: the kick-off of start2grow, Germany's oldest business plan competition, which is also open to international startups, in the brewery tower of the Dortmunder U. The international entrepreneurs and startups felt right at home and mingled with more than 200 guests to network after they had faced one last challenge: an authentic elevator pitch in the Dortmunder U elevator.

A great program, the Economic Development Agency would like to thank all the partners mentioned above for their willingness to offer their respective events in English and thus make this attempt at a new format possible.

The next DIWODO will take place from September 23rd to 28th, 2024 and we are delighted to announce: DIWODO goes international again!


Digital Week Dortmund International
Ludger Staudinger

#diwodo is the Digital Week Dortmund (Digitale Woche Dortmund) which will take place for the seventh time from September 25-30, 2023.

We worked quite hard, spoke to many people and wrote plenty of e-mails to set up the nearly finalised international program with awesome partners and topics just for you! We made sure to arrange a great mixture of information, networking, innovation topics, and a workshop which will hopefully meet your needs! We are so very happy to invite you to join the program.


Who are we looking for?

We especially offer this program for international entrepreneurs and startups. 


Why should you join us?

We offer this international experience for the very first time within the Digital Week Dortmund (DiWoDo). Our program will be totally held in English but of course the other events during the general DiWoDo will be open for you to be joined as well!

There will be more events taking place in the same week in our city and region. They will make a visit to Dortmund even more worth the money!

You can’t participate in the entire program? Never mind, get in touch and discuss possible options with us! We are happy to help!

The program, including transportation during the two program days, as well as catering is for free and organised by us! Therefore, you just need to cover your travelling costs!

You need a place to work after the program? Contact us to get the chance for a co-working voucher, which can be used in Dortmund, to make the most out of your experience in our beautiful city!

Still not convinced? Check the program to see which great partners, institutions and, ecosystem partners will be on board for the program! Use the opportunity to connect!

For a quick glance, have a look at our one pager below:

Pre-Program on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th, 2023

Considering arriving early? Feel free to do so and join us on Saturday, September 23rd to watch the BVB09 home game against VFL Wolfsburg in an authentic pub. On Sunday, September 24th, we can meet up for a joint dinner in a local restaurant.

Monday, 25th September

Workshop: How not to f**k up your international expansion |

Gernot Schwendtner (Upvisor; former co-founder weGrow)

Join our exciting and informative workshop on International Expansion for Startups - where we bring together the thrill of Bingo with valuable insights and practical knowledge to help your company conquer new markets successfully!

Innovation at your fingertips: Lab tour through the Fraunhofer IML test centres|

EDIH-DO – European Digital Innovation Hub Dortmund and Center of Excellence Logistics and IT | (

Learn about the newest technology and topics in research (XR, exosceleton, picking, robotics and autonomous systems) and get the chance to try it out at an exclusive tour at the Fraunhofer institute for material flow and logistics within the performance centre logistics and IT.

Sustainable AI demonstrators at the Lamarr Institute for machine learning and AI |

Lamarr Institute for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence » Lamarr Institute ( | KI.NRW – The central point of contact for artificial intelligence in NRW | Sustainalyze - Fraunhofer IML

Join us for a visit to one out of 5 research centres in the field of AI in Germany, to get experts insights in AI within a perspective of sustainability, energy consumption, sustainability reporting and more. 

Improving production systems with AI at the institute of production systems of TU Dortmund |

Home - IPS - TU Dortmund (

Ever wondered if AI will succeed in every topic? We can’t tell but at least we want you to join us for a beer tasting of AI optimized beer. Let’s see if it will be the best one we ever tried or use the chance to talk to the researchers to get an insight on the topics they are working on.

XR Science Award at DASA

Welcome! - DIVR - Das Institut für Virtuelle Realitäten (German only)

Let’s end the day at the award ceremony of the XR-science award at Germany’s largest exhibition on the world of work with a variety of interactive experiences to take (Home ( In addition, we can cross our fingers for projects in the AR and VR sector who are all hoping for the first price.


Tuesday, 26th September

Digital Business location Dortmund – Let’s take a look!

Welcome to Dortmund. | Wirtschaftsförderung Dortmund (

If you think of Dortmund as an industrial city, we need to disappoint you and would love to show you the city’s development into an high-tech and IT destination for companies like Adesso, Wilo, Materna, Vanderlande, Omron and many more. We will take you to the last blastfurnace in the city to see the famous stadium from the top as well as some other special sights! It’s not just for fun as we booked a bus to get the most out of the on-the-road network event!

Smart City Dortmund

Wondering what smart city means for our region, which projects are coming up and why Dortmund as the first German city ever has been awarded the innovation capital award in 2021? We will join our colleagues from the CIO office to give as an overview and answer our questions.

Speed Dating: DOaccelerate meets IGA

Internationale Gartenausstellung 2027 (

In 2027, the international gardening show will take place in Dortmund and the surrounding area. Future living and working as well as every topic somehow interconnected with gardening, food etc. will be part of this fantastic event. We will offer you the opportunity to get into contact directly with the organising team, to pitch your ideas within a speed dating!

Kickoff-start2grow competition

The night will be reserved for networking again as we will join the kickoff of the Start2Grow business plan competition. It is the oldest one in Germany and offers a substantial network of coaches, investors, and mentors. Get connected with a decent drink in your hand and watch young entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas!

Still not convinced? Here are some more events which might be of interest for you:


26th to 28th September

VertiFarm | Messe Dortmund – International trade fair for next level farming and new food systems

25th to 29th Ruhr Startup Week – A bunch of events in the whole Ruhr area. Program release at 1st of August

25th to 29th September – Digital Week Dortmund

Digitale Menschen kennen keine Grenzen auf der #diwodo – Besides our program there are many more interesting events connecting you with companies and the local ecosystem. Program language is German.

Another event worth a note:

Germany’s best Hacker Deutschlands Bester Hacker | Deine Cyber Security Hacking Challenge (

Your Contacts

Sabrina Heix

Sabrina Heix

Welcome Agency
T: +49 231 50 2 28 51
Julia Jäger

Julia Jaeger

International Settlement
T: +49 231 50 2 48 21