About us

We are a festival of the future. We bring together forward-thinkers from all kinds of industries to help shape the society of tomorrow. We belong to the non-profit association and have been offering creative minds, startups and companies alike a stage and serving as a space for further education and inspiration since 2016. This has created a community of over 25,000 people who come together annually at our festival, inspire each other, learn from each other, seek new solutions to current problems and present them in a relaxed festival atmosphere at interactive formats such as workshops, talks and meet-ups.

The two-day festival will be accompanied by an exhibition that will take place from June to September at the same location. The exhibition and festival are dedicated to the question "What if...?", which should inspire exhibitors, speakers and visitors alike to break new ground and leave the festival full of energy.

The festival's explicit goal is also to retain young talent in the region and attract new ones. Our opportunity spaces, programs and events motivate our participants of all ages and backgrounds to develop and reinvent themselves. We lower entry requirements, provide an open climate of support, and incubate (start-up) ideas. Talent is found and retained that would otherwise have migrated to other spaces and cities. By training and supporting multipliers, the ideal and material values for Schleswig-Holstein society increase.

The value of this network increases with the number of its nodes. Thanks to funding from the Schleswig-Holstein state program for business and co-financing from ERDF, it is now possible for us to actively pursue our goals throughout the year. In addition to the annual Waterkant Festival as a highlight, the exchange with companies, start-ups and universities can be cultivated throughout the year in order to recognize their challenges more clearly and to be able to transfer them into new, suitable formats.

Both formats are financed by the Ministry of Economy, Transport, Labor, Technology and Tourism.

Waterkant season 2022 #waterkant22

On June 16 and 17, 2022, we welcomed more than 1400 visitors and speakers in Hall 51 on the MFG5 grounds in Kiel Holtenau. Startups, companies, innovators and creatives came together to discuss, try out and network. More than 100 speakers presented their versions of a technological, sustainable and fairer future in 99 sessions - innovations and the future became a tangible experience.

The Waterkant exhibition was also realized for the third time last year. Nearly 30 regional and national startups, projects, initiatives and topics brought their visions of a better future into an interactive exhibition format under the motto "What if ...?". From June to September, a diverse exhibition was created that welcomed more than 3400 visitors and made the innovation potential of Schleswig-Holstein visible.

A good impression from last year can be found here.

Waterkant season 2023 #waterkant23

For the year 2023 we are planning the festival again with about 1400 visitors. We are already scouting speakers on the topics of the future of aging, nutrition, artificial intelligence, new work and much more. We are also entering the next round with the "Green Unicorn", a startup competition for sustainable business models. The Waterkant exhibition will be open again from June-September. is the umbrella brand of the non-profit association Campus Business Box e.V. offers a wide range of further education opportunities for all curious people - regardless of age, educational background or nationality. Since 2009, different projects have gradually developed under the umbrella of, all of which open up new educational paths with different focuses. These include the Edu-Program with 4200 registrations per year, the co-working space starterkitchen with over 30 early stage startups, the open high-tech workshop Fablab including Makercube, the social entrepreneurship program for over 162 schools, the first Machine Learning Degree in the north of Magnet and many more.

Around these complementary projects, we have been able to build an independent regional, national and international network of companies, non-profit organizations and startups with around 25,000 people since 2009. With the help of mentors, the participants in our formats use and create their own unconventional ways to implement their project ideas. The association is financed by institutional funding from the city of Kiel, project funds and EU funds.


You're a press representative and interested in our Waterkant Festival? Here you can find our press kit and pictures in our Flickr gallery.
You're also welcome to contact us at

Waterkant Presskit 2023 EN

Experience tomorrow today at a place that brings together the best speakers, the most exciting start-ups and hidden champions from the SME sector: #Waterkant23. And here is our Waterkant Festival program!

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