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Solingen is a city in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany sitting on the edge of the region named "Bergisches Land" that is south of the Ruhr area with a population of around the 161,366 mark. Known as the "City of Blades", as it is famous for the manufacturing of knives, scissors, razors and swords, Solingen is home to such manufacturers as DOVO and Zwilling to name a few. Betrayal happened during the 17th Century when some of its applauded sword smiths broke their guild oaths and took their sword-making secrets with them to Shotley Bridge in England. From "turn coats" to creative innovators, Solingen is now home to coworking spaces for the out-of-the-box thinkers who have no desire to leave their own backyards.

Solingen has a history of blacksmithing that goes back over 2,000 years with its' prized swords showing up all over Europe, as they were traded across the continent. Today it is still considered to be the knife-centre of Germany. For centuries it was a tiny village, but it became a fortified town in the 15th Century. A town where history buffs will have some jaw-dropping moments, its' main spots of interest include the "Schloss Burg" castle, the "Mungsten Bridge" that is the highest railroad bridge in Germany constructed in 1897 and the former convent church (1690) "Klosterkirche". There are plenty of museums to keep you entertained including a "Laurel and Hardy" Museum if you want to have a laugh, plus loads of parks and gardens for when you need a nature walk.

The startup scene in Germany is a bit of a mixed bag with almost 30% of startup staff not being German. There are a few hurdles to overcome such as red tape hassles, language barriers and the fact that most founders wish to hire skilled foreign workers. Eight out of ten German startups want to go international, but legal systems and regulations may be inhibitors in this regard. Despite these niggles, coworking spaces are overflowing with creatives in collaborative mode whilst mingling within a vibrant community.

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