Hamburg has long been a wealthy city, going right back to the times when it headed the Hanseatic League. Much of this wealth remains in the possession of long-established companies and old families. Adhering to values going back generations, this inner circle of elders is said to be sworn to a codex of honesty and honour, is characterised by understatement, favour action over words, and tend to be sceptical of new ideas and people from outside their ranks. Against that background – the old money, scepticism of lofty ideas in favour of tried and tested solutions, the inner circle of trusted friends – it might seem implausible for Hamburg to become a paradise for startups, or a hive of disruption and innovation. People from abroad might be especially wary.