History - Frank Zumbruch EN


with Dr. Peter Kurz, Wolf Lotter and co-moderator Lena Raditsch at the innomake! symposium “People Planet Profit” at Mannheim Congress Center Rosengarten, 2019
Photo: Sebastian Weindel for Stadtmarketing Mannheim / innomake!


Frank Zumbruch has been self-employed since 2011 under the label ZAKK – consulting, project development and knowledge transfer in the cultural and creative industries.

He has been the managing director of machwerkhaus köln GmbH since 2023. The purpose of the company is the careful development and operation of a center for design and urban production on an almost 20,000 square meter industrial area in the Cologne district of Kalk – the machwerkhaus köln.

In 2021, as a managing partner, he founded machwerkstadt GmbH with offices in Cologne and Mannheim together with the architect Claus Fischer. Their business purpose is the development of ideal-typical centers for urban production at the intersections of creative industries, crafts, technology and trade – the machwerkhouses.

From 2017 to 2020, Frank Zumbruch headed the Creative Commission Mannheim as Cultural Economy Officer. The Creative Commission was a municipal one-stop agency for all aspects of cultural and creative industries in Mannheim and combined the competence field management for cultural and creative industries, the creative industries centers ALTES VOLKSBAD, C-HUB and TEXTILEREI as well as the Film Commission Nordbaden.

From 2014 to 2016, Frank Zumbruch managed the C-HUB Center for Creative Businesses Mannheim as Community Manager and built it up as an important hub of the cultural and creative industries in Baden-Württemberg.

From 2010 to 2013, Frank Zumbruch was Commissioner for Cultural and Creative Industries of the City of Heidelberg. In addition to Heidelberg’s successful application as a UNESCO City of Literature, the conception and realization of placemaking projects, such as the “Breidenbach Studios” or the creative business center in the former fire station “Dezernat 16” were among the most important projects that he initiated and successfully implemented during this time as part of an integrated urban development strategy.

with Stefan Sagmeister at Trinitatis Church in Mannheim, 2016
Photo: Artur Bauer for UNCOVER


In 2001, Frank Zumbruch founded komplizen.com with other entrepreneurs – the network for communication in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region, which was recognized in 2008 by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs as Service Provider of the Year in the category “Outstanding Networks & Cooperation” and in 2017 by the Bundesverband StrategieForum was awarded the strategy prize in the “Best Cooperation” category.

In 1996, Frank Zumbruch founded Unity Concepts GmbH for marketing and market research in Heidelberg, in which he remained a shareholder until 2011.

In 1994 he founded Wolf, Zumbruch & Partner | werbeagenten as an agency for design and communication in Heidelberg, whose business Frank Zumbruch managed together with Tobias Wolf until 2011.


Frank Zumbruch has been a guest lecturer at the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg since 2015. The courses in the “Music and Creative Industries” master’s program are dedicated to cluster management in the cultural and creative industries (until 2021), entrepreneurship in the cultural and creative industries, sustainability and in a specialization module to the design industry.

Since 2019 he has also been a lecturer at the Karlshochschule International University in Karlsruhe. Under the title “Innovation and Sustainability – Creating a Better Future” he offered the specialization module “Creative Industries” in the Master’s degree in Management with a focus on “Creativity & Innovation” for start-ups in the creative economy until 2022.

From 2013 to 2016, Frank Zumbruch held the seminar “Cultural and Creative Industries and Urban Development” in the module “State and Public Administration” as a lecturer at the Max Weber Institute for Sociology at the University of Heidelberg.


Frank Zumbruch is co-founder and from 2015 to 2021 chairman of the Kreativregion e.V.. The purpose of the association is to promote the cultural and creative industries and to strengthen the awareness of the social, political and economic actors in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region for the connections between the creative economy .

Frank Zumbruch has been a member of the board of directors of Designzentrum Rhein Neckar e.V. since 2016, which aims to raise public awareness of the importance of design.

One of the most important initiatives of the Designzentrum was the UNCOVER Designfest, which Frank Zumbruch co-founded in 2015, managed until 2020 and was a member of the board of trustees until 2021. The festival was dedicated to the design of socially relevant transformation processes and announced three times the UNCOVER Design Awards, endowed with 20,000 euros, in the context of the 17 sustainability goals of the UN.

Frank Zumbruch is an appointed member of the advisory board of formAD e.V. for the promotion of architecture, design and communication. formAD is the association organized as a private-sector and civic interest group for the cultural and creative industries in Heidelberg and the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region.

From 2011 to 2016, Frank Zumbruch was spokesman for the creative industries network of the Rhine-Neckar Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

From 2015 to 2020, Frank Zumbruch was continuously appointed as a member of the jury the Kultur- und Kreativpiloten competition of the Federal Government’s competence center for cultural and creative industries and from 2017 to 2020 in the IDEENSTARK competition of Baden-Württemberg, before he took on the project management of the qualification program.