Many national and international studies see Berlin as a leading global location for start-ups. According to the German Startup Monitor 2018, Berlin is and remains the German hotspot for start-ups. There are good reasons for this.
There is a dense network of support services for young, growth-oriented start-ups in Berlin.
- Accelerators and Incubators: They offer professional help and intensive coaching to start-ups in the further development of their business model. They are mainly of interest to start-ups whose business idea already has clear outlines and is focused on growth.
- Labs and Innovation Labs: This is where innovations are put into practice – from the initial idea to a possible market launch. They are often affiliated with a university or company.
- Hubs: This refers to hubs where expertise, business ideas and start-up support are bundled together. Examples: the Berlin Hubs for IoT & FinTech as part of the DigiHub Initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs. With the initiative “Digital Hubs Germany” the BMWi and Bitkom are advancing a digital industrial policy in Germany.
- Searching and Finding: The Berlin Start-Up Map brings together publicly available information on the start-ups in the capital. A profile on the portal enables start-ups to be found more quickly by investors and customers. They also receive targeted information about possible funding and support offerings in the capital.
Growth-oriented start-ups need access to capital.
- With the VC Fund IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft Venture Capital invests in growing companies in Berlin in various technological sectors, or the creative sector, strengthening their equity. The funds are mainly made available to finance the development and market launch of innovative, scalable products or services in order to achieve fast company growth. An additional incentive for the provision of venture capital is provided by the INVEST grant programme from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
- The above-mentioned incubators and private VC investors, investors and Family Offices in Berlin offer private venture capital. The Berlin Start-Up Map provides an overview.
- The various crowdfunding providers are another financing option. Across platforms, projects in Berlin are shown in the Crowdfunding Berlin portal.
- Start-ups and investors come together in networking events, like the startup:net Investors‘ Dinner.
Offices or Commercial Space with Affordable Rents
- Rents: The starting conditions in Berlin are favourable. In spite of rises in recent years, office and location costs are still lower than in other large cities.
- Coworking Spaces: One reason for this is the large number of coworking spaces in the city. Coworking spaces are ideal alternatives for young start-ups that cannot yet afford an office of their own. They also present a good opportunity for exchange or for finding new staff.
- Technology and Start-Up Centres: Berlin’s new entrepreneurs can also find the right technical infrastructure and network opportunities in the many technology and start-up centres. Start-ups benefit from the low-cost office space.
- Maker Labs: Numerous maker labs, open workshops and do-it-yourself workshops are available to founders in Berlin. Without high procurement costs, they can learn how to deal with high-tech equipment, pass on knowledge and test ideas in an uncomplicated way.
Market Access and International Networking
In order to do business, you need a suitable starting point and the right connections.
- IHK Morning Talks - Start-Up Meets SME: The series of events IHK Morning Talks - Start-Up Meets SME offered by Berlin IHK aims to link established companies with start-ups.
- Contacts: Berlin attracts young, highly qualified people from all over the world. The high degree of internationalisation of Berlin as a location and a large supply of international skilled workers make the first step on the international stage easier for companies in Berlin.
- First Steps into International Business: Investitionsbank Berlin’s programme for internationalisation can fund the first steps into international business.
- International Networking of Start-Ups: With the programme Start Alliance Berlin, the business development agency Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie GmbH helps start-ups in particular with international networking and is working on making the leading world markets more accessible to Berlin start-ups.
- Asia-Pacific Week Berlin: The annual Asia-Pacific Week Berlin offers networking opportunities with start-ups and companies from Asia.
- Transeuropean Transport Route Hub: The fact that Berlin is a hub for transeuropean transport routes is fairly important for international Networking.
Employees, Cooperation Partners, Swarm Intelligence
The ever-growing international and interdisciplinary start-up community brings several advantages to Berlin as a start-up location.
- Employees: The right employees can be found here, especially for international business. Anyone with questions about arriving and living in Berlin or who wants to find a job in a start-up, can look here: www.talent-berlin.de
- Cooperation Partners: It is also possible to find suitable cooperation partners for a co-creation or a division of work.
- Swarm Intelligence: Not least, there is the inspiring, but also critical input that start-ups can get at various founder events.
According to the Berlin Startup Monitor (BSM), Berlin Mitte, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Pankow are the start-up hotspots among the 12 Berlin districts. With a unique leisure, cultural and educational offering, Berlin offers its inhabitants a lot of opportunities for personal development and individual ways of living.
Help with Settlement
The business development agency Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie GmbH offers service packages to support companies with an interest in settling in Berlin with information on funding, the location or qualified skilled staff.
The Business Location Center offers all of the information that companies need to settle in Berlin. In addition to helpful data and facts, the Berlin Business Atlas offers a three-dimensional impression of the whole city.
The contact points for founders in Berlin are also available to start-ups:
- The IHK start-up team provides assistance with questions on the legal framework conditions and the business concept, and there are also numerous opportunities to network with existing companies.
- Investitionsbank Berlin can provide support in matters of finance – from small microloans to large-scale investments via its VC subsidiary IBB-Bet.
- Start-ups can also access the services of the business development agency Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie GmbH. It offers support in matters relating to finding a location, internationalisation, funding and finance and skilled workers.