Why you should consider starting your (next) company in Berlin.
Founding an own company is often connected to where to relocate because successfully establishing a business depends on the ecosystem most of the time. Silicon Valley, New York, and Beijing are the top leading ecosystems for startups worldwide. But relocating to the US and China is often difficult due to entry restrictions, especially for European founding teams. Luckily, Europe itself has a couple of thriving ecosystems to offer, with the city of Berlin as its most desirable destination. In this post, we want to show you the benefits the ecosystem has to offer.
When you think of Berlin, you probably think of the nightlife first, which is nothing you should not mention when you consider moving to the capital of Germany. The vibrant party scene offers distraction and fun like no other city in Europe, giving you the opportunity to go to bars and clubs from Friday until Wednesday. Some venues even open up on Thursday again so the only problem you might face is not to get lost.
The city is, in comparison to other major cities like Rome, London, or Paris, a very comfortable place to live. It offers relatively cheap consumer goods, a broad infrastructure of parks, lakes, and woods, countless museums, libraries, and event locations. Although it is rapidly increasing, the rent is relatively cheap compared to the rest of Europe and gives you the chance to rent an own apartment apart from making a living, which is difficult in cities where the minimum rent is about 1000€ per month like in Paris for example.
Nowadays, Berlin is mostly known for its tech-startup scene, emerging thousands of businesses every year. In general, you can say that the scene here is way less venturesome than in the US. Investors tend to back companies with a fully completed cap table, a business plan, and a strong team rather than investing in a plain idea that might be disruptive but has no proof of concept. As a result, the quantity of startups is at a very high level and the competition is big. At the same time, ideas and business models are either not very disruptive or try to mimic proven ideas from abroad. An advantage is that most early-stage accelerators and VCs like APX by Axel Springer and Porsche want a very small amount of equity shares, ranging from 3-8%. Most of them offer their individual mentoring programs besides office space and access to their network. The good news is that more and more experienced VCs and angels from the US and the UK are coming to Berlin, shaping the ecosystem with their management style and fresh ideas.
To conclude, Berlin not quite reached its full potential in terms of being a highly valuable ecosystem. But the future shines bright for the city to become exactly what it is supposed to be: A booming destination you will need to go to if you want to be successful.