Insight into the
With contributions from Alexander
Kudlich, Ansgar Oberholz, Michael
Brehm, Mathias Döpfner, Carsten
Maschmeyer, Christian Reber,
Jan Beckers, Fabian Heilemann, Fabian
Siegel, Florian Heinemann, Ijad Madisch,
Jens Begemann, Klaus Hommels,
Lukasz Gadowski, Joel Kaczmarek
and 85 other great minds.
has the most
of all cities in Europe“
* Peter Thiel, Former CEO of PayPal, first investor of Facebook and partner of the venture capital firm, Founders Fund.
HUNDERT IS A PROJECT FROM
DAILY NEWS FROM THE BERLIN
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Klaus Wowereit has been the governing mayor of Berlin since 2001, and the
longest serving head of government in
office of any German state.
Hundert Continues as a Series!
We are very excited about the response that “Hundert – insight on the Online Capital Berlin” has received. Therefore, we
have decided to continue “Hundert” as a series. In the coming
year we will present new issues such as, “Hundert: Online
entrepreneurs speak about their biggest mistakes”, “Hundert:
Startups that you should know”, and “Hundert: Online marketing experts explain the way to web success”.
Every issue of the series “Hundert” is available free of charge,
both as print magazine as well as PDF download.
Governing Mayor of Berlin
People from all over the world come to Berlin to turn their ideas and
visions into reality. The lively startup and founder’s scene of Berlin
is greatly responsible for our city’s creativity, innovation, economic
development as well as international attraction.
In recent years, our Berlin startup metropolis’ digital industry has particularly made the biggest leap. More than 60,000 people are already
active in this field, and the future value of the industry has already
surpassed that of the construction industry. The impressive growth
figures are optimistic for the coming years as well. To ensure that this
trend continues and Berlin further proves to be one of the world‘s
leading locations, the Berlin Senate is continuously and effectively
improving the environment for startups and the digital industry.
The „Hundert“ 100 portrayed people are all representatives of this
development in Berlin. Whether as a founder, financer, investor or
networker, they all contribute to the upswing in the German capital.
They are the prominent faces of the startup metropolis Berlin. To all
of the readers of „Hundert“, I can only recommend that you try and do
the same. Berlin welcomes you – Start up in Berlin!
Simply register and receive every issue for free:
Founder & CEO
CEO & co-founder
CEO & founder
co-founder & CEO
Club Berlin e.V
Policy & Innovation
entrepreneur, consultant & Investor
Head of European
Founder & CEO
Béa & Oliver Beste
Masoud Kamali &
Hasso Plattner Ventures Management
CEO & co-founder
Editor At Large
Point Nine Capital
co-founder & CEO
Lucas von Cranach
CEO & founder
Head of Int Brand
Founder & CEO
Founder & CEO
founder & partner
owner and CEO
founder & CEO
Gauly | Dittrich |
van de Weyer
Founder & CEO
Axel Springer AG
Founder & CEO
Tim Dümichen /
Founder & CEO
Founder & CEO
Founder & CEO
Head of Moviepilot
CEO & Founder
Prof. of Entrepreneurship, Founder
founder & CEO
doo und e42
Economics, Technology and Research
Head of Technology
Agnes v. Matuschka
Director, Center of
Tech Open air
CEO Found Fair &
Project A Ventures
Senior Vice President
Table of Contents
Introducing the Federal Association of German Startups e.V
Impressions of Berlin (in Cooperation with EyeEm)
The Most Popular Cafés to Work From (in Cooperation with Yelp)
Overview of Berlin Co-Working-Spaces
Overview of Berlin Incubators
The Cloud: IT Launchpad for Startups (AWS)
Social Startups Berlin
Guest Article “The hipster thing is a bad joke!”
Berlin Startups That You Should Know
Working at Silicon Platz (T-Labs)
Groundhog Day with Pactas
The Hype is over (Sugarhigh’s Guest Article)
Fashion in Berlin (Superior Magazine’s Guest Article)
Scarosso; On the Way to Becoming a Multi-Channel Retailer
Events for Startups and Founders
Notes of Berlin
What Berliners don ́t say
Imprint and Contact
Without the help of all of our sponsors and supporters, this magazine would have never of been possible.
You may not believe us, but the fact that you have our magazine
“Hundert: insight about the online capital Berlin” in your hands, makes
us just as happy as you. A precise concept, three intensive months,
thousands of e-mails, and what has felt like hundreds of liters of coffee
are finally behind us. Above all, it was a time filled with positive meetings
with extraordinary people. That was the greatest.
Hundert is meant to be a sort of mosaic of opinions, capturing and
highlighting the booming hype about Berlin as THE online city. And who
better to compare and analyze the reality here better than the people who
live, experience and shape it daily?
We want to give our many thanks to all involved and thank you all for
your willingness to participate in this project. We hope that the finished
magazine does justice to all involved, and also conveys how much fun we
have had with this project.
Berlin is an incredible city to work and live in. Those of you, who did not
yet know this, will find impressive reasoning in this Magazine.
We hope you enjoy reading this!
Jan Thomas and Konstantin Iwanow
(Editors of the magazine, “Hundert” and the tech blog, berlinvalley.com)
Our main objective was to gather as many different opinions, insights
and views in order to understand the full picture. Therefore, we not only
spoke to successful entrepreneurs and active investors, but also
newcomers, media professionals as well as representatives of associations and organizations. As a result of one hundred subjective articles
a balanced, overall picture with hundreds of different personalities and
perspectives has emerged. To avoid any bias, the selected people of this
issue were not based on their importance, and the order in which they
appear has no relevance to any ranking system.
The contributors themselves have written the magazine text, and all
views and opinions reflect only those who have written them. We asked
contributors to please provide their interpretations on Berlin as an online
city, as we wanted to portray the existing opportunities offered for
founders and startups in Berlin. We wanted to avoid any glorification of
the city, therefore we explicitly expressed that advice and constructive
criticisms regarding the online city Berlin were also welcomed.
PS – If you have any questions of how you can support this ambitious project, please
visit www.the-hundert.com for a free download. We value all feedback, and would
appreciate any sharing of this through e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Please be sure to
tell all of your good friends and colleagues about this! Thank you in advance!
Even if the core team of “Hundert” consists of only two people, a project of this magnitude could never have been completed alone…especially in such a short
period of time. We would therefore like to thank the many supporters who have stood by our side for their help. Paul Bengelsdorf for his behind the scenes
work; Susanna Pozzi, Balázs Tarsoly and the team from Operation Butterfly for the great design and incredible cooperation; Andrea Peters, Nadja Pahl, Marcus
Börner, Thomas Letz, Philipp Hartmann, Jürgen Schepers, Nicolas Wittenborn, Matthias Pindter, Andreas Stammnitz, Ciarán O`Leary, Alexander Kölpin and
Sascha Schubert for the many great contacts, Christian Herzog, Uwe Gralapp, Melanie Bähr, Sina Kassler, Heike Herckelrath and Jutta Chouraqui from Berlin
For those of you with any questions regarding the many ads: We have
simply offered these ads as a present to those who have helped us with
the costs of “Hundert” along the way, and also proudly gave ads to
projects such as Wheelmap, in which we support from the bottom of
our hearts. Additionally, we were able to create valuable media
partnerships in order to increase the reach of this magazine. We ask
for your understanding in regards to how this process developed, and
without all involved, we could not offer this magazine to you for free.
Partner; Robin Haak for his help (we would have loved to have your article in the magazine!); Christoph Blumberg and the entire team from ´the European´ for
the hospitality (we really feel so comfortable); David Pelletier, who saved us from the worst; Özlem Buran for her reliability; Thomas Schneider for his technical
support; Ansgar Oberholz, Max Senger, Stefan Wolpers and Oliver and Béa Beste for their magnificent XL contributions; Christoph Raethke and Sugarhigh
for their remarkable guest article; the Team from EyeEm and Superior Mag for your great pictures; Joab Nist for his humorous article (Notes of Berlin / What
Berliners don’t say) Steffen Setzer and Manuela Wachs of Laserline for the great cooperation; the PR team from Rocket Internet and Team Europe for your
helpfulness; Maria Widelak for editing; the many assistants who put up with their manager (keyword ‘a sack full of fleas’); Gruenderszene, Deutsche Startups
and Netzwertig for your contributions of “24 Berlin Startups you Should Know”; Michaela Kagerer from Amazon Web Services; Cem Ergün-Müller from the
Telekom; Elisabeth Gressl and Susanne Krüger from Olswang; Tim Dümichen and Marius Sternberg from KRMG; Anne Seubert from Yelp and of course all of
the media partners, sponsors, startup events and advertisers. Last but not least, we would like to thank all hundred of the participants for their great
statements. It was a pleasure to work with you all. With such entrepreneurs, great success can happen in Berlin.
Do what you
gardener gaining new grounds
I have lived in Berlin permanently since 2008 and
established what is now my fourth successful online
company here: HitFox. Berlin makes this possible.
Building up a strong team is currently easier for young
entrepreneurs here than anywhere else. The division of
Germany meant that there was very little “business” in
Berlin, and consequently few jobs for highly qualified
workers. Following its reunification, Berlin became
extremely popular as a base for people from around the
globe. The access to a highly-qualified, international
workforce is therefore difficult to top. This is a fundamental advantage of Berlin as a location. Global
successes such as HitFox and SponsorPay now establish
Berlin-based companies on the international level. And
not only company founders find everything that they
need here. Everybody needs a place of work, and the
digital industry is one of the capital‘s most important
employers – with a growing tendency.
Major VCs are now focusing their searches on Berlin.
At the moment, Berlin is still “poor but sexy”, but thanks
to the many successful online companies, Berlin will
be “rich and sexy” in just 10 to 20 years‘ time. I look
forward to accompanying the city on its journey
towards achieving this.
When my parents come to visit, you are a scruffy mutt that rubs
up against strangers’ knees and prefers to do its business in well-lit,
When friends come to visit, you are transformed into a shaggy but
photogenic mongrel that spontaneously helps blind people across the
street while howling Bowie songs.
Unlike almost any other big city on earth, Berlin readily submits to
the eye of the beholder but never curries favor. Instead, Berlin feeds
on the illusion of authenticity, because a city of character, however
dubious, is a treasure in a globalized, standardized, plate-glass world.
Young entrepreneurs, set Berlin a good example: do what you believe
in, avoid conformity, forgive yourself for your crooked teeth,
and show them now and again.
Unless you‘re into pedigree dogs.
We can’t afford them here. Woof!
founder and managing director of HitFox Group
Tanja Haeusler is one of the founding team
members of re:publica, Europe’s biggest Internet
conference. Together with her husband Johnny
Haeusler, she also runs the Grimme award
winning blog Spreeblick, writes soothing books
Jan Beckers already built up two event companies
while studying. In Berlin, he was involved in the
successful launch of Gründerszene.de prior to
for parents anxious about the Internet and,
founding his own companies, Absolventa, Madvertise
after work, worries about the sorry state of Ber-
and Sponsorpay. In 2011, he launched the HitFox Group
lin‘s schools, to which their sons are subjected.
incubator. His company currently employs a
workforce of over 400 in Berlin. In June 2013, the
AppLift HitFox spinoff reported a round of
investment totaling 10 million euros.
founder and partner Lakestar
CEO, Axel Springer AG
I enjoy taking a stroll. While strolling through Berlin, one thing in
particular catches the eye: the city‘s inconsistent structure, both
architecturally and socioculturally. At times ugly, at others
beautiful, bourgeois, hip or avant-garde, but it is always colorful.
Berlin is the playground of a variety of different people and places.
In its recent history, the city has repeatedly been forced to reinvent
itself. As sad as the reasons may be, the resulting potential is huge.
Too much stability leads to sluggishness, too must wealth to laziness,
and too much supposed freedom to indifference. Berlin is different
in this and also exudes this.
Berlin is neither one thing nor another. It will always remain a
building site. This is also a good thing! For this causes it to attract
people who wish to build, to give their creativity free rein, to fill the
gaps. A Mecca for start-ups. Berlin is a melting pot of differences,
which is also why it is so very dynamic.
Hopefully, we will never achieve to fill the gap.
Dr. Mathias Döpfner has been with Axel Springer since 1998,
where he was initially the editor-in-chief of DIE WELT.
He became a member of the management board in July 2000
and CEO of Axel Springer AG in January 2002.
the city I
There are few cities in the world that I find as fascinating and
attractive as Berlin. It is rare to find such a colorful mixture of people
in one place. Many times in its history, Berlin has been a distinctively
young, hungry, creative and disruptive city. That is precisely what
makes Berlin stand out, not only as a capital city, but also as the
perfect ecosystem for the start-up, technology and media sectors.
For years, Berlin has registered a net influx of intelligent minds from
around the world. For this reason, Berlin is the city I find most
intriguing right now, followed by Stockholm, New York, San Francisco
and London. So, Berlin, if you show not just creativity and fun, but
also discipline and staying power, a great future lies ahead of you!
Klaus Hommels is among the most successful
Internet investors in Europe. He has invested
in businesses such as Skype, Xing, King.com,
Facebook and Spotify, among many others.
He is also the founder of and partner
in Lakestar. In 2013, Klaus Hommels was
ranked first among European investors
on the Forbes MIDAS list.
Mike Butcher is Editor At Large of TechCrunch.
managing director of Berlin Partner for Business and Technology
Mike has been named one of the most influential
Europe is famously known as the place where nothing much
happens. It‘s great when you want to see some history.
But Berlin is the newest city in Europe. And as such, it‘s been
re-making it‘s own history for at least the last 24 years (and
of course, longer). But in recent times it‘s become a city that
I liken to a Tabula Rasa – or a blank slate in Latin. Berlin
is not so much a city as a platform on which you can build
something. That‘s appropriate, because technology is all about
platforms. Here, you have a city where pretty much anything
is possible. And in a continent where so much has happened
already, is nice to start making some new history together.
people in technology by Wired magazine and is
a regular tech commentator for the CNBC and
Bloomberg. He is also co-founder of TechHub.com,
Coadec.com and is an adviser to the Mayor
of London on digital.
Editor At Large, TechCrunch
Copyright: Berlin Partner for Business and Technology / Christian Kielmann
Melanie Bähr knows her subject. In 2006 she founded her
own management consultancy in Bulgaria, which she ran
for five years as managing partner. Today she works as
the managing director of Berlin Partner for Business and
Berlin is the start-up capital of Germany. A company is founded
here every 12 minutes. This puts Berlin considerably above the
national average. The experts agree: Development in the digital
industry is particularly lively. Start-ups provide jobs and bring
international capital into the city. Hasso Plattner and Bill Gates
are leading examples of this.
Berlin’s entrepreneurs are highly qualified, open-minded and
driven to shape the way we will live tomorrow. They come from
all over the world. Our city is also educating its own next
generation, and we currently see number such as 15,000
students enrolled in courses linked to the IT and digital sectors.
When it comes to investing in business and technology, tech
start-ups meet people who speak their language and can give
them active support. We know Berlin and open up our
scientific and economic networks to support future projects.
Technology. The Public Private Partnership, backed by the
Senate and over 200 businesses, is responsible for
promoting investment and technology in the city.
Driven to shape
the way we will
Olswang means more than law.
We mean business.
CEO of AKM3
„ A young and dynamic team of lawyers with a unique
mix of optimism only found in start-ups combined
with decades of experience and industry knowledge
that help deliver ‘magic circle’-level advice.“
Kanzleien in Deutschland
Olswang Germany LLP
Working with online marketing and startups is what I am passionate
about! Where better to succeed than in Berlin? It is here, in this
spontaneous, inspirational metropolis that Internet and online
marketing are thriving, especially within the startup community. This
is felt here more than most other cities, and of course the reason why
I made the move from Cologne to Berlin. In my opinion, the online
scene in Berlin has an incredible future, as seen with its rapid growth
in the last 10 years. What is particularly great about Berlin? So many
brilliant people from almost every industry surround you! It is not
easy to name any other European or global city that have so much
talent and damn good online marketers working so closely together.
Additionally, Berlin offers top networking and further training events
right outside your front door, as well as the benefit of having Internet
companies, agencies and startups all encompassed into a close
proximity. As a result, networking, knowledge and experiences
can be casually shared during your lunch or work breaks.
Since 1998, Andre Alpar has been an online
marketing (SEO focus) entrepreneur and consultant.
He has successfully founded several companies
and is a diversified, active Business Angel. Most
recently he was a strategic consultant at Rocket
Internet GmbH. He is the CEO of AKM3 GmbH and CMO
of the online cigar retailer, Noblego.de. In addition,
he has organized the annual online marketing
conference OMCap since 2010.
Berlin · Brussels · London · Madrid · Munich · Paris · Singapore · Thames Valley
Introducing the Federal
Association of German
(Der Bundesverband Deutsche Startups E.V.)
“Startups need a clear voice in politics and society.
That voice is BVDS, and that is why we are members.”
Dr. Tom Kirschbaum, waymate
“BVDS networks founders with each other,
giving us a lobby for business needs.”
Christian Miele, TodayTickets
“The Association represents the interests of the startup industry
and is the voice of young entrepreneurs.”
Franziska v. Hardenberg, Bloomy Days
“agility of startups alone is not enough to be successful in the long term, nor to compete against
established companies – The association gives us an uncomplicated representation that
is in our interest, as well as a platform to communicate on a high level”
Andreas Richter, plista GmbH
As the representative and voice for startups in Germany, we
are committed to a founder friendly Germany. With opening
political dialogue, we develop proposals that support
entrepreneurship, and reduce barriers for business startups.
We promote innovative entrepreneurship and support the
startup mentality in society. As a network, we connect
founders, startups and their friends together.
PUBLIC RELATIONS: With events, we support a positive image
of startups in society. Through studies, we emphasize the
importance of startups in Germany.
POLITICS: With a functioning ecosystem for startups in mind,
we work out company founding political positions
and represent them in relation to politics.
NETWORK: Our primary focus is the establishment
and networking of regional startup initiative in the Federal
Republic. At the same time we enjoy making it a priority
to work with industry associations, major institutions
as well as established companies.
Founded in Berlin in autumn of 2012, the Startup Association
has more than 200 members. Founders volunteer, interact
and are involved with the association in 8 states.
10 topics are included in the political agenda of the BVDS that
were developed in workshops with more than 100 new
entrepreneurs. The first results were seen when the Startup
Association prevented the “Anti-Angel-Law” from passing,
and continue to gain momentum.
Highlights also include events from and with the BVDS. Politics
also play a big roll here. Whether Angela Merkel, Philipp Rösler
or Gesche Jost, there has never before been so many meetings
between top politicians and startups. This year, 100 entrepreneurs were given the chance to attend German Valley Week;
something they will never forget. The intensive week in the Bay
Area was offered to preferred members of the association as well
as non-members, and allowed the founders to meet with the likes
of Peter Thiel, Marc Andreesen and Andy von Bechtolsheim.
“If you want to change something then you have to get involved! I do this with the Bundesverband
German startups because I am convinced that our country, along with the whole of Europe needs
to become founder friendly. That’s why we’re working on it.”
Christian Vollmann, Business Angel
“The association has the duty to be the voice and catalyst to support the interests of the scene, help
remove obstacles out of the way, to push the digital scene as a center of innovation, and pave the way for
an entrepreneur-friendly Germany. Through membership with the Startup Association,
GameGenetics would like to help strengthen the founder’s thought and promote innovation in Germany.”
Alexander Piutti, GameGenetics
By systematically integrating staff participation and taking a flexible
approach to the dreams of their employees, these entrepreneurs
have the potential to tap previously undreamed of depths
of motivation and productivity.
Berlin’s financial service providers have a greater ability than
Frankfurt with its established institutions to develop a focus on
transformative innovation, and particularly on the provision
of venture capital and promoting start-ups in the financial sector.
In this way, Berlin could in future be seen as the precursor to a
reformed and integrated financial & economic location that
sees start-ups as an emerging SME sector.
Berlin is practiced at tearing down walls. Becoming the first German
city to make the transformation from an administration ruled by
paper and opening times to one that is open, that welcomes the net
as the operating system of society with open arms and can thus
offer a single source for online services for everything from
start-up enterprises to neighborhood development.
In the same spirit, Berliners understand and maintain the data
that represent their digital lives as their private property. They
respect and use their digital environment to support, on the one
hand, democratic decisions based on solid empirical data, and on
the other to make their voice heard with the help of egalitarian
access to digital resources. By applying a sophisticated “reputation
management” practice, they transfer such principles as tolerance for
extravagances and different lifestyles from the analog neighborhood
community to the networked “global village.”
Dr. Max Senges has been with Google in Berlin since 2009.
In 2012 he became the Internet Policy and Innovation
Manager. As a link to science, entrepreneurs and civil
society, Max works with the areas of Internet
Governance, Innovation and Technology Philosophy.
Prior to Google, he was active in academic,
governmental and private organizations
in the areas of knowledge management,
E-learning and IT governance.
Manager Internet Policy & Innovation, Google
Berlin is a myth. New York, London, Paris, Rome – capital cities
develop a collective hallucination. They symbolize the 24/7 world,
home to such political and cultural phenomena as punk and
#Occupy. They reflect the soul of a nation and represent its
history and contemporary spirit.
For me, Berlin is the most fascinating city in Germany. It is the
German city that can best be unlocked through its diversity, through
the symbolic “&.” Berlin has no center, no one branch of industry
dominates here. It is East & West, corner pubs & cosmopolitan flair,
hipsters & dyed-in-the-wool locals, incomers from Swabia
& Hamburg, the Philharmonic & the Panorama Bar, home
to squatters & the Chancellor. Berlin is big enough for everyone.
Berlin is big enough for every dream.
While Paris and New York have already made their mark, we are
still largely free to create our own fairytale. On the last weekend in
August, 34 forward thinkers from start-ups, SMEs and Dax-listed
companies as well as the fields of culture and science came together
at the invitation of Google, the Deutsche Bank and Shell, in
cooperation with the Start-Up Campus Factory, at whose site the
event took place. They debated and developed a charter setting out
Germany‘s strongest opportunities for economic & social progress.
For me, this charter reads like the dream of a Berlin which,
in realizing the opportunities of the new digital millennium,
serves as both a carthorse and role model to the rest of the nation.
Being an entrepreneur is sexy: start-ups and courageous
entrepreneurs, who take their chances and tackle the upheaval
of our changing times head on.
Similarly, an integrated and synergetic infrastructure for data, energy
and mobility is fundamental to this Berlin dream.
Thus Berlin could take the lead in the energy revolution, sparking a
chain reaction in the entire region.
Berlin can consolidate its attractiveness to artists and other producers
of informational commodities by developing contemporary monetization
models for the digital and thus effect in practice a genuine reform of
the Magna Carta of the information society: copyright and patent law.
Somewhat along the lines that “the new system only works in practice
and not in theory“ (adapted from Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia).
When science and business are interlinked, monitored and promoted
by politics and authorities, we can take an assembly line approach to
innovations and start-ups on the one hand, while, on the other hand,
an open educational infrastructure can be created that will make
the educational opportunities available to kindergartens, retirement
homes or naturalization programs more fun and more relevant.
Discussing the Berlin of our dreams, the heroes of our age, will help us
to form our collective aims and thus to drive on the implementation of
this social & economic movement.
BERLIN IS EAST AND WEST,
NEIGHBORHOOD PUB AND
COSMOPOLITAN, HIPSTER AND
‚ICKE‘, FLOODED WITH PEOPLE
FROM SWABIA AND HAMBURG,
PHILHARMONIC HALL AND
PANORAMA BAR, SQUATTERS
AND THE CHANCELLOR‘S HOME
at the heart of
Aydogan Ali Schosswald is publisher of The Kernel, an online
CEO, Tech Open Air
magazine, and founder of the Berlin-based platform hy!, which
brings together Europe‘s startups, media and the old economy.
In 2013 he was chosen among the NEXT 100 as one of the most
important heads of the digital industry in Europe and was
also named a „digital economic miracle“ by GQ Magazine .
I am a vegan, university dropout and entrepreneur. Where else
should I have gone, if not to Berlin? With its colorful, ever-changing
culture and its unique history, I consider the capital to be the perfect
sandbox for entrepreneurs and designers. All you need is a ticket
for the U8 subway to meet hundreds of people who are all trying to
make our lives easier, better and more exciting. Here there are
brilliant teams working to reinvent academic collaboration,
to develop quantified self technologies and financial services
for the 21st century, to democratize publishing, to personalize and
digitize education, and so much more. Then there are all the
international startups that come here to find investors. If we manage
to act as a catalyst for these developments by making capital and
resources accessible and by creating infrastructure, Berlin will be at
the heart of digitizing and rejuvenating the European economy.
and an almost
I have a love-hate relationship with Berlin. My first impression was
the most important, but it was not love at first sight. True, I moved to
Berlin in winter, which was, of course, a typical beginner‘s mistake.
A hefty pinch of masochism is needed for Berlin in winter (which feels
like nine months of the year). This is when the streets feel broad, gray
and empty. A sort of melancholy hangs over the city like the angels in
Wim Wenders‘ film „Wings of Desire“. After five years, Berlin and
I still have an on-off relationship. There have certainly been some hot
nights, but it is not (yet) a great love. Berlin is just not an easy place
and definitely not a pretty one, but the way in which it throws
(longed-for) light on its history and the sensitivities of its residents
makes it genuine. As my mother used to say, „it is what is inside that
matters“. Residents of Berlin have an almost absolute carte blanche in
the city. Tolerance and a nearly unlimited freedom of expression are
at the root of the creative energy which also drives our start-up scene.
Freedom, lived and learned, is an example to the rest of the world.
The last time I visited the USA, it almost seemed that „I loooove Berlin“
was the mantra of the Williamsburg/Portland generation. At such
times I cannot imagine another winter without Berlin!
Nikolas Woischnik is the founder of Ahoy! Berlin, TechBerlin,
and the Tech Open Air Berlin festival. Their purpose is to
create open platforms to facilitate an exchange between
various disciplines (technology, science, art and music) and
technologies. Nikolas also acts as an adviser to several
start-ups, gives lectures on the Berlin start-up ecosystem
and is a trustee of the Zeitbild foundation.
publisher of The Kernel and founder of hy! Berlin
Head of Moviepilot Germany
Ingke Weimert has been with moviepilot since 2009. She built up
the company’s sales business and ensured profitability before
taking charge of all German business (mp.de) in 2012 and helping
the management team to shape internationalization in the
USA. Ingke hails from Bonn, and previously worked for
ProSiebenSat.1 and NBC Universal Networks in Munich.
Moviepilot GmbH employs over 80 people in Berlin,
Los Angeles and London.
According to the 02/2013 issue of Business Punk on Moscow,
“In spring, snow still lies where the Russian Silicon Valley currently
is”. This brief description of the climate could also be applied to Berlin.
While there was no snow in our city in April 2013, it was certainly
bitterly cold at -17° Celsius. If it had snowed, the layer of white would
have remained and covered over spring. This is how it is in Berlin:
sometimes it is hard and cold, yet it is also giving and so very green
in the summer, with endlessly long, light-filled days, and purples and
oranges in the late summer and autumn. The colors allow winter to
be forgotten. Berlin has over 80 beach volleyball courts, which are
located at the very heart of the city. Berlin is sport – whether it be
volleyball, soccer, ice hockey, handball or basketball. There is every
type of sport imaginable – at the highest level or otherwise. They take
place in the midst of it all, everywhere. Berlin is Wowereit, up with the
times (he visited us in the Moviepilot offices in July 2013).
Berlin is Germany’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and the premieres
shown at the Sony Center are more impressive than those shown on
Hollywood Boulevard. Berlin has “creative garbage heaps” or little
men, who feature on the street signs simply because. Berlin is colorful
and the people creative and full of passion. Berlin is “entrepreneurial”
and the people ardent entrepreneurs, which is why it is possible to
grow here. Both economically and personally, alongside others.
Things and companies can exist and occur here simply because
everyone somehow wants them to, and this makes Berlin the
“world’s sexiest city”. We wish you a wonderful time in Berlin!
Berlin is really the perfect city to start a tech company. It is creative,
international, youthful, innovative and vibrant (there is always
something on from music and theatre to art and design). Additionally,
it possesses incredible high living standards while still remaining
one of the most affordable cities on the planet.
An entrepreneur with a passion for technology and
productivity, Christian Reber is the Founder and
CEO of Berlin based 6Wunderkinder. As the creator
of the much loved to-do list, Wunderlist,
Christian is responsible for creating a global success.
Wunderlist has been downloaded by more than 10
Here you get the feeling that anything is possible; and it is. As such, we
are seeing the rise of a new generation of entrepreneurs based in Berlin.
They are disrupters focused on providing a truly creative and unique
product that is capturing the attention of international markets. And for
all the right reasons! While we still have some way to go, I can happily
say that I am now seeing much more technical innovation and a move
towards smarter solutions that enrich the users life than a few years ago.
It’s often been said that Berlin itself is a startup and well, I truly believe
that we are on the verge of something really special here.
million people across the world, boasts more than five
million registered users, and has been named Apple’s
“App Of The Week” in 104 countries.
Founder and CEO, 6Wunderkinder
Lukasz Gadowski is Partner at Team Europe, an internet
entrepreneur and an investor. Lukasz founded spreadshirt,
When I founded Spreadshirt in 2002, the German internet
landscape was in a kind of post-apocalyptic state of shock. The
tech-heavy Neuer Markt stockmarket had just crashed and the
dot.com bubble burst, destroying millions worth of assets. Even
after eleven years of reunification, Berlin was still not at all close
to being thought of as the „place to be“ for start-ups in Germany.
When I moved to Berlin in 2006 the startup scene was very
small – everyone knew everybody and people supported each
other. But there has been fast growth in recent years, with no
end in sight. Unfortunately I no longer have the time to really
stay on top of what is going on with all the exciting start-ups,
accelerator programs and incubators. However, what I have
seen over the last few years is that a strong foundation has
been created in Berlin through hard work. Naturally there
are overrated and underrated companies, some of which are
successful after ten years and some of which were simply
declared successful right after founding. But starting a business
is like climbing stairs: some take one step at a time, some two
steps, and some run out of breath. The most important thing is to
keep steadily progressing. And in Berlin that is what will happen.
was a founding investor of brands4friends and studiVZ, and
is involved in several internet startups as a business angel.
Lukasz has received numerous awards for his entrepreneurial
achievements. He is also on the Advisory Board of the digital
economy startup organization Junge Digitale Wirtschaft.
Partner, Team Europe
A strong foundation
For more than five years media.net has
supported start-ups. As a cross-sectoral
business association we connect people,
the media and their ambitions. Our program
media.net:catapult helps young companies
to catapult themselves towards success.
Our Investors’ Dinner is a culinary idea that
pays off. Why? We want to increase chan-
ces, support with exciting contacts, accompany visions, create sustainable jobs and
strengthen Berlin-Brandenburg even more.
co-founder and partner Point Nine Capital
Berlin, you are simply wonderful because…
Head of International Brand Communications, Etsy
… you are young;
… you have had a turbulent history;
I‘ve lived in Berlin since 2001. I originally planned
to move to Berlin for 2 years, however plans change,
which is a lot like Berlin. The thing you can always
depend upon in Berlin is change – constantly shifting
and expanding to make the most of new cultural and
technological undercurrents from around the world.
Anyone who tells you it was better before hasn‘t
been here long enough or doesn’t like change.
If you don’t know of anything fun or interesting
going on, you’re not looking hard enough! The
creative energy and relaxed but determined Berlin
attitude which transforms empty factories into
dance-clubs, co-working spaces or installations
made it an ideal space for Etsy to open their first
European office in 2010. It’s simple to hire
creative, passionate people who are attracted to
the high-standard of living here. Indeed, it’s what’s
kept me here far longer than I had ever anticipated
and what’s turned Berlin into my home.
… you are international, increasingly so, yet your own character
is strengthened and not lost;
… you have a huge, almost magical, appeal that goes far beyond
… you attract talented, well-educated people from across Europe
and inspire them to realize their lifelong dreams in Berlin;
… you gave birth to a vibrant tech start-up scene that provides an
important economic mainstay and high growth potential for Berlin;
… you make and give us all space to develop and be true to ourselves;
… you are the gateway to Eastern Europe and enable me to stay
reasonably close to my family and friends in Poland;
… you enjoyed being “poor but sexy,” but where there is spirit, money
will always follow. Thus you will always continue to develop.
Berlin, I wish…
… that you will never lose your character;
… that the seed being planted will enable you to grow so strong
economically that you can compete with other global capitals, and
that you will not become a second “Silicon Valley”, but the first real
… that you will be able to offer a future to the people who come
to fulfill their dreams and inspire them to stay;
… and above all, that we will continue to have a lot of fun together!
Caroline Drucker heads the international brand communi-
There is only
one constant in
cations at Etsy. Previously, she was a Product Manager and
Partner Marketing Manager at SoundCloud, the world‘s
Pawel is co-founder of and partner at Point Nine Capital.
leading platform for sound and music. Caroline also has
Before setting up Point Nine Capital in 2011, Pawel was the
extensive experience in media and publishing: She played
co-founder of and partner at Team Europe, where he was
a major role in the German market launch of VICE
responsible for heading up the European investment team.
Magazine, led the business development of the DUMMY
Before that, he was an associate of the US investment bank
magazine, and developed the digital strategy for the
Greenhill & Co. in Frankfurt and London. Pawel has a degree
re-launch of Der Freitag, a left-liberal weekly.
Caroline studied German and urban development at Bryn
Mawr College in the United States and graduated magna
cum laude. The Canadian currently lives in Berlin.
from the School of Management in Leipzig (HHL). Originally
from Poland, he speaks fluent English, German and Polish and
a little Russian. Pawel writes a blog on which you can read
I wish that Berlin and
I will have a lot more
more about his thoughts and opinions.
founder and managing director, Sociomantic Labs
15 Years of Global Technology Investment Banking
made in Germany
Professional Corporate Finance Advisory from A-Z Around the Globe
WAS ONE OF OUR
Investment of up to
other investors included
Adviser to Albumprinter Beheer B.V. and its Shareholders
Adviser to Founders and Minority Shareholders
of Private Sale GmbH
Adviser to Cerbomed GmbH
Adviser to the Shareholders of DailyDeal GmbH
Adviser to Ensogo Inc. and its Shareholders
CFP BioConnect AG
Adviser to For-side.com
Adviser to Nextag, Inc.
Adviser to the Shareholders of hotel.de AG
Adviser to the Shareholders of intelliAd Media GmbH
Adviser to Jamba! AG
Adviser to kaufDA and its Shareholders
Adviser to yd. yourdelivery GmbH
Exclusive Adviser to Privatesportsale GmbH
Exclusive Adviser to the Founder and
Majority Shareholder of nikoma
Adviser to OfferMobi
Investor in intelliAd Media GmbH
Thomas Brandhoff co-founded Sociomantic Labs in 2009.
As Managing Director, he heads the company’s commercial
and organizational development. He helped the
company grow without external investments from
a team of three founders to a global company with 150
employees in 14 offices. Prior to Sociomantic, Thomas was
the Global Industry Manager at zanox. He holds a degree
from the University of Hertfordshire England.
3,000 Euro, one big idea and the raw energy of Berlin were all that
we had when we founded Sociomantic Labs in 2009. Choosing
Berlin was one of our most fundamental business decisions that set
the stage for everything to follow. The city simply has it all: the zest
to attract inspiring and inspired people from all over the world,
the charm and quality of living to retain them, an advanced
technological infrastructure, and the benefits of a well-connected
capital in the heart of Europe. My co-founders and I have always
believed in the power of diversity when breeding innovation.
The bustling mix of cultures in Berlin has enabled us to hire the
most talented people from all over the world to build a daring team
with ambitions that go above and beyond all our expectations –
and all geographic borders, too. Today we are a growing team of
more than 150 persons of 28 nationalities spanning 14 offices in
12 countries — a dream made reality, thanks in large part to Berlin.
Investor in intelliAd Media GmbH
conditions not disclosed
Senior Facility Agreement
Mezzanine Capital Financing
Adviser to PrimaCom AG
Adviser to the shareholders of Qype GmbH
Adviser to redcoon GmbH and its Shareholders
Exclusive Adviser to SYSGO AG and its Shareholders
Exclusive Adviser to Trademob GmbH
This could be
Sale of 25.1%
EUR 214,900,000 + earn-out payment
to a consortium of
Adviser to visionapp AG and its Shareholders
Adviser to WebMedia GmbH and the Ebner Group
Adviser to the Shareholders of zanox.de AG
Adviser to Cinco Capital GmbH
Exclusive Corporate Finance Adviser
Frankfurt • Berlin • Vienna • Budapest • San Francisco • New York • Tokyo • Shanghai • Beijing
Corporate Finance Partners | Kennedyallee 70a | 60596 Frankfurt | Germany | Phone: +49 (69) 90 74 76 10 | Fax: +49 (69) 90 74 76 70 | www.cfpartners.com
CEO, YOC AG
for exciting and
The hype surrounding Berlin almost scares me. A great deal is
written; everything is cool, creative and cheap. A great deal has been
started, but virtually nothing is really big yet. After three and
a half years in New York and two years in Berlin, I have come to
think that the fundamental reason for this is that it is cheap. There
are of course creative minds for whom ideas are more important than
money, however most software developers like to have money
coming in every month. A great deal of potential is therefore lost.
In Berlin, you can rapidly get involved in a start-up with little money
and high percentages. In New York, you pay twice as much and have
fewer shares as an investor. This means more money for the company
founders, who then have more money for trial and error. I believe
this is lacking in Berlin. Even people with great ideas make mistakes
and they ought to have the opportunity to do so. This simply is not
possible with the money we investors provide Berlin-based company
founders with. If we solve this problem, I believe that Berlin will then
be only sexy – and no longer poor.
Dirk Freytag has lived in Berlin since 2011
and is currently investing in nine different
After studying at the University of St. Gallen and
start-ups. Two of these are in the US, one is in
a position at a Munich management consultancy,
Israel and four are in Berlin. After selling
ADTECH to AOL, he spent 3 and a half years
living in New York and held various
positions at AOL.
Oliver Borrmann relocated to Berlin in 1992 where
he founded bmp. Initially begun as a consulting firm,
bmp switched its focus to venture capital in 1997.
It has since financed many successful Berlin businesses
including aap, Jerini, ivu, nugg.ad and Heliocentris.
CEO, bmp Beteiligungsmanagement AG
Berlin is a colorful, cultural medley: relaxed and, despite its
burning social issues, safe, open and always surprisingly different.
This attracts creative and intellectual talent alike, and offers
a fertile breeding ground for exciting and internationally
competitive projects. It is a lot of fun to already have been an
active part of the Berlin venture capital scene for over 15 years,
during which I have made a total of over 30 investments in the
city, and built up economically sustainable businesses, some of
which employ hundreds of people. If Berlin maintains its
intellectual vigor, we will continue to see many more successful
start-ups in the city. However, we should not be too euphoric
because the venture capital infrastructure in Berlin bears little
comparison with that of London or Silicon Valley. And should
the economy falter again – as it does in Berlin from time
to time – investors will disappear very rapidly. Berlin has had
to live through that experience more than once.
the place to b
f o r t al e n t .
When will you arrive?
Job candidates are invited to visit www.talent-in-berlin.de
to find out about employment offers in Berlin.
Companies can use the site to advertise job openings.
The job portal is integrated into the city’s business
portal, the Business Location Center, which itself
offers a quick overview of important information
regarding living and working in Berlin and about
schools, cultural and recreational opportunities in the
German capital. The portal provides an ideal outlook
for job beginners, specialists and executive staff. Come
and find your dream job!
CEO and founder of Sparwelt.de
CEO Found Fair & Everpreneur
It is no coincidence that Berlin is Europe‘s Mecca for new
businesses: The German capital is ingenious and different. That
is the reason why I came here. Berlin offers ideal conditions for
originality, authenticity and creativity. To generate business success
from these qualities, you need the courage and self-confidence to
set something unique in motion. In a city like Berlin, with its lively
online scene where you can feel new ideas and projects coming to
life every second, believing in your own idea and your own project
is almost the most important thing. After all, I have to be able to
convince others of my ideas – over a beer, on a rostrum or on my
website. All these different options for making contact, and the
informality with which you meet people here, make Berlin
a very special place for me.
Daniel Engelbarts is the founder and CEO
of Sparwelt.de, one of Germany‘s leading
recommendation and advice portals for
online shopping and saving. Prior to this,
as the head of transactions at Axel Springer
AG, he was responsible for the product
management of Bild.de (including the Games,
Mobile, Shopping and Search areas).
Burckhardt bonello has founded 4 successful
startups as the CEO (myBet/QED, Novedia AG, sMEET,
Berlin has an inspiring environment for creative people who
want to achieve something. Although Berlin still has many clone
projects and lifestyle motivated founders, fortunately the city
still attracts more and more true visionary tech entrepreneurs
from all over Europe. Berlin is still enticing for those who have
the courage to be real game changers, such as FriendSurance and
SoundCloud who chose our city as where they feel comfortable.
In addition to a lack of 1 to 10 million of investment capital, Berlin
is also missing heavyweights such as Google and Facebook for a
healthy eco-system as well as local exit channels. Berlin needs
all of these things in order to become established, grow as a
sustainable global tech center against Silicon Valley, and to avoid
becoming a „melting pot“ for seed startups. Berlin not only has
the potential for it, but it is now the best city in Europe to start a
startup, and of course, last but not least, to party.
The future is exciting.
Univent) with up to 600 million in net revenue.
He studied technical computer science and
completed research as a PhD student and
lecturer at the Technical University of Berlin
and as a teaching assistant at Stanford University.
He is currently CEO of Found Fair, a Berlin company
builder focusing on a few disruptive models, and
CEO of a small seed fund. As a company builder,
he is the co-founder of successful game changers
such as FriendSurance (insurance at half price)
Returbo (eCommerce) as well as 3 other startups.
Berlin: I never
wanted to move
here, but now
I never want
CEO and Founder, Rebate Networks
the best is
yet to come
Everyone looks to Berlin: once the city of division, Berlin is now at
the center of Europe, and is closely linked with the world. Internet
start-ups have played a major role in this, and have helped the city
to rank alongside London as the start-up capital of Europe. The
benefits of Berlin as a location are as clear as ever: it is an exciting
city and offers a great quality of life. Thousands of good graduates
want to stay in Berlin, or move here, from practically every country
on earth. The price level continues to be competitive. Many
entrepreneurs have taken advantage of this to build up highly
successful firms . These start-ups have given rise to new generations
of young entrepreneurs and online specialists who now make up this
highly praised ecosystem. More recently, companies have started
to emerge out of Berlin which, although based in Berlin, generate
most of their revenue in other countries around the world.
At Rocket Internet we love Berlin too and we are building a largely
Berlin-centric company. Established in 2007, we are now the largest
internet incubator in the world. Our portfolio currently
encompasses 75 ventures in over 50 countries with more than
20,000 employees. We will remain faithful to Berlin and celebrate
the huge development of its internet sector. We are sure
of one thing: for Berlin, the best is yet to come.
Michael Brehm is a serial entrepreneur
and start-up investor with shares in
20+ start-ups. He is currently, among
other things, the founder and managing
director of Rebate Networks, which runs
Alexander Kudlich has been the
eCommerce firms around the world.
managing director of Rocket Internet
After graduation and a stint at a bank,
GmbH since 2011. Among his previous
he became managing director of the
positions, he worked for Axel Springer as
studiVZ Group which he built up to
assistant to the CEO and then for Zanox,
become one of the largest social
a company in Axel Springer’s portfolio.
networks in Europe before it was
Kudlich studied business at the University
bought by the Holtzbrinck publishing
of St. Gallen and has a master’s degree
group in early 2007. Since then he has
in philosophy from UCL London
co-founded numerous other firms.
and an executive MBA from ESMT.
Berlin was a city I never wanted to move to. Now it is the city I
never want to leave. It is contrasts like these that make this city so
uniquely exhilarating. In early 2006, when I first put my suitcase
down in an apartment on the Hackescher Markt, I was shocked by
how run-down our capital still was: there were semi-ruined houses
everywhere, daubed with fading, ancient graffiti. But if you just get
one step closer, that is precisely where you will see a lively bustle
of cafés with customers thronging around a few old wooden tables,
decorated with colorful wild flowers. It is a revelation: in this city,
beauty is created by people living out their dreams, on whatever
scale. Every street corner, every broken-down car can be
transformed overnight into a sales stand selling lactose-free
organic ice cream or the venue for a new tech start-up. Being
part of this transformation, witnessing people putting so much
love into getting something of their own off the ground, is what
makes Berlin unique for me: a city in which there is great
joy in seeing dreams come true every day.
managing director Rocket Internet
Coworking – Berlin
incubators – Berlin
Coworking spaces are an interesting alternative to traditional offices. Emerging as the result from
freelancers, young startups and creatives who no longer wanted to work at home alone or in cafes,
coworking spaces offer not only a cheap place to work, but also the opportunity to exchange valuable
experience in an environment with like-minded people. Through the various rental offers, you are sure
to find something suitable to your needs. You can rent a space, a desk or even an entire room for daily
or monthly rates. We are happy to take this opportunity to introduce Berlin Coworking Spaces to you
Instead all starting up alone with the hopes of finding an Angel or VC funding,
incubators provide support for potential founders or already founded startups. It is not
only about the capital, but also the startup experience, the technical know-how,
network and office space, which promises relief to the beginning of entrepreneurship.
Below we are pleased to present Berlin Incubators.
Nest Coworking Space
House of Clouds
Axel Springer Plug and Play
The Nest Coworking Space offers comfortable interior combined
with functionality and the charm of a traditional Berlin old building
apartment. A spiral staircase to the restaurant NEST on the ground
floor directly connects the office space. The space also provides a
beautiful view of the Görlitzer Park. Spread across 150sqm, three
spacious group rooms for 6-8 persons are offered, as well as a large
conference room for up to 20 people for creative development.
At our coworking space, we offer offices and fixed individual
workstations. A workplace for 168 € per month consists of a large
working desk with plenty of storage space, electricity, cleaning,
Wi-Fi and fair-use printing. Offices, individualized or fully
furnished, start at 298 € per month.
Axel Spring AG and the Plug and Play Tech Center, a leading startup
investor and accelerator from Silicon Valley, has established the
Axel Springer Plug and Play. The offer includes not only the
exchange of knowledge, but also office space as well as 25,000 €
of seed funding per startup. The program concludes with a “Demo
Day” in which teams present to a panel of international investors
in order to vie for further financing.
In May, 2012, Telekom opened its own incubator in Berlin called
hub:raum. The incubator is a support center for startups,
and the aim is to back young startups with new ideas for
telecommunications, Internet services as well as digital media.
All startups can receive seed funding in amounts up to 300,000
euros, are provided office space, and can draw on the expertise
of a high-caliber mentor pools.
Welance – space for professionals
Magic Cube – Berliner Brutkasten für lokale Preisvergleiche
A community of skilled experts ready to take on almost any
web-related challenge. We believe in our diverse team of
specialized professionals working within the Welance
co-working space. Get in touch and start your project now!
The Wostel is a place where freelancers work in a family
environment and can exchange thought and ideas. Through the
1930s - 1960s décor, a cozy and timeless vintage feel is created.
Startups like Amen and Capsule.fm as well as firms such as Nokia
and eBay have already used our coworking space.
Jan Dzulko and the founders of CHECK24 launched the Magic Cube
in 2012 with a focus on domestic price comparisons. From driving
schools to carsharing all the way through to gravestones, M Cube
and its subsidiaries seek out to provide clear price comparisons
order in non-transparent, local markets.
M Cube is located in Kreuzberg, and currently employs about
40 people in its six portfolio companies, and there is always
room for more.
Do you have the heart of the founder or already have a specific idea
for the price comparison market? Then apply at M Cube and become
part of a team with over 14 years of Internet excellence!
Rheingau Founders is a Berlin-based, professional co-founder with a
focus on digital business models. In addition to financial support for
the startup phase, Rheingau Founders actively helps its investments
with operational expertise and its international network, which can
be critical for the development of a sustainable enterprise, especially
in the first 12-18 months after laying the grounds of foundation. The
company was founded in 2011 by three partners, Philipp Hartmann,
Dr. Tobias Johann and Kai Hansen in Berlin, who, as experts in the
digital industry, previously founded Lieferando and madvertise.
other coworking spaces: Agora
Collective, www.agoracollective.org – Neukölln; Betahaus, www.betahaus.de – Kreuzberg; Club Office,
www.club-office.com – Wilmerdorf; co.up, www.co-up.de – Kreuzberg; creative|media|lab, www.creativemedialab.de – Mitte; Fireworks,
www.fireworkscoworking.wordpress.com – Wedding; Halle am Wasser, www.coworking-halleamwasser.com – Mitte, mobilesuite,
www.mobilesuite.de – Prenzlauer Berg; Puls Raum, www.pulsraum.de – Kreuzberg; raumstation, www.raumstation-berlin.net –
Moabit; St Oberholz, www.sanktoberholz.de – Mitte; Tante Renate, www.tanterenate.de – Kreuzberg; uberdesk, www.uberdesk.de –
Prenzlauer Berg; Webworker Berlin, www.webworker-berlin.com/coworking – Treptow; Weserland, www.weserland.net – Neukölln
other incubators: BeVation,
www.bevation.de – Mitte; Covus Ventures, www.covus.de – Mitte; Found Fair Ventures, foundfair.de –
Wedding; FoundersLink, www.founderslink.com – Prenzlauer Berg; HitFox Games Ventures, www.hitfox-ventures.com – Mitte;
MAS Angel Fund, angelfund.vc – Kreuzberg; Project A Venture, www.project-a.com – Mitte; Rocket Internet, www.rocket-internet.de –
Mitte; Springstar, www.springstar.com – Mitte; Team Europe – www.teameurope.ne – Mitte; YouIsNow, www.youisnow.de – Friedrichshain;
Epic Companies, www.epic-companies.com – Kreuzberg; garage berlin, www.garageberlin.de – Lichterfelde; K - New Media,
www.k-newmedia.de – Mitte; Möller Ventures, www.moeller-ventures.de – Wilmersdorf
CEO Vertical Media
The only city in
you don’t have
to speak German
Berlin’s entrepreneurial scene is like a wildfire. It’s happening
because of the DNA of the city. Nobody engineered this;
it’s happening in a 100% organic way. The main reason is that
it is one of the most inspiring urban English speaking
environments in the world, and this is where entrepreneurial
talent is migrating to in large flocks. Where talent goes
capital will follow. We are so optimistic due to the fact that
entrepreneurship is center stage in Berlin; it is defining the city.
CIARáN is the only Irish with a Bavarian accent.
He is most passionate about consumer web products,
dev platforms and building the Berlin tech ecosystem.
O’Leary is a Partner at Earlybird.
Partner of Earlybird
Mark has been the CEO of Vertical Media
since April of 2010. Previously, he was the
Editor in Chief of the games news site,
GameBizz. His previous positions included
work with various online and media
startups such as Turtle Entertainment,
GIGA Digital and SponsorPay, in which
he worked as a Manager’s Assistant,
TV Presenter and Editor in Chief.
When I came to Berlin four years ago, I had no expectations for the
German capital. Maybe this was just the right thing, because I have
seen many people who have succumbed to the pressures and the
possibilities of (night) life in Berlin.
For me, Berlin is the only city in Germany where you don’t have
to speak German. It is here where so many different worlds live so
closely together, separated merely by the zebra stripes in the roads.
This is the city in which you can celebrate as being the new star
with your first round of financing today, and tomorrow have to
walk with your head hung low to the Charlottenburg district court.
From the city facets, the potential of the people and the drive for
innovation, let us create what we want. Let us not be the next
Silicon Valley, but rather THE European capital for the European
digital scene. After all, if you want to be something, then you
should not be constantly comparing yourself to something else.
co-founder and CEO SoundCloud
Berlin is a city that immediately captured my attention
when I moved here six years ago. In 2007, Eric
Wahlforss (SoundCloud’s co-founder and CTO) and
I ventured into Berlin and were instantly struck by the
city’s air of optimism and determination. As Berlin is a
relatively cheap place to live and its population is young –
half of the population is under 45 – there is an infectious
youthful entrepreneurial atmosphere. We often refer
to it as ‘punk meets tech,’ to describe the alternative,
ambitious lifestyle of ‘going your own way’ that is still
very present in the city. In addition, Berlin is growing
all the time; I read somewhere that 1,300 start-ups have
been founded here since 2008. Given that there is a very
diverse pool of talent and a strong relationship between
technology and art, it’s a great place to find developers
and designers, and it made perfect sense for SoundCloud
to establish its headquarters here.
We’re proud to
call the German
Alexander Ljung launched SoundCloud in 2008 with
co-founder and CTO, Eric Wahlfross. As CEO, Alex is responsible
Alex’s personal interests lie in the positive change and wider
for SoundCloud’s vision, overall strategy and leadership,
societal impact technology and design can have. In his spare
and oversees a global team of over 200 people.
time, he enjoys listening, traveling, geeking out on academic
theories, diving shipwrecks and trying to not break his foot
SoundCloud is the world’s leading audio platform that
in South American coastal cities. He’s also a proud member
allows everyone to discover new, original music and audio,
of The Cloud Appreciation Society.
for creators to build audiences, and for everyone to share
what they hear, on the web or on mobile. Creators on
Prior to co-founding SoundCloud, Alex began his career
SoundCloud now post over 12 hours of music and audio every
working in sound design for feature films and obtained
minute, and the platform reaches over 200 million people.
a M.Sc. degree from The Royal Institute of Technology.
He was born in the UK, grew up in Sweden and splits his
Alex was named a “2012 Social Maverick” in February 2012 by
time between SoundCloud’s HQ in Berlin and the U.S.
DETAILS and through his leadership, SoundCloud was featured
office in San Francisco, California.
Modular. Flexible. Scalable.
as one of Fast Company’s “2012 Most Innovative Companies“
for giving the internet a voice.
Learn more about the universal furniture system from Berlin:
Béa and Oliver Beste
THE SECRET OF BERLIN‘S
WONDER OF FOUNDERS
IS THE UNIQUE
CULTURE THAT THE
PEOPLE OF BERLIN,
AND THE MEDIA HAVE
PRODUCED IN THE
SECOND DECADE OF
THE NEW MILLENNIUM.
Founders of Tollabox
Berlin 2020: triumph for the city’s people and politicians. Berlin has
the highest quality of life and one of the lowest unemployment rates
in Germany. People flock to Berlin from all over the world to work and
study. They also come to party. Berlin’s nightlife, clubs, tolerance and
liberality are legendary. The number of artists and musicians grows
from year to year. To experience Berlin is to want to stay. The number
of motivated young people is one of the drivers of the Berlin miracle.
Berliners recognized the economic effects of the club scene early on,
and skillfully encouraged them.
Berlin is the undisputed capital of the new wave of start-ups in
Europe. Berlin’s start-ups achieved striking success with their stock
market presence. Several of them have attained European and global
dominance. Money is flowing into Berlin from investors around the
world. The city has a magical attraction for start-ups and keen wouldbe entrepreneurs. Onlookers all over the world wonder how Berlin
has made the leap from Internet hype to becoming a sustainable
European megacity for start-ups.
Is it because Berlin has been a major city, but with affordable wage
levels? The well-educated young people? The fact that living costs
and rents were low in international terms? The farsighted subsidies
available to start-ups? The major German crowdfunding platforms
or the innovative funding programs open to angels? The fact that
Berlin’s authorities only needed one day to set up a limited liability
company, which could also be done electronically without having to
deal with government agencies and, if desired, in English? Or that
Berlin’s politicians worked together to set up an immigration program
for skilled labor from across the world, which bypassed the ominous
bottlenecks in the system at a stroke? All the formalities in English via
the Internet with no need to visit in person?
As important as these influences were, they could not in themselves
transform hype into a sustainable ecosystem. The experts have
agreed: the secret of Berlin’s start-up miracle is the unique entrepreneurial culture created by the people of Berlin, their politicians,
and the media in the second decade of the new millennium.
Entrepreneurship is taught in every college in Berlin, and from as
early as the 7th grade, there are annual business plan games. Highly
motivated teachers work alongside entrepreneurs who serve as
mentors. Students and teachers are competitive. Berlin’s professors
and researchers are respected and rewarded for setting up spin-offs.
Berliners, school children and pensioners alike, take entrepreneurs as
role models. There is no stigma in failure; instead it is seen as valuable
experience and an occupational hazard for courageous start-ups.
Outside Germany, there is envy for the support offered to Berlin’s
start-ups by its authorities, universities and politicians. Start-ups are
Béa Beste is an education entrepreneur, was born in Romania,
studied in Berlin at the University of the Arts, worked at in
SAT.1 and BCG, and founded the Phorms bilingual schools in 2005.
In 2011, after six years as the CEO, she traveled on an education
expedition throughout India, Australia, Indonesia and the
United States. She then founded TOLLABOX.de to encourage
learning through games for children ages 4 and up.
Her husband Oliver partners the project, using his
experience as a CEO in E-Commerce.
Oliver Beste studied politics, and was involved in finding
a solution to overcome the East-West conflict, in which
to his surprise became reality in 1989. After 4 years of‚
re-training‘ at McKinsey, he found that the world had
enough consultants and needed more entrepreneurs.
Oliver went to the „most exciting German City“ and
founded companies such as, but not limited to MYTOYS,
FOUNDERSLINK, DEAL UNITED, TALENTORY and RATEPAY. Oliver
is fascinated by Nobel Peace Prize winner Prof. Yunus‘ „Social
Business“ concept, and tried to encourage more and more
people (including women!) to found their own companies.
regularly featured in the press. These models and the atmosphere
of cooperation between start-ups and angels are infectious, and they
attract more and more would-be entrepreneurs to Berlin. There are
also more female start-ups in Berlin than anywhere else in Europe.
Founders of successful start-ups act as coaches and angels to foster
success in the next generation.
Berlin’s mayor makes headlines in 2020 with an appeal to the pupils
and students of Europe: “Do you want to see the future? Do you want
to learn more about yourselves, life and the economy than you can
anywhere else? Then come to the coolest city in Europe and take
up an internship in one of Berlin’s many international start-ups.”
entrepreneur, consultant and financial investor
Carsten Maschmeyer is a successful
entrepreneur, consultant and financial
Ijad Madisch is CEO and co-founder
investor. As such, he is continually in search
of ResearchGate, the professional
of promising business models. All consulting
network for scientists. The physician
activities, joint ventures and investments
established the company back in 2008
are united beneath the strategic umbrella
together with his friends Sören Hofmayer
of the Maschmeyer Group. Maschmeyer was
and Horst Fickenscher. Over three million
born in Bremen on May 8, 1959. Initially he
researchers now use the network to
studied medicine in Hanover, but worked
collaborate, exchange findings and
part-time in the sales department of
efficiently advance their research.
a financial consulting firm. From 1982, he
Investors include Benchmark,
devoted himself entirely to financial
the Founders Fund and Bill Gates.
consulting. Carsten Maschmeyer is father
of two sons and engaged to German
Silicon Valley or Berlin? The decision came easily to me. I lived
in the USA for a few years, gained experience there and met many
people – this is unlikely to have been such a success without the
ResearchGate. Despite this, I wanted to return home. In Berlin,
I found what I needed for our young company: creative, highlyqualified individuals from around the globe, who are eager to
achieve great things. This is the advantage over Silicon Valley,
where people capable of achieving something have often
already had their fill of success.
In contrast, Berlin is still fine-tuning its profile. The city‘s history
and art scene play an important role in this. Start-ups complement
this and drive the city‘s economy. This does not happen overnight
though. The frequently criticized “copycats” have created an
ecosystem of highly-qualified specialists, who now wish to work
creatively on entirely new ideas. These exact companies are
currently establishing themselves and will make Berlin the
European hub for start-ups. Perhaps we can then also be proud
of Berlin without calling ourselves “Silicon Allee”.
Carsten Ijad Madisch
actress, Veronica Ferres.
in Europe with
While I am not from Berlin, I certainly enjoy returning to the city
for a visit. Berlin is currently the trendiest metropolis in Europe,
with a pulsating creative scene in which young people from around
the globe come together. This is the ideal hotbed for innovative
start-ups. Time and time again I am astounded by what young
entrepreneurs come up with here, far from all convention, rigid
structures and career paths. At the same time, Berlin is Germany‘s
political center. For me, it is exactly this mix that makes the city so
very interesting. Unlike Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg, Berlin is
still searching for its own identity. After the Wende (the fall of the
Berlin Wall), the city had to rediscover itself entirely, and I do not
believe it is yet a real unit. However, it does not even need to be;
It is exactly these stark differences between the people and city
districts that explain the city‘s uniqueness. I firmly believe
that Berlin is the Silicon City of Europe.
CEO and co-founder of ResearchGate
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When we considered how we could better support
start-ups on media.net over five years ago, the optimism
in Berlin was clearly discernible. However, the hype
and dynamism that this city would experience in the
years that followed exceeded even our expectations.
As a media industry network, our underlying principle
was to bring the old and new economies closer together.
This mix of “young talent” and “old hands” was not new
to media.net. In line with the exponential growth
of the new media at the start of the 21st century,
the word ‘new’ originally also featured in the company
name at the time of its founding. With the end of
the Internet euphoria, companies of the old economy
also increasingly joined the association, and newmedia.
net became media.net berlinbrandenburg. Today, over
150 of the roughly 400 member companies are once
again start-ups, and our established formats, such
as the media.net:catapult and the Investors‘ Dinner,
show just how important networking is for both sides.
media.net’s history highlights the appeal of this city:
lively networks, a spirit of trial and error, versatility
and trend sensitivity. The new economic power
is a great opportunity for the city.
It is now up to us to make use of it.
Prof. of Entrepreneurship, Founder „Teekampagne”
In 1985, Günter Faltin initiated the
“Teekampagne” as an archetype for
the foundation of new enterprises.
The professor for entrepreneurship
is a business angel of various
startup companies including
“Ebuero”, “Direkt zur Kanzlerin”,
“ePortrait” and “Waschkampagne”.
16 years later, in 2001, he started
his own foundation, the “Stiftung
Entrepreneurship” and in 2009,
the Teekampagne received
the German Founder’s award
The German Federal President
recently awarded Günter Faltin
with the Federal Cross of Merit
for being a “pioneer of entrepreneurial mindset in Germany”.
Andrea Peters has worked in the media industry
for over 25 years. She became Managing Director
at media.net berlinbrandenburg e.V. on march
1st 2008. Under her leadership, the network
has developed into the capital region’s
largest creative network.
Crucial impulses and innovations arise from the encounter of ideas
from different cultures and disciplines. Diversity drives innovation.
In such an “idea space,” one creates the spark to ignite extraordinary
developments and ways of looking at things. This is called the “Medici
effect”. The Medici family supported and financed creative work across
the entire spectrum. Thanks to the climate they created in Florence,
sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, painters, financiers and
architects learned from each other and moved beyond the limits of
their own disciplines and cultures. They generated breakthroughs
and innovations that we still admire today. Cities like Berlin have long
enjoyed a scientific and cultural scene that does not lag behind that of
Renaissance Florence. The Medici built bridges, creating an atmosphere
in which there was an open invitation to “look over my shoulder”
rather than an anxious emphasis on differences: an idea space that –
due to the invention of the internet – constantly gains diversity.
These are perfect prerequisites for creative entrepreneurs, whom
we as a society, in respect of the problems that we face today, need
now more than ever. This is more than Silicon Valley can offer.
That’s Berlin and what it has to offer.
owner and CEO of Smart Mobile Factory
We were both born and raised in Berlin so it is surely
no surprise that this city stirs our blood. Berlin has always
been the young upstart amid the great capitals of Europe,
somewhere that outsiders like to view skeptically. Berliners
get used to that. Our beloved and feared Berlin dialect is
in itself proof that this city has been a magnet for people
from around the world (not just the rest of Germany) for
hundreds of years: it is a “metrolect” – that is, a mixture
of the huge variety of languages and dialects spoken by the
people who have lived here over time. The city’s attractions
unleashed an industrial boom once before, in the mid19th century. The start-ups created then included Borsig’s
engineering works and the telegraph construction works
set up by Siemens & Halske. This entrepreneurial spirit is
in the air again after decades of pain. Without any political
master plan or subsidies. If yet more capital follows ideas
and talents to Berlin, we both firmly believe that businesses
of a similar significance will be born. Our advice to Berlin
is this: celebrate your successes. It’s not like you to be so shy.
spirit is in the
air again after
decades of pain
founded several companies before deciding
that he would prefer to work for a large,
internationally active law firm. Four
has been working as an auditor once
more and he met Tim, with whom he
created KPMG’s Start Smart Initiative,
while working to support biotech firms.
After a brief stopover in biochemistry, Tim
studied business in Berlin and began his
professional career at KPMG in 1994. Between
1999 and 2008 he gained his „outside the box”
experience as a taxation law partner at
a major international law firm before
returning to KPMG in 2008. The media and
growing companies are themes that have
followed him in his professional life since
2000. As a result, he and Marius initiated
the Start Smart Initiative as a start-up
within KPMG in 2010: a consultancy
platform for young and growing
businesses with a focus on technology.
with a client list that includes the
publisher Gruner+Jahr, the HOCHTIEF
construction group and Rocket Internet.
He has over 15 years of experience in the
digital industry, and advises companies
such as the Scout24 Group, for which he
founded the «YOU IS NOW» incubator.
He was a member of Federal Economics
Minister Philipp Rösler’s delegation to
attended business school. In the 90s he
policy department at KPMG. Since 2005 he
a leading full-service mobile agency,
Silicon Valley in May 2013.
Marius was born in Berlin where he also
years later, in 2001, he transferred to the
Dr. Torsten Oelke is the owner and
CEO of Smart Mobile Factory GmbH,
international corporate tax services partner KPMG Berlin
director in the audit department, KPMG Berlin
I grew up in Berlin. This is something of a rarity in this city,
particularly in its digital industry and on the start-up scene.
At the same time, it says a lot about Berlin and the way
it has changed in recent decades.
Perhaps this is the secret behind the city’s power of attraction.
Can there be any better place in the world for a start-up than
a city that has started up again itself?
If the Berlin Wall had not come down, I would have probably left.
I would have looked around the world for exciting companies with
an unconventional approach to business, doing something creative
by abandoning the old ways. I would have looked for fascinating
companies with a global vision, making a mad, bold or even utopian
impression. I would have looked for development, dynamism,
creativity and innovation. I would have looked for a place from
which you can change the world.
Berlin can be such a place, can become such a place, and is
such a place. That is why I stayed.
Can there be any better
place in the world for
a start-up than a city
which has started
up again itself?
IT launching pad for start-ups
Get started in business –
with the cloud
Always available thanks to a
In the start-up phase, entrepreneurs do not yet know whether their
business idea will become a reality, or how the company will develop
over the next few years. Nonetheless, they need to invest in their IT
equipment in good time to be able to begin operations. If their product
portfolio is to be sold online, or indeed if it is an entirely online
product, such as a mobile app or an Internet service, particularly
high demands are made of their IT resources. So how can these
challenges be elegantly overcome, without too much of a strain on
their starting capital, laboriously gathered from banks and start-up
funds? They need to look up to the clouds, or more precisely, the
cloud. Nobody knows the benefits of doing so better than Amazon
Web Services, or AWS. The advantages of the cloud are clear for
start-ups in particular: instead of investing in costly server resources
of their own, businesses can make use of flexible computing and
storage capacity provided by AWS, adapted to meet their needs.
A start-up company looking to establish an ingenious new app in
the mass market, for example, will be in safe hands in the cloud.
If the app goes down well with its customers, there will be
increasing numbers of users to look after and possibly power spikes
to cushion at certain times of day. With your own infrastructure,
this would entail enormous costs. Resources in the cloud, however,
are so cost-effective in comparison that clients can even experiment
with performance. Moreover, the administration of the resources
available to you is fully automated. This means that AWS takes care
of ensuring the capacity you have booked is always fully available,
while you are free to concentrate on your business ideas. AWS runs
a highly advancedarchitecture, which currently encompasses nine
regions around the world, each with between two and five
independent availability zones. Start-ups can therefore rely
on AWS’s flexible, scalable and highly available infrastructure
anywhere in the world.
Pros: cost, flexibility
When running your own server environment, you have to reckon
not only with high initial outlay but also with ongoing running
costs: there are servers and air-conditioning to manage, not to
mention administration and maintenance. Then there is the problem
of appropriately fixing the dimensions of your computing and
storage capacity ato meet your needs. Make it too small and you will
run into bottlenecks, however making it too big will be expensive.
This is where cloud services, such as those offered by AWS, come
into their own: IT resources are available at short notice and you will
only ever pay for what you actually use. Their flexible scalability is
absolutely ideal for start-ups. So with AWS there is no problem with
switching on IT resources if the start-up idea is a hit. Cloud services
can be booked to host web applications, for example, for which
scalability is absolutely key. Similarly, the computing and storage
capacities in the cloud are ideal as a development and testing
environment or for back-up purposes.
“Thanks to Amazon Web Services, we are considerably more agile and
can bring new products to market more quickly. Flexible allocation of
computing capacity enables us to bypass bottlenecks faster and even
to experiment with performance, something that would have been
unaffordable with our own infrastructure,” said Christian Reber,
founder und CEO of 6Wunderkinder. “The right blend of an original
business idea, technological enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit makes
all the difference. In our case, we all contributed to our own success
story – not least Amazon Web Services who were the ideal
infrastructure partners by our side.”
above all do not underestimate
the berlin creative scene
conrad fritzsch was born in Berlin on October 16,
1969. After studying directing at the Babelsberg
Film University, Fritzsch founded the ad agency
Fritzsch & Mackat in 1993, where he was head
of creative. In 2008 he and Stephanie Renner
founded the online music broadcaster tape.tv,
where he has been CEO of the company since.
You are crazy
child, you belong
Partner Operations, Springstar
Berlin is not the biggest, prettiest or oldest city in Europe, but it is in
my opinion one of its most vibrant. I love that old saying which goes:
„You are crazy child, you belong in Berlin!“ A creative chaos reigns
in Berlin, which has a lively multicultural arts scene and over
150,000 students, one sixth of whom have foreign citizenship. Rent
in centrally located districts is also relatively affordable compared
with the rest of Europe. Thus the conditions are optimal for starting
a business. It was a very easy decision for us to choose Berlin
to be the headquarters for both eKomi and Delivery Hero, and
a springboard for their internationalization. Delivery Hero employs
nearly 400 people in Berlin, from over 30 different countries.
Successful startups attract more talent and money to the city, which
is precisely what Berlin needs after being divided for 40 years.
Doreen Huber founded her first startup
at the age of 24; she has been in charge
of operations and internationalization
as Managing Director at both eKomi
and Delivery Hero. In October 2013 she
became a partner at Springstar.
Berlin, city of opposites. Creative and
international. Beautiful and rough.
Poor but sexy was yesterday. We have taken
a great leap forward here in the last 5 years.
I personally have a great love for berlin.
Yes, sure, I am a Berliner, but Berlin is
changing, and is truly becoming an
international melting pot. The city is
changing constantly and therefore there
are ever increasing opportunities for
start-ups. We are still not as big as Silicon
Valley or as rich as London, but we are
hungry for success and work hard to make
sure the next big thing is made in Germany.
Above all, do not underestimate the Berlin
creative scene (Berlin counts success stories
like soundcloud, eyeem, wooga and of
course tape.tv to name but a few). If you do
not believe me I would gladly meet you in
Goldhahn & Sampson to talk about it in one
of the best cafés in town. Or in the course of
a full-on night right through this great city,
the kind that is only possible in Berlin.
Doreen has a degree in Media Studies,
Literature and Art History from
Humboldt University in Berlin.
President of the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V.
HERE IS WHERE
The cohesion of
the start-up scene
is what makes the
Berlin is becoming an international start-up metropolis. I live at
Rosenthaler Platz, which is the very heart of the start-up scene.
Every morning, company founders meet to exchange their
experiences on the first floor of Café Sankt Oberholz just around
the corner. Berlin’s private club, the Soho House, is also a popular
meeting place for creative minds to streamline their ideas.
The cohesion of the start-up scene is what makes the city
special, and their drive is also convincing for investors.
In 2012, the capital city held the number one spot in the national
venture capital ranking with investments totaling 184 million euros.
Of this, 141 million euros in venture capital alone went towards
Berlin-based IT start-ups.
German politicians are also involved and increasing their support.
They understand that company founders require more assistance,
and are committed to securing venture capital. It is now the case
of significantly improving financing with better framework
conditions. Company founders rely on financial support and
expertise to turn their ideas into success, and in return, venture
capital companies can also greatly benefit through their
investments.. In my opinion, company founders are very
open for those who dare to gain profit.
Ehrlich Ulrike Hinrichs
Ulrike Hinrichs has been the
Managing Director at the BVK since
Since June 2013, Matthias Ehrlich has been president of
the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V. (German
Federal Association of the Digital Economy) and a member
of its executive committee since 2007. A digital and media
expert, he was at the head of Germany’s most successful
digital marketing company, United Internet Media (formerly
Web.de), for over ten years, and is one of the best-known
figures in the German Internet industry with business
management and strategic development expertise based
on many decades of experience.
Nowhere else in Germany and hardly anywhere else in Europe
currently offers such excellent conditions for an ambitious
start-up scene as Berlin. It is a melting pot where society meets
culture, creativity meets technology, economics meets politics,
innovation meets financial capital – and Germany meets the rest
of the world. The reason might lie in Berlin’s turbulent history,
but without a doubt, the free and frequently radical, anarchic spirit
of this multi-faceted and multi-layered city plays a key role by
promoting the openness and transparency that new business ideas
need and to destigmatize the «trial & failure» approach that is
so important for the start-up culture. Aside from assembling
incubators, accelerators and mentors, this is perhaps the most
important contribution that a city or region can make towards
promoting Germany as a digital business location and paving the way
for the urgently needed «made in Germany» start-up success story.
2011. She has a background in politics
and journalism, and previously
headed the press and communication
division of former Federal Minister
of Food, Agriculture and Consumer
Protection as well as at Horst
Seehofer. Hinrichs furthered her
career as the office manager at
the Federal Foreign Office under
Minister of State, Cornelia Pieper.
She was an editor at ARD and
ZDF from 1999 to 2005.
Managing Director, German Private Equity and Venture Capital Association
(Bundesverband Deutscher Kapitalbeteiligungsgesellschaften – BVK)
In just a short space of time Berlin has developed into one of Europe‘s
leading start-up centers, attracting entrepreneurs not just from
Germany, but from all over the world. We at GetYourGuide are
at the heart of the action, with over 100 staff from more than 25
countries. Few other European cities have such a great appeal as
Berlin. The leading venture capital funds have now realized this
as well, and we regularly receive visits from Silicon Valley. Berlin‘s
development is definitely still in its infancy, but with thousands of
new start-ups and some companies now employing hundreds
of staff and making sales worth many millions of euros, it is only
a question of time until Berlin establishes itself internationally.
It is only a question
of time until Berlin
Promoting new talent
Pop in the hood
Scholarships & residencies
Career stepping stone Berlin
Johannes Reck founded GetYourGuide in 2009.
GetYourGuide is the world‘s leading platform
for booking leisure activities. GetYourGuide
has had an office in Berlin since 2011 that
now employs over 100 staff.
We love pop culture.
At IBB and the
BPW, our Hearts
Beat for StartUps
Is there anyone who does not know the Berlin Brandenburg Business Plan Competition (BPW)?
“This is a competition that applies to everyone, across all industries,
who have a good business idea seeking to implement it in Berlin or
Brandenburg”, stated Dirk Maass from BPW.
During the competition, qualified experts provide individual discussions with young entrepreneurs, answer specific questions and offer
professional advice. Prizes worth more than €50,000 will be awarded for 18 business ideas. Participation is free. The BPW 2014 starts
on the 25th of October 2013, at 5 pm as part of the opening event of
the 29th German Founders and Entrepreneurs Days (deGUT).
The organizers of the BPW include the Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB),
the Investitionsbank Brandenburg (ILB) as well as the Association of
Business Organizations in Berlin and Brandenburg (UVB).
Further information about the competition can be found on the
BPW website at www.b-p-w.de
The BPW is not only an initiative with IBB as co-organizers in
which many startups in Berlin pay close attention to, but also an
important address for young entrepreneurs. and young startups.
The Business Development support bank has providesd suitable
monetary programs that substantially facilitate the path to independence for these motivated entrepreneurs.
The Berlin Investment Bank building. Here, founders
will find strong, energetic support. Photo: IBB
IBB pays particular attention to Berlin-based entrepreneurs as
well as small and medium sized companies which are active in the
• Healthcare Industry
• Information and Communications Technology/Media
• Optical Technologies
• Transport, Mobility and Logistics
• Energy Technologies
Making your ideas work.
Ideas are one thing but getting them to work is what really matters. We can assist your
business with sound advice and tailored financing services. Your IBB – the business
development bank in Berlin..
Information regarding support and all other funding
programs for startup entrepreneurs is available from:
Telephone: 023 2125 - 4747
Fax: 030 2125 - 3322
Foto: Shinji Minegishi
I moved here with my boyfriend, quite unwillingly at the time,
from London in the cold snowy winter of 2011. It was a big shockindustrial buildings, huge apartment blocks, graffiti everywhere.
The first apartment we sublet was filled with awkward taxidermy
and children‘s dolls crucified on the walls. People invited me to clubs
that opened past my bedtime. I met people who came to Berlin for
the weekend and were totally in love with it. I didn‘t get it. In fact it
grew on me very slowly. I‘d say it took about 18 months to get to a
point where I adapted and saw it‘s true values. I guess it‘s just a big
change from a city like London. But now when I‘m in London I want
to hurry back. I wanted to move from the retail industry into digital
and it was easy here. The tech scene here might not be significantly
well represented or financed but everyone is your friend. There
is a community. Everyone supports you. Berlin lifestyle is cheap
enough to meet people pursuing all sorts of careers. I loved that- the
diversity. Money isn‘t the focus here either. People look down on you
for being bourgeoisie when you invite them to Grill Royal or Soho
House. I‘ve had some of the worst meals of my life here but some
of the best conversations. Looking back, I‘ve learnt so much here.
It just took me a long time to realize how much.
it’s impossible not
to be inspired and
motivated to create
I’m from New Zealand, but I flew quite literally to the other side
of the world and stumbled upon Berlin by chance when a good
friend of mine had a wedding in a near-by town. The moment
I stepped foot, I fell in love. It was May, in the thick of spring, and
what struck me the most was how very green and spacious the city
was. And these giant trees flanked the streets that lined the most
wonderful array of architecture from cherubim adorned rococo
apartments to the stark concrete walls of the brutalist buildings.
So beautiful and so stimulating, I knew then and there it was the
place where I wanted to be. Five months later I made the big
move, and I’ve not regretted it since.
Living here you meet so many intensely interesting people in
all sorts of fields from music, arts, sciences and tech, it’s impossible
not to be inspired and motivated to create. When people have an
idea here, they go out and make it happen. I love that.
Miho is a co-founder of AirMarkr together
with Roman Miletitch. Their startup is building
an app that lets you create your own 3D
printable objects just by drawing in the air.
Prior to this, Miho was an interactive
Riva-Melissa Tez is the co-founder
of StickStar, an educational children‘s
social network themed around collecting
virtual stickers, that she set up in Berlin
technologies consultant and digital
after leaving the London toyshop R.S.
campaign creator for global clients
Currie & Co which she co-founded whilst
such as Vodafone, BMW and MINI.
at University. She is also runs Kardashev.
ai and Berlin Singularity, a consultancy
and events group focused on promoting
emerging technologies in Europe. She is also
a lecturer at the DAB University in Berlin.
Co-Founder StickStar.com/ Kardashev.ai
In recent years, Berlin has successfully attracted a
variety of creative and international talent. As a result,
a highly promising start-up scene has developed that
has long since made a name for itself beyond the city
and state boundaries. The affordable living conditions
and generally very lively creative scene provides an
extremely fertile breeding ground for this. The future
will tell whether the creative potential can also be
shaped into successful companies that are capable of
surviving in the long term, as well as helping to secure
jobs and prosperity for the city. I believe that, above all,
it is necessary to promote and develop opportunities for
the continuous financing of growth, to set up programs
for the facilitated recruitment of foreign talent, and
to keep the bureaucratic hurdles as low as possible for
young companies. I also believe that continuing to offer
attractive office and living space in Berlin and
continuously investing in the development of a
high-performance IT infrastructure will be decisive.
Dr. Stephan Zoll is responsible
for German business at the
online marketplace, eBay. He
also manages Tradera and
GittiGidiyor – the eBay platforms in Sweden and Turkey.
The accomplished lawyer has
worked in Berlin for eBay
since October 2007. Among
other roles, he has been
Managing Director of the
online shopping club owned
by eBay, Brands4Friends.
Vice President eBay Germany
Keep the bureaucratic
hurdles as low as
We have been serving clients from the hi-tech sector in Berlin
since Corporate Finance Partners was founded in 1998.
Financing ICG Interconnect AG, a systems integration company
in Berlin-Waltersdorf headed by Christian Kleinsorge as CEO,
was our first venture capital deal. Those were pioneering days
in the German tech sector. Today, part of the CFP team is in
the heart of the city at Hausvogteiplatz, where they are involved
in the Berlin scene.
Berlin is by far the most versatile and liberal city in Germany.
The potential of the city is enormous. There are very many
creative and highly motivated minds to be found here. The city‘s
great appeal in Europe is also reflected in its increasing internationalization. Instead of haggling about fiscal equalization with
Bavaria, Berlin should become emancipated and, after a period
of restructuring, make a fresh start.
Berlin‘s startup scene is legendary. It is young, innovative, wild
and fearless. „Work hard, play hard!“ is the motto here. The Berlin
scene has needed no help from anyone but has managed it alone,
which is something for all those involved to be very proud of. The
city will continue to grow in importance in Germany and Europe
as „Berlin Valley“. Interest from overseas is clearly felt in Berlin.
This appeal will lead to an increasingly international population
and hopefully Berlin will soon have an airport worthy of a capital
Berliners would like to make their city the number one
metropolis in Europe in terms of art, fashion, film, music,
internet and biotechnology, and many other fields. Berliners
set trends, they pursue an alternative lifestyle and are certainly
anything but square. An open society is valued here more
highly than in any other city.
Go Berlin, go! Trust in yourself and don‘t beg for anything.
You can do it!
Andreas Thümmler founded Corporate Finance Partners („CFP“)
in Frankfurt am Main 15 years ago. Today CFP is one of the
leading tech & Internet corporate finance consultancies in
Europe. Andreas has a degree in business information systems
and business administration from the European Business
School Schloss Reichartshausen. Before founding CFP, Andreas
worked as an M&A expert with Rothschild in Frankfurt and
with UBS Warburg in London. In his private life, Andreas
is involved with the „steps for children“ foundation.
founder & CEO of Corporate Finance Partners
by far the most versatile and
most liberal city in Germany
ways of thinking
and acting are
Lars Dittrich founded the investment and
consulting firm Gauly | Dittrich | van de Weyer
with branches in Berlin and Frankfurt in
January 2012 with two partners. He is an expert
on the Berlin start-up scene and has successfully
positioned a wide range of different companies on
the market and established them with innovative
business ideas such as tape.tv.
Berlin is a city of upheaval and constant change. Around
20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the city‘s
subsequent reinstatement as the capital, and due not least
to its high quality of life, Berlin has developed into an
internationally attractive, pulsing metropolis. Networks,
scenes, ideas, trends and new lifestyles, as well as working
models, arise here at a dizzying rate. The creative and
economic dynamism in Berlin is unique in Germany.
The city gives everyone the space they need and allows
them to be genuinely and authentically themselves.
Unconventional ways of thinking and acting are accepted
and established. Berlin provides the perfect conditions and
fertile ground to nourish the German start-up scene.
founder and CEO of Gauly | Dittrich | van de Weyer
Ralf Rogosch WAS CEO AND MEMBER OF THE
START-UP TEAM OF TENGELMANN E-COMMERCE
UNTIL JULY 2013. CURRENTLY, HE IS CEO OF AND
PARTNER IN TRADEERS GmbH WITHIN THE HIRSCHEN
GROUP. FORMERLY A TRADER INVOLVED IN THE
START-UP SCENE IN BERLIN, NOW INVOLVED EVEN
MORE PASSIONATELY IN THE START-UP SCENE
ON THE AGENCY SIDE.
Berlin has been a world-class city for over ten years now, but it
was not until recently that its residents noticed. Rents have finally
become unaffordable, traffic unmanageable, and economic ingenuity
is evaporating on a global scale.
In the past, Berlin was popular for business start-ups, and some
crazy ideas came, but most them went without anyone really caring.
Particularly investors, with the exception of a small intrepid
minority who perhaps liked to invest a little in e-commerce.
Some did so because they were savvy, others because they were
unable to come up with a better home for their money. Business
founders liked to take it because they knew that in Berlin, as in
Germany, laying one’s hands on funds for a new business model
is like having six winning lottery numbers and keeping investors
interested for more than two years is like having six winning lottery
numbers plus the bonus ball. This has now fundamentally changed.
Start-ups are now happening like mad, one sensational business
model is hot on the heels of the next, some crazy, some brilliant,
offices are unaffordable, traffic unmanageable ... and the same little
group of investors carries on investing unabashed ... and alone.
FINALLY, RENT IS
WORK HARD. PLAY HARD.
Business Punk. Das Business-Lifestyle-Magazin.
www.business-punk.com | www.facebook.com/businesspunk
* formerly Tengelmann New Media
The Campus in Summer 2013
for the Berlin
Where Business, Science, Politics and Culture meet the startup scene
Factory‘s main building (architect Julian Breinersdorfer)
There is a gaping hole in the ground outside a newly renovated
former brewery in Berlin’s Mitte district, close to Rosenthaler Platz.
Something is being built here. The Factory: The biggest campus
for start-ups and established technology companies in Germany.
Initiated by serial entrepreneurs from Berlin with the support
of well-known figures on the international internet scene, the
project got off the ground this year. Its stated aim is at last to
provide a focal point for the growing start-up scene, which will
offer both improved networking capabilities and make it easier
to open up to the outside world. It came at the ideal moment and
ever since there has been a continuous stream of visitors from the
old and new economies, science and politics to the site. Everybody
wants to know what is happening here and, if possible, to be part
of it. Berlin’s start-up scene has thus gained a permanent
representative – and it is growing every day.
Although there is still major construction work to be done on the
main building close to where the Berlin Wall once ran, a few startups are already working side by side on the campus. They are going
to have access to 16,000 sq m of space which houses meeting rooms,
event zones, gastronomic and leisure facilities. The big hole may
currently look more like an ex-bunker than anything else, but it will
soon become another new building, home to Distillery, the Factory’s support program. It aims to make further educational resources
available to start-ups and would-be entrepreneurs at every stage in
their career. To book an appointment with legal, financial, marketing
or technology experts, click on www.distilleryberlin.com.
Berlin is bursting
at the seams with
editor-in-chief, BILD Zeitung
Kai Diekmann has been editor-in-chief
of BILD and editor of BILD and BILD
am SONNTAG since January 2001. From
August 2012 to June 2013, he spent ten
months in Silicon Valley on behalf
of Axel Springer AG investigating
digital projects and business models.
From being the ugly duckling, a dependent sphere of the Federal
Republic, Berlin has transformed itself into not just a magnificent
capital city, but also one of Europe‘s leading locations for new
start-ups. The „underdog“ image that still exists, combined with
the city‘s spirit of optimism and its commitment to modernization,
is proving to have an almost magical pull for innovative new
companies that are trying to shake the industrial establishment
out of its ingrained habits using disruptive technologies and
ideas. The city‘s self-evident internationality, unfailing positivity,
willingness to work very hard for its ideas, along with its ability
to accept setbacks as „learning opportunities“ and really celebrate
successes, may provide a model for how the whole of Germany
can survive in the competitive environment of the 21st century.
Berlin has become not just an attractive place where people feel
good, but also a city that has really taken up the mantle
as Germany‘s capital.
Dr. Alex von Frankenberg is the managing director
of High-Tech Gründerfonds and has been working in
the venture capital/start-up environment since 2000.
He studied at the University of Mannheim and
completed an MBA at the University of Texas in Austin.
He was awarded a doctorate on the Establishment
of Technology Standards at the University of Mannheim.
He then held various consulting posts, a sales manager
position with a start-up, and a post in an in-house
incubator, before joining High-Tech Gründerfonds in 2005.
an almost magical
Kai Diekmann Alex von
When it comes to candidates for the next Silicon Valley, no city
gets more hype than Berlin. Berlin is bursting at the seams with
creative spirit and international flair, and is home to a vast array
of start-up companies.
However, the comparison with the Valley quickly falls down. The
city is still lacking almost all the components that make up the
Silicon Valley ecosystem: The big tech companies, a university
of the caliber of Stanford and last but not least, venture capital.
Nevertheless I believe that Berlin is on its way to a glorious future
as a center of online business. With its unique image, the city is
attracting young, technophile talent – men and women who want
to try things out in a radical way, who are itching to take risks.
Even when their projects fail, they are ready to throw themselves
into the next adventure straight away. These are real «digital
In the future, investors will be desperate to find and reward this
special mixture of expertise, courage and rapidity. And they won‘t
be doing this in a village with a population of 65,000 called Palo
Alto any more, but in a city of millions called Berlin.
managing director of High-Tech Gründerfonds
Berlin is a dynamically changing city. It is becoming one of the
major global cities in its own unique way, in an increasingly
fast-moving, interwoven global economy.
Berlin is generous, inspiring, forgiving, liberal, cosmopolitan,
tolerant and even slightly ignorant at times. Business people,
artists, progressive thinkers, intellectuals and investors come here
from all over the world, as if drawn by a magnet. They are followed
by top international talents who are happy to settle here.
It becomes truly exciting when bonds are formed, when separate
worlds meet and something new emerges as a result.
For example, when start-ups which have to manage their rapid
growth professionally meet leading senior managers. Then worlds
collide – creativity and innovative power on one hand and
experience and management skills on the other. If both sides
can exploit this, their encounter will be inspiring, and ultimatelyto
the benefit of both. From this point of view, my colleagues and I act
as bridge builders and catalysts. We are looking for staff who match
one another, despite and because of their differences.
Presumably this possibility does not exist in any other German city,
nor is it as exciting as in Berlin.
Consultant at the Personnel Consultancy Egon Zehnder
This is where
Sascha Schubert Mark
Mark Krymalowski is
a personnel consultant
at Egon Zehnder. He is
responsible for recruitment
and management assessment
for digital start-ups and
spendino, Entrepreneurs Club Berlin and Founders Institute Berlin
Fake it until you make it – that is a perfectly good answer to the
question of how to win customers for a product that you can build,
but have not yet built. After all, even car manufacturers must
at some point start building “your” car once the sales contract
has been signed.
If we apply this motto to Berlin, we must not, however, see it as a
self-fulfilling prophecy. Berlin has the chance to become an
internationally outstanding location in which to create new
businesses and growth. For that to happen, the “make it” will have
to drive the “fake it” out of town. It took Edison many thousands
of attempts before he could illuminate the first light bulb, and
Siemens did not become famous for enriching Berlin‘s nightlife.
Attention to detail, passion, vision, perseverance and courage are
all essential for successful start-ups. We must put an end to empty,
overhyped events and hipster, party and lifestyle entrepreneurs.
Sascha Schubert is the founder and managing
director of spendino, a leading provider of
web-based donor management services.
He is also an active member of the board of
the Entrepreneurs Club Berlin e.V., which
organizes StartUp Camp Berlin, StartUp
Lounge Berlin, FailCon Berlin and the Pitch
Marathon. In 2012, he co-founded
the German Startups Association
(Bundesverband Deutsche StartUps e.V.);
since mid-2013, he has been co-director
of the Founders Institute Berlin.
Copyright Photo: Egon Zehnder / Miriam May.
6 Berlin Startups that want to better the World.
These are Worth Supporting!
Fairnopoly an online marketplace is based on an innovative, fair
business model: The cooperative 2.0. Fairnopoly is emphasized
by three core elements:
Through the purchase of cooperative shares, everyone can help
shape the future of the company, and is involved in its profit.
Responsible consumption is promoted through special support of
fair and sustainable produced products and related information.
In addition, contribution to charitable organizations working
against the fight against corruption is made via donations.
Ashoka is the oldest and largest organization for the promotion
of social entrepreneurs. It is a non-denominational, non-partisan
organization based in Washington with nonprofit subsidiaries
around the world. The Ashoka Germany subsidiary was founded in
2003 as a gGmbH, and today Ashoka Germany works with a team of
eight employees, with offices in Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin. The
Ashoka Germany gGmbH is not a foundation, but rather it is funded
entirely by private donations and corporate and foundation grants.
Fraisr is an online market place in which items can be bought and
sold with a portion of proceeds going to charity. Everything from
new and used goods, homemade products, as well as services can
be sold. Vendors decide in advance what support will be promoted,
and how much of sale proceeds will be donated. The donation
amount can be selected in five-percent increments. Ranging from
five percent minimum to 100 percent maximum. Fraisr works
together with organizations such as the Bundersverband Deutsch
Tafel, the Deutsche Knochenmarkspender Datie (DKMS), Together
for Africa and Reporters Without Borders.
Betterplace takes advantage of the power of the Internet by making
great changes in the social sector. Whether an individual or a group,
everyone can help. On the other side, anyone can get help: not only
large, well-known organizations, but also even the smallest projects
anywhere in the world. Direct, transparent and straightforward.
Better Place wants to not only improve the world, but also improve
and make how we improve the world an easier process. Betterplace.
org is not only the leader of getting more people involved in helping,
but are doing in it a way so much better than before..
Find wheelchair accessible places.
GERMANY ROUNDS UP
Deutschland rundet auf is a recognized non-profit organization
that allows anyone to voluntary and unsolicited round up to a
maximum of 10 cents, and donate this money when paying at
the cashier or online. Every cent donated will be transparent and
100% of proceeds will go to sustainable social projects in Germany.
With just a few cents, this makes it possible for everyone to
contribute something to the solution for problems in German society.
Berlin Geekettes is a platform for women who live innovation.
The non-profit organization, with the help of Deutsche Telekom,
supports women in the technology scene. There are lectures
and workshops conducted to inspire and improve the skills
Wheelmap.org is an online map to search and find
wheelchair accessible places. Like with Wikipedia everyone can participate by marking public places according
to their wheelchair accessibility. Wheelmap is available
on the internet and as an app for iPhone and Android.
The map is based on OpenStreetMap and helps mobility-impaired people to plan their day more efficiently.
Moreover, Wheelmap wants to raise the awareness of
people who run public places such as restaurants, bars,
cinemas etc. and to motivate them to increase the
accessibility of their place. Beneficiaries are not only
wheelchair users but also people with a walking aid and
families with strollers.
Thereby, Wheelmap.org contributes to a more inclusive
society. Everyone can get involved!
Visit us on Facebook!
A project by
Madeleine Gummer v. Mohl is
co-founder and CEO at betahaus.
During her Magister studies, she was
involved in the Politikfabrik,
a student agency that found fame in
2005 with its Wahl-O-Mat. From 2006 to
2009, Gummer von Mohl worked in the
office of a member of the Bundestag.
In 2009, she established betahaus in
Berlin, together with a group
of friends. Around 200 entrepreneurs,
freelancers and DAX companies
work here every day on start-ups
and innovations. betahaus now
also has offices in Hamburg,
Sofia and Barcelona.
Berlin is wild, loud, dirty, edgy and international.
I never get bored here. Berlin is always up for a
new idea, and can be rapidly inspired. Berlin is also
forgetful though! When a business idea does not
work out, it does not matter, as the next start-up is
already on the horizon. Since 2009, we at betahaus
have worked to help further develop the start-up
and freelance scene in Berlin. Our aim is to make
it the Silicon Valley of Europe! I know that this is a
very ambitious aim, but Berlin is already well on its
way to achieving this. It is so inspiring to see what
has developed here over the past five years! Now the
Business Angels and VCs just need to be a little more
open to taking risks! After all, there are enough
start-ups and great ideas! These days, Berlin can
easily keep up with Europe’s other start-up
metropolises. A start-up is pitched every weekend,
and the great thing about it is that Berlin still
remains wild, loud, dirty and so very congenial!
provides daily information and news from the domestic Internet
start-up scene. This wealth of daily news is complemented
by interviews, portraits of individual start-up companies and
Wild, loud, dirty
and so very
entrepreneurs, and market census data on sectors of interest.
co-founder and CEO, betahaus GmbH
Christian Vollmann has lived and worked in Berlin
Frank Thelen is one of Europe’s leading serial founders and
since 1999. you will be hard pressed to find many
a successful early-phase investor. He has been founding
Internet start-ups here that he is not somehow
“disruptive” start-ups for over two decades now, and his
involved in. He is an entrepreneur and always
products have reached over 100 million customers in more than
ready to invest even with his own capital.
50 countries. In 2000, he was on the brink of private bankruptcy,
so he knows first-hand the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.
He is a “hidden champion” and has been conferred the prestigious
Innovate4Society award by Angela Merkel. His companies
include doo, 6Wunderkinder, myTaxi, among many others.
initiatives with Silicon
It is a gray Friday in February, a typical Berlin day. The year is 2008.
I am sitting in my office in the Backfabrik trying to concentrate.
Any minute now, a self-confident late twenty-something will walk
in and present me with his vision of the future of research. It will
sound adventurous: Researchers will work together in an
interdisciplinary, cross-border way, professors will opt in,
researchers will establish their reputations online, publication
will be radically transformed. The entrepreneur has already
talked to lots of people about his idea, but no one so far has been
willing to give him any money. In my head, a voice is shouting:
«Weirdo! Risk! Dead concept! Obstacles! Financial black hole!»
But another part of me is thinking: «Brilliant! Disruptive!
Courageous! Innovative! Real impact!»
In the end, I listen to my gut. And my gut thinks Ijad Madisch from
ResearchGate is a really nice guy. And my gut likes guys with balls.
Just a normal Friday afternoon in Berlin.
In the space of just a few years, Berlin has established itself as
the European center for start-ups. Silicon Valley showed us that
we needed a central location for company founders, investors
and re-founders to trigger a positive spiral. This center will then
reach out to cities such as Munich, Hamburg and Cologne,
and encourage start-ups throughout Germany. Establishing
a start-up DNA in our country will unfortunately require
generations of successful company founders, who then invest
in the next generation and – more importantly – serve as
mentors. This “spinning wheel” seems to be slowly picking up
speed in Berlin. I hope for an entrepreneurial boom this year
in which families and friends consider being a “company
founder” to be a good thing. This has been lacking in past
decades, and we have wasted precious years. Berlin must
now become the starting point for Germany.
founder and CEO, doo and e42
No other city
is as attractive
Sven Lubek is the founder of the Covus
Group. The Berlin-based digital commerce
firm is a specialist in digital marketplaces, lead generation and freemium
models. Covus has been a leading player
in d-commerce for over 10 years, using
effective online marketing and search
engine optimized domains. The Covus
Group consists of 12 companies with
When I arrived in Berlin in 2000, both the city and its digital scene
were wild and incalculable. Over the last 13 years, I have seen
various Internet entrepreneurs come and go and am very glad
that Berlin is now a melting pot for outstanding talents and big
ideas. Even after all these years, Berlin still gives us space to develop.
Our city has genuinely developed into the start-up epicenter of
Europe, but it has nowhere near exhausted its potential. Close links
and identical starting points combined with the facilities at our
renowned academic institutions are all aspects that help make Berlin
even more appealing to brilliant minds. For Covus as a digital
company builder, Berlin is the perfect place to nurture new talents.
No other city is as attractive to visionaries because Berlin
plays by its own rules.
This diversity is also reflected at Covus. Our staff come from 16
nations and form a unique and exciting mixture of great people.
Founder and CEO of the Covus Group
founder and managing director of i-potentials
Corinna Powalla has been relieving men
of the stress of shopping since 2011: with
Modomoto she offers the flexibility and
Berlin has been a source of inspiration to me for many years now.
I grew up near Basel, so I have always had access to cultural and
architectural highlights. The situation in the capital city is similar:
I love the range of museums and exhibitions; the interplay of
tradition and innovation. Berlin is the perfect place to establish a
start-up because the structures are so open and the scene so
ambitious, dynamic and creative. In recent years, a real start-up
boom has occurred, and a lively exchange has taken place. Despite
all the prejudices, it was easy for me to establish a company as a
woman – I think it is good that company founders support one
another and wish to advance the city and economy together. Berlin
offers opportunities for ideas to be developed – also on the spatial
level. The innovative power and culture of entrepreneurship that
prevails here fascinates me time and time again.
range of an online shop, complemented with
personalized advice from fashion experts.
Her start-up won e-Star’s “Start-up of the
Year” award in 2012, and is the first
and largest curated shopping service
in Germany and Austria.
I love the
Constanze Buchheim founded i-potentials
in 2009. It was while she was helping to
build up the HR department at Spreadshirt
from scratch that she identified a gap in
the market, which she filled by founding
i-potentials, a personnel service provider
that specializes in digital companies and
founder and Managing Director, Modomoto
business divisions. With her team of digital
specialists, she fills skilled and management
positions at companies of all sizes and
supports Internet companies during
phases of rapid growth.
Berlin is the city everyone wants to go to. Not only is it
an excellent incubator for start-ups, but it also offers an
environment that is currently unique in Europe – from the
banker in Prenzlauer Berg to the marketing whizz kid in
Neukölln, everyone feels at home here. This kind of diversity
is attracting a very wide range of talent to the city within a
short space of time, and generates an ongoing and positive
sense of dynamism. When I started building up the i-potentials
recruitment agency in order to link the best people with the
best jobs on the digital scene all over Europe, Berlin was the
obvious choice.There is nowhere else in Europe where you
can establish such an excellent network in this field.
that is currently
unique in Europe!
Lucas von Cranach
The best games are being played offline
by Hertha BSC yet
• XXL city puzzle: 500 piece jigsaw, 68x48cm,
with lots of extra information
• for locals and tourists
• 16 page city booklet with full maps and explanations
• creative gift idea
• made in Germany
CEO and founder of iLiga – the Football App
I love Berlin because it really is the city which never sleeps – and
because it is definitely Germany‘s least German city. For historical
reasons, our capital is not a traditional business location and contains
a lot of opportunities for creative industries. This gives the city its
own unique flair.
I studied in Berlin, and started my business and family here. I have
seen the city from many angles – as a student, a business founder, an
employer, a husband and a father. I particularly like the independence,
unpretentiousness and freedom. Berlin may be big, but it is not
London, New York or Tokyo. It has charm and it is coherent, which
also encourages a productive exchange between businesses.
If anything is missing in Berlin, it is the long-term proof that it
can compete with the world‘s great metropolises – that and
a breakthrough by the Hertha BSC football team.
Lucas is a passionate football fan. So that
he would not miss any game played by his
beloved 1. FC Cologne, he developed an SMS
live ticker in 2008, showing current German
league results and attracting 30,000 users.
Now the biggest soccer apps in the world,
iLiga and THE Football App enthuse over 10
million supporters. Information on over 100
leagues fires up soccer fever 24/7.
Available on www.puzzlemap.de
or in all German bookstores.
Masoud Kamali & Alexander
Alex, what do you wish for Berlin?
“I would like to see more successful exits for startups, less attention
and concern for another accelerator or incubator experiment,
and instead focus more on successful acquisitions of growth startups
and their successful integration into large enterprises. My prediction
for the next 10 years: Berlin is on the right track and everyone
can help shape it.„
Your last thought about Berlin, Masoud?
“These are exciting times here in Berlin, and it is incredible
to be a part of it!”
How does it look for you Alex?
“Berlin has become the center of digital startups in
Germany, and quite possibly the most exciting startup city
in Europe. 10 years ago this development was not definite,
but this exactly how I envisioned Berlin to be. One of the
greatest changes is that international founders and experts
have become more and more fascinated with Berlin in the
last 2-3 years. The hype build up here is more lively than
any other German city, and I can say that this not a
temporary ‘bubble’. The city is part of a self-fulfilling
prophecy, and in the foreseeable future, Berlin will continue
to stay at the forefront of the European ‘startup cluster’.
Berlin is on
help shape it
Masoud Kamali (CEO)
Masoud Kamali is the CEO and founder of WestTech Ventures. He is also the founder of S&S Media Group with offices in
Frankfurt, Leeds, London, San Francisco
and Berlin. As a publisher of magazines, books and online
portals, and as an event organizer of conferences in
key technology areas of Java, all the way to NET, Web
development and mobile technologies, there are many
Masoud, how is it in Berlin now?
“Berlin offers us art, culture, the splendor of Paris, combined
with the openness of London. I always say you can literally
smell the startups in Berlin. My typical morning coffee is
spent at St. Oberholz where I always meet various people.
We spend our time discussing joint or separate projects,
connecting new and old economies such as print and
digital, analog and digital, or even digital natives versus
new digital trends.”
synergies created between WestTech Ventures Investments
and start-ups. He studied computer science and philosophy
in Frankfurt am Main, has worked in Singapore and
Silicon Valley and lives with his family in Berlin
Alexander Kölpin (COO & Partner)
Alexander Kölpin is the COO and partner at WestTech
Ventures. He is an avid networker with over ten years
experience in the Internet and IT sectors. He is co-founder
Masoud, how has your view of Berlin changed?
“Since 2007, we host and put on the webinale, a holistic web
conference, and believe that with this, we have successfully created
the bridge between developers, designers and business oriented
people! We also believe that this was only possible here in Berlin!
It has taken me four years to finally make Berlin my official base,
and to leave my roots in Frankfurt; a similar story for thousands
of others here! And this is a decision with no regrets! It is here that
my family and I have found a perfect environment to live in!
Its international, friendly social as well as inspiring!”
For you, Alex?
“For the last 20 years I have been intermittently in Berlin,
and there has never been a year where the city was still,
but rather every year I have closely felt and lived the
development of the city. In my opinion, there is no other
German or even European city that can match how easily
Berlin has shaped itself for development. There is no other
city that welcomes newcomers so openly, no other
ecosystem and industry that has so much cooperation,
and no other business culture that so naturally
exchanges ideas and information as in Berlin.”
of the Berlin Web Week, was co-founder and board member
& COO of the SeedVCs German Startups Group Berlin AG.
Previously, he was Head of Internet and Media at Berlin
Partner GmbH, in which he was responsible for establishing
new startups in Berlin, and was also a Business Consultant
at inubit AG (now Bosch Software Innovations) as well
as with Arthur Andersen. He graduated with a degree
in Economics, as well as completed his M.A. and Magister
in Berlin (D), Exeter (UK) and Krakow (PL), and currently
lives in Berlin.
CEO of goodbeans
Berlin is like
a teenager that
is growing up
Berlin and Berlin
Berlin is like a teenager that is growing up: shy at the first kiss, but
demanding after its first experiences. +++ One day in Berlin is like
one week in Munich. +++ Berlin casts a spell. +++ The winter is too
long; the summer too short. +++ The best free toilets in town are
at the Adlon. +++ Berlin is at its best on Sunday morning: calm
and tranquil, preparing for the hustle and bustle. +++ The most
successful start-up is Berlin itself: the city has rewritten its business
model several times, and is now achieving its breakthrough.
I have been the COO at Adspert.de
responsible for operative business and
organization of the company since 2010.
Previously, I was a Managing Partner
at Prozentor GmbH, a company
for automated statistical prognosis
systems with a focus on the financial
markets. While at Prozentor GmbH, I was
simultaneously completing my degree in
Business Pedagogy majoring in financial
auditing and entrepreneurship at the
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Berlin and i
As a Berlin native born and bred, I enjoy a Mexican meal at the
food kiosk on Danzigerstraße, which is still Dimitroffstraße to me.
+++ I do not wait one hour in Kreuzberg for the best doner kebab
in town, but instead fry meatballs myself at home. +++ I miss
countless cultural highlights yet am still out and about a lot. +++ I
cannot escape Berlin, hence Berlin brings the world to me.
Berlin is simply cool. It is authentic, unpretentious, tolerant,
spontaneous, fun-loving, energy-charged, innovative, modern
and different from all the other German cities that I know. From
both a professional and a private point of view, Berlin is the best
city I can imagine for this current phase of my life. In my private
life, the Mitte district (the city center) feels like a village.
The children‘s day care center, school and office are close by and
you run into people you know in play areas, cafés or the bakery.
From a professional perspective, the city exerts a magical
attraction for the best-trained, young, creative people from
all over the world, making it possible to put together
international teams for many companies.
Since 2010, Verena Delius has been the CEO
of goodbeans, an app developer for mobile
games in Berlin. The company is enjoying
global success with its «Zuko Monsters»
app and «Panfu» online world. Verena
Delius is the chairperson of the online
advisory board of «Save the Children» and
is involved in diverse initiatives as a mentor for young female entrepreneurs.
the hundert / Guest Article
founder Berlin Startup Academy
“The hipster thing
is a bad joke!”
Christoph has been working in Berlin’s
digital industry since 1996. His first
start-up attempt failed in 2000, but he
established Berlin’s Mobile Monday in 2008,
and is a mentor at Startupbootcamp,
Startup Weekend and hub:raum
(Deutsche Telekom’s incubator). In the
What does the hard work of a startup have to do with
a latte macchiato? Nothing! Christoph Raethke explains why
we need to stop obsessing about the Berlin Startup Hipster
stereotype and just go on creating excellent new businesses.
Editors note: This article first appeared in English on
Venture Village, and in German on Gruenderszene.
„Enough with the Berlin Startup Hipster
Stereotype. We’re here to do business“
A few weeks ago, a startup founder from Buenos Aires moved to
Berlin. While she’s German herself, she had been following the
Berlin startup scene only through blogs and media. In her first week
here, she set up a meeting with a well-known Berlin startup CEO,
talked to him for an hour or so, and returned, saying: “That was just
such an intense, down-to-earth, valuable discussion! What a break
from all the hipster talk about Berlin!”
This made me realise how far the “Berlin hipster” image had perpetuated around the globe. And in turn, this made me realise, too, that
it’s time to draw in the reins on this joke. Because that’s what it is –
the whole “hipster” moniker and the fake observations around it – a
joke. Initially, everybody knew that, because the realities of working
on a digital product with no money are everything but hipster…
The realities are, in fact, the total opposite, which is how I think the
whole joke came to be. In the same way that surgeons find casual
words for their bloody work and how policemen play down stress
and tedium of their job, entrepreneurs made up a “latte macchiato”
side of their industry.
That becomes clear as soon as you seriously ask people if they can
name a single startup CEO or founder in Berlin who actually fits the
hipster cliché – who, in other words, is a superficial, lifestyle-driven,
intrinsically lazy, metrosexual wimp relying on mom and dad’s
subsidies. The answer – also from the Latin American founder I
mentioned earlier – always is: “Hmmm… now that you’re asking
me… Well, actually… No, I can’t.”
Earlier this year, when I lambasted January’s onslaught of selfcelebratory startup events, I already mentioned that the founders
put into the limelight there were the opposite of the events’
shallowness. Today, as I read an article about the supposed “HipsterDämmerung” marked by Amen’s and Gidsy’s demise, it strikes
me again how wrongly overused the hipster cliché is when
commenting on what’s going on in Berlin.
summer of 2012 Raethke founded Berlin‘s
independent accelerator, Berlin Startup
Academy along with the Battle of the
Hipters don’t start companies,
committed founders do
In my opinion, the reason why Amen went under is that it was a
useless product that nobody wanted, that addressed no pain point,
and that served no market need. Even an amount of media
coverage and money that other startup founders would kill for
could not make people use it. But I’m rather certain it didn’t go
under because of the founders not having put in the work or
being in any way hipster-y.
Other companies often mentioned in cliché-painting articles
about the startup scene are 6Wunderkinder and EyeEm. But for
the life of me, I can assure you that their founders and teams are
the most levelheaded, thoughtful, and even humble people you’ll
find – that’s no coincidence. When taking the train back from
Pirate Summit in Cologne on Tuesday, Google Adwords man Marc
Preusche and I had a few hours to talk about why we love to be
in Berlin and work with startups. The answer was that here, you
have the chance to work and talk to the best people you could
ever want to spend your time with.
The sincerity and intensity shared between people who have on
average four university degrees, speak five languages, and could
easily be making six-digit salaries at consulting companies, but
chose to build their own startup that in 90 per cent of cases will
fail, is sometimes heartbreaking.
But it’s real. Their commitment and modesty is far beyond anything
found among corporate employees. The risks that highly educated
young Italians, Spaniards, Poles take when arriving here without a
job, apartment, or speaking German, are enormous – and, yes, noble.
There is no Berlin hype
So when I read journalists write about the supposed “Berlin hype”
and the related “hipsterdom”; when I hear business consultants paid
€1200 per day to have answers for all questions (as long as they can
be put into PowerPoint slides) scoff at the “latte macchiato scene”,
what I really hear is jealousy. What I really hear is the envy of
people who haven’t found anything in their lives that makes them
want to take a risk and build something. What I hear are excuses
for why they’d rather stay in a safe job. What I hear is fear of
freedom. I think we should remind ourselves of that from time to
time. There is no Berlin hype. There are no hipsters. Instead, there
is a community of people who are the crème of their generation,
and nothing they do is ultimately in vain. Let that be known
from here to Buenos Aires.
Numberfour developed an open, cloud-based
Readmill allows digital books to be used as real
Bergfürst is the first online platform in which
innovative companies still in their growth
phase can meet potential investors. For private
investors, company equity stocks are offered,
which can then act in the form of shares, such
as on a traditional stock exchange.
platform (PaaS) for all industries, on which profes-
Auctionata is a traditional auction house that,
books. Through the Readmill app for e-book
sionals operate as development partners, offering
for the first time, brings the fascinating auction
Momox offers users the possibility to directly sell
their highly customized software-as-a-service
world to the Internet for all to experience.
their CDs, DVDs, games and books to the momox.
solution. This solution creates a level playing field
A skilled team of international experts, state-
de platform. Momox then resells the acquired
by giving small businesses instant access to
licensed auctioneers, experienced professionals
goods on national and international market
the tools, capabilities and insights normally
and a patented real-time, online auction system
places. A portion of the products is also sold
only available to larger companies.
provides best practice operations.
on Medimops, a platform belonging to the
readers and tablets, you can now highlight text
and display the comments of other users.
Additionally, Readmill allows read text
to be shared on social media.
Trademob is a mobile app advertising technology
that offers data based mobile app marketing for iOS
and Android. Trademob’s developed technology
tracks your mobile marketing campaign’s clicks,
downloads along with all in app actions that occur,
optimizing and matching it with the respective
campaign and advertisement.
Outfittery would like to relieve the stress and
time consumption of clothes shopping for men.
Itembase automatically identifies and extracts the
Style experts offer a personalized, efficient
information from your receipts, providing you
shopping consultation, and based on the desires
with a complete overview of the purchase’s
and ideas of the shopper, a customized box of 2-3
warranty. Manuals, FAQs, pictures and other
outfits is put together and sent out.
useful information are also incorporated into
the purchased product’s overview.
Dropscan is a simple and fast service to scan mail,
documents and paperwork. After scanning, users
documents are converted into searchable PDF
SuitePad is the digital communications channel
files, and then available for download from
for hotel guests during their stay. Hotel rooms
your Dropscan account.
would be equipped with tablet PCs in which
Zenmate is the first product from ZenGuard,
send their documents to Dropscan, the scanned
guests can directly book hotel services such as
spa treatments and room service. The goal is
to incorporate the guest’s account, telephone,
remote control, magazines, alarm clocks and
TV guides onto one tablet PC device.
Capsule.fm developed an iOS app to generate
Returbo is an online shop for overstock,
promotional and returned goods, display items
individual radio broadcasts. The app will also
include personalized messages, e-mail, online
Profitbricks offers the renting of virtual datacenters
customized to your needs based on servers, storage,
load balancers and firewalls, just as those in a ‘real’
datacenter. In contrast to physical datacenters,
Profitbricks allows you to adapt your usage
based on your needs at any time, and you only
pay for what is used.
platform offers the greatest variety of options
allows its users to also bypass country blockers.
Through the Chrome plugin, the developers seek
to promote freedom of expression.
Kiveda is an online kitchen shop, still in the market
and simpler booking procedures, therefore,
entry segment. Available to customers are a large
revolutionizing travel planning.
selection of custom kitchens as well as kitchen
Babbel is an online language-learning platform
accessories. After your order is checked by the
that allows users from around the world to learn
startup, it is then directly produced and delivered
to the end customer.
anonymous. In addition to anonymity, Zenmate
including trains, flights, busses and cars. The
Chrome plugin that turns user browser activity
and combines all transportation combinations
13 languages interactively. Babbel is available
as a mobile app as well as a website.
items are bought, and then resold back
and social media.
program, Plug & Play. Zenmate is a free Google
GoEuro is a travel search engine that compares
within 10 days.
and B stock. Here, wholesale and returned
a startup from the Axel Springer Accelerator
KeyRocket helps its users save time and work.
The program is for learning the so-called
shortcuts, hotkeys or keyboard shortcuts.
KeyRocket helps you master these tools
in order to increase productivity.
Zalando is an online shop that specializes in
the sale and shipment of shoes and fashion
items. At Zalando, both the shipping and the
return shipping are always free. The star
of the Rocket Internet Empire was founded
in 2008, in recent years has revamped the
European fashion market, and is considered
one of the most successful German Internet
Stimp turns any image into an interactive shop
So1 offers a new approach to price promotions
window. Readers who discover a product through
in the consumer goods industry. This approach
a picture are now able to receive product informa-
allows manufacturers and distributors to reach
tion as well as a purchase link. By linking the
individual consumers with specific price
image with the respective product and brand
Since 2008, Mister Spex has been selling an
promotions, resulting in an increase of ROI
information, and then spreading this on the web,
impressive range of glasses, sunglasses and contact
by up to a factor of 10. The technology of So1
Stimp provides vendors with the complete photo
lenses. Included in the assortment are over 2000
engine is based on modern econometric methods
content marketing solution.
eyeglass and 25000 sunglass models from
respected brands such as Dolce & Gabbana,
and accurately calculates what price reduction
is necessary in order to reach potentially valuable
Calvin Klein, Gucci, Prada, Ray-Ban, Oakley,
consumers that could switch brands or retailers.
etc, as well as 100 different contact lens choices.
24 Startups from berlin that you should know
Everyday new startups are founded in
Germany’s startup capital. Newly established
companies alongside fast-growing IT startups
are rapidly changing the digital industry
Brandnew enables Instagram users with
Changers developed an intelligent and mobile
considerable numbers of followers to earn money
solar charger that also measures the saved CO2.
through connecting their image posts to advertising.
The concept will soon be available on additional
image uploading sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr.
Your savings are converted into credits that can
be traded for sustainable products and services.
as well as driving economic growth. Berlin
is attracting young people from all over,
providing the city with passion and ideas in
so many different industries. In cooperation
with gruenderszene.de, deutsche-startups.de,
and netzwertig.de, we are pleased to present
24 startups that you should know.
Dr. Eric Schweitzer, born in Ipoh (Malaysia) on July 24th, has
been President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in
Berlin since June 2004 and President of the Association of
It was a successful launch. Now it is a question of rising
to new heights. The control tower offers ideal conditions
for a successful flight path. Berlin enjoys an international
reputation for research and science and is a center of creative
industries. Due to the booming start-up scene and attendant
phenomena such as Axel Springer, Telekom, Google and
Microsoft, Berlin is on the way to revolutionizing the digital
economy. But first flights of fancy must not obscure reality.
Investors may flock to Berlin, but they also need to stay here.
Copycats are successful economically, but the much-touted
next big thing is still missing. Start-ups must not serve only
as a political marketing tool. As long as it remains a
bureaucratic odyssey to launch international business
start-ups and to hire foreign workers in Berlin, more
remains to be done. It is now time for politics, business
and administration to take over the reins not alone, but all together.
German Chambers of Commerce and Industry since March 2013.
He has been a member of the executive board of the ALBA group
holding company since 1993 and CEO from October 1, 2011.
In addition to numerous other mandates, he is chairman
of the board of trustees of ESCP Europe in Berlin.
Berlin is ready
for a new
Not alone, but
spokesperson for the Board, German Startups Association
Florian Nöll gained his initial entrepreneurial
experience as a student. Most recently in 2008, he
co-founded spendino, a leading SaaS provider for
non-profit organizations. As a Berliner by choice, he
has been committed to startup support for almost
10 years. In autumn 2012, he founded the German
President of the Berlin Chamber
of Industry and Commerce
Startups Association, whose spokesperson he is today.
Since I moved to Berlin 10 years ago, an incredible amount has
happened in the city. In the beginning, there were some startups
and dedicated people. They laid the foundations for the Berlin
Startup Ecosystem as we know it today. Today, Berlin is the place
to be for would-be entrepreneurs. If we look back in time, there
have been two founder epochs, which have been the basis of our
economy until today: industrialization in the 19th century and the
economic miracle. It is difficult to say whether it was easier for
outstanding founders like Benz or Otto in those days. The conditions
for founders in Germany may now be better than ever before.
Digitization offers unexpected opportunities for innovative
startups and thus an enormous economic potential for Berlin.
Many courageous people are already aware of this. It is high
time for politicians in Berlin to demonstrate their courage, too.
A third founder epoch is possible. In our generation. In Berlin!
Quality conference MaDe in gerMany !
technology Business Design
Cornelia Yzer was born on July 28, 1961
in Lüdenscheid and studied law and
economics. From 1992 to 1994 she was
Senator for Economics, Technology and Research, Berlin
Parliamentary Secretary of State in
the Federal Ministry for Women and
Youth and from 1994 to 1997 in the
Federal Ministry for Education, Science,
Research and Technology. From 1997 to
2011 she was chairman of the board of
the German Association of ResearchBased Pharmaceutical Companies (VFA).
Since September 2012 Cornelia Yzer
has been Senator for Economics,
Technology and Research in Berlin.
The road to
2. – 4. Juni 2014
MaritiM proarte Berlin
Social Media . USer experience . Technology . appS . MUlTiToUch . aUgMenTed realiTy . deSign . USabiliTy . Mobile Web . TrendS
innovaTionS . e-bUSineSS . adverTiSing . WebSTandardS . converSion . e-coMMerce . online gaMeS . MarkeTing . inTeracTion deSign
WebSeiTenopTiMierUng . WebfonTS . Seo . beST pracTice . S-coMMerce . neTWorking . lbS . bUSineSS
Lots of creative minds from all over the world deliberately
choose Berlin to establish their business in. The German capital
is home to many well-educated young people seeking to explore
uncharted territory. This is the spirit that makes Berlin so
special. Like-minded people with even better ideas are soon
found, and personal networks expanded. The scene comes
together in Berlin, whether at a face-to-face meeting or online.
This has also been recognized by major businesses, which are
active on the start-up scene with incubators and investment capital.
Politics creates the framework, provides start-up and venture
capital, markets the location to the outside world and provides
support on the road to independence.
Change starts here. As there are not many rules in Berlin, everyone
makes their own, so standards and trends emerge which take effect
by their power of attraction, not by force or tradition. The pioneers –
be they greens, hipsters, punks or activists, business starters or party
animals – are developing new role models and thus creating fresh
ideals for the rest of the city and the country.
Perhaps this is a sign of a future in which personal attitudes are
more important than wealth, in which initiative is more important
than a job and in which people must decide for themselves what is
right, whilst enjoying an opportunity to express their views. A lot of
people say that only one thing has not changed since the wall came
that I simply
down; change itself. But this is not quite right. It is the people of
Berlin who are constantly reinventing themselves and the city.
A little more than just change is needed to turn Berlin into a European
version of Silicon Valley and make the city‘s derelict sites into the
Californian garages in which Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are supposed
to have glued and screwed things together. For example, needed is a
government that consistently dedicates education and investment to
building up the digital economy, and provides young businesses with
a simple framework for their ideas of a digital society. According
to the Chancellor, the Internet is still „a foreign country“ for many
Germans. Let‘s change this! Berlin, you can do it.
Campaigns Director Germany, Change.org
Paula Hannemann IS THE HEAD OF
GERMANY AT THE CAMPAIGN PLATFORM,
CHANGE.ORG, WHICH ENABLES over
40 million people around the world
to voice their concerns in the form
of petitions and campaigns. It had 60,000
users when it was launched in Germany
in the summer of 2012. One year later,
Change.org is Germany‘s largest
platform for digital commitment,
with 1.5 million users.
President of Sozialhelden e.V. and initiator of the Wheelmap.
org, “Pfandtastisch helfen!” and Leidmedien.de projects.
I moved to Berlin with my parents at the age of one, and have
lived in “Spree New York” ever since. I am very happy in this city.
Despite this, I cannot and do not wish to praise the city to the
skies, for it presents many barriers to me that I simply cannot
overcome as a wheelchair user. Berlin is a highly complex city,
as all metropolises tend to be. Millions of inhabitants and
thousands of visitors wish to work, be entertained, as well
as transported here. For a long time, the needs of people with
reduced mobility were not taken into account in city maps nor,
for no apparent reason, were simply not planned for. Hence,
today there are still many railway stations that either do not have
an elevator or have one that does not work. In recent years, the
BVG’s entire bus fleet has been replaced, and now feature ramps,
and many public buildings have also been made more accessible.
However, there is still a great deal to do to improve access. This
is exactly where we at Sozialhelden e.V. wish to provide support
with our wheelmap.org project. Not only the accessibility of
restaurants, cafés, cinemas, etc. should be marked on the online
map, but also the fact that a great deal still needs to be done
should also be highlighted to allow all people to experience Berlin.
RaÚl Krauthausen grew up in Berlin and studied
Design Thinking at the Berlin University of the
Arts. He developed a campaign for the Alternative Nobel Prize and hosted a radio show where
people with problems could call in. He was
therefore directly confronted with the poverty,
abuse and loneliness that is often found on the
can do it
edges of our society. Influenced by these social
issues, Raúl and his friends came upon the idea
of initiating Sozialhelden. Sozialhelden e.V.
is a social enterprise run by a group of
extraordinary innovators who have already
received countless awards. In 2013, Raúl was
awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal
Republic of Germany for his achievements.
Photo: Sabine von Bassewitz
Charles von Abercron is founder and Global
CEO of the subscription commerce company
GLOSSYBOX. He studied at the European
Business School, Oestrich-Winkel, and
following career stages at Ernst & Young
and Rabobank International among others,
became Vice President for International and
Online Marketing at Groupon in 2010.
Next von Abercron worked for Rocket
Internet, where the idea behind GLOSSYBOX
Berlin is a city of trendsetters, of creative,
curious people who enjoy art and cultural events
and experiencing a city with lots of history, a
city which everyone can identify with. This was
one of the main reasons why we chose to launch
our enterprise here two and a half years ago.
We now have offices in 15 countries, and our
Glossybox Trend Scouts are scouring the globe
to track down the hottest ‹beauty› news and
styles. But the heart of our startup could beat
nowhere other than in Berlin. For this city is
the hotspot for people from all over the world
who want to make a difference and try out
new things, and has always been. It is this
international, creative flair which makes the city
so attractive for startup firms. There is a
tremendous wealth of enthusiastic people with
ideas and energy to draw upon. With a bit of
dedication one can find an ideal crew for
a project, and obtain the necessary financing.
We hope corporate executives will be more
aware of the growing number of exciting jobs
with very good prospects opening up, for in
order to be a front runner over the longer term,
startups need more experts and managers able
to give real substance to ideas.
founder and CEO of Glossybox
Alexander Hüsing, (b. 1974) began his career in
journalism in 1996 at the Westdeutsche Allgemeine
we need to
throw a few
Nikolaus Röttger has
been editor-in-chief of
Gründerszene since August 1,
2013. Previously, he worked
as the founder and chief
editor of Business Punk as
well as for the FTD. He has
also had stints at jetzt.de,
sueddeutsche.de and Yahoo.
Outside the door is the red-light district; inside Berlin’s Tacheles
art center are around forty tourists from Silicon Valley. Also there
on that evening in early 2012 is Elon Musk, among the boldest of
entrepreneurs and visionaries. First he was a co-founder of Paypal,
now he is working with Tesla to build perhaps the coolest electric
car in the world. And at some point he would like to fly to Mars
with his company Space X.
Electro beats thump from the speakers, Musk sips his drink and
says that he “doesn’t really have time for this” because he is just
about to send a rocket up to the International Space Station ISS.
He is only here for the sake of a friend, celebrating his 40th
birthday in Berlin.
Silicon Valley moguls come to party… and also to do business in
Berlin. In the last few years, the city has become one of the hipster
centers of the world. So many hipsters that we need to throw a few
of them out again so that we can continue to create sustainable
businesses in Berlin. In the process, overhyped businesses will die,
others will follow them; it is a long road. But even for Elon Musk,
a few rockets crashed at first, or even burned up before they could
reach space. NASA mocked him, then he helped the space authorities:
a few days after his visit to Tacheles, Musk’s firm SpaceX sent
a supply capsule to the ISS.
Berlin is not Silicon Valley! Berlin is just Berlin! In many places
Berlin,(luckily), still exudes the charm of an ailing city, an
incomplete city. This is a good thing! It is exactly this charm that
the city needs to attract people from around the globe. It is thanks
to this charm that Berlin has become Germany‘s start-up
metropolis. Comparisons with Silicon Valley were important as
part of this: Berlin and the German start-up scene needed the
attention. Now the world knows that there is more to
Germany than just the three clone troopers, the omnipresent
Samwer brothers. However, the hype in recent years has not
always been good for the scene. In many places, start-ups are
nothing but pretty, cool accessories which people wish to adorn
themselves with. It is about time that Berlin became good old
Berlin again – and reclaimed its own image. The time of
comparisons must end. Berlin is start-up time! Berlin is a new
start. Berlin is new territory. Berlin is more than Silicon Valley.
Zeitung (WAZ). He worked for Unicum, a university
magazine, in 1999 while studying, and subsequently
moved to the kressreport media service, where he
was employed until 2003. Between 2003 and 2007,
he worked as a freelance journalist, during
which time he already focused on young, aspiring
start-ups. deutsche-startups.de was launched in 2007.
Publisher of Gründerszene
seeks to acquire
Joel Kaczmarek is the editor of Gründerszene, Germany‘s
leading digital business publication. In four years as editorin-chief, he helped to set up the online magazine and further
develop the product side of the business. He contributes to the
editorial content of the magazine, holds talks and represents
Gründerszene at events. Joel has a Master of Arts in European
Media Science and studied Design Thinking at the School
of Design Thinking at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut.
Anyone who has seen creatives and analysts in the same room
together knows that their two philosophies are often separated by
a vast communicational gulf. The free-thinking spirit of a creative
does not care about banal things like order, calculability or economic
viability. Likewise, analysts are often unable to comprehend the
emotionally charged sense of their counterpart‘s ideas, unless there
is a certain element of calculability to them. Berlin‘s digital business
works in much the same way: Berlin is poor when it comes to
capital, but rich in ideas. Even though the German capital city
has long since been promoted to the status of Germany‘s center
for start-ups, and is causing a stir in Europe with its diversity and
flair, among its Internet entrepreneurs, the analytical mindset for
making money is lacking. Berlin has ideas, creativity and diversity,
but as yet no flair for business models. If the city manages to pair up
a daring creative with an open-minded analyst, Berlin‘s image
could change rapidly. If only it were that simple...
co-founder and partner, Index Ventures
Neil RIMER is a Partner at Index
Ventures which he co-founded in 1996.
Neil currently serves on the boards
of Supercell, FundingCircle, HouseTrip,
MOO Print, Photobox, Stack Exchange,
Auxmoney, Kaggle and The Climate
Corporation, among others.
Index has backed a succession
of visionary entrepreneurs, including
the teams behind MySQL, Skype, Last.fm
I was very fortunate to come to Berlin at the start of my degree for
an internship. At the time, I had my mind set on becoming a banker.
I owe the fact that I applied for a position in Berlin to a former
colleague. A certain Oli Samwer, whom I at the time only knew from
newspaper articles, was seeking support for his new start-up. It had
something to do with ringtones. Initially, I was skeptical, and my
parents were not at all convinced. However, after a little research,
I decided that I would indeed pack my bags and move to the capital.
It was the best decision I’ve ever made! Winter 2003/2004: Jamba!
was in the middle of its first major growth spurt. The company
and Betfair. Its portfolio consists
grew from around 100 employees to some 250 in the space of just
3 months! Together with an Indian intern, I was responsible for
test campaigns in the UK. The buzzword of those times was
‘dichtbuchen’ (intense booking), and following successful trial
bookings, the purchases of all advertising lots on everything from
VH1 to MTV allowed for and lead the rapid increase of the KPIs.
I was already impressed with the energy, creativity and internationality of the capital city back then. It therefore should not come
as a surprise that my business partners and I moved to Berlin
soon after completing our studies to realize our own dream
of digital entrepreneurship.
of more than 150 companies in
20 countries including Criteo,
Philipp studied Business Administration
Just-Eat, Dropbox, Path, Supercell,
at the European Business School in
Nasty Gal and Etsy.
Oestrich-Winkel, the University of
Sydney in Australia and the UADE in
Argentina. At the beginning of 2007,
he established his first online start-up
whilst still studying and moved to
Berlin with his business partners, Kai
Hansen and Tobias Johann, a short
time later. In 2011, he founded the young
company builder, Rheingau Founders,
where he is responsible for the fields of
marketing, sales and cooperations.
one of the world’s
Over the last four years, we’ve seen Berlin emerge as one of the
world’s hotspots for technology and entrepreneurial activity. All
of the key ingredients for a successful tech cluster are here, and
Berlin is attracting a wealth of international talent and
entrepreneurs like Marco Boerries and Alexander Ljung. The
creative vibe in the streets of Berlin, which boasts a world-class
art and music scene, also contributes significantly to this mix.
Berlin’s lower living cost is also a strong advantage to cities like
London and Paris. We believe that companies like SoundCloud,
Number4 and ReasearchGate illustrate Berlin’s ability to build
global category leaders and we look forward to seeing more of
them emerge over the next months and years.
It was the best
Managing Partner, Rheingau Founders
Dr. Viola Bensinger is qualified as a lawyer in
Lawyer, Partner at Olswang LLP
Germany and solicitor in England & Wales. She
heads the German Technology team at the
international law firm Olswang. Viola’s clients
are mostly media and technology companies –
especially Internet, e-commerce, electronic
payment and online media. She advises on
the implementation of new business models,
commercial law as well as copyright law,
data protection and insolvency law.
There is probably no
other place where
so little as in Berlin
Berlin is growing
in stature and
relevance as an
co-founder and managing director, Project A Ventures
Berlin is arriving. It is taking longer than we thought or hoped,
however, Berlin is growing in stature and relevance as an online
location. I have no doubt about that. In three to five years, Berlin
will be positioned considerably more clearly than today in terms
of the kind of digital businesses being conceived, financed and –
hopefully successfully – developed in this city.
This position must and will be different from that of the frequently
invoked Silicon Valley: probably less “tech”, likely more diffuse and,
whatever else, more international.
The development of “digital human capital” here over the last five
to six years has been impressive. The financial capital still painfully
lacking as yet, will follow. We need two or three flagship companies
whose lasting financial success will have a determining influence
on their sectors. There are already candidates for the role. They will
represent the kind of business that will grow up out of Berlin and
in turn become a role model to others. I am looking forward to it.
Florian Heinemann, co-founder and managing
director of Project A Ventures is responsible for
marketing, CRM and business intelligence there.
Before Project A he was managing director at Rocke
Internet GmbH, where he built up and led the same
spheres of responsibility. In that time he provided
special support for TopTarif, eDarling and Zalando.
Moreover, Florian Heinemann is a business angel to
over 40 start-ups in the fields of internet and media.
Initially, I was a Berlin-skeptic. To me, Berlin was the old Berlin,
characterized by subsidies for everything, and a lack of service
culture. Possibly, that side of Berlin still exists, somewhere, but at
the same time there probably is no place in Germany, maybe not
even in Europe, were “establishment” means so little as in Berlin.
There’s nothing that could not be questioned, or asked or tried out
– a place to show what you can be or do. This is the environment
for innovation, creativity and genius to develop. Start-up is the big
word for many, not just for tech companies. Everyone benefits from
rethinking old business models and looking at how things are done
elsewhere and by others. That’s how we at Olswang redefined legal
advice. In berlin, all this comes with a social diversity which offers
a home to those who live alternatively, experimentally or are just
different. This is probably, at the same time, the result of and
prerequisite for such a business scene. Where will this all head?
To me, it’s more interesting which other cities will follow the
same path as Berlin.
Transforming skills into
The job of T-Labs is to develop new businesses out of existing skills.
That is why in 2012 T-Labs drew up a program to support the
creation of new companies and business models straight out
of research and innovation work. Its big advantage is that
independent start-up companies of this kind can generally be
more flexible and bring innovations to the market more quickly:
the quick route to market.
The goal is to create at least 10 new companies that generate
revenues of at least 10 million euros on average in the first two
years; hence its succinct name “10x10 Program”. The Siliconplatz
Business Accelerator forms the creative platform for 10x10 Program
companies and will ensure that it will only take a few months to
get from launching a concept to the companies entering the market.
Thus the first candidates were started up within just four months;
since then, several companies – Trust2Core, SureNow, BENOCS,
MotionLogic, Soundcall and mVoIP Factory – have all been
Focus on economic efficiency
DR. HEINRICH ARNOLD, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT
T-Labs’ 10x10 Program has a clear focus on economic efficiency.
These companies can take advantage of the energy around locations
in the Silicon Valley, Silicon Wadi (Israel) and Siliconplatz (as the
Berlin sites on Ernst Reuter Platz and Winterfeldtplatz are known).
Central to all this are services for Deutsche Telekom’s clients who
can harness the strengths of a telecoms company. This is combined
with efficient technologies with which to create an ideal
infrastructure and areas of business for new sales. T-Labs
emphasize access to up-to-date expertise in their core subjects
and identifying new technologies that could become relevant
to the group.
INNOVATION & LABORATORIES, LEITER T-LABS:
“We start up new technology companies to make better use of our
expertise to develop new business potential. We pay particular attention
to the revenue potential of these various business models. For the effort
that goes into building up a firm with 10 people it is often possible
to create something 10-100 times bigger. That is what we are trying
to achieve with our program.”
Sales engineer (pre-sales and post-sales), distribution specialists,
system architect (big data), IT system manager, web developer,
Python and Linux developer for browser-only operating
systems …and many other jobs are available
Founder and CEO, Epic Companies
MAKE THE CITY
Mato Perić is the Founder and CEO of EPIC
Companies, and further serves as Chief
Operating Officer (D&A) at the ProSiebenSat.1 Group. Previously, he was the global
e-commerce CEO of Rocket Internet, where
he built market-leading ventures from
scratch and served as CEO for large,
multinational Ecommerce companies. In
his early career, Mato worked for
McKinsey & Company and 3i. He holds an
MBA from London Business School and
graduated from Universität Hamburg.
Within half a decade, Berlin has become a major international
hub for the Internet industry and gave birth to many startups that
have turned into some of the most admired businesses within their
markets. Berlin not only offers a wide range of tangible benefits to
entrepreneurs, e.g. legal and economic stability, large talent pools,
huge European consumer markets at the doorstep, etc., but also
contributes numerous intangible benefits which make the city
truly unique. Its strong influence from the arts, music and media,
as well as its highly heterogeneous population, cover the city with
a thick layer of creativity. For all entrepreneurs who aspire to be
ahead of the curve, Berlin is a great place to develop and execute
their entrepreneurial vision. This is particularly true for
entrepreneurs that team up with supportive, hands-on partners
like Epic Companies in order to build on their strong, proven
assets and execution capabilities.
founder and CEO, Wooga
of a creative,
Berlin’s major asset is the combination of a creative, international,
cosmopolitan atmosphere with low living costs. A month’s rent
in Berlin equals what you would pay a week in London or San
Francisco. Another advantage of Berlin is its geographic location.
A flight of just two hours can bring in native speakers from 20
countries who work in Berlin but can fly home on weekends from
time to time. This set-up puts Berlin well on the way to becoming
the start-up capital of Europe. The fact is that Berlin’s reputation
as a promising ecosystem for start-ups is currently attracting
entrepreneurs, developers and investors from all over the world.
That is the reality. If, however, the city is to become the start-up
capital – assuming that there is indeed any need for such a title –
there is still a need for quantifiable success stories.
Jens Begemann established Wooga in 2009. With around
50 million players per month, Wooga is one of the most
popular producers of social and mobile games. Jens is
a huge fan of people, games and technology. Leading
a team of talented people who create high quality
games with a social element has fulfilled one of his
lifelong dreams. Before Jens founded Wooga, he was
chief product officer and a management board
member at Jamba (Jamster). In his time there, he helped
the company become the global market leader
in mobile entertainment products.
founder and Managing Director, Amorelie
Lea-Sophie Cramer is Managing Director of
the new online ‘lovestyle’ shop, Amorelie.
de, that she established together with
Sebastian Pollok at the end of 2012.
Amorelie sells high-quality products for
Marcus Börner, established reBuy
a fulfilling love life. Lea-Sophie Cramer
reCommerce GmbH in Hofheim am
was previously Vice President for the
Taunus when he was just 18. The company
Asian market at Groupon. After gradu-
headquarters relocated to Berlin at the
ating from the University of Mannheim
end of 2006. With over 400 employees, the
with a degree in Business Administration,
secondhand trader is today one of Berlin’s
she began her professional career at
largest employers in the field of
management consulting firm, The Boston
Berlin has its very own rhythm. This inspires some and relaxes
others, however it arouses enthusiasm in everyone on a daily basis.
It is the city’s zany nature that allows you to express what everyone
is thinking but no one is saying. It is Berlin’s curiosity that allows
you to do what many are afraid to do and only dream of. It is the
capital city in which “I” and “Could you” come together and become
one. Berlin is the city where everything comes together, the place of
short distances, and the place where you will find everything you
need. It is the city of the hopeful and of traders. Berlin is a better
future! Those not afraid to dig where others do not dare, who wish
to work hard, who wish to thank life every day, who have courage
and hope, who wish to be and to find, live in Berlin.
e-commerce. Marcus has shares in a
number of start-ups, is active in the field
of youth education on a voluntary basis
as a member of the board at the
Ruck-Stiftung, and loves to travel.
just as you
As a Berlin girl born and bred, I am of course utterly passionate about
Berlin. The city is a unique blend of different cultures, down-toearthness and serenity, but also speed and a desire for change. This
can be discerned particularly in the lively start-up scene. It is great to
be a part of this start-up dynamism and to help create jobs.
I also enjoy the diversity that makes Berlin so very ‘rich’. Among
those living in my building are an architect, a life artist and a
managing director. Our ‘neighbors’ are a nightclub, the S-Bahn
tracks, a restaurant and a management consultancy – in typical
Berlin style, all mixed together. And yet still it works. Add to this the
mass of tourists out exploring Hackescher Markt. I also like it when
it’s quiet in my favorite square: I particularly enjoy a hot summer’s
day aboard a boat on the Tegeler See. It’s like being on holiday at the
very heart of Berlin. The city pulsates – economically, politically and
socially. Dear Berlin, please stay just as you are: simply wonderful!
If you were a
you would be
Ride business waves with us
The people change
this sleepy, sluggish,
Martin Sinner is the founder of Idealo. He was
Managing Director at the company for 12 years and
remains a shareholder to this very day. Since 2006, Axel
Springer has been the majority shareholder at Idealo.
The part that often goes wrong, a company’s market
entry, went well in this situation: Idealo is now the
market leader in the price comparison segment in
Germany, employs over 500 people and is continuing to
grow, primarily in other European markets as well.
Martin lived in Silicon Valley from September 2012 to June
2013, and gained a good insight into the differences
between the two locations.
You could say that I am a seasoned veteran in the Berlin start-up
scene and that my company Idealo, which I founded in May 2000
together with Christian and Albrecht, is also a veteran, for virtually
nothing existed before us besides eBay Germany (formerly Alando),
Jamba and Immoscout. Back then, the scene was small, cozy and
rather sleepy; I probably knew about 80% of the ‘interesting’ people.
This has of course now changed. What I really like are the people
who have come to Berlin to establish or work for cool companies
change this sleepy, sluggish, unfriendly and conceited city. Even if
Berlin has by no means arrived where it would like itself to be seen,
it is moving forward and heading in the right direction.
Berlin is probably one of the best places to start a
new venture – be it a non-profit organization, a
personal quest or a for-profit startup. Berlin allows
entrepreneurial minds to experiment on a small
financial footprint while tapping into a trans
disciplinary and international community. Situated
between Asia and the Americas, in the heart of
Europe it is within less than 8 hours time zones
difference from most major places on earth – it
is only missing the airport to actually go there
conveniently, i.e. direct – which is that other side
of Berlin: Aspiring to play in a bigger league than it
actually belongs too (for now). But this overstretching
ambition is not necessarily bad. Especially the Berlin
tech startup community starts to develop into a true
ecosystem. Talent that is being shaped by local, global
acting, companies and further talent that is being
attracted from around the world (and yes, the city
is quite supportive) is meeting local angel investors
and institutional capital from around the world. But
beyond tech, the arts, fashion, the nightlife Berlin is
one of the few major cities where you can actually
raise a family without being forced to leave the
Partner, Global Founders Capital
head of European ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investements
Berlin is becoming the European hub of digital business.
For me as a VC, Berlin is the ideal European location. Start-ups here
in Berlin are strong both creatively and technologically, and their
numbers are growing every day. Berlin attracts talents from across
Europe seeking to make their visions a reality. But many other startups and VCs not based in Berlin are also drawn here. They cannot
avoid visiting Berlin regularly. Every day we have international teams
in our office, pitching their firms to us. When I am abroad, I hear the
same questions again and again, „So what´s happening in Berlin?“ and
then, „I need to come and visit!“ As we make 75% of our investments
outside Germany, Berlin is an ideal hub for us too: we can meet each of
our start-ups around Europe in person within 3 hours.
Fabian Siegel is a serial entrepreneur, who cofounded European payment service ClickandBuy
Jan has been running the European side of
in 2000 where he served as CTO for 7 years, founded
Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI),
personal finance startup Strateer, ran operations
Bertelsmann’s venture fund. BDMI has invested
at browser technology company kikin.com and was
in 28 start-ups and funds in seven European
Co-CEO at Delivery Hero, building the company into a
countries since 2006. Five of them are based in
global leader in online food ordering. He spent 8
Berlin. Prior to his time at Bertelsmann, Jan
years of his career in New York, before coming to
founded two digital publishers in Cologne,
Berlin in 2010. Fabian is partner at Global Founders
which he built up and successfully sold on.
a trans disciplinary
Capital, a global oriented venture capital fund that
Jan studied business and law in Münster and
is investing into entrepreneurs around the world.
Barcelona. He has lived in Berlin since 2011.
E-commerce was the Past: Long
Groundhog Day with Pactas
Always by your Side
Lead-Engineer & Co-Founder Elasticsearch
Those who are in Berlin know that can’t get around the city
without hearing the word „startup“! For me, I was not always
sure about Berlin as a location. 5 years ago, the tech buzz that
we now feel daily was hardly felt. However, today I have the
opportunity to register for literally a new „Meetup“ every day,
or even meet face to face with other developers to exchange
ideas, no matter how exotic the topic or the technology. A
community has been created here that cannot be matched in
Europe and, from what I see, anywhere else is the world. In
my opinion, this Berlin community can attract IT companies
and startups like that of no other in Europe.
Simon Willnauer is the co-founder of Elasticsearch
Inc., is one of the key developers of the popular
full-text search library Apache Lucene, and in 2010
created the technology conference, Berlin Buzzwords.
In 2012, he founded the company together with the
The technology community and the city of Berlin are
symbiotic for success. Although Elasticsearch is globally
developed and distributed, and geographical location is
becoming less important, we think that our office in Berlin
is a must. I firmly believe that we still have a long time
to swim this tech wave here in Berlin.
developers Uri Boness and Shay Banon, as well as
with Steven Schuurman. Elasticsearch is already
considered one of the world’s most popular
open-source projects. Investors include
Benchmark Capital and Index Ventures.
In one of the hit films of the 90s, Groundhog Day, the main
character found himself living that same day over and over,
trying to escape the cycle everyday. This amusing metaphor
for our everyday life has long since turned positive. Today,
we have a greater appreciation for reliable repetition than
ever. Modern city dwellers are short on time, but enjoy
regular attentions and anything that makes their lives easier.
Constant repetition creates trust, as many start-ups have
recognized for themselves, launching web-based subscription
services that deliver selected goods – from clothes to culinary
specialties – to your door, help you subscribe to car-sharing
services or provide music to your heart’s content. But how
can a start-up organize not just personnel and logistics but
also the vast numbers of bills that need to be written when
services are used on this scale? The magic words are
“recurring billing”, and this means nothing less than professional management for these never-ending invoices. This is
where Pactas comes in. If a subscription customer is billed
these days, it is highly likely that the Frankfurt start-up now
based in Berlin has made it possible.
Until now, only big players or companies with simple payment
models have been able to reap the advantages of the subscription-commerce principle. Pactas wants to change that.
A start-up working for start-ups and small and medium-sized
enterprises, the young company and its experienced managers
have set themselves the goal of becoming the leading enabler
of subscription-commerce models in Europe. Pactas.Itero, their
subscription management platform, enables subscription-commerce service providers to cover every facet of the new online
commercial world. From varying pricing models to differentiated
product bundles, all the way through to flexible and adaptable
reference periods, Pactas has a solution. Currently in Berlin,
subscription-commerce companies, or would-be subscriptioncommerce companies, are flourishing. They will all need
professional support and secure technology to generate financial
value from their services. History is repeating itself here as well.
At the end of the day, the services that survive are those that
customers are ready and willing to pay for. With Pactas, that
should be increasingly easier in the future.
Senior Vice President, Deutsche Telekom AG
note to date
Founder and Editor-in-Chief, netzpolitik.org
Markus Beckedahl is a blogger, writer, and entre-
Berlin is a fantastic city, offering diversity that provides a home
for every individual and every important initiative. The large
educational institutions bring young people to the city, and it is
almost natural that a young and creative scene can develop here.
However, when it comes to the start-up scene, I have mixed feelings: on the one hand, I appreciate the commitment and enthusiasm of the many contributors, and believe that extensive creative
potential is pooled here. Another strength within this scene is
that software developers with extensive expertise can be found
here. On the other hand, the approach to the scaling of business
is too cautious. Another symptom is that there have been too few
exits of note to date. These are needed though to attract further
investments, which is why we cooperate with the German Silicon
Valley Accelerator that strives to instill initiatives in Berlin with a
similar level of ambition to that which prevails in Silicon Valley.
preneur. Over the last ten years he has turned
Dr. Heinrich Arnold is Senior Vice President at Deutsche
netzpolitik.org into Germany‘s most prominent
Telekom AG where he is responsible for research and
political blog. Mr. Beckedahl is co-founder of
innovation. He is Head of Telekom Innovation Labor-
newthinking GmbH and the re: publica conferences.
atories (T-Labs), which is based in Berlin and has further
He volunteers as chairman of the non-profit Digi-
sites in Germany as well as in Israel and Silicon Valley.
tale Gesellschaft e.V. which is active in defending
Under his leadership, a series of significant contri-
fundamental rights in our digital age, and is
butions were created for Telekom products and infra-
Media Advisor at Landesmedienanstalt
structure. A variety of business models and newly-
established companies are based on T-Labs project
outcomes. Within the 10x10 program, these include
Trust2Core, SureNow, BENOCS, MotionLogic,
Soundcall and mVoIP Factory.
Moving to Berlin was one of the best decisions of my life. There is
no other city in Germany where you can start to feel at home so
quickly. There is always a host of events going on inviting you to
move between different communities and worlds. Also, if you can‘t
find the kind of event you are looking for, then you can just create
it yourself. Where else can you find this spirit of improvisation,
Internet worked thinking, and ‚just-doing-it‘ yourself attitude?
Nowhere else would we have been as successful in establishing the
re: publica conference.
However, above all, Berlin still benefits from relatively low rents
and the extremely broad range of cultural events the city plays
host to. Yet both of these things are in jeopardy. In many neighborhoods rents are rising faster than incomes. The club culture is also
threatened by closures. Transitional property usage is decreasing
unfortunately, leaving less and less space available.
But Berlin needs this free space to enable continued innovation.
Affordable office space and places to live and recharge creative
energy in the evening.
Berlin provides space for visionaries. No other city in Europe gives
you so much creative leeway, although just like everywhere else,
there are still bureaucratic hurdles to get over.
I grew up in Berlin and feel rooted in the city, especially in my
neighborhood of Wedding. I believe in engagement, good,
innovative ideas, in Berlin and in print. A print shop that jointly
invented online printing is perfectly at home in this start-up city.
That is one of the reasons why we invested in two locations here.
Right from the start I saw the internet as an opportunity, not
competition. Today we offer millions of print products in our
online shop. Our machines are at the cutting edge of technology
too. The printing sector is subject to constant change. Developing
ideas and finding creative approaches is not only important for
us, but is also a symbol of Berlin as a whole. That is why we feel at
home in our Mitte location, and want to continue to grow here.
Tomislav Bucec founded the LASERLINE printing center in Berlin
in 1997. Today the firm is the largest medium-sized printing
company in Berlin, and is one of the sector‘s online pioneers in
Europe. He was one of the first to venture onto the web with
his printing business, thus bringing transparency to printing
prices. Today the online print shop offers a range of over 10
managing partner Laserline
Director General, BITKOM e.V.
dr. Bernhard Rohleder first came to Berlin
No other city
in Europe gives
you so much
in 1977 as the member of a West German
volleyball team. In 1999, he established BITKOM
here with a handful of others. BITKOM Services
GmbH and BITKOM Research GmbH followed
in 2001 and 2011 respectively. Today the group
employs a workforce of 120. Rohleder recently
served on the German Bundestag’s “Internet
and digital society” commission of enquiry.
Yes, Berlin is of course the start-up capital of Germany, if not
Europe. There is a constant stream of managers from major
corporations who flock to the betahaus. They wish to understand
how young company founders do it; their mentality, how the
workplace of the future looks, how genuine innovations come
about and how disruption works. These days, global corporations
are pumping millions of euros into locations in Berlin, as well as
networks and major events, in order to be in contact with the
scene. Berlin is surprised by its own success, which came virtually
overnight – unplanned and uncontrolled. No funding programs,
targeted location policy or subsidies. Instead, a relatively large
amount of living space, comparatively low prices, a great deal of
culture, an extremely international public. And no closing times.
Berlin is currently still the antithesis of Munich, Frankfurt,
Düsseldorf – and perhaps for this reason so very successful.
Emerging Business Lead, Microsoft Deutschland
Berlin is not
Berlin is diverse, unconventional, extreme, free, inspiring and
resolute. Experiencing Berlin once rules out any neutral attitude
to it. It is emotional and demands your full attention. Art, culture,
politics, music and “my next project” – all make themselves evident
on a daily basis in this city. Ignoring them is not an option. It is
all so exciting and new that no one wants to or is able to ignore it.
Berlin has done all the right things to make itself an international
center for creativity, intelligence and innovation. However, the city
has now reached a fork in the road. Although it is one of the most
sought-after locations for the arts, this is not yet fully reflected in
the economy. A host of ground-breaking decisions now have to be
made correctly. The possibility of becoming the next Silicon Valley
is mooted. This requires an entrepreneur-friendly policy, education
facilities comparable with Stanford University, venture capital from
Germany and beyond and sensible linking of the old and new
economy with start-up teams which are not afraid of major,
commercially successful ideas. Berlin must decide whether it is
going to be satisfied with things as they are or whether all the
stakeholders want to encourage start-ups to provide globally
successful services and products.
At Microsoft, Stephan Jacquemot is responsible for
working with innovative new businesses. Since summer
2013, this has involved particularly the establishment of
the “Microsoft Ventures” investment arm and the related
accelerator at the Microsoft Center at Unter den Linden
17. This job requires constant commuting between the
Munich headquarters and the start-up capital Berlin.
A life between a rural idyll and a pulsating metropolis.
Chairman of the board of Investitionsbank Berlin
I was recently asked why there are so few big exits in Berlin.
I believe this is due to the types of startups Berlin tends to generate:
social and e-commerce. Social startups are a hit based business.
It’s difficult to assess market acceptance before having spent
substantial time and money. On the other hand, e-commerce seems
to be doing fine with juggernauts like Zalando and reBuy. However,
most e-commerce startups target the domestic German market.
This severely limits their exit opportunities.
Berlin needs to start creating technology startups. Most large exits,
especially in smaller countries like Israel or Sweden, have been
technology companies. Think ICQ or Skype. Technology and
intellectual property are easily transferable. When multinational
companies acquire technology, geography is less of a concern than
what value it generates.
An increasingly healthy mix of engineers and business founders are
in Berlin, but their startups are not technology oriented. In order to
become a successful startup hub, more engineers need to embrace
entrepreneurship and found tech companies. When they decide to
do so, I’m here to support them.
Berlin needs to
Managing Partner, Hasso Plattner Ventures Management GmbH
Yaron has over 15 years of
experience in IT and VC, having
built and invested in emerging
technologies, bringing them to
global markets. Even before
becoming Partner at Hasso
Plattner Ventures in 2010, Yaron
was involved in the creation
of over 20 startups. He assists in
identifying, avoiding, dealing
with the pitfalls faced by
portfolio companies. Yaron
holds an MBA from INSEAD,
France and a B.Sc. in information
systems engineering from
Ben-Gurion University in Israel.
Ulrich Kissing is chairman of the board of Investitionsbank
Berlin. He took over this position in 2009 after more than 20
years at Deutsche Bank. As well as its own venture capital
company, Investitionsbank Berlin offers numerous
programs for promoting innovation and technology,
along with a wide range of consulting services
for start-ups and SMEs.
The latest study by our economists shows that the digital industry –
which is often more at home in the virtual world – is a very real
phenomenon. Its contribution to Berlin’s net product amounts
to 3.9 billion euros, some 4 % of the GDP, which now exceeds the
proportion of the high-profile construction industry currently very
active and visible in Berlin. This is also gaining international
attention, as we are noticing with our venture capital company,
which has never before seen so much interest from international
investors with co-investments in Berlin IT companies. Berlin’s digital
industry is developing very successfully, and I would like other
technical fields in Berlin to benefit from investors` awareness,
and also hope that this dynamism carries over to other sectors.
If it were not for Berlin, there would be no EyeEm. In 2010 the city
made it possible for us to fine-tune the initial drafts of our app with
relatively few resources. It all began with 4 founders and an idea.
Today we are 21 people from 14 different countries. This too is Berlin:
a meeting place for a constant stream of talent from all over the world.
In Berlin, many things are possible that would be impossible elsewhere. For example, we were able organize our Photo Hack Day in
the drained swimming pool at the former Stadtbad in Wedding, or
most recently at Platoon, a building made of 40 shipping containers,
hacking the future of photography. Where else can this be done?
It was always our dream to bring EyeEm photos to prestigious
photographic institutions like MoMA or C/O Berlin. At the
beginning of the year, at C/O Berlin this was possible. Thousands
of EyeEm photos were printed, exhibited and, at the end, taken home
by visitors. The next day C/O Berlin had to leave the Postfuhramt.
A pharmaceutical company bought the building and is now using
it as company headquarters.
That too is Berlin. We are looking forward to the future and hope
to be able to make our own small contribution.
EyeEm is the world‘s first community and marketplace for mobile photography. Founded by the
photography lovers Florian Meissner, Lorenz
Aschoff, Ramzi Rizk and Gen Sadakane in 2010, the
smart phone app is actively used in more than 130
countries today and is available for free for iOS and
Android in 21 languages.
In Berlin, many
things are possible
Jetzt scannen, lesen und Probeabo bestellen.
Oder direkt unter www.brandeins.de
Principal Partech Ventures
Nenad Marovac has more than 20 years of venture capital and
European media, IT services, Internet and telecom companies.
and technology sectors. Nenad is the Founder and Managing
His investments include Synergon (IPO: LSE/BSE), Hogart, Internet
Partner of DN Capital which is a media and technology early
Gabriel Matuschka started working
At Advent International, he spent five years investing in
private equity investment experience in the media, telecom
Securities (Acquired by Euromoney) and @Entertainment (IPO
stage and growth capital investor with offices in London
Nasdaq: Acquired by UPC). Prior to Advent International, Nenad
with Partech Ventures in 2012, and
and Palo Alto. His investments include Apsmart, Datanomic
was a Financial Analyst in the leveraged buyout group of Bank-
is based in Berlin. Prior to working
(Acquired by Oracle), Eyeka, Mister Spex, Shazam Entertainment,
ers Trust in New York focusing on media and communications.
Tbricks, Windeln, OLX (Sold shares to Naspers), JacobsRimell
Mr. Marovac received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School
(Acquired by Amdocs). He is also Chairman and CEO of DN Capital.
and a B.S. in Business Administration cum laude from San Diego
acquired by brands4friends in 2010.
Nenad founded DN Capital in June 2000 after leaving Advent
State University with Distinction in Finance.
Before TripHunter, Gabriel worked
International, one of the world›s leading global private
with Partech, he was co-founder
and CEO of TripHunter, which was
as a consultant in IBM’s European
Managing Partner, DN Capital
practice. Gabriel is also the founder
and co-organizer of the bimonthly
Berlin Tech Meetup.
I love this city. There are very few other places in Europe and
certainly none in Germany that are home to so many different
things, forms of life, people and stories, past or present. Like so
many others, I’m not originally from this city. Yet, I’m proud that
with the startup world, our capital has finally found something that
it’s good at, and positively famous for from an economics point of
view. Although it is also failing at pretty much everything from
unemployment to airports, and never really was sexy – irrespective
of people claiming this.
However, Berlin is more than a place of increasingly successful new
companies: It’s a city in which a glamorous startup office building
like The Factory can be located right next to the former death strip
of the wall once separating this city. It’s a talent magnet for people
equity houses, where he was a Partner in the London office.
media and telecommunications
from around the globe, be it the US, France or Israel. Not a natural
thing to happen, considering the city’s dark history. With Partech,
we are the first major international Venture Capital fund to open an
office in Berlin. We are here because we know that this continuous
inflow of great talent from around the world will lead to ever more
great startups being started and scaled. It takes a lot of work and is
a collaborative effort, but we will get there – and it will make us all
ever prouder to be part of this amazing city.
I first went to Berlin in 1991 just after the
wall came down after spending two years
on Wall Street. Initially it was for a threemonth intensive Goethe Institute course
to learn German. During that time I was
approached by the Treuhandanstalt to be
an Advisor to help sell former DDR
companies in the Special Assets
Department (Sondervermogen). At the
age of 24 and my boss at 26 we together
were engaged with huge responsibility in
such an exciting period for Berlin. It was a
pleasure to be a part of that… Now 20 years
later Berlin is going through another huge
change. Berlin is now emerging as one of
the most interesting cities in Europe
combining a very strong artistic and
creative community with a very vibrant
entrepreneurial ecosystem. The two go
hand in hand very well together and I
expect Berlin to produce some very interesting and innovative companies in the
future. I am happy to be part of this new
period of Berlin and together with my firm
DN Capital we are now very active with
investments such as Mister Spex,
Scarosso, Just Book, and L’arcobaleno.
Berlin is now
emerging as one
of the most
Director of the Center of Entrepreneurship at the TU Berlin
Together with Prof. Dr. Jan Kratzer,
Agnes von Matuschka heads the
Center for Entrepreneurship (ZfE)
at the TU Berlin. The TU Berlin brings
together expertise in entrepreneurship research, teaching and start-up
services within the ZfE, and has been
designated a member of the “EXIST –
University-Based Business Start-Ups”
[“EXIST – Die Gründerhochschule”]
program of the Federal Ministry of
Economics and Technology (BMWi).
Every year, 21 high-tech start-ups are
launched at the ZfE. In 2011, start-ups
launched at the TU Berlin generated
a turnover totaling more than
one billion euros.
One of the TU Berlin‘s tasks is to make ideas conceived at the
university useful to the general public. Many innovative start-ups
are launched at universities. With 30,000 Natural Science and
Engineering students, the TU Berlin‘s potential is huge. Start-up
companies begin in people‘s heads: at our “Start-Up Days”, we bring
the start-ups and students of the TU Berlin together with Berlin‘s
wider start-up scene. We help company founders by supporting
them for twelve months, developing incubator rooms, making a
prototype workshop available, and providing contacts in the
industry: the Business Angel and VCs. As a consequence, our
network of mentors, industry partners and investors grows every
day. Thus an explosive mix is created in Berlin. Preliminary,
measurable successes can be seen: in the first half of 2013, more
start-up teams were supported within the TU Berlin‘s business
incubator than in the whole of the previous year. For us, this means
that we are currently entering into a new age of entrepreneurship.
We are currently
a new age of
Founder of the Entrepreneurs
Against this backdrop, does Berlin have the potential to become the
next Silicon Valley?
Despite this frequently being considered a done deal in the media,
I believe it is unlikely in the foreseeable future. Two decisive
ingredients, which make this model unique, and which cannot
merely be copied, are essentially lacking for this.
I’ll never do that again. You can play this game forever here. Step
outside the Bay Area and try that anywhere else in the United
States – let alone anywhere in the world – and you’ll never get
another job.” 5
While discussions are taking place in the Valley on whether “failure
is the new badge of honor” and part of the start-up martyr culture,
the failure of start-ups here in Germany unfortunately assumes
an entirely different dimension due to the complexity of German
insolvency laws, and tends to lead to collateral damage to the
personal liability of the entrepreneurs involved. Steve Blank’s
comment that “you’ll never get another job” is a very real problem
in Germany, which all those involved are reluctant to address.
By this I do not so much mean the vast sums of money with which
the Pentagon fed the basic and contract research at Californian
universities during the Cold War. After all, the West Coast region
is not called Social Media Valley today, but rather is named after an
ingredient that is key to all types of weapons systems.
Club Berlin, Startup Camp Berlin
and Twittwoch. Mentor of the
Startup Bootcamp and Microsoft
Accelerator Berlin. Advocate
of agile start-up methods (lean
start-up), management and
Hipster or company builder – Was that it, Berlin?
“I would like to announce that we have stopped accepting new
start-ups into HackFwd three years, three months and three days
after we first began supporting Europe’s most passionate geeks.”
Lars Hinrichs, September 2013. 1
It was one of the most remarkable attempts to date to bring the
Valley – or at least parts of the idea behind it – to Germany;
reservations of the engineers, the geeks, the “rest of us”, against
the suits, the entrepreneurs in residence from the WHU and HHL
included. And it failed – 3,000 pitches and 8 million euros later,
as if an attempt had been made to relocate a foreign species to a less
Hamburg is not Berlin, and the consolidation of a market exaggeration,
here the mini bubble among the accelerators, is a normal reaction of
a dynamic system. It is therefore a good time to take a critical look at
the state of the hipster nation:
• There are countless accelerators in Berlin. After the company
builders and ambitious lone wolves come the corporate accelerators.
Overall, this is a good development, since everything is becoming
• The density of accelerators is magnetic; many new people and
ideas from all the four corners of the globe are drawn to the city.
• Gidsy and Amen were the first acqui-hires of note.
• While the crowdfunding of projects that ultimately become
companies appears to be dominant in the USA, crowdinvesting has
become a substantial financing option in Germany (cf. Seedmatch,
Companisto, Bergfürst). One example: Urbanara aims to generate
between 2.99 and 3.74 million euros through its Bergfürst campaign
(299,200 new shares with a book building range of 10–12.50 euros). 2
• One typical market failure in the initial phase of a start-up ecosystem is funding. There are barriers to market entry on both sides:
new Angels struggle to access “good” deals, and founders with no
previous contacts in the active scene struggle to find funding. This
reinforces the impression that the usual subjects divide up the seed
investments between themselves, with accordingly low post-money
• … which consequently dilute the founders to such an extent
in subsequent financing rounds t that one can hardly talk of
entrepreneurs any more.
• Where is Berlin’s Sand Hill Road? In Torstrasse? Earlybird Venture
Capital is relocating to Münzstrasse. You can count the other VCs on
For me, it also is not so much about the German clone debate (or
the associated supposed lack of creativity), which is pretty much
incomprehensible to most US entrepreneurs and investors in their
highly stylized principles. Every start-up is more or less a remix of
technologies and/or business models; e.g., it does not bother anyone
that all automobiles tend to have four wheels – one at each corner.
The second, fundamental problem with Berlin lies in the early-phase
financing opportunities for start-ups. When the political sphere does
not know how to proceed, a commission is generally set up. The
outcome of their lengthy work is often a well-meaning funding
program. There are meanwhile so many, on state, federal and EU
levels, that they are having a crowding-out effect on the Business
Angel level. Unfortunately, it can be seen that a privately invested
previously taxed euro has far greater leverage. Start-up development
is different when it is possible to focus on the customers rather than
on preparing the next auditors’ office report on the allocation of
funds. Not to mention the intelligence of the private investors,
who ideally open doors and initiate business.
This does not mean that the old debate will not come up again. After
the Pinterest/Pinspire debacle a few years ago, who would have
thought that the time of 1:1 copies would be repeated again. Or, to
sing from Deutsche Startups: “Muss das sein? Fashion.de kupfert
eiskalt bei Wanelo ab.” [“Is this really necessary? Fashion.de copies
Wanelo with cold calculation.”]
Something else is missing. To be precise, German mentality is
standing in its own way again. A Ukrainian migrant and meanwhile
US citizen once described one of the problems that so limits Berlin’s
potential as follows:
Crowdinvesting platforms are nevertheless currently enjoying a
high degree of interest among private investors, who have been
unable to participate in the financing of start-ups to date; perhaps
it is a trend and not just a flash in the pan. Despite this, it is
characteristic that Berlin presently still lacks an equivalent to the
AngelList. Or must manage without one. Forget about the first Angel
Bootcamp. For those wishing to take a look into the world of the
Silicon Valley Angels at this point, we recommend Semil Shah’s post
on “Making An Addition To My Twitter Bio: ‘Investor.’” 6
“The very first company I started failed with a great bang. The
second one failed a little bit less, but still failed. The third one, you
know, proper failed, but it was kind of okay. I recovered quickly.
Number four almost didn’t fail. It still didn’t really feel great, but it
did okay. Number five was PayPal.”
For Berlin, these two shortcomings mean: (1) Attempts to copy the
Valley are doomed to fail: while the consolidation of people, ideas
and (some) capital in one place is required for the formation of
clusters, it is not enough. (2) A change to our cultural image of ourselves through the linguistic distinction between debt and guilt
is required. In the 21st century, the captain no longer needs to go
down with his ship and also no longer belongs in a (virtual) debtors’
tower. And (3) the start-up culture is not supported by distributing
taxpayers’ money as subsidies to those prepared to invest in this
market anyway. This is once again merely clientelism due to
short-term PR strategies in the run-up to elections.
The Ukrainian in question is Max Levchin, the former CTO at
PayPal. And his words are from FailCon 2009 – a very un-German
conference that focuses entirely on failures. 3
We have identified one of the lacking components: while self-help
groups such as “Anonyme Insolvenzler” [“Insolvency anonymous”]
are being formed here in Germany. 4
Silicon Valley draws its strength from just this phenomenon. In the
words of Steve Blank – the father of the lean start-up methodology:
“The biggest thing that makes this area a technology cluster is, you
know what we call a failed entrepreneur in Silicon Valley? Experienced. Nowhere else in the world do we say that. Anywhere else in
the world if you failed you embarrassed your family, your community, your state. Not here. Failure is accepted as experience. And that
changes this culture. Screwed it up? Great, as long as you don’t blame
it on someone else and you say: listen; let me tell you what I learned.
I believe we can begin entirely pragmatically to make the insolvency
regulations competitive on the European level, so that “experienced”
entrepreneurs are not required to ‘escape’ to London and will
perhaps instead stay here. Moreover, the appropriate tax funding
of seed investors beyond kickbacks in the purchase of shares could
http://gigaom.com/2011/03/27/steveblank/ [ab 21:38 min]
SO MUCH HAS
IN THE PAST YEARS
Berlin has always been international and somehow „cooler”
than any other German city. Above all, this is due to the
space the city offers to art and culture. Even today, Berlin
still manages to be “in touch” with its subcultures, thank God,
and does not push them away. No street here is the same as
the next; however transformed they become, districts remain
as heterogeneous as ever, which is quite unlike cities such as
London or New York.
That is also what makes the city a good breeding ground for
the online scene and for start-ups. An awful lot has happened
here in recent years, but Berlin is still in the very early days
of the start-up ecosystem.
Opportunities exist in getting blue chip companies and strong
representatives of the old economy to invest enthusiastically
in innovation without focusing SOLELY on short-term ROI.
When looked at as a whole, today’s investment opportunity
is Germany’s small and medium-sized enterprise sector
Simon Schaefer had his first experience
with the Internet industry, working
as a designer in 1997. In 2002 he was the
(then) youngest person to be accepted
as a member of the Art Directors Club
in Germany. In 2010 he founded his own
start-up totalCommerce, a software-asa-service provider for estate agents. As a
partner at JMES Vermögensverwaltungs
GmbH, Simon has been an active investor
and business angel in Berlin’s Internet
and technology sector since 2011. He is
also one of the two founders of the
Berlin Startup Campus Factory.
Tagesspiegel KÖPFE –
Lesen Sie die spannenden Geschichten der Berliner Wirtschaft
und lernen Sie ihre Macher kennen
In no other city than Berlin could I have so effectively pursued my
mission to give entrepreneurs a voice nationally and internationally
in order to make their businesses successful. Over ten years ago,
when I was supporting Europe‘s most successful Internet entrepreneurs, the Samwer brothers, the feeling that Berlin would
develop stronger from year to year was already present. Berlin has
since continued to grow as a center for creative entrepreneurs from
all over the world, and gained attention not only at a national level,
but a global focus as well. Today, I regularly visit tech hubs such as
London, New York, San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Singapore in order
to gather information, get involved and bring people together. What
particularly stands out about Berlin is its pool of international talent
and its hugely dynamic growth. This young and lively capital city is
itself still a start-up and, for anyone wanting to get things moving, it
offers the ideal platform to turn ideas into practice.
| NR. 71
OKT 2013 | 6,50 EURO
Nur 6,50 ¤
INER KÖPFE | OKT 2013
de r tages spiegel
B E R LI N E R
Das Zauberwor t der
plant ein Science Center
an der Heidestraße
Tilo Bonow is the founder of piâbo
public relations, the leading
agency for the digital industry,
and an active Business Angel. The
aim of piâbo is to actively support
entrepreneurs in achieving their
local and global growth goals and
thus make a significant contribution
to the success of their enterprises.
This young and
city is itself
still a start-up
Unternehmer mit Philos
RT bringt die
en Ideen voran
Erhältlich im gut sortierten Pressefachhandel.
Oder gleich 3 Ausgaben plus Geschenkset für nur 9,– € bestellen:
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Founder & CEO of piâbo public relations
and Business Angel
We like working in Berlin and we like living in Berlin. This city
is always on the move, always reinventing itself. It never stands
still. While the approach to breaking new ground is cautious in
other places, here people have the courage to try out new things.
Berlin is full of energy, creativity and ideas. In an environment
like this, you can bring together a very diverse range of people
who turn collective ideas into success. No other region in
Germany has produced as many successful start-ups as Berlin,
and nowhere else have so many of them succeeded in reaching
maturity. And this trend is set to continue. Life here is exciting
– and not just working life. Berlin frees the mind. This is where
we come from and this is where we belong.
allow them to
take on a few
Dr. Dominik Matyka decided to found his own
company at a young age. He speaks five languages and
studied (International Business Studies) in Vienna,
London and St. Gallen. He gained his doctorate from
the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin). plista
is Dr. Matyka‘s third business start-up. Founded in
2008, this pioneering Berlin-based company offering
innovative solutions for targeted digital advertising
currently has a workforce of 100, works for several
thousand companies and is the market leader in its
sector in five countries.
CEO and co-founder of plista
Co-founder Passion Capital
Berlin, Berlin, we’re going to Berlin! Maybe football fans have
a better flair for innovation? I first made an angel investment
in Berlin in 2000 and wow, has Berlin developed since then.
Every time I visit Mitte, my heart beats a little faster: is there
any city in Germany where you could hear more international
languages than here?
I am very optimistic about the next ten years, and making the
move from “poor, but sexy” to “rich, Berlin style.” It will probably
not be enough to help Hertha win the League, but it should allow
them to take on a few global market leaders.
Stefan Glänzer spent 7 years trying out all kinds
of ideas before I had the first good one: ricardo.de.
Angel investor: first backer of firms such as
Last.fm, Daily Deal, Mendeley, Kaufda. Venture
capital: founder of Passion Capital,
based in London. Convinced that we’ll lift
the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
by lifelong learning!
Berlin has the
potential to play
a leading role on an
in the medium term
Founder and CEO, Heilemann & Company
Fabian Heilemann established DailyDeal in 2009 together
with his brother, selling it to Google in 2011 for 114 million
US d ollars. Since February 2013, the passionate windsurfers
have once again headed up the company themselves. The
Heilemann brothers also get involved as Business Angels,
passing their expertise on to other digital companies via
their e-business agency, Heilemann & Co.
In 2009 Berlin was not an option for us. I studied in Hamburg and
subsequently founded DailyDeal there with my brother, Ferry.
In Hamburg we had a good network and good start-up conditions
overall. However, our Business Angel Michael Brehm strongly
recommended we relocate to Berlin. We moved in November 2009,
hired 20 people within just a few weeks and already went live
in December. We were the first to bring couponing to Europe.
We have never regretted our decision to relocate to Berlin.
The proximity to VCs and other founders, the city’s international
flair, its appeal to employees, and the relatively low cost of living are
clear advantages. No other city in Germany offers infrastructure of
a comparable quality. Provided there are tax incentives for investors,
Berlin also has the potential to play a leading role on an international
level in the medium term.
Today, we are proud to contribute to Berlin’s digital ecosystem,
in addition to our work through DailyDeal: as Business Angels,
we reinvest capital in start-ups, and help other companies with
our e-business agency, Heilemann & Co.
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, one of Germany’s top-ranked business
schools, offers general management degree and non-degree programs in an international
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Founder and CEO, DaWanda
Berlin is „the place to be“ for the start-up scene
and is right up there with all the most happening
international cities. It is a Mecca for young
artists and designers from all over the world and
a hotbed of creativity. The city is a magnet for
innovative entrepreneurs and qualified personnel
from all over Europe, who are drawn here by
the affordable cost of living and exciting cultural
scene. 2,500 Internet start-ups are active in
Berlin, and between 10,000 and 30,000 jobs have
been created in this industry. As well as being
an inspiring setting, Berlin also offers space for
personal development – both professionally and
privately. My haven in the city, my very own
little green patch, is in the Charlottenburg district
– over 15 meters above the ground.
Urban gardening on the balcony of my office
provides me with a good counterbalance to my
work in the virtual world. While the raspberries,
tomatoes and flowers grow up here, down in the
city new trends are germinating, innovative ideas
are blossoming and new companies are sprouting
up. Colorful, wild and fertile – that‘s Berlin.
Rayk Reitenbach Helming
Investment Manager IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft
At IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, we have a particularly close
relationship with Berlin, as we have been providing venture capital
exclusively in Berlin since 1997. Over the past five to ten years, we
have first handedly experienced Berlin‘s evolution into one of the
most creative and dynamic start-up hubs, particularly in the digital
industries. For VC investors, Berlin offers rich pickings. There are
numerous excellent investment opportunities, both in the early
and the growth phase. Not just German, but also European and
international VCs are finding themselves increasingly drawn to
this economy. We can see this directly in our investment statistics:
For every euro invested by us, other investors are taking a share in
our portfolio companies worth seven euros on average. I am also
convinced that Berlin will increasingly make a name for itself
internationally thanks to highly attractive exit stories. In any
case, we and our portfolio companies are working diligently
to make this happen every day.
Rayk Reitenbach has been the investment manager
of the Creative Industries division of IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft since 2007. His remit includes the babbel.com,
daparto.de, tape.tv, zoobe.com and clipkit equity programs.
He is a self-confessed networker and particularly likes
the rapid channels of communication within the Berlin
After postings in London and Moscow,
Claudia Helming founded DaWanda, the online
marketplace for designer and handmade products,
with Michael Pütz in December 2006. The company
currently employs 150 staff from 15 countries, and
the marketplace is available in seven languages.
Before DaWanda, Claudia Helming‘s previous posts
included head of operations at lastminute.com and
a business development role at Passado.
and fertile –
First, there were the urban pioneers; lured by empty,
rent-less spaces and anarchy. Then, came the early adopters
with their art collectives, profit-less projects, and lawless
drinking. After, came the hipsters sporting their trendy
fashion, reading the New York Times‘ Style Section, and Club
Mate addiction. Today, only those who found roots have
endured. For Berlin isn‘t what it used to be – a transient,
hyped environment for creative anarchism and cheap rent.
It‘s home; at least to some of us.
Hype be damned:
might make it.
Although still a work in progress, the city has managed to
create a local culture in the last decade or so. People now flee
to Berlin in search of a proper environment to raise children,
start a business, or go to restaurants. And even though
Berghain will never cease – oh, no we hope it doesn‘t – the
Berlin of the 48-hour drug-binges, starving artistes, and
kebab as top culinary accomplishment is now a hindsight
memory, visited only by tourists and teenagers.
Two in one: Even tailoring has gone online!
New, innovative ideas help to bring traditional businesses back into the spotlight. XUITS, for
example, combines the craftsmanship of men‘s tailoring to the needs of a modern online society. XUITS
not only offers expert advice in a stylish in-store ambience, but also allows men to design his
own suit on the web, and order with a click of the mouse. Six years ago, the young startup company
began in Frankfurt am Main in an old villa were businessmen, bankers & Co. were having their
business shirts and suits tailor-made. Instead of mass produced goods, importance was placed on
custom, individual products. The new trend for Tailor-Made Fashion was a success: Further stores were
opened in Cologne and Munich, with one in Dusseldorf to open in November. The XUITS creators offer
even more: They also offer a virtual online fashion studio. With the new website xuits.com,
every man can see for themselves how easy it is to create an individual look, and order a
customized shirt and suit from the comfort of home. Curious? Visit the website, and receive a
discount of 50 euros with the code „Hundert“ – because a perfectly custom suit never goes out of style!
However, freedom – the driving constant about Berlin –
remains. The incomparable feeling of walking down the street
wearing only socks and a piñata top without raising any eyebrows is still here. And for that, we will always be grateful.
Long live whatever Berlin might become.
Sugarhigh is a bilingual daily email magazine
featuring the latest in contemporary
culture in Berlin from art, music, fashion,
food, film, events and more. sugarhigh is free
and strictly editorial.
Fashion hub Berlin
Berlin as a fashion hub is an inexhaustible subject. One of the
reasons it is so hard to find a simple, short way of characterizing it
would probably be the city itself. Berlin is rightly considered one of
the most creative locations in the world. Berlin’s unique postreunification situation has drawn in designers, artists, musicians
and other creative minds from all over the world. This creative
scene is multi-facetted, colorful, defies categorizing, and helps shape
the city’s flair. Berlin’s fashion scene is the same.
Besides the designers from across the world who settle in Berlin, its
numerous fashion colleges are a constant source of young talent.
They are all vying for attention for their creations from the press
and potential customers. While media interest in Berlin’s fashion
and creative scene has been high from the beginning, there has
been a need to develop its commercial aspect. Fortunately, it is now
becoming less relevant to say “you can be creative in Berlin but
business is done elsewhere”. However, this development has not just
sprung up out of thin air.
Intense investment has been a key driver of increased commercial
success for creativity in general, with a deep focus on the fashion
industry. The special relevance of the creative industries for Berlin
has been known here for some time, and numerous development
initiatives have been created by the state of Berlin and business
in the city. Recent examples include coaching programs to help
young fashion designers expand their businesses professionally,
credit programs that create the necessary financial conditions to
start up and then grow successfully, along with joint exhibitions
at fashion fairs around the world to enable young fashion labels
to compete internationally. This distinct investment culture is
another characteristic of Berlin as a fashion hub.
(Tom Felber, Co-Publisher Superior Magazine & Business Consultant)
„We are completely inter focused, but
from the beginning have also included
shops in our planning.“
The idea: Making Premium Quality Accessible
to a Greater Audience
Three years ago, Moritz Offeney and Marco Reiter founded
the brand Scarosso with the goal to make Italian style shoes
available at reasonable prices. The idea came while they were
studying in Milan, Italy. Born in Vienna, Marco Reiter obtained
his MBA from the prestigious Bocconi Business Universty after
completing his undergraduate business degree. Moritz Offeney
completed his law degree from Bocconi, and during their time
at school, both were involved in a University project to create a
business plan for a fully functional men’s shoe label.
From the beginning, the classic, hand-made shoes were sold
through the company‘s online store. As startup entrepreneurs
of the Web 2.0 generation, the two founders moved from
Milan to Berlin after their studies.
Since 2010, Scarosso has successfully positioned itself as an
established online retailer, with a product range that includes
half and full boots, Monks, Chelsea boots, moccasins, Oxfords
and tassel loafers. Since early 2012, they expanded their range
from men’s only to now also offering woman’s shoes including
ballet flats, boots, moccasins and high heels.
All Scarosso products are handmade in small to medium-sized
factories in Italy, and are made of 100 percent exclusive Italian
The economic success of the label, the high repeat purchase
rates and low return rates proves that Scarosso shoes are
a true premium product. Committed customer satisfaction
and continuous growth also support the strength and respect
of the company.
On The Way to Becoming a Multichannel Retailer
In April of this year, Scarosso opened their first store in
Hamburg’s Galleria Passage, and shortly after a second store
at Berlin’s Hackeschen Höfen in June. Since 2012 Scarosso has
also been touring across Europe with a series of pop-up stores,
indicating that an originally pure e-commerce player can also
be successful offline.
Surrounded by a simple, stylish design, both the Hamburg
and Berlin stores offer customers the possibility to purchase
desired shoes via computer terminals or with a sales person.
This proves to be a perfect synergy between e-commerce and
retail. Moritz Offeney believes that the stores are primarily a
significant and further contact point, complimenting the online
marketing of Scarosso, and less than just a mere shoe store.
The concept and idea behind Scarosso already demonstrates
the shopping behaviors of tomorrow. Important for both
Marco Reiter and Moritz Offeney is to further develop
synergies between online and offline markets in the future.
THE HUNDERT AT EVENTS
The AllFacebook Marketing Conference is not only one of the largest social
“The Hundert” will be distributed
for free Germany wide, and will
be available at the following
conferences and events:
This year‘s EBSpreneurship forum will take place on 24-25 October at the EBS
University under the motto „Turning Challenges into Results“. With around
500 participants from all over the world, this is Europe‘s largest forum and
At Startup Weekend in Hamburg meet potential founders motivated
founder’s Congress, organized purely by students. In addition to inspiring
to work together on innovative ideas and make new contacts.
lectures and workshops there will also be an Idea Challenge (ebspreneurship.de
The next event will take place from the 15th-17th of November 2013
/ idea) with a prize pool endowed with $100,000.
media conferences in Europe, but it is also the only conference whose focus is
and this time will fully focus on efforts in game development.
clearly on Facebook. A whole day is all about new techniques, valuable insights
and best practices.
The AllFacebook Developer Conference offers the perfect look behind the scenes
at Facebook. Different APIs, tools, and capabilities of Open Graph are presented
with which give you the opportunity to break out of the standard functions.
Crowdbiz: The exhibition for the topics of crowd funding, crowd investing and
startups. On the 19th of October, Crowdbiz will take place for the first time at the
Berlin Congress Center (bcc) at Alexanderplatz in Berlin, during the Berlin Stock
15.3. und 16.3
serves as a focal point for the international startup scene. Here, budding and
experienced founders, business angels, venture capitalists and other experts
meet to exchange ideas. The event will take place on the 14th and 15th of March,
Exchange Day. Admission is free.
exclusive networking event in the startup capital since September 2008.
The Startup Camp networks founders with experienced entrepreneurs and
Under the name of Echtzeit Berlin, deutsche-startups.de has organized this
The event is designed for founders, business angels and investors. Access is
only possible via personal invitation by the team at deutsche-startups.de.
Around 200 selected guests attend each time to Echtzeit Berlin.
2014 and is aimed at all those interested in the topic of entrepreneurship.
25-26 Oct. 2013 German Founders and Entrepreneurs days (deGUT)
The deGUT provides comprehensive information and advice for
entrepreneurs and those who wanting to attend. Free seminars, tips
from prominent founders, many opportunities to exchange ideas and
Those who have founded a company know the process: hone in on its founding
networking make it a must.
ideas, discard parts to remix – until a really mature, sustainable entrepreneurial
design emerges. If you want to learn more methods of the creative concept
The Eureka is aimed at both founders and startups from seed and growth
with founding, then come to the Entrepreneurship Summit. Be inspired by
stage that want to meet new prospects, as well as to investors who are
successful entrepreneurs and use the experience of serial entrepreneurs.
looking for entrepreneurs and ideas. In addition to the various elements
On 19 and 20 October 2013 in Berlin with 1500 of your peers.
On the founder’s conference Failcon on 20 October 2013 we again present
of a startup, best practice approaches of other companies are discussed,
young entrepreneurs about topics with failure and a new beginnings. We
as well as new approaches to corporate governance will be presented.
have all founded startups, worked on or invested in projects that have failed.
There‘s something for everyone.
We are all smart, know the latest technology trends, but sometimes it does
not work as planned. How can you predict what works and what does not?
Well, you can’t. Come join us!
The Idealab! is the largest European Founders Conference, held and
organized annually exclusively by students of the WHU – Otto Beisheim
School of Management. For over 13 years, the Congress provides an
inspiring platform, which is characterized by ideas and experiences
between students, professors, professionals and entrepreneurs known
from all over the world.
Experience the etailment Summit and Expo 2.013, a congress with live analysis
and Exclusive Insights from 5 to 7 of November 2013 in Berlin-Tempelhof
Airport. Discuss the motto E(motion)-Commerce with leading industry experts.
In attendance: Sascha Lobo, blogger.
The OMCap is Berlin‘s largest conference for online marketing and the
annual information on the latest trends and developments in the industry.
On 10 October 2013, the 4th OMCap is held back in the old cinema halls of
the KOSMOS Berlin.
Data Driven Business Week, Berlin
04. – 05. November 2013, Hotel Adlon Kempinski
As part of the Data Driven Business Week Berlin, there will be three
29.-30. Oktober 2013, Areal Böhler, Düsseldorf
The leading event for e-commerce and mail order, NEOCOM offers the ideal
environment for an intense experience. From an interactive dialogue
marketing and CRM, sourcing, logistics and fulfillment to intelligent online
and mobile solutions, you can be sure that all important topics are covered.
simultaneous conferences taking place: eMetrics Summit (www.emetricssummit.de), Conversion Conference (www.conversionconference.de) and
On the 21st of October 2013, 42 top startups from all over Europe will get
The Spätschicht is now one of the most popular networking events in the
Predictive Analytics World (www.predictiveanalyticsworld.de). All will focus
the opportunity to meet and their ideas to investors at the Pitch Marathon.
capital. If you would like to participate in the upcoming event, as always, can
on dealing with online marketing controlling and optimization, maximum
Our goal is to contact the local startups in Europe, build relationships
apply through the Spätschicht website. The number of participants is limited as
conversion rates, forward-looking analysis and predictive modeling.
between startups as well as with investors, and facilitate financing around
usual. The event that takes place four times a year is for the startup community
and digital scene in Berlin in order to link them with each other, and to create
synergies between the two.
NOTES OF BERLIN
NOTES OF BERLIN is homage to all of the daily notes left
behind throughout the Berlin cityscape. The blog acts
as a digital voice for the urban, daily life findings,
and provides a platform to document, present as well
as interact with the unique Berlin culture.
Anyone can participate. Submit your own findings on
For more information, visit: www.notesofberlin.com
Register now, and
receive every issue by
mail for free!
What Berliners DON‘T SAY posts daily German
phrases that people from Berlin would never say.
The best phrases have been selected and published
from a variety of suggestions posted on the Facebook
fan page. Anyone can participate, and post their
„Ach wie nett, ein U-Bahn-Musikant.“ „Guck mal, da kifft einer!“ „Kann ich so rausgehen?“ „Viel zu früh für
‚nen Döner.“ „Echt? Also meine Nachbarn sind alle normal.“ „Die S-Bahn kommt.“ „Ich gehe heute Abend auf
eine WG-Party. Kann euch leider nicht mitnehmen, ihr seid ja schlieSSlich nicht eingeladen.“ „Willst Du das
Hemd nicht noch mal bügeln?“ „In dem Café passen die Möbel ja gar nicht zusammen!“ „Eine Frikadelle bitte!“
„Hamburg ist aber auch ne tolle GroSSstadt.“ „Ich kann mir vorstellen, auch mal woanders zu leben.“ „Es ist
viertel vor acht.“ „Was hier im Kiez noch fehlt ist ein Bioladen!” „Guck mal da, ein Kamerateam! Krass, die
drehen hier einen Film.“ „Warum gehen die denn zu fünft auf eine Clubtoilette?“ „Lass mal morgen in die Berge
fahren.“ „Hat der Späti am Sonntag überhaupt auf?“ „Ein Jobangebot unter 50.000 Euro im Jahr nehme ich gar
nicht erst an. Ich habe ja schlieSSlich studiert.“ „Dein Döner riecht aber lecker! Gut, dass du ihn in der vollen
Bahn isst. Da hat jeder was von.“ „Bitte, nach Ihnen!“ „Ist es abends eigentlich gefährlich in Neukölln?“ „Es ist
noch rot!“ „Endlich wird hier gebaut!“ „Ich muss gehen. Muss morgen früh leider raus.“ „Deine Schuhe sind
dreckig!“ „Lass uns doch in der Stadt treffen.“ „Silvester feiere ich am Brandenburger Tor.“ „FuSSgängerzone“ „Frühstück gibt‘s nur bis 10.“ „Ich war in München – war schön da.“ „Ich hab die Wohnung in Kreuzberg
bekommen!“ „Du kannst um diese Zeit doch nicht schon Alkohol trinken!“
Hundert Continues as a Series!
We are very excited about the response that “Hundert – insight on the Online Capital Berlin” has received. Therefore, we
have decided to continue “Hundert” as a series. In the coming
year we will present new issues such as, “Hundert: Online
entrepreneurs speak about their biggest mistakes”, “Hundert:
Startups that you should know”, and “Hundert: Online marketing experts explain the way to web success”.
Every issue of the series “Hundert” is available free of charge,
both as print magazine as well as PDF download.
Simply register and receive every issue for free:
Imprint / Legal
Editor in Chief
With Contributions From
Jan Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Balázs Tarsoly, email@example.com
Konstantin Iwanow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susanna Pozzi, email@example.com
David Pelletier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Oldham, email@example.com
Andre Alpar, Heinrich Arnold, Claudia Bähr, Markus Beckedahl, Jan Beckers, Jens
Begemann, Viola Bensinger, Oliver Beste, Burckhardt Bonello, Tilo Bonow, Jan Borgstädt,
Marcus Börner, Oliver Borrmann, Michael Brehm, Tomislav Bucec, Constanze Buchheim,
Mike Butcher, Pawel Chudzinski, Lea Sophie Cramer, Verena Delius, Kai Diekmann,
Lars Dittrich, Matthias Döpfner, Caroline Drucker, Tim Dümichen, Mathias Ehrlich,
Daniel Engelbarts, Günter Faltin, Tom Felber, Dirk Freytag, Conrad Fritzsch, Lukasz
Gadowski, Stefan Glänzer, Tanja Haeusler, Paula Hannemann, Philipp Hartmann,
Fabian Heilemann, Florian Heinemann, Claudia Helming, Ulrike Hinrichs, Mark
Hoffmann, Klaus Hommels, Doreen Huber, Alexander Hüsing, Stephan Jacquemot,
Joel Kaczmarek, Masoud Kamali, Ulrich Kissing, Alexander Kölpin, Raúl Krauthausen,
Mark Krymalowski, Alexander Kudlich, Alex Ljung, Sven Lubek, Ijad Madisch, Rainer
Maerkle, Nenad Marovac, Carsten Maschmeyer, Gabriel Matushka, Dominik Matyka,
Florian Meissner, Bernd Monitor, Thomas Nicolai, Joab Nist, Florian Nöll, Ciaran O´Leary,
Ansgar Oberholz, Torsten Oelke, Mato Peric, Andrea Peters, Corinna Powalla, Christoph
Raethke, Christian Reber, Johannes Reck, Rayk Reitenbach, Stephanie Richter, Ralf
Rogosch, Bernhard Rohleder, Nikolaus Röttger, Simon Schaefer, Aydogan Schosswald,
Sascha Schubert, Eric Schweitzer, Max Senges, Fabian Siegel, Martin Sinner, Marius
Sternberg, Miho Tanaka, Riva-Melissa Tez, Frank Thelen, Andreas Thümmler, Christian
Vollmann, Charles von Abercron, Lucas von Cranach, Alexander von Frankenberg,
Agnes von Matuschka, Madeleine von Mohl, Yaron Valler, Ingke Weimert, Simon
Willnauer, Niko Woischnik, Stefan Wolpers, Klaus Wowereit, Cornelia Yzer, Stephan Zoll
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