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Berlin to go, english edition, 01/2016

  • Text
  • Business
  • Berlin
  • Digital
  • Startup
  • Startups
  • Innovative
  • Industrial
  • Innovation
  • Global

DISCUSSION WHY...

DISCUSSION WHY... Berlin is more popular than ever as a location for investors, companies, researchers and young talent from across Germany and abroad. What makes the capital so appealing? erlin continues to expand its position as a leading European startup hub: last year, new companies in the capital received a massive injection of funding totaling €2.1 billion. No other startup scene in Germany was able to attract investors as effectively as Berlin. In addition to financial players from all over the world, major corporations also discovered Berlin’s startup community last year. Today, at several innovation centers spread out over the entire city, these global companies are tinkering together with young founders on new products and the digitization of processes and services. Last October, the screws and fasteners manufacturer Würth opened a Competence Center at the Adlershof Science and Technology Park designed to foster the company’s approach to its digital future, that is, away from screws and towards wireless solutions such as charging smartphones via electronics integrated into tabletops (see p. 12). ver since the Wall came down, Berlin has made the most of its many wide open spaces. Initially, empty buildings and cellars were transformed by the techno community into sites of pulsating beats and all-night dancing. Today, it’s Berlin’s creative freedom that fuels the development of innovation in the economy. Even in the realm of cooking and cuisine, it would seem that there are no limits; indeed, the range of culinary highlights in Berlin now appears infinite. arely has a city undergone such a drastic transformation in such a short time. And yet, study after study proves that Berlin has done just that. In the city ranking issued by the international news and lifestyle magazine Monocle, Berlin occupied the third spot of the 2015 list of the world’s best cities to live in. The German capital shared the podium with Tokyo (1st place) and Vienna (2nd place). No doubt one of the city’s most decisive advantages is the fact that it’s relatively affordable to live and work in Berlin. The city is also very green – hardly any other capital in the world has so many parks, gardens and green areas. It’s a major reason why so many families like to move here. 10 BERLIN TO GO

DISCUSSION Illustration: Till Schermer ast year’s data issued by the Berlin Brandenburg Office for Statistics showed that roughly 30,000 students graduate on average each year in their various academic programs at Berlin universities. In other words, it’s not hard to find fresh young talent in Berlin. Plus, if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, just mention Berlin and it won’t be hard to attract skilled workers from other parts of Germany and the world. Very few people are able to resist Berlin’s magnetic pull. Yet another plus for the city is its international flair; people from over 180 nations call the city their home. For companies with an international orientation, it is often important to be able to have a staff with heterogeneous national and cultural origins so as to be able to operate successfully in their target markets. This was the case for the company known as Doodle, maker of a highly popular online scheduling tool. In fact, it was the decisive argument for setting up their first international subsidiary in Berlin (see p. 14). n Europe, Berlin is considered to have one of the largest and most diverse science regions on the continent. The city’s special feature is that research and science cover an enormous range of themes and subjects – and experts can be found for every field of specialization. The Brain City campaign launched by Berlin Partner in early March serves to showcase some of these figures. In Berlin, business and science work very closely together in many areas. This collaboration is particularly evident at Berlin’s so-called Zukunftsorte (“growth areas”), such as Schöneweide (see p. 25) and Campus Charlottenburg/City West (see p. 24). ot only is Berlin the capital of digitization in Europe; it also offers ideal conditions in which to explore and find solutions to future challenges, for example in projects relating to Smart City, Industry 4.0 and Green Technologies. Entrepreneurs, researchers and founders are currently working in Berlin to find answers and smart solutions to the following questions: How will urban populations in the cities of the future get from A to B without harming the environment? How can we automate recurring processes in the industrial sector? What processes can be used to manufacture products in the industrial sector by means of a resource-friendly approach? There is no doubt that our growing society will have to face these questions and challenges in the future. In this context, digitization has emerged as an engine driving many new business models forward. For example, the startup Inventorum developed its digital cash register for retailers from its offices in Berlin (see p. 28). cb BERLIN TO GO 11

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