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Digital Economy in Berlin

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  • Berlin
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Digital

Digital Economy Investors Venture capital, incubators and business funding Investments with foresight Money matters in Berlin, and that’s a good thing: A fast-growing ecosystem of support has proven that Berlin has become a center for start-ups in Europe. Young, imaginative companies will find plenty of offers to meet their capital needs while setting up and growing, while connecting with the right business angels, investors and sponsors. Public funds Funding the digital economy is a key element of Berlin’s business policy. Public institutions such as the Investment Bank Berlin (IBB), which is the key funding institution from the state of Berlin, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Berlin Partner for Business and Technology as well as other backers and initiatives provide extensive financing, consultation and funding services. These range from microcredits to shares in the form of VC funds in the millions; from business immigration service to support in international projects; and from coaching to recruiting skilled workers. The ProFIT innovation funding program from IBB funds projects having an innovative character by means of grants and loans. In this framework, there is a special early phase module for extremely young start-ups. The Point of Single Contact team in the Senate for Economics, Technology and Research is Berlin’s one-stop agency for local and foreign companies. The www.crowdfunding-berlin.com displays current crowdfunding and crowd-investing projects from Berlin; successful projects are regularly awarded the Berlin crowdfunding award by the Projekt Zukunft. Business investors There are numerous support services and offers for companies in their early stages. In addition to a number of business angels and offers for start-up companies, there are also many highly qualified accelerators, incubators, company builders and incubation units in Berlin. These include, among others, hub:raum (Deutsche Telekom), Axel Springer Plug and Play, YouIsNow (Scout24 Group), Rocket Internet and the German Tech Entrepreneurship Center. A powerful trend is incubators from established companies. The Metro Group is one of the latest newcomers with TechStars Metro Accelerator. Paying in pays off Proof of just how strong Berlin is situated based on an international comparison comes from the venture capital invested in Berlin – whereas the regional competition in Germany as well as Europe trails far behind. In 2015, a total of 2.2 billion euros in venture capital was invested in Berlin start-ups. The fact that an investment pays off is demonstrated by exits such as 6Wunderkinder (estimated 100- 200 million US dollars), Quandoo (nearly 200 million euros), Plista (30 million euros) brands4friends (150 million euros), Fyber (nearly 200 million US dollars) and Glispa (32 million euros). Convincing arguments for international venture capital firms and family offices are, for example, Earlybird, Partech Venture and Mangrove Capital, who set up their own offices and settled in the city. List of Links Business Angel Club Berlin Brandenburg e.V. www.bacb.de Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research www.berlin.de/sen/wirtschaft/en/ Point of Single Contact www.berlin.de/ea/en/ Crowdfunding projects from Berlin www.crowdfunding-berlin.com/de Berlin Partner for Business and Technology www.berlin-partner.de Investitionsbank Berlin www.ibb.de IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft www.ibb-bet.de/en/home.html Bürgschaftsbank Berlin-Brandenburg www.buergschaftsbank-berlin.de Projekt Zukunft Initiative www.berlin.de/projektzukunft/en/ Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg www.medienboard.de 8

Investors About the investment fund from the State of Berlin MISCHA WETZEL, Investment Director, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft Profile in Brief IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft (IBB-Bet) provides venture capital (VC) to innovative companies in Berlin and has established itself as one of the largest VC investors in Berlin. It is currently investing from two funds: the “VC Fonds Technologie Berlin II” (60 million euros) and the “VC Fund Kreativwirtschaft Berlin II” (40 million euros). Since 1997, the IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft has invested around 141 million euros in Berlin’s creative and technology companies and thus mobilized co-investments of around €865 million. Important exits have succeeded as a result. This shows that the international focus is on Berlin: for example, the software developers inubit were taken over by the Bosch Group, the online advertising company nugg.ad by Deutsche Post, the audio streaming platform Aupeo from Panasonic, and more recently the “Radiology as a service” providers medneo from the MARCOL group. 1. What does IBB-Bet do? IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft invests venture capital, i.e. equity, in fast-growing companies in Berlin. We therefore enable technology and creative companies to bring their products and services to market faster and to scale. Ultimately, our job is also to invest our VC funds economically, meaning that we can increase added value through our shares in the form of an exit, or in other words, by selling our company shares. 2. Who is funded by the IBB-Bet? We have four specialized teams that focus on the growth areas in Berlin: Information and Communication Technologies, Life Science, Industrial Technologies and Creative Industries. We focus on start-ups in the early business stages – from seed to early expansion – and accompany them very actively, usually over a period of three to five years. 3. What does a start-up have to do to get funding? First, it is important that the company has a scalable business model and can plausibly demonstrate that rapid growth is possible within a few years. In addition to analyzing the business plan and the addressed market, we pay special attention to the founding team: To lead a start-up through all its ups and downs until it’s successful, the management must have expertise and skills relating to the product and technology as well as areas such as marketing, sales and business management, and the founders also have to be convincing as entrepreneurs. 4. What is the environment like for capital-seeking entrepreneurs in Berlin? Berlin has established itself as a hotspot for VC-funded start-ups: No other city in Germany finances more companies through venture capital. At the European level, Berlin is playing in the premier league and attracts international investors. Founders have access to capital during all stages of their business: from angel investors, incubators and accelerators that facilitate the start, to funding and investment programs, and all the way to VC funds and strategic investors. Overview of funding programs for companies and entrepreneurs in Berlin: http://bit.ly/Foerderfibel 9

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