NEWS TO GO 2018+ is one year old Record financing for Berlin startups Basic income for all It’s been one year since the Berlin Senate adopted the “2018+“ tourism concept, and now Ramona Pop, Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, and visitBerlin Managing Director Burkhard Kieker are pleased to present several positive outcomes. The goal of the concept is to make tourism in Berlin more city-friendly and sustainable. Among the first measures implemented are three new bike routes in the southwest of the city, a more intensive clean-up process for the city’s parks and the re-launch of the “Going Local Berlin” app with more than 700 excursion tips in all districts. According to IBB CEO Jürgen Allerkamp, tourism is one of the capital’s most important economic sectors: “Gross added value from tourism is estimated to have been around €5.7 billion in 2018, and tourism now provides jobs for roughly 250,000 people.” 6 In the first half of 2019, German startups were able to attract more fresh capital than ever before in a six-month period. In total they received €2.8 billion, which is 13 percent more than in the same period last year. At 332, the number of financing rounds even rose by 19 percent over the first half of 2018. According to the startup barometer published by Ernst & Young, the lion’s share of overall investment capital flowed to Berlin, where startups received a total of €2.1 billion in the first half of 2019 as part of 131 financing rounds, thus marking an increase of 28 percent. By far the largest deal was the €428 million cash injection given to the travel startup GetYourGuide. In second and third place were the online bank N26 (€266 million) and the ad-tech startup Adjust (€201 million). Of the ten largest investment rounds this year, nine went to companies based in Berlin. The Berlin Senate has passed a state guideline for a pilot project called “Solidarisches Grundeinkommen” (Basic Income or SGE), which was jointly developed by the Berlin State Chancellery, the Berlin Senate Department for Integration, Labor and Social Affairs and the Senate Department for Finance. The goal is to fill 250 SGE positions this year, and in the course of 2020 to fill all 100 positions. „inclusion through work is the SGE motto,“ notes Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller. The SGE is aimed at long-term unemployed individuals immediately after their transition to ALG II unemployment insurance, with a maximum period of unemployment of up to three years. These individuals receive a contract of employment at an SGE employer, which the federal state of Berlin then supports over the course of five years. Coaching sessions and training programs will also be offered. The goal of the SGE is to foster the transition to jobs in the primary job market.
Berlin science excels 10 years of Sportmetropole 1up Grants boost new businesses It’s a major achievement for the Berlin University Alliance: in mid-July 2019, the Wissenschaftsrat (German Science Council) in Bonn announced that this “network of excellence” will receive funding as part of the excellence strategy of the federal government and federal states. The four Berlin institutions that make up the alliance – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin – were able to win the council over with their submission under the title “Crossing Boundaries toward an Integrated Research Environment.” Starting on November 1, 2019, they will receive up to €196 million for an initial seven years. An additional €6 million annually will come from the Berlin Senate via the Einstein Foundation Berlin as support for top-level appointments and research projects. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the “Sport Metropole Berlin” initiative on August 14th, 400 leading decision makers from the worlds of business, politics, sports and culture gathered in the Verti Music Hall to mark the beginning of the new Berlin sport season. After a welcome by Berlin’s State Secretary for Sport, Aleksandar Dzembritzki, who emphasized the importance of sports for society, the discussion centered on the training and promotion of young athletes, as well as their impact on sports. Among those participating in the discussions were Füchse Berlin managing director Bob Hanning, Alba Berlin managing director Marco Baldi, former professional athlete and current managing director of Jugend trainiert für Olympia Friederike Sowislo, as well as Thomas Härtel, President of the Berlin State Sports Association. An appearance by the Flying Steps Academy rounded off the stage program. AOK Nordost and DKB, both of which foster sports in Berlin as partners of the initiative, were also in attendance. A “business establishment bonus” of up to €50,000 is an impressive thing. For just over a year now, founders, microenterprises and freelancers in Berlin have been eligible to receive such grants to help start their new business. “The funding program is called ‘Gründungsbonus,’” explains Christine Heuer from the IBB Business Team GmbH. “With the help of start-up financing of up to €50,000, which recipients can use to cover things like the cost of materials, investments, personnel and ongoing operating costs, the goal is to support new businesses and startups on their path to developing and implementing innovative products and services and getting them to market.” The program is already a success, and the IBB received a total of 356 submissions from July 1, 2018 to the end of June 2019. “We were able to approve 170 applications with a volume of €8.4 million by the beginning of July,” explains Christine Heuer. A total of €2.3 million has already been paid out to recipients. 7