vor 6 Jahren

Digital Economy in Berlin

  • Text
  • Startup
  • Berlin
  • Digital
  • Economy
  • Innovation
  • Funding
  • Hardware
  • Innovative
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Investors
  • Digitale


Digital Economy Case Studies Start up with public and private funds Funded: ZenGuard GmbH version for a fee, which offers many additional security and privacy features. “The paying users have increased nicely since the introduction of this freemium model,” says Specka. Up to 28% per month, to be exact. ZenGuard plans to expand its product in the future and optimize the interface of websites: “Our vision is to provide an extensive range of security offerings.” And along the way, to continue to write Zen- Guard’s success story. Simon Specka and Markus Hänel Surf the Internet undetected – that‘s what ZenMate promises. The browser plug-in protects your privacy while you surf, because it hides your computer‘s IP address. A clear competitive advantage of the device-independent security solution is how easy it is to use: ZenMate is installed and activated with just one click. The browser no longer connects directly to a website, but will be diverted via a virtual private network (VPN), which does not reveal the identity of the user. ZenMate is the ideal partner for anyone who uses public Wi-Fi hotspots in cafés or hotels. The plug-in is also available as an app for iPhone and Android smartphones. The company won the European Award for Best Security/ Privacy Startup for its software in 2014. Simon Specka and Markus Hänel founded ZenGuard in February 2013 and have been on the road to success ever since with their product ZenMate. More than 60 employees are involved in the development and support from ZenMate, which is used by about 27 million people from 180 countries. A number that is increasing every minute. The start-up’s biggest challenge is therefore time and speed, during which the development of the company must be driven forward together with the rapid increase in user numbers. The “Startup of the Year 2014” ( could acquire several early investors from the private and the public sector, which complement each other perfectly and provide ZenGuard with security and stability during the different stages of growth. In fall of 2013, shortly after its founding, ZenGuard belonged to the first round of funding from Axel Springer Plug & Play and was able to procure a six-figure sum in the seed round. In 2014, another 3.2 million dollars came from investors like Holtzbrinck Ventures, Project A, T-Venture and Shortcut Ventures. The same year, the Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) also provided funding, which supported Simon Specka and Markus Hänel with 838,000 euros: The funding program from IBB, ProFIT, contributed around 240,000 euros as a grant. The rest of the money came in the form of a subsidized loan to hire so-called innovation assistants. The money was and will be invested to optimize the product and for enhancing the offers. Again success: Meanwhile, ZenMate is also available as a premium “Berlin has become THE European capital for venture capital backed companies. I’m very excited about the current dynamics in Berlin’s start-up scene. We have observed a trend towards internationalization both in the capital investors as well as the founders and employees. Keep it up – because international investors and entrepreneurs are driving this city forward!” THOMAS SCHRÖTER, CEO at förderbar and Chairman of the Board for the IT industry association, SIBB 10

Digital Infrastructure Berlin’s digital infrastructure Excellent network connections PUBLIC WI-FI BERLIN: 30 min/day free browsing at 100 hotspots throughout the city Public funds Berlin is always online. Free Wi-Fi for all – numerous providers and associations have taken up the cause to increase this offer for the future. And have implemented it successfully. Above all, the activities of the Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg, with its pilot project “Public Wi-Fi” in cooperation with the Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research, have sent the right signal early on. Users have free access without registration at the 100 hotspots located at busy public places and public facilities in Berlin as part of this project alone. The fast and safe exchange of knowledge and information as well as reliable digital infrastructure are the basis for innovation and economic success. More and more applications, devices and objects send and receive an increasing amount of data. A powerful, comprehensive network in Berlin ensures seamless communication across all channels. An extensive telecommunications net - Since 2002, the BCIX (Berlin Commercial work and broadband coverage Internet Exchange e.V.) has been operating a Berlin Internet exchange point. The capital provides comprehensive (V) This is a key part of the broadband DSL and cable network offerings – full infrastructure in regional online data coverage with LTE is almost complete. exchange within the economic region of In addition, optical fiber connectivity is Berlin-Brandenburg, as well as its high possible throughout most of the city for quality national and international connections. Currently, peering ports with commercial and professional users. This is also confirmed by the latest detailed 100 MB/s to 100 GB/s are being offered analysis for broadband coverage in Berlin based on the Breitbandatlasses des city through peering infrastructure, at five locations spread throughout the Bundes (Germany’s Broadband Atlas), using a redundant design in connection whose results can be accessed here: with online data centers. This makes Berlin a popular and important location schaft/breitband/hintergrundinformationen/. for large telecommunications and Internet service providers, including many Almost all future locations, technology centers and centers of the digital economy recorded in the study have proven tors, as well as associations and inter- Internet providers and network opera- that they have an excellent supply of est groups who work here for the city’s commercial, professional broadband techno logically receptive market conditions and the development of Inter- products. net-related technologies. New possibilities like Wi-Fi sharing and the growing number of non-commercial providers, like the free wireless operator scene, constantly serve to expand the offer by creating free wireless networks. By the summer of 2016, a free Wi-Fi network with 650 free hotspots will be set up at tourist locations and public buildings in the city by the Senate Chancellery. In addition, the Berlin Transport Services (BVG) want to equip around 100 subway stations with Wi-Fi starting in 2016. List of Links Projekt Zukunft Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg Berlin Commercial Internet Exchange BCIX e.V. Verband der deutschen Internetwirtschaft eco e.V. Förderverein Freie Netzwerke e.V. 11

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