How Berlin Became an International Startup Capital

July 22, 2016 - 2 minutes read

Berlin’s unique combination of a central Europe location, cheap rent, and funky creative culture have turned the once-forgotten German capital into one of the world’s leading hubs for innovative mobile app developers and startup founders.

The UK’s controversial Brexit decision has only cemented the city’s reputation and future as a tech hot spot. (Billboards around London cheekily proclaimed “Dear start-ups, keep calm and move to Berlin” in the days following the vote.)

Perhaps the most appealing thing about Berlin, though, is the diverse international community around its tech industry. (Something London iPhone app developers enjoy at a steeper price tag.) As much as 17% of Berlin’s population is non-German, and much of that percentage is involved with the Silicon Allee startup culture.

Settling in Berlin is relatively straightforward, with very little red tape and paperwork around the arrangement of long-term stays and building businesses. Germany has a history of welcoming newcomers, whether they’re well-to-do techies or refugees fleeing prosecution, a strategy that overall boost the economy and builds a positive, melting-pot-style culture.

Unlike other “cheap and easy” cities for startup founders to bootstrap their mobile app projects, Berlin also has a high availability of venture capital and funding. Startups based in Berlin pulled over $2 billion in venture capital in 2015, and that number looks to be growing even bigger in 2016. American and British investors frequently invest in Berlin-based businesses.

Finally, Berlin’s ultimate asset is the talent pool. Many of the best and brightest coders, designers, UX designers, and founders choose to spend at least part of their career in the city, creating a thriving community for building initial teams. International techies are naturally risk-friendly and driven, making them great additions to any mobile app developer’s team. (And as we know, the initial team is the most important aspect of a startup’s potential growth.)

Needless to say, we’ll be following Berlin’s progress as a tech capital and looking to get involved with more Germany-based startups in coming years.

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