London Vs Berlin For Building Seed-stage Startups

May 3, 2016 - 3 minutes read

Berlin: a bustling scene for iPhone app developers

Every startup is unique, and every startup-friendly city offers its own brand of charm and advantage. From London’s abundance of venture capital to Berlin’s bootstrap paradise, both cities offer compelling advantages to startup founders and iPhone app developers setting up shop.

Dogtown Media has had a presence in London for some time, but it wasn’t until recently that we started meeting with Berlin-based startups and exploring the local scene in earnest. Here are a few of the biggest differences we noticed between the two premier startup hubs in Europe:

Rent: big city vs. bootstrap

Berlin is without a doubt the choice for startups looking to bootstrap with little or no funding, especially for NYC iPhone app developers accustomed to Manhattan or Brooklyn rates. Cheap rents and a thriving cultural landscape have made the city a magnet for young creatives, but it’s only recently with initiatives like Silicon Alee that actively work to bring in outside talent and foster an incubator-type environment for relocated iPhone app developers.

Funding: established crowd vs. VC newcomers

London is the leading city for tech in Europe with good reason: venture capital. And lots of it. For larger startups and those that require substantial ongoing funding rounds, London may be a better choice for the access it offers iPhone app developers to world-class firms and angel investors.

Recruiting: choice vs. diversity

Berlin is growing fast, but the advantages it offers (cost of living, creative scene) are better suited to a pre-existing team than a couple founders looking to grow locally. Language is also a major consideration here — while pretty much all young Berliners speak English, London simply has a much larger population of English-speaking British and American coders, marketers, and other tech workers.

Lifestyle: classic vs. chaotic

Berlin is a melting pot, and the relatively young age of the tech scene means that it can feel drastically different from year to year based on the flux of startup talent. What London offers in stability, Berlin makes up for in spark. The question is, which environment is a better fit for your company culture?

The only way for iPhone app developers to truly find out what the startup scene has to offer is to get on a plane and try it out.

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