Now Berlin chases disaffected US start-ups

February 14, 2017 in technology

Business and technology booster outfit Berlin Partner has shifted it sights from attracting UK start-ups to the German capital post-Brexit to seducing US entrepreneurs post-Trump. The state-backed agency’s head Stefan Franzke told Wirtschaftswoche that it has stepped up its activities Stateside and is planning to put on extra promotional events in the market, with next month’s SXSW festival in Austin on the hitlist. “Germany has the chance to partially reverse the brain drain,” he said.

Currently around 40% of Berlin start-up employees are non-German nationals, with Florian Nöll, head of the German Startups Association saying that he expects the legal uncertainties unleashed by the Trump administration’s travel ban edict to boost the number of foreigners heading to the German capital.

Nöll adds bullishly, “If Germany joins a global competition for the brightest people, it can become the next country of unlimited possibilities.”

Berlin Partner says it supported over 300 projects in 2016 – half of them in the tech digital sector – leading to the creation of 6,775 new jobs. In addition, investment initiatives announced last year totalled €552.5 million for the period 2016 to 2018.

The agency also supported VW’s Digital Lab: Berlin which opened in last-2016. The facility is home to the car maker’s software experts who are working with specialists from the US software firm Pivotal on new mobility services and networked vehicle services. VW already has labs up and running in Munich and Wolfsburg.

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