Five reasons to land your startup in Berlin

Forbes, TechCrunch and Bloomberg have all suggested that Berlin could be the next Silicon Valley.

A report by EY concluded that venture capitalists (VCs) invested €2.16 billion across 264 equity deals in the first half of 2017 alone. While these numbers may pale in comparison to investments in Silicon Valley, Berlin outpaces Barcelona, Stockholm and a handful of other startup hubs when it comes to total investment.  

So what are you waiting for? If you’re an Australian startup looking to go global, here are five reasons to skip the Silicon Valley queue and land your business in Berlin.


  1. Slow burn rate
    The city is really affordable compared to other major cities, particularly the Bay Area. Berlin is notably cheaper than most cities in Western Europe and according to Numbeo, Berlin's cost of living is 30 per cent less than Melbourne. The cost of living dictates that everything from overheads to employee wages are lower, and that means your burn rate for existing capital is slower. Unlike other cities where low pay translates to a lower quality of life, that’s simply not the case in Berlin.

  2. Fewer unicorns, strong talent pool
    Berlin has all the benefits of being an up-and-coming city with an experienced talent pool. You’ll find a young workforce looking for the chance to work at, or collaborate with, a growing startup. Rather than competing with Google, Facebook and AirBnB, you will be able to hire their alumni and get the best of both worlds – experience and an entrepreneurial attitude.

  3. Growth opportunities in a thriving scene
    Does your startup already have a great team? Berlin offers your staff members a great work-life balance, plenty of growth opportunities and a thriving tech scene. Berlin is consistently revered as one of the world’s coolest cities with dozens of galleries, museums, and cultural venues. All this goes to say that employees are likely to find something that sets them on fire outside of work, and they’ll be able to bring this inspiration back into the office.

  4. Mature startup scene
    In Berlin you'll be stepping into a mature startup scene with access to hundreds of tech events. Major events such as Disrupt Berlin and Tech Open Air draw over 20,000 attendees from across the world. Even during a quiet week, you’ll find plenty of meetups, workshops and startup events worth attending. Looking to get an idea into the market? If you’re hoping to find funding, there’s no shortage of pitch events and matchmaking sessions either. Investors and VCs are flocking to Berlin to find startups and scaleups disrupting the Internet of Things, fintech and digital health sectors. 

  5. Advantage for B2B startups
    Berlin has something on offer for startups across all industries, but B2B startups have a significant advantage when it comes to growing their business. In recent years, German corporations have started to make innovation and digitisation a priority. Although big players in mobility and transportation (Daimler, EY, Audi, Deutsche Bahn) may have their headquarters in nearby cities like Stuttgart (around six hours by car), their innovation departments are based in Berlin. There are plenty of potential partnerships and investors waiting for you in Berlin. 

Is your startup ready to apply? At Austrade we offer market-ready startups and scaleups a 90-day residency in Berlin. It includes an office space in one of the best co-working communities in the city; introductions to a network of investors, mentors and potential partners; and business consultancy.

Apply now for the Berlin Landing Pad.