Berlin’s Goal: Become the Silicon Valley of Europe

By Emel Akan, Epoch Times
July 6, 2017 3:55 pm Last Updated: July 7, 2017 3:31 pm

A few weeks after Brexit, a van displaying a large, colorful billboard drove around the streets of London. The van, hired by Germany’s Free Democratic Party, read, “Dear startups, keep calm and move to Berlin.”

Since then, a number of startups have accepted Berlin’s invitation.

Former Berlin city council member  Cornelia Yzer told the media last year that more than 100 startups considered moving from London to Berlin after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. And according to a Financial Times report, five London-based startups had already relocated to Berlin last year.

Berlin is one of the leading tech hubs in Europe and home to successful startups like SoundCloud, ResearchGate, and Rocket Internet.

Until now, London has built a larger startup scene through financing more companies. However, Berlin wants to catch up and has advantages over London, like a lower cost of living.

Berlin’s startup universe is worth 30.2 billion euros ($34.2 billion) versus London’s 48.3 billion euros ($54.7 billion), according to Forbes.

The German capital will hold the Tech Open Air (TOA) Festival, the largest technology conference in Europe, from July 11 to 14 for an expected 20,000 attendees. TOA, founded in Berlin, aims to contribute to the development of the city’s tech and startup ecosystem.