Europe’s centre for hi-tech startups is Berlin

[Dietke Kohl, Germany News Contributor]

Spiegal Online International: Berlin is on a rapid move up from being one of Europe‘s centres for hipster, exiled artists and punk wannabees to becoming a capital for entrepreneurial hi-tech innovation. With such start-ups abounding in recent years, the city is fast becoming a success story venue for budding entrepreneurs in the hi-tech industry.

Speaking to Spiegal Online, Matt Cohler (co-founder of LinkedIN) said: “Berlin is a great place for startups….people from all over Europe, from the east and the west, converge on the city, and many of them have strong technical background….pluse, the city has a nice atmosphere and it’s cheap.”

Many of those keen to build their own businesses and who have settled in Berlin to do so, seem to be saying the same thing.   Ijad Madisch has attic headquarters right in the middle of Berlin. He is the 30 year old founder of ResearchGate, a brand new social networking site for assisting researchers to share information with fellow researchers.  The site has 800,000 users now. He is exuberant about the merits of the city as an enabling city for startups.

He says: “The question is always, will you get the people you are looking for….and Berlin has people coming to it from all over the world. For young people, it is simply a cool place to live — and we have people contacting us all the time.”

According to Cohler, Berlin’s startups are more now than before addressing a global marketplace and the city is awash with exotic startup businesses one of which is Sweden‘s SoundCloud which has been based in Berlin since 2007. The company’s website is a radio platform which enables musicians to share ideas and tracks instantly. In the past few months, it has gone from 2 million users to 3.5 million users which makes it a star in the music industry worldwide.

Alexander Husing of deutshe-startups.de told Spiegel Online: “The scene in Berlin has been booming for three years…but since last autumn especially, more and more companies are coming to the city. Everyone is looking for people. There is a real shortage of software developers at the moment.”

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