Berlin - a top international startup hub and top national location with diverse strengths: It not only combines a powerful digital economy with a special attraction for national and international founders and talents.

Berlin startups are drivers of the economy and innovations - especially in the Mobility, FinTech/InsurTech as well as AI, Big Data and Analytics sectors.

Berlin scores as a startup metropolis in national and international rankings

For many years, Berlin has been one of the leaders in the startup scene in Germany in terms of the number of startups, employment, funding received, venture capital investors and networks! Europe-wide, Berlin is among the top 10 and internationally among the top 20 most important locations for startups and investors.

The Berlin startup ecosystem in numbers:

  • The Startup Map Berlin lists more than 3,000 startups founded less than ten years ago (as of 03/2021).
  • Berlin startups hire an average of 32.7 people, almost 20 more than the national average.
  • 11.4% of Berlin startups have more than 50 employees - the figure for Germany as a whole is 4%.
  • Despite Corona crisis Corona crisis, the record number of 681 startups were newly founded in 2020

Financing and venture capital go primarily to Berlin

The capital also offers a lot of potential for investments in and by startups, with 58% of the money invested in Germany flowing into Berlin startups. There is twice as much startup financing in Berlin as in Bavaria and three times more than in NRW.

After London and Paris, Berlin startups received the most voluminous venture capital investments across Europe: Of the startups that received VC money in Germany, 39 % are based in Berlin.

Berlin-based startups accounted for 37% of all recorded funding rounds in Germany in 2020. Berlin is thus the national VC frontrunner: 58 % of the VC money that went to German startups in 2020 ended up in Berlin. Four of the five largest financing rounds in Germany went to Berlin-based companies, such as Auto1 Group, Tier Mobility, Grover and Infarm.

The capital region has also produced renowned VC-funded startups in the creative industries. Worthy of mention, for example, are:

In addition, more than 160 VCs are based in Berlin. The state of Berlin has many of its own funding programs with a special focus. For example, the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Operations is expanding its "Pro FIT" funding program to include entrepreneurs from the social economy.

Numerous networks strengthen growing companies and industries

More than 150 accelerators, incubators, coworking spaces, corporate-driven digital think tanks, and many other university- and research-related innovation labs make the capital the place of the future for young companies and founders. They are important strategic partners and support scaling and growth.

A technically strong and growing infrastructure with a high degree of digitization

The rollout of gigabit broadband, which is being driven forward by the Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Operations, is moving Berlin forward as a city for the future.

Berlin also plays a leading role in the Germany Digitization Index of the Competence Center Public IT (Kompetenzzentrums Öffentliche IT). Since 2019, the capital has been scoring top marks for indicators such as digital infrastructure, digital life on the ground/use of digital offerings, the economy, especially the digital economy, research, and e-government/digital citizen services.

Sustainable, green and as diverse as Berlin

Berlin is colorful - and this is also reflected in the capital's startup ecosystem:

  • Berlin has the most founders and employees of international origin in Germany.
  • Sustainable business models and social businesses are also growing strongly in the digital economy and fashion sectors.
  • The share of green startups in Berlin is 26%. 77% of green startups rate Berlin as a good to very good ecosystem.
  • The share of female founders in Berlin is an expandable 18.3%, above the national average of 15.9%.
  • Among startup fellows, the share of women is already 34%.
  • Companies founded out of universities employed an average of 17 employees and generated an average turnover of 2.37 million euros.

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Christopher Hohage

Media, technology and games industry; film & and broadcasting industry


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