Incubation and Start-ups Berlin

Berlin is one of Germany’s start-up hotspots. Due to its fairly low living and renting conditions, it naturally attracts young professionals and new business. Within the game sector, there are also a fair number of start-ups (intent to grow quickly, often with an exit strategy in place), but also indie studios (small teams with no particular policy of quick growth). Berlin has about 118 developers and 57 publishers (however, companies that do both may have been counted twice, once for each role).

There is currently only one specific game incubator under construction, which is connected to the University of Applied Sciences and their game design study programme. The incubator is called DE:HIVE.

There are two specific co-working spaces for games and related businesses that are based on giving each other mutual support and advice: Saftladen, a games collective, and Happy Tuesday. Otherwise, there are many co-working opportunities, and several technical incubators (most of which are driven by specific companies such as Telekom, Axel Springer, Microsoft). There is also a business incubator without dedicated fields of expertise: Factory Berlin works with 1,000 members at 2 large locations (they also hosted the Google start-up campus).

Universities and tertiary schools offer several start-up centres, such as the Berlin School of Economics and Law in Berlin with their Startup Incubator Berlin.

In terms of games accelerator, there is Target Games with a contract with Global Top Round (GTR).

There is a growing awareness of the need to support start-ups in general, in particular in the “Digital Business” sector. The state of Berlin offers a range of information and networking sources, but also the opportunity to promote one’s business.

The State of Berlin also published a Start-up Agenda (available only in German) in 2016 with the results of an analysis of the start-up status quo and the plans for optimisation of the start-up environment.

Then there is the initiative of the non-profit organisation media.net berlinbrandenburg e.V. bringing investors, businesses, lobbyists, politicians, universities and start-ups together, with formats like an investors’ dinner and a start:up club.

Particularly for game start-ups, this organisation brings investors and game start-ups together with their EU-funded project BerlinBalticNordic.net through matchmaking events at different games conventions or through travel tours to incubators and AAA studios in other countries.

There are also several financial support schemes which apply to start-ups. The Berlin Partner website lists 13 VC organisations (including the business angel club), and mentions several accelerators and incubators of different provenance.

There are also several financial support schemes which apply to start-ups. The Berlin Partner website lists a range VC organisations (including the business angel club) and mentions several accelerators and incubators of different provenance.

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Status: 01/2020

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BGZ Berliner Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit mbH