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Berlin's city authorities – finally – announce plans to push city as tech hub Written by Nina Fowler on 22. August 2012

Campus Party Europe

Campus Party Europe

Berlin’s city authorities have — “finally”, according to some in the local startup community — agreed to promote the city as an international tech hub, starting with a marketing campaign worth a reported €500,000 over the next year.

The campaign, announced last night at the 10,000-strong Campus Party Europe technology festival at Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport (above), is a joint venture between the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research, Berlin Partner, the Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Industry and regional ICT association SIBB e.V.

The details in the press release are sparse — the headliner is the marketing campaign, which will take place in print and online, include appearances at international trade fairs and events, and target both professionals and investors. Industry partners will be sought and an advisory board set up.

Berlin — 36,800 ICT, media and creative companies

According to last night’s press release, Berlin’s ICT, media and creative industry now includes 36,841 companies with annual turnover of €26.11 billion, who together employ 181,217 people directly and about 314,000 altogether.

Companies namedropped in the release include Moped, Amen, Gidsy, Zalando, SoundCloud, Goodbeans, Moviepilot, YOC AG, Checkitmobile and — through chief marketing officer Benedikt Lehnert’s presence on stage — 6Wunderkinder.

Next stop, given a decade, Silicon Valley

Until now, it seems most of the German public sector’s attention has gone to providing grants and opportunities for single companies at federal level — EXIST and the German Silicon Valley Accelerator as prime examples — rather than, at state and city level, helping promote the flourishing tech and startup scene in Berlin.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, though. Berlin is the “broke but sexy” city, after all, and newcomers might not be aware that the startup scene has only really taken off in the last several years. Even if relatively small, any public sector support to help the city’s tech scene push forward should be welcomed — next stop, given a decade, Silicon Valley…


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