Startup Marketing Made Perfect With Ranky

The Berlin Startup Scene: Lessons Learned

Somewhere in the middle of June, we spoke, Yoav and I about the fact that we need to expand our services to other markets around the world.

We already have good connections in London where we mentor startups about what they need and what they should do in terms of marketing, but the Brexit “helped” us think of a new destination, Berlin.

So it turns out that I found myself landing in the city with a calendar full of meetings with startups and accelerators around Berlin. I even did a day trip to Munich to meet one of the biggest accelerators in Europe.


Berlin at dawn

No matter who I met and what we discussed, everyone had the same thoughts about Germany’s startup scene, and here are a few important facts:


Rumor is true: more and more startups are being established in Berlin

Many youngsters finish their studies and don’t look for a day job, they seek to work in a startup or even to found one.

It reminds me of Israel as a startup nation, in terms of growth and development and the need for everyone to make the next big financial exit.


The difference from Startup Nation

When talking about startups the first thought that comes to mind is innovation and development, which is a conflict with what a startup represents.

It is difficult for the Germans to adopt innovation; they seem to prefer the phrase “if it ain't broke don't fix it” - even if a new solution might help them in their daily life or even offer an improvement.

They say that accepting innovation can change but it’s a long process that might take some time.


There is no place like home

The German market is huge. In fact, it is so big that many startups don’t even think about marketing their product abroad.

This is, of course, a big difference from our small startup nation and even from other countries around the world that also think big and try to market to the rest of the world.



Points 2 and 3 in this article might help understand the fact that German startups copy other successful products that work in different locations, and bring it to Germany.

Why? Because as the Germans don’t like innovation that much, they prefer to accept something with history, something that has a proof of concept and works. If you show them something that works they will likely accept it.


Acceleration programs and their benefits in Germany


Plug&Play by Axel Springer not only offer startups great support in the form of mentors and lectures, the accelerator also injects 25K Euros into the startup and in return keeps a 5% equity.

Additionally, the startups that finish the program have a chance to base their office in the same building as the accelerator. This means the startups stay connected to the program whilst getting help and support even after the program has finished.


The incubator / accelerator Hub:Raum (of Telecom) is also very impressive in terms of workplace and the services it offers startups. A lot of thought and work has gone into the 3 story building that gives a feeling of a comfortable workplace.

Startups in this program receive between 100K to 300K Euros, together with a coworking space, mentors and of course connections to VC. In return Hub:Raum takes between 10% to 15% equity.


Also in other accelerators I visited, I noticed a high level of design and fun working atmosphere.

By the way, it seems like the ecosystem in Germany really appreciates the work that is done by the Israeli startups, and in a few accelerators, I heard that they were very happy to have Israeli startups as part of their program.Wayra

In Wayra Munich I met the manager and he told me how much he would be
happy to see 2-3 Israeli startups in their next program. So pay attention, Munich and Berlin are both waiting for you.



This post has been originally published on Spitz magazine[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Topics: Case Studies General Posts Guides