How the German capital region supports founders
Berlin is the hotspot for German start-ups: According to the Start-up Barometer of the management consulting firm E&Y, the capital was once again in first place in Germany in every respect in the first half of 2022. Berlin is also ahead in the health sector. According to E&Y, the most investment capital in this sector flowed into Berlin start-ups last year. These figures are certainly not only the result of the attractiveness of the region, but also of the good framework conditions that start-ups find here in the form of a large number of funding offers for founders, an effective infrastructure and corresponding space offers in the capital region.
Extensive early support
Among other things, many scientific institutions offer extensive support to founders from their ranks. For example, the Berlin University Alliance – an alliance of the Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, the Technical University of Berlin and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin – has bundled its start-up activities in the “Science & Startups” initiative. It is the virtual umbrella brand for the joint activities of the start-up centres of four institutions and supports university spin-offs by raising funds, offering workshops and coaching, establishing contacts with academic mentors and investors, and creating incubator space.
Early support in the further development of medical innovations is also provided by the SPARK mentoring program at the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité. The program was founded in 2015 and is based on the successful SPARK program, which was developed at Stanford University and is now established at more than 50 institutions worldwide.
Boost in the early phase
In addition to academic offerings aimed primarily at spin-offs from its own institutions, there is also a wide range of support offers in the region for start-ups in the early phase. In total, more than 80 accelerators and incubators support start-ups in the early phase. Some of these have focused on health issues – such as the Vision Health Pioneers Incubator.
Another example of comprehensive support for founders in Berlin’s healthcare industry is the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL). The global non-profit organisation opened its first location in Germany in Berlin at the European School of Management and Technology Berlin (ESMT), mid-year 2022.
Infrastructure that counts
In addition to support through programs, an effective and efficient infrastructure with fast routes, a high density of research and development as well as close networking are also of great value to founders. Besides the successful healthcare industries cluster Berlin-Brandenburg, these include eight technology parks in the region, offering companies optimal space as well as modern laboratories.
Since the metropolitan region is also supposed to remain attractive in the future for start-ups in the life sciences, several expansions of the centres and new space offers for founders are already being implemented or planned in the next years.
This article was originally published in European Biotechnology Magazine Spring Edition 2023.