According to The Local, a new start-up is founded every 20 minutes in Berlin, with their estimates suggesting 100,000 new jobs by 2020. In 2014, it was the first year of the state endorsed Long Night of the Startups – a chance for investors to meet ideas and for the rest of us to try and get our heads around what a start up is and does. Whilst the very nature of its way of business means Berlin’s start up scene is hard to pin down, with so much of it taking place near Miniloft, we thought it only fair to give you a bit of a rundown.

The (new) Epicentre:

Opened to much fanfare following a 22€ million investment (supported by Google and KPMG no less), the Factory Berlinis the current Berlin tech mecca, overtaking old stalwarts likeBetahausby leaps and bounds. Now home to the no-longer start up startups like Mozilla and Soundcloud, along with startup idols Wunderkinder, the Factory is based along Bernauer Strasse, taking the place of where the wall once stood. Around 25 companies are currently based in the premises, which has provided some much needed locational clout to the scene.

However, it’s the area north of Torstrasse that laid claim to the phrase “Silicon Allee” way before the Factory opened their doors. Over the years, Sankt Oberholz has hosted many a mac user in their café, with countless ideas shared over a cup of requisite coffee. And south in Kreuzberg, you still find places like The Wye and Betahaus doing their bit for cultivating the blossoming Berlin tech scene with meetups and deskspaces.

The Big Players:

Despite much fanfare, Berlin has still yet to compare to London or San Francisco in terms of the big name startups. However, it’s testament to the scene that some of the bigger successes – most notably SoundCloud, Wooga and ResearchGate – are still calling Berlin home, perhaps anticipating a much-needed coming of age.

The Key Incubators:

Where there are startups, there are suits behind with chequebooks waiting to fund the next big thing. And Berlin has no shortage of incubators, a list that includes:

Plug&Play (Axel Springer)
hub:raum (Deutsche Telekom)
Berlin Hardware Accelerator
Coca Cola Accelerator
Microsoft Accelerator (coming soon)
ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator
German Silicon Valley Accelerator (PPP)
Berlin Startup Academy
Founder Institute
EO Accelerator

The Chroniclers:

Keeping up with the scene is a job in itself, and there are plenty of ways to try and work out who is doing what if you’d like to get involved. Good ports of call include Venture Village, Silicon Alleeand the excellent Berlin Start Up Map, which pinpoints the startups alongside incubators and events.

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