Berlin is the latest European capital to give Silicon Valley a run for its money. Turns out the other city that never sleeps has been quietly cultivating some of the world’s best start-ups, according to The Guardian. And, Google and Microsoft are even getting in on the action.
Thanks to affordable living costs (a one-bedroom, city-center flats run around €450 per month) and a population who's mostly fluent in English, Berlin appeals to tech and creative types seeking a cheaper alternative to London, New York, and San Francisco’s sky-high rates.
The city is already home to 2,500 start-ups, including Soundcloud and social network game developer Wooga, and mayor Klaus Wowereit wants to see business continue to boom. “Berlin has caught the public's attention as a start-up hub. We want to capture that momentum and drive Berlin's economy forward," he explains. "[We] will fully dedicate ourselves to becoming Europe's leading start-up hub."
Realizing the city’s economic potential, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has invested an impressive $35 million in ResearchGate, a Berlin-based global network for scientists. Similarly, Google is supporting Factory, an expansive start-up campus near Mauerpark flea market. "There is nothing that Berlin really stands for, except being cheap and cool, and drunk and druggie." says Factory founder Simon Schaefer of the city's former reputation and future appeal. "It's the potential to shape something, that is why so many people are coming here."
Photo: Via The Guardian.