State of Mind - Startup Germany


Author: Kerstin Bock, Openers



Germany has become known as one of the most popular, capable, and important hubs of European Tech, certainly not only due to robust media interest after Brexit, but also because of it. And there are quite some figures backing this up! A recent study, published by the major start-up fund Atomico and the Tech Festival Slush from Helsinki, shows that Germany is a top talent magnet, with more than 81,000 professional developers based in Berlin alone and a boom in tech jobs all across the country; Germany has Europe’s second-fastest growing tech worker population (3.3 percent) after Ireland (2015 to 2016). For good measure, the European average for all tech job growth was 2.1 percent. This is a huge attractor for international talent, bested only by the UK, making Germany the second-largest destination for international tech migrants – the country is drawing 13 percent of European and 12 percent of non-European migratory tech talent.


According to Teleport Inc. (a company that helps measure the best places to live and work), Munich is the most attractive city in the world to live as derived from a set of quality of life criteria compiled by software engineers (including low pollution, low crime, quality of public transport and local schools), beating the likes of Zurich, Amsterdam, and London (in Europe) as well as Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and San Francisco (in the rest of the world). Hamburg and Berlin (seventh and eighth) also make it into the top ten. The cost of living is certainly still a major driver for rapidly growing tech communities across Germany, too, as Germany is still a relatively inexpensive place to live.


In past years, and peaking in 2016, Germany has some of Europe’s most engaged tech communities from both established as well as emerging hubs: in 2016, the number of tech meet-up attendees grew 49 percent in Berlin, 44 percent in Munich, and 39 percent in Hamburg. These were all faster than London or Paris at 20 percent and 33 percent respectively. Watch out for Düsseldorf and Karlsruhe, which saw 126 percent and 113 percent increases in the number of meet-up groups respectively.


Germany is still attracting a huge chunk of the capital pie – to be exact, $2.1 billion was invested in Germany in 2016. Although this was a drop of 42 percent compared to 2015, this may have been caused by the lack of massive deals such as the 6Wunderkinder and Teamviewer ones in the previous year. Despite this, the deal count in Germany has grown from 330 in 2015 to 379 in 2016, an increase of 15 percent.


German cities are unmatched in Europe when it comes to deep-tech talent, with several hubs having a very high proportion of deep-tech skills as a share of the local population. Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt are in the top five of talent in artificial intelligence (A.I.). Berlin and Munich are also the top cities for virtual reality & augmented reality talent. Munich is one of the strongest cities in Europe for frontier hardware skills (autonomous vehicles, robotics, electric vehicles, Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, drones/unmanned vehicles). American tech giants are plugging into this talent, with Berlin as home to Amazon’s deep-tech engineering center focusing on A.I. and Apple’s center for mapping, while IBM is working on IoT and A.I. in Munich. Although the money is slowly following, there is still some ways to go before the country becomes the European leader: Germany had $480 million of deep-tech investments (from 2011 to September 2016), coming third after the UK ($1.3 billion) and France ($582 million), including examples such as Konux, Relayr, Seerene, and EyeEm.

So, what else is left to say, but:
2017, watch out, there’s a lot to expect!