Berlin vs. London: who will become the Euro-hub for startups?
Where is the best place to start a company in Europe? Both London and Berlin are trying very hard to position themselves as the most promising new hub, with the best talent, ecosystem, office space, access to VC money, you name it.
Martin Varsavsky of Fon, who we recently profiled here, weighs the two cities in a LinkedIn blog post today.
While he acknowledges that Berlin has a lot of things going for it – low rents and housing costs, great engineers and a creative vibe, he would still bet on London if forced to pick a winner, he says on his blog. Berlin has too many negatives like risk aversion, access to funding and an unfavorable tax & labor law framework:
Even the Continental European VCs like Atomico go to London because the UK also has the best tax/legal regime for start ups. Moreover, the new tax and labor law in the UK makes it easier to give stock options and hire and fire, which is in the nature of start ups.
So even if salaries and rents are higher in London, financing and the ability to “try things out” make London a more favorable place. And as cosmopolitan as Berlin is, the German language is still a barrier for many who have not grown up with it.
Photo: “If you have a brain, you are a startup” / Campus Party Berlin
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