Google pledges 1 million € to Berlin startub hub The Factory13 Nov, 2012
Google pledged 1 million € over three years for the Berlin startup hub ‘The Factory’, through its “Google for Entrepreneurs” scheme, reports VentureVillage today.
The Factory is a 12,000 square metre development on Rheinsberger Strasse in central Berlin, which aims to bring established companies and new startups together. SoundCloud, 6Wunderkinder, Versus IO and Toast, and web non profit Mozilla are among the tenants. The Google money will be used for training, mentoring, events and other programmes that assist startup development in Berlin.
Simon Schaefer of JMES Investments (one of the backers of the Factory) hopes that The Factory will give Berlin a nice little boost, as the city competes with London and Paris as the place to be for hot startup talent.
Although Reuters estimates the city is home to some 1,300 startups, Schaeffer thinks Berlin still has a long way to go to catch up with London, he tells VentureVillage: “Compared to London, we’ll still in kindergarten in Berlin.” Also, he says, Berlin companies are less likely to be in it for the money than some international peers (we’ll try to get him to tell Whiteboard more about that!).
No equity for a place in Berlin startup hub The Factory
In an interview in Forbes this summer, Schaefer expressed hopes that the Factory would become a creative hub like its examples: San Francisco’s Pier 38 (where Instagram was born) and the shared offices model of Techhub and The Cube in London.
As co-founder and CTO of Soundcloud Eric Wahlforss explains in Forbes, Silicon Valley has the advantage of an existing infrastructure and a culture of exchanging ideas and helping each other that is still in its infancy in Berlin, although he does add that the scene is developing fast. Places like The Factory, where startups live and play under one roof, can help cross pollination among startups, says Schaeffer: “If you are developing an iPad app you can go to the iPad developers from SoundCloud to talk about it. This is what we are trying to institutionalize.”
Important: startups don’t have to give up a slice of equity to base their offices in the Factory, instead paying less than € 15 per square meter in rent.
Google recently also invested in the Berlin based GrunderGarage in partnership with Indiegogo.
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Photo: rendering of The Factory
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