Why Berlin?

Pubished 29th November 2018

I love Berlin as a city for its diversity, style, music and youthfulness. However until recently, especially from a business point of view, Berlin has been considered Frankfurt or Munich’s poor neighbour.

This is mainly because post WWII the main industry and commerce centres were set up in the west, resulting in Berlin salaries being generally much lower than other areas of Germany.

This has all changed.

The Top 100 German start-ups accounted for accumulated funding of $8.5b in 2017. 70% of these being Berlin based... we’ve witnessed Berlin’s evolution at an incredibly fast pace.

ECOM started recruiting in Berlin way before these figures were even released. The reasoning behind this? We’d noticed we were losing international relocation talent to businesses doing exciting things and paying higher salaries. Having spent time there, it made absolute sense to me that young tech talent would want to live here.

- Andy Wadsworth (Director | ECOM | Manchester| Amsterdam| Berlin)

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Jesus Martinez | People & Culture consultant | Yara

Tell me your company’s story?

I'm a People Team consultant helping companies attract, nurture and retain their talent. Yara Digital Labs has been my client since June and I love their mission to help farmers with food production, improving crops and solutions for world hunger.

Why Berlin, what stands out for you?

The diverse people and the creativity flowing everywhere.

If you were telling friends to visit Berlin, where would you tell them to go?

The Visit café for tasty coffee, a stroll through Tiergarten park, a night of dancing at OHM for superb electronic music, the pancakes brunch at CabSlam in Neukolln, an afternoon of street art at Urban Nation

Who else (companies) do you admire in Berlin?

SoundCloud, N26 and FromAtoB. Each have great teams and take care of their employees, SoundCloud especially has always gone the extra mile and has the best on- boarding in Berlin.

What does the future hold for Berlin?

The city is not only growing in population but also in specialization. Tech, design and the arts communities are expanding along with a new flow in the music industry plus a lot of fintech.

Quick Fire - Where do I…..

Eat & Drink? YamYam for lunch

Visit? C/O Gallery

Stay? Michelburger Hotel

Open an office? Treptower/Kreuzberg

David Gerrard | Senior Online Marketing Manager | Heycar

What is heycar?

Founded in 2017, at its simplest heycar is a portal for selling high quality used cars. The concept behind the project is to champion user experience and trust. This differentiates us from the existing players in the industry as we don't have ads on our site, only work with reputable dealers and offer a guarantee with every vehicle sold. It's tough to enter such a competitive market but there's real commitment here and early signs are positive!

What made you relocate to Berlin?

There's a couple of reasons I decided upon Berlin. From a professional standpoint, the "digital scene" is thriving and there's plenty of exciting opportunities to work at unique companies alongside some incredibly talented people. From a personal perspective, the city is huge and there's always something interesting to get involved with. Whether you want to party all weekend, visit art installations, watch obscure sports, swim in the lakes, shop in unique places or experience culture on a quieter scale, you've got to be boring to get bored here.

What does the future look like for Berlin?

Considering the sheer number of businesses being established in the city, I'd say the pace of innovation shows no signs of abating. Although living costs are admittedly rising as a result of this, it's still far more affordable to live here than in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and a number of other European capitals.

Who else (companies) do you admire in Berlin?

Fintech is a space I find particularly compelling so the likes of N26, Kontist, Penta and Holvi are all companies I like to keep an eye on. In terms of ones I really admire, anything with a charitable or green/eco element is worth a look. Ecosia is relevant to the space in which I work (search) and they plant trees as a result of your activity on the site. They also offer complete transparency with their financial reports so you can see where the money is going and just how many trees are actually being planted.

What is missing from the ecosystem to fully mature and reach London or Tel Aviv’s level?

This is a difficult question. I think the main difference is that places like Tel Aviv have previously been a lot more open, or the circumstances have been a lot more conducive to international funding. I do however think this is something that has changed in recent years. I would also say that Berlin is already a pretty strong ecosystem for start-ups and there are numerous high profile successes that attest to this. Founders often come here for the lower costs and large talent pool and although there is a lot of competition, the opportunities for networking and the resources available to businesses are second to none.

Quick Fire - Where do I…

Eat & Drink? Eat: Hamy's Hermannplatz (and also any place that does an amazing döner, there's plenty).

Drink? Das Gift or Liesl both Neukölln.

Visit? Stasi Museum.

Stay? Neukölln

Open an office? Wedding - only because that's what we've just done with heycar!

Kate Smallshaw | Studio Manager | Hy.am

Tell me your company’s story?

Hy.am studios was officially founded in February 2017, however began a number of years before that as the founders met and worked together on a number of freelance projects. Their motivation has developed hy.am studios into what it is today and the best thing is, we are continually evolving. We work together with a range of clients from Berlin based start-ups to large scale corporate companies. We cover everything from branding and the company’s strategy, to creating amazing web applications and campaigns.

Why Berlin, what stands out for you?

Berlin is so special because of the network of tech orientated people from all over the world who are living and working here. The talent is strong and these people make it possible for new businesses to pop up every single day. I haven't experienced this start-up culture anywhere else so strong before and it is very empowering!

What does the future hold for Berlin?

To be the tech hub of the world, as it is already proving itself to be.

If you were telling friends to visit Berlin, where would you tell them to go?

To walk and discover the lovely streets, cafes and courtyards along Auguststraße, Linienstraße and Mulackstraße.

Quick Fire - Where do I….

Eat & Drink? To eat: Dudu, for amazing sushi. To drink: Schwarzes Cafe, open 24/7 and has an impressive stripped back interior which has probably not been touched in decades.

Visit? The Bauhaus Archive, for design fundamentals.

Stay? The Circus Hotel

Open an office? Mitte

Enticed by Berlin? Say hello@ecomrecruitment.com