Berlin is one of Europe’s most entrepreneur-friendly cities. Older industries have declined, shedding jobs and new tech-driven industries are taking off, information and communication technology plays a vital role in this proces. The number of start-ups in this sector has jumped in the last 10 years and looks set to continue growing.
What’s driving the change? Berlin is more affordable than other major European cities—and it has room for new business. There is significant space for new buildings and industry parks, in contrast to many other European cities. It also boasts two major technological parks: Campus Berlin-Buch and Adlershof, one of the largest science and technology parks in the world. Fourth, Berlin is tolerant—its population is a global mix of races and cultures. Finally, Berlin has a high density of academic institutions, including its Fraunhofer Institutes and four large universities in Germany.
Those conditions help make Berlin a hotspot for entrepreneurs and spin-offs by students, research assistants, scientists or professors who are eager to bring new technologies, innovative products and services or superior manufacturing processes to the market. Although all academic institutions of Berlin systematically promote and support spin-offs and drive technology transfer, the Technical University of Berlin with its Centre for Entrepreneurship plays a leading role. In 2013, a total of 758 spin-offs from TU Berlin employed around 20,000 people and achieved a total turnover of €2.7 billion.
The Center for Entrepreneurship, founded in 2004, offers a complete program of entrepreneurship education and serves as model for the educational programs of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Linked to the educational program there is a broad range of support mechanisms.
TU Berlin’s experience as a hub for entrepreneurship education highlights three key aspects that are central to encouraging start-ups: the strong motivation of students and staff to become entrepreneurs; work in interdisciplinary settings; and acceptance of entrepreneurship as a scientific discipline, which feeds research results into other educational fields as information and communication technology.
Center for Entrepreneurship TU Berlin
Technische Universität Berlin, Centre for Entrepreneurship
Prof. Dr. Jan Kratzer leitet das Fachgebiet für Entrepreneurship und Innovationsmanagement der TU Berlin. Er studierte Soziologie und Betriebswirtschaftslehre an der Universität Leipzig und promovierte zum Thema 'Communication and Performance. Kratzer publizierte mehrere Bücher und Artikel auf dem Gebiet Innovationsmanagement, Innovationsmarketing, Entrepreneurship, soziale Netzwerke und Netzwerkmethodologie. Darüber hinaus ist er Pro-Dekan für Forschung und Internationalisierung der Fakultät Wirtschaft & Management und Mitglied des Akademischen Senates der TU Berlin.