Berlin is sometimes said to be the next Silicon Valley. Whether this is true or not, it does not have to be shy of its startup scene. Over the last couple of years, not only startups themselves nurtured but also the infrastructure around it. This also holds true for startup accelerators, which have multiplied particularly over the last 5 years. While this is a beneficial and promising development for startups in Berlin, founders now face a strong list of all kinds of accelerator and accelerator-similar programs. This article aims at giving a comprehensive overview of these programs in Berlin.
With this multitude of programs, it was not easy to decide which programs to include, and which not. The following two tables include the more typical accelerator programs with offices in Berlin. In order to have a more complete overview, a few other similar programs are also briefly described at the end of this article.
You can also download the two tables as one pdf-file here: Startup Accelerators in Berlin.
While these are the more typical accelerator programs in Berlin, there are also a few other programs. They are not included in the table above because they do not match the expectations for a typical program. The following list gives a short overview of them:
- EO Accelerator (eo-accelerator.de) is a program run by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and sponsored by Mercedes Benz Bank. It is located near Wittenau, Berlin and gathers entrepreneurs for seminars four times a year. EO Accelerator neither invests nor takes shares in your startup. Participants pay 1,500 Euro per year and need to be co-/founders or shareholders below 47 years of age in a startup with revenues of 250,000 to 1,000,000 Euro.
- The German Accelerator (germanaccelerator.com) is a free program that helps ICT-related startups to enter the US market. It also neither invests nor takes shares in your startup. The program is 3-months long and runs 4 times per year. While it is not located in Berlin, it is on this list because it can make a big difference also for startups in Berlin. It furthermore provides office spaces in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and New York for the time of the program plus mentorship, workshops, networking events, and more.
- Grants4Apps (grants4apps.com) is the new startup accelerator run by Bayer HealthCare, focusing on health tech startups. While it appears to be a typical accelerator program, it is hard to find detailed information. The first batch in 2014 had 5 participants and ran for 100 days.
- Seedcamp (seedcamp.com)is a typical accelerator and should maybe be in the table above. However, as only the Seedcamp Week, which is required to get into the program, is located in Berlin and the actual program is at the Seedcamp Campus in London, it was not included there. Program participation costs 3% equity, and if one also wants seed investments of 25,000 or 50,000 Euro, Seedcamp will take an additional 2% resp. 7% shares. It includes office space as well as mentoring, workshops, networking events, and the Founder’s Pack with infrastructure services.
- Startup Institute (startupinstitute.com)is not an accelerator but focuses on entrepreneurial-minded individuals to prepare them in a 8-week program to work in the startup scene. It does not even aim at people that want to start their own business. The program costs 3950 Euro and includes the core program plus one of four possible tracks: Web Design, Web Development, Technical Marketing, or Sales & Account Management. With 9 out of 10 participants successfully landing a job in a local startup within 3 months, it is a “startup employee accelerator.”
The startup accelerator landscape changes as quickly as new startups come and go. While these listed programs make up most—maybe even all—of the existing ones, there might be others out there, or entering the marketplace tomorrow. For this reason, take the tables for what they are: a first summary of current startup accelerator programs out there. Also feel free to let me know about changes and additional information so that I can update it where necessary.
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The Author: Konstantin von Brocke has graduated in business management from University of Wisconsin-Stout with magna cum laude in December 2012 after receiving an Associate in Applied Science degree in marketing from Fox Valley Technical College. He is interested in all things related business with a particular focus on entrepreneurship, marketing, and growth. Connect now via Twitter or Google+!