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The best partners and programs for Aussie startups in Berlin

Call it a new beginning, a fresh start, or a leap of faith, but the bottom line is still the same: relocating can be overwhelming. Moving to a new city gives you a unique opportunity to expand your network globally. While you might feel far away from where you started, you could actually be putting your business in a stronger position in the long run.

Berlin is a mature startup scene for MedTech, Future Mobility, FinTech, e-Commerce and Internet of Things (IoT). We’ve put together a list of the relevant players and investors in the city – so get in contact and let us introduce you to some of the potential partners and investors. Our Landing Pad team in Berlin will be happy to make you an introduction.

For startups in MedTech, Digital health and BioTech:

  • Bosch: Bosch’s startup division offers Heimat for startups, a hands-on program that will work directly with your hardware startup to help you industrialise and produce hardware at scale.
  • Bayer Heiss: Bayer offers Grants4Apps, one of the most well-established grants for digital health. If your startup focuses on products preventing, curing or living with eye disease and blindness, you can apply for the EyeFocus Accelerator.
  • BASF: BASF Venture Capital is the German based initiative of BASF. They invest worldwide, which might be of interest if your startup focuses on technologies in chemistry or new materials and substances with significant market opportunity.

For startups in Future Mobility and Logistics:

  • Daimler: STARTUP AUTOBAHN is a collaborative platform that combines the tech expertise of Silicon Valley with the best of German engineering. Through this platform, your late stage startup will have a chance to work with Daimler and other huge players like HPE, DXC, ZF, BASF, Porsche, DPDHL, and Webasto. If you focus on mobility and engineering, this program is undoubtedly the best way to get into business with Daimler.
  • Audi: In collaboration with the Hardware.co accelerator, Audi actively seeks innovations to introduce into their business. The Berlin based scouting team was formerly based from betahaus, and is a great connection to have in Berlin.
  • Deutsche Bahn: Deutsche Bahn offers Mindbox DB Accelerator. Their batches run regularly and are focused on different fields each time, giving your mobility or logistics startup a chance to participate in the program most relevant for you. The program offers investment for no equity, and will give your startup the chance to fast track your ideas within Deutsche Bahn.
  • SAP: SAP Startup Focus is a program for your Big Data or predictive and real-time analytics solutions startup. Startup Focus gives you access to a network of over 300,000 customers and a free HANA Developer License – all without asking for equity.
  • Siemens: To fast track innovation, Siemens often creates new startups and offers licensing agreements on technologies that don’t fit into their core business. Could yours be next?
  • Volkswagen: Volkswagen created IDEATION:HUB to accelerate your future mobility startup. While their Future Mobility Incubator is based in Dresden, their innovation team is seated in betahaus (Berlin).

For startups in FinTech:

  • N26: N26 is a grownup startup with an offer similar to London’s Transferwise. They call themselves “the bank account for your phone”, has raised over 52 million in funding and are positioning themselves to be the next unicorn in the field. A great example of the strong FinTech ecosystem in Berlin. 
  • Finleap: Finleap is a Berlin based company builder that has been massively successful. With regular events, Finleap will help your startup connect with other players in the industry.
  • Deutsche Bank: Deutsche Bank is one of the biggest names in banking and their Startups@Germany program can offer support to your startup if you’re creating technical solutions in banking. It’s open to startups in seed, growth and expansion rounds.
  • OpenSpace Commerzbank: Commerzbank is the German division of BNP Paribas group, and their OpenSpace initiative is a digitisation program for startups in the B2B sector. BNP Paribas also organised a yearly International Hackathon for startups interested in getting into FinTech. The Berlin Hackathon takes place in betahaus.

For startups in e-Commerce:

  • Zalando: Zalando is Berlin’s true unicorn in e-commerce. The company has started Zalando Build, which aims to connect players in the fashion industry. This connection is an important one if you’re working in fashion tech!
  • Mister Spex: Mister Spex is one of the leading online retailers for eyewear in Germany. They received major investment from Goldman Sachs in 2015, proving that Berlin could be an up-and-coming market for your e-commerce business.
  • Home24: Spun out of the somewhat controversial company builder Rocket Internet, Home24 offers furniture and home decor based on the business model of American retailer Fab.com. That in mind, Home24 is one of the leading e-commerce sites in Germany, and a potentially relevant contact if you’re in ecommerce.

For startups in Gaming:

  • GameDuell: Berlin-based Game Duell creates online games, playable from computer or mobile. The company received seed funding in 2003, and has since put Berlin on the map for startups in the gaming industry.
  • Wooga: Since 2009, Wooga has become one of the most popular developers of casual mobile games in the world. If your startup is in gaming, their team is based in Berlin.

For startups in IoT:

  • Hardware.co: Hardware.co is an accelerator powered by betahaus, designed for Hardware and IoT startups ready to accelerate fast. The program takes no equity and runs for a two week, highly intensive program. The program is driven by a strong community is a great starting point for Hardware and IoT startups.
  • Conrad Connect: IoT startup Conrad Connect regularly offers exhibitor space and partnerships to other startups in the scene. They’re based in betahaus Berlin. 
  • Telefonica's Geeny: Geeny.io a platform for companies and developers to create data-driven applications.

Other partners for startups:

  • Ernst & Young: Big five accounting firm Ernst & Young, has a presence in Berlin and runs an annual EY Startup Challenge taking place in betahaus. 
  • Kloeckner: Kloeckner is the biggest steel company in Germany. If your B2B startup is disruptive in steel distribution or adjacent industries, check out investment opportunities through Kloeckner Ventures.
  • Adidas: For your sports startup, there’s no accelerator like leAD to help you gain some traction. The accelerator was created by the same family as Adidas and invites international teams to participate.
  • EnBW: EnBW New Ventures gives your future-thinking energy startup the opportunity to get investment from one of the biggest energy companies in South Germany.
  • Deutsche Telekom: Deutsche Telekom's Hub:Raum is an incubator for early stage startups. Upon completion of this incubator, your startup could have the opportunity to implement within the business units of Deutsche Telekom.
  • TechStars + Metro: Metro Accelerator for Retail is the joint project between TechStars + Metro. The program is perfect for your startup if you address in-store experience, mobile commerce, customer service, blockchain, value added commerce, conversational commerce, workforce management, POS, loyalty, collaborative and distributive commerce, operational efficiency, or hyperlocal distribution. 
  • Innogy: Innogy SE is a major German energy company, and the Innogy Generator Program offers your energy-related startup acceleration through business model innovation.

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