Driven by a strong backbone of Mittelstand, family-owned companies and prominent tertiary institutions, Germany is one of the leading economic powerhouses in Europe with a nominal GDP of over US$4 trillion (S$5.4 trillion). Germany, with its population of 83 million, serves as an attractive gateway for companies to access and scale up in the European market.
Germany attracted a record sum of €1.3 billion (S$1.9 billion) across 119 deals from investors in the first half of 2019. According to the Berlin Ecosystem Launch report released in July 2019, Germany has the second most number unicorns in Europe after the UK; and tenth globally. To date, 30 unicorns have emerged from Germany and at least four cities are known as the breeding grounds for two or more unicorns – Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Stuttgart. Since 2014, German venture capital funds have raised a total of €5.4 billion (S$8.2 billion), with participation from investors such as BlueYard Capital, Cherry and Project A Ventures in H1 2019, reflecting the surge in momentum for venture investments.
Berlin and Munich have both cemented their positions in Germany’s innovation and startup ecosystems. As reported in Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019, Berlin aims to boost its ratio of research and development (R&D) investment to 3.5% of its GDP and invest US$17.4 billion (S$23.7 billion) in key research areas by 2025. Similarly, Munich is recognised as the corporate capital of Germany, and is poised to be the focal point of talents from world-renowned tertiary institutions such as the Technical University of Munich, and conglomerates such as Adobe, Amazon, Cisco, Google, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, and RedHat. Such an environment allows companies including startups to easily find collaboration opportunities in the innovation space.
In an effort to promote the innovation landscape, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has established the Digital Hub Initiative, which highlights Berlin and Munich’s core sectoral strengths in internet of things (IoT) and fintech, and mobility and insurtech, respectively.
German Entrepreneurship Asia (GEA) is Enterprise Singapore’s Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) partner for Germany. As part of the German Entrepreneurship Group, GEA is responsible for the Asian execution of its flagship programme, German Accelerator, as well as its Asian market immersion programme, Next Step Asia.
Launched in 2012, German Accelerator has nurtured over 220 startups with the support of more than 350 business mentors. Their portfolio startups have raised a total of more than US$2.5 billion (S$3.4 billion) in venture funding. So far, they have accelerated 20 startups through their Southeast Asia programme based in Singapore.
Besides German Accelerator, German Entrepreneurship runs the entrepreneurship center at the largest university in Germany (LMU Munich), which in itself has more than 10 years of experience in advising founders.
Please visit german-entrepreneurship.asia for more information.
GEA is partnering Enterprise Singapore to run a GIA Acceleration Programme that will support Singapore startups and small SMEs in entering Germany through Berlin and Munich.
The Scalr8 programme is now open for applications. Interested appplicants can contact the key personnel below or find out more at scaler8.com.