German media giant Axel Springer has teamed up with US-based Plug and Play Tech Center to launch a new accelerator in Berlin and build closer ties with Silicon Valley.

The Axel Springer Plug and Play accelerator will launch in the German capital city in May this year. Its three-to-six-month program will offer investment of between €10,000 ($13,400) and €50,000 ($67,000), office space and mentor coaching in return for what will usually be a 5% stake in each startup taking part. Teams will have the opportunity to spend part of their time on the program at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley.

The move is part of a drive by Axel Springer, a major newspaper and magazine publisher in Germany, to become more involved in the startup space and to build links with US tech companies. Last month it announced an investment in the recently-launched Hy Berlin, which invited representatives from companies such as Eventbrite, Hotel Tonight and Airbnb to Berlin for an event that allowed them to mingle with Germany’s startup scene.

Plug & Play Tech Center is based in Sunnyvale, California and is a well-established accelerator, investor and tech community with a network consisting of more than 300 startups and 180 investors, plus universities and corporate partners.

Applications for the Axel Springer Plug and Play will be accepted from 15 March, with two program cycles planned for this year.

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