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This article was published on August 23, 2008

Why Berlin is one rocking start-up city

Why Berlin is one rocking start-up city
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

After spending only three days of my life in Germany’s capital, I’m already in love with this city. I’ve been exploring the streets, shops, museums, and restaurants, but most of all, I’m trying to get in touch with the locals here. Berlin is famous for its underground scene and there’s only one way to get there, via the people.

Flickr: Search
David Noël – marketing manager of Hobnox (review here) – organized a Music 2.0 dinner last night and guess what, your blogger was so fortunate to be invited. After some good chats – some of which lasted till 4am – with the guys from Hobnox, Soundcloud (review here), and The Hype Machine, I realized Berlin is one rocking start-up city. Here are four reasons why. “Only four?”, you might ask. Yeah, just four, because that’s all you need to realize this is the place where a digital nomad should stay for a while.

1. Cheap office space

For some reason, the rents in Berlin are ridiculously low (maybe because it’s so spacious?). I’ve met some guys who only paid 250 euros per month for a huge office space with a great view and all. Even in Mitte, hearth of the city, rents aren’t that high.

2. Find inspiration on the streets

Just like New York, this city really oozes energy. Mostly because of all the weird and funky people walking around. So whenever you have something that comes close to a temporary burn-out, just hit the streets and suck up the creativity. Read these tweets by Hype Machine founder Anthony Volodkin (who is here for a month) to see what I mean:

3. International allure

This probably not the first article you’ve read that describes how awesome Berlin is. The great reputation of the formerly divided city attracts thousands of creative people from all over the world. Fellas like Hype Machine guys just like to hang out here because the atmosphere is great. That gives the city – and thus your start-up – international allure. Moreover, it offers you plenty of opportunities to meet other Web-minded people who visit your city. Like the TechCrunch UK meet-up last May. No wonder the whole Web 2.0 Expo circus is gonna do its act here.

Private party in at SoundCloud in Berlin
Party at SoundCloud’s Henrik Berggren’s

4. Vibrant web community

I’ve only been here for a few days, but already met a lot of interesting Internet entrepreneurs and bloggers. While we were having dinner, everyone called friends and business partners to come down to the restaurant as well. But the best thing was yet to come. Henrik Berggren from Soundcloud invited us to a smashing party at his home. Next to being an entrepreneur, this Swedish guy is also a DJ. He sure knows how to throw a party with a mini casino, bar, dance floor and a balcony filled with uber cool people.

That’s all there is to it. If you’re up for some creative and fun times, while working on your start-up, Berlin is the place to go to. Who can lend me a room for a month or three?