Sonia Khan (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler
19.12.2017

Americans in Berlin: Sonia Khan

  • Name: Sonia Khan

  • City of origin: Los Angeles, CA

  • Position: Tech Policy Expert 

Berlin is known for its art, startups and politics. Sonia Khan, a tech policy expert from L.A. at Google, talks about her work delving into these topics in Germany’s capital.

What projects are you working on at Google?

What’s fantastic about Google is the variety of projects I work on and I am able to connect with different types of people, parts of Berlin and parts of the world. I’m on the public policy team where my core focus is copyright policy and our engagement with the creative and entrepreneurial ecosystem. I work on Google Arts & Culture – an initiative that partners with over 1,500 cultural institutions like the Berlin Philharmonic, Deutsches Museum or MoMA to digitize their works and make them globally accessible.

Interview with Sonia Khan (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler
“Berlin in three words? Creative, Eclectic, Home.” © Paul Riekeit/ Jacob Schickler

How is Google sowing the seeds of growth for the next generation of startups from Berlin?

We started as a small company in a garage, so understanding and fostering entrepreneurship is part of Google’s DNA. I’m currently working on a team opening Campus Berlin, a community hub by Google for Entrepreneurs that brings entrepreneurs together to learn, share ideas and build companies. People from all walks of life and from all over the world come here to work in this thriving startup scene. Berlin is right at the intersection of what I want to pursue.

How can we envision this campus? If I am itching to make my business idea into a reality, how can I get started with Google for Entrepreneurs?

The campus will be an open space where you can go to workshops and access community spaces. You can meet like-minded entrepreneurs with different skillsets to exchange and develop business ideas. You may find an engineer to program your next app or a graphic designer for your website. All of our trainings and workshops are free and many are open access. Anyone can sign up for mentoring; with our growth stage programs, anyone can apply and be selected.

Sonia Khan @ Google (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler
Sonia Khan @ Google (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler

Berliners pride themselves on tolerance and diversity, which Google for Entrepreneurs aims to foster. Why do you think it is essential to have people from different backgrounds in an entrepreneurial setting?

When I got to Berlin, I saw right off the bat that it’s a hotspot for creatives and entrepreneurs looking to take risks and solve big problems, but these solutions need to address diverse challenges from a global population. Google for Entrepreneurs is committed to creating opportunity for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. I am particularly passionate about supporting women in making their business ideas a reality. For example, there’s Campus for Moms where female entrepreneurs can bring along their kids to Campus creating a family-friendly environment and to lower the barriers for them to pursue their ideas.

How would you say living and working in Berlin distinguishes itself from other cities?

It’s a much more relaxed lifestyle: “Let’s enjoy life a little bit, let’s not take this coffee cup to go, let’s sit down and enjoy our double espresso.” Also, work-life balance is cherished. People talk about their vacation in Italy or having spent a month in Spain instead of bragging about how much vacation they didn’t take.

Sonia Khan @ Google (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler
Sonia Khan @ Google (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler

“There is an innate appreciation in Berlin for being unique, being who you are.”

What is different about you because of Berlin, now that you’ve lived here for 6 years?

Professionally, working with cultural institutions developed my appreciation of the role that culture plays in our lives and how it connects people of different backgrounds. Personally, I’ve come to accept who I am and not feel like I need to fit the mold that’s been prescribed to me by society. There is an innate appreciation in Berlin for being unique, being who you are. It’s inspirational to see people on public transport just being themselves. And I wear comfortable footwear, always.

Google candies (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler
Google candies (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler

Visit www.google.com/culturalinstitute or googleforentrepreneurs.com to learn more about the projects Sonia is involved in at Google

More information about Business in Berlin: businesslocationcenter.de

Photos & Text: blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler

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19.12.2017

Americans in Berlin: Sonia Khan

  • Name: Sonia Khan

  • City of origin: Los Angeles, CA

  • Position: Tech Policy Expert 

Berlin is known for its art, startups and politics. Sonia Khan, a tech policy expert from L.A. at Google, talks about her work delving into these topics in Germany’s capital.

What projects are you working on at Google?

What’s fantastic about Google is the variety of projects I work on and I am able to connect with different types of people, parts of Berlin and parts of the world. I’m on the public policy team where my core focus is copyright policy and our engagement with the creative and entrepreneurial ecosystem. I work on Google Arts & Culture – an initiative that partners with over 1,500 cultural institutions like the Berlin Philharmonic, Deutsches Museum or MoMA to digitize their works and make them globally accessible.

Interview with Sonia Khan (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler
“Berlin in three words? Creative, Eclectic, Home.” © Paul Riekeit/ Jacob Schickler

How is Google sowing the seeds of growth for the next generation of startups from Berlin?

We started as a small company in a garage, so understanding and fostering entrepreneurship is part of Google’s DNA. I’m currently working on a team opening Campus Berlin, a community hub by Google for Entrepreneurs that brings entrepreneurs together to learn, share ideas and build companies. People from all walks of life and from all over the world come here to work in this thriving startup scene. Berlin is right at the intersection of what I want to pursue.

How can we envision this campus? If I am itching to make my business idea into a reality, how can I get started with Google for Entrepreneurs?

The campus will be an open space where you can go to workshops and access community spaces. You can meet like-minded entrepreneurs with different skillsets to exchange and develop business ideas. You may find an engineer to program your next app or a graphic designer for your website. All of our trainings and workshops are free and many are open access. Anyone can sign up for mentoring; with our growth stage programs, anyone can apply and be selected.

Sonia Khan @ Google (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler
Sonia Khan @ Google (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler

Berliners pride themselves on tolerance and diversity, which Google for Entrepreneurs aims to foster. Why do you think it is essential to have people from different backgrounds in an entrepreneurial setting?

When I got to Berlin, I saw right off the bat that it’s a hotspot for creatives and entrepreneurs looking to take risks and solve big problems, but these solutions need to address diverse challenges from a global population. Google for Entrepreneurs is committed to creating opportunity for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. I am particularly passionate about supporting women in making their business ideas a reality. For example, there’s Campus for Moms where female entrepreneurs can bring along their kids to Campus creating a family-friendly environment and to lower the barriers for them to pursue their ideas.

How would you say living and working in Berlin distinguishes itself from other cities?

It’s a much more relaxed lifestyle: “Let’s enjoy life a little bit, let’s not take this coffee cup to go, let’s sit down and enjoy our double espresso.” Also, work-life balance is cherished. People talk about their vacation in Italy or having spent a month in Spain instead of bragging about how much vacation they didn’t take.

Sonia Khan @ Google (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler
Sonia Khan @ Google (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler

“There is an innate appreciation in Berlin for being unique, being who you are.”

What is different about you because of Berlin, now that you’ve lived here for 6 years?

Professionally, working with cultural institutions developed my appreciation of the role that culture plays in our lives and how it connects people of different backgrounds. Personally, I’ve come to accept who I am and not feel like I need to fit the mold that’s been prescribed to me by society. There is an innate appreciation in Berlin for being unique, being who you are. It’s inspirational to see people on public transport just being themselves. And I wear comfortable footwear, always.

Google candies (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler
Google candies (c) blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler

Visit www.google.com/culturalinstitute or googleforentrepreneurs.com to learn more about the projects Sonia is involved in at Google

More information about Business in Berlin: businesslocationcenter.de

Photos & Text: blogfabrik - Paul Rikeit & Jacob Schickler

Why should you start a business in Berlin?

Welcome to Berlin – the buzzing city at the heart of Europe! Berlin attracts businesses and startups from every industry. Science, research, and creative industries also love Berlin. True innovators love living and working in Berlin, as the conditions for setting up a company in the city are outstanding.

Infrastructure

Berlin offers the ideal infrastructure for setting up a company. The city’s airports make it quick and easy to reach from all over Europe, and its public transport network is extensive. Office space is also plentiful. Few cities have as many co-working spaces as Berlin. Although rents are rising, they are still lower than in most other European capitals.

>> Berlin - Heart of Europe

Innovative industries

In Berlin, you can build a network and discover businesses in all the key innovative industries, including high tech, healthcare, life sciences, service economy, mobility, and logistics. Berlin startups such as Zalando, DaWanda, and ImmobilienScout24 are influencers in the German market, and venture builders like Rocket Internet and Project A are also located in Berlin. There is potential for fruitful partnerships with research facilities and other companies in Berlin. Feel the spirit of entrepreneurship in Berlin!

>> Doing Business in Berlin

Research & sciences

Berlin is the main capital for researchers and scientists in Europe. You’ll find research on the hot topics in fields like bio technology, medicine, communication technology, mobility and transport and more.

>> Brain City Berlin - research & science in Berlin

Living in Berlin

Finally, the large pool of highly skilled specialists from all over the world is a key reason to start up a company in Berlin. Thanks to its relatively low cost of living and vibrant cultural life, Berlin attracts many highly talented people, which also benefits businesses located in the city.

>> Living in Berlin

A growing German economy – good times for entrepreneurs and investors

The GDP is rising and unemployment is low. Consumers are spending more. It's a great time for investments and market entry in Germany. Reason-Why.Berlin offers useful background information on the German economy.