Maneki-Neko symbolizes a strong and stable work environment, istock by Getty Images, ©yukihipo

Asian business in Berlin

Asia and Europe: two continents, which consists of various countries and different cultures, and couldn’t be more different – especially regarding the business relations of each world region.

“The Asian-Pacific region achieved the highest economic growth in the past few years, which also benefits Berlin’s economy.”

Ramona Pop, Senate for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, highlights in an interview with OWC publishing company.

Not just Berlin’s economy benefits from the cooperations, but also its image as an exciting city and Germany’s startup hub profits from them. That’s the reason, why more and more asian-pacific founders aspire to relocate to Berlin.

To allow an easy entry into Berlin’s economy, two platforms were initiated

Firstly, by StartAlliance, which was started by the startup-unit of Berlin Partner for Economics and Technology. This initiative aims at accelerating the access into the appropriate market, adapting business models to international requirements and accelerating innovations. Thus, Berlin-based startups are given the opportunity to connect with startup metropolises from all over the world. StartAlliance launched due to the cooperation with Shanghai.

Due to the cooperation-platform StartUp AsiaBerlin, which was initiated by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Enterprises in cooperation with GIZ and the funding by BMZ, Berlin’s startup-eco system connects with the Asian startup metropolises Bangalore, Manila and Jakarta.

Furthermore, once a year another event strengthens the exchange between the culture and business: the Asian Pacific Weeks Berlin. Initiated in 1997, the Asia-Pacific Week Berlin is an international trademark of an Europe-wide unique platform for interdisciplinary, European-Asian dialogue with players from various fields to global relevant topics e. g. Smart Cities, Industry 4.0, Digitalization, Startups and their innovations. One Week, packed with various events: and it’s all about the cooperation between Berlin and Asia and to develop future trends together.

The Asia Pacific week connects people and cultures, ©Asia Pacific Week Berlin
The Asia Pacific week connects people and cultures, ©Asia Pacific Week Berlin

Both initiatives and the Asia-Pacific Week Berlin support the mutual exchange between companies in Berlin and Asian enterprises to strengthen relationships and transfer know-how between human resources.

Let’s take a look at those, who came to Berlin to support the economic exchange between industries, continents, job markets, experiences, and cultures. The first interesting example, showing the engagement of a Japanese young entrepreneur, is Makoto Takeda.

Further information about StartAlliance: http://www.startalliance.net
Further information about StartUp AsiaBerlin: https://startup-asiaberlin.com
Further information about the Asia-Pacific Week Berlin 2018: https://apwberlin.de

Makoto Takeda von Bistream, © Stephan Pramme
Makoto Takeda von Bistream, © Stephan Pramme

A new Startup-connection between Berlin and Tokio – Makoto Takeda

  • Name: Makoto Takeda
  • City of origin: Tokio
  • Branche: Talent Acquisition and Recruitment
  • Position: Founder and CEO

After his German studies in Japan, Makoto Takeda returned to Berlin, where he spent parts of his childhood. As a visit organizer, consultant and business interpreter for Japanese delegations, he got in touch with the dynamic Berlin startup scene for the first time. Today, he is a successful founder himself, and Makoto Takeda can’t think of a better location for his company than Berlin:

“German startups, especially in Berlin, are innovative, bold and open to experimentation. You don’t need to bring a perfect beta-version to the market to be able to test it. In Japan, however, almost everything needs to be close to perfection. The expectations towards quality and perfection is unprecedented, which decelerates certain processes and intimidates creative minds. This is neither good for startups, nor for IT-talents. Asian markets/cooperation partners are becoming more important for German startups, which means, it’s an advantage to have somebody in your team, who doesn’t just understand technology, speaks the market’s language, but is also familiar with the consumer behaviour.”

The interpreter Makoto Takeda hasn’t just been an interpreter in a while. In fact, his company Bistream conveys corporate cultures in different countries – especially between Japanese software specialists from large enterprises and Berlin-based startups. His idea: to help IT-developers from Japan to get work experience in German startups over several months and to successfully put them into practice in their own business.

“German businesses can rely on a high willingness to learn, good work ethic and dedication in Japanese workers. Most Japanese workers bring attention and sensitivity for detail, which can help to enhance the quality of a German product or service. Good and lively ideas come from free people, the detail-obsessed implementation is mostly done through disciplined human beings.“

More about bitstream: https://bistream.jimdo.com

Ryotaro Chikushi brings a piece of the Japanese to Berlin, ©Ryotaro Chikushi
Ryotaro Chikushi brings a piece of the Japanese to Berlin, ©Ryotaro Chikushi

Bringing Japanese culture closer to Berlin

Compared to integrating Japanese in Berlin businesses, our next entrepreneur Ryotaro Chikushi brings a piece of the Japanese culture closer to Berlin.

  • Japan Town in Berlin – Ryotaro Chikushi
  • Name: Ryotaro Chikushi
  • City of origin: Nürnberg
  • Branche: Marketing
  • Position: Founder and CEO

Since he spent his childhood in Japan, Italy and Germany, Ryotaro Chikushi has many countries he considers his home. Growing up and living in such an international environment means that sometimes one misses elements of the other culture. So it happened that Ryotaro Chikushi wanted to bring a little piece of Japan to Berlin.

With his project NION Berlin he has created a new model of living – apart from other aspects, it is first of all an integration project of the local Berlin culture, an international culture and a third culture: in this case the Japanese.

I strongly believe in the concept of an open, free, tolerant, integrative and inclusive Europe. Berlin and Germany represent and live“ those values.”

With NION Berlin, he envisioned to build a hotspot of contemporary creativity and traditional culture, an innovative technology hub and an emerging community where local meets international”.

Bringing a piece of Japan to Berlin is so important to me, because I feel very close to the Japanese culture and I see many synergies with the German culture. There is so much we can learn from each other, as Berliners are free spirited and don’t like to fit in any pattern. For them, it’s more about personal growth and freedom – I think that is truly inspiring for Japanese.”

Founder Ryotaro Chikushi at Asia Pacific Week Berlin, ©Asia Pacific Week Berlin
Founder Ryotaro Chikushi at Asia Pacific Week Berlin, ©Asia Pacific Week Berlin

After having visited most European capitals and worked in Tokyo for many years, where he produced the biggest online design magazine of the time and founded a creative agency, Ryotaro Chikushi decided to start his new venture in Berlin, because it has become a young entrepreneurial hub for extraordinary projects and international startups”. The reason for this rapid development is obvious:

Talent. There are lots of great and skilled people in Berlin.”

More information on https://www.facebook.com/nionberlin/

Photo: istock by Getty Images, ©yukihipo