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Educating and connecting entrepreneurs and scientists

A melting pot for interdisciplinary work and industry collaboration

Berlin is very cosmopolitan and a magnet for talent from all over the world. A high-quality lifestyle, low-cost of living and a creative atmosphere are only some of the reasons why people aspire to study, live and work in the German capital.The city’s international appeal is also reflected in its universities: All four Berlin-based universities are ranked among the most international ones in Germany. In total, Berlin counts 65 state and private institutions for tertiary education. With 40 higher education institutions and more than 70 research institutions, Berlin has also one of the largest and most diverse science landscapes in Europe

Berlin is home to people from 190 different countries and the next generation of entrepreneurs is just as international – with a large portion coming from America, China and Russia. According to the Berlin Business Location Centre, 20% of the 185,000 students at Berlin’s high education institutions are from outside Germany.

Berlin has four of the most international universities in Germany
Berlin has four of the most international universities in Germany © statista

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A diverse academic landscape

As the largest student city in Germany, Berlin is home to four universities, seven technical colleges and more than 30 privately-run academies. Included in this academic standing are two universities of excellence, Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, as well as some internationally-renowned technical colleges.

Berlin is the most popular location for students students coming from abroad. One the one hand, Brain City Berlin has a reputation for excellent scientific study programmes and on the other hand offer various opportunites to gain insight and experience from innovative companies like Cisco, Deutsche Bahn and General Electric.The city’s technology centres called Zukunftsorte ("centers of future innovations") offer unique development potential to work collaboratively, transfer knowledge effectively and develop new products and technology.

Most of Berlins scientific institutions also provide a Dual Career Network for couples who are coming to the city together. This service-orientated network provides advice to accompanying partners interested in rebooting their career in the capital, including consultation and coaching.

Are you interested in Berlin as a science location? Find important facts, inspiring stories and a collection of interviews with scientists on BrainCity Berlin!

Students at Freie Universität Berlin
Students at Freie Universität Berlin © Peter Himsel/Freie Universität Berlin

Science and  more

But science isn’t the only thriving academic area. More people in Berlin start their own businesses than in any other German state – and the city’s business schools also make the most of the international entrepreneurial buzz.


As part of their studies, management students in Berlin are challenged to come up with business ideas. Independent startup accelerators like the Berlin Startup Academy (BSA) also offer programmes involving over 120 of Berlin’s most experienced CEOs and investors, who help transform student’s ideas into thriving enterprises.
The students of the ESCP Europe Master in Management are increasingly interested in launching their own companies, with almost 20% doing so currently. In comparison, about one or two decades ago only 1% of students in this program created their own firm after graduating, underlines Prof. Dr. Andreas Kaplan, Rector of ESCP Europe Business School Berlin and ambassador of BrainCity.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Kaplan
Prof. Dr. Andreas Kaplan © Berlin Partner - Philipp Jester

Creative Industries

There are multiple colleges of art in Berlin, that educated students in various artistic fields such as Design, Music and Fashion. Among them are for example the College of fine Arts, the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music or the Weißensee Academy of Art. Additionaly, the international Berlin School of Creative Leadership is dedicated to helping to develop leadership executives in the creative industries.


When it comes to educating digital pioneers, developers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow, Berlin also offers a variety of options. In addition to renowned institutions like ESMT Berlin (European School of Management and Technology), the city is also home to tech-bootcamps like the SPICED Academy and to new private schools like CODE, which offers innovative programmes in the field of software engineering, interaction design and product management. 

Are you curious about what it's like to live, study and/or work in Berlin? Find more helpful tips, stories and insights here on Reason Why Berlin and even further information on our Talent Berlin website.

Students at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Students at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin © Matthias Heyde/HU Berlin

Connecting Education and Business

Berlin's establishments and institutions attract international students and diverse fresh talent – some go on to become the city’s next innovative entrepreneurs. So whether you’re looking for an excellent business partner or want to expand your startup team to include experts in different fields, you’ll find competent candidates throughout the city.

Berlin’s universities and higher education institutions also provide their own startup networks, which in turn connect to each other via "B!gründet", the startup network of Berlin’s institutions of higher education. And if you’re a student or graduate with an innovative technological project, Startup Incubator Berlin can help you apply for funding through the EXIST startup scholarship.

If you’re interested in discovering the capital potential as a business location and collaborating with local companies, the Start Alliance offers interesting opportunities for you. The international business network connects established businesses with innovative startups - and vice versa - in Berlin and around the globe.

Talent Berlin is a great place to start, when you're new to the city. It provides tips and practical advice about living in Berlin, including information about finding a job, learning German and applying for a visa, work permit or tax number. You can also register for a free Welcome Tour that will take you beyond tourist attractions to provide insight into life in the city, its districts, its culture – and even where to connect with people.

Text: Trish Elms for Uhura Creative Media

Header Image: Priscilla du Preez for Unsplash

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Why should you start a business in Berlin?

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


Berlin offers the ideal infrastructure for setting up a company. The city’s new international airport makes Berlin quicker and easier to reach than ever from all over Europe and the world. Berlin’s public transport network is extensive and excellent. Office space is plentiful and rents are still lower than in most European capitals. And if you just want to test the waters, few cities have as many co-working spaces as Berlin.

>> Berlin – Heart of Europe

Innovative Industries

In Berlin, you can join networks and discover businesses in all the key innovative industries, including high tech, healthcare, life sciences, service economy, mobility, and logistics. There is also plenty of potential for rewarding and conducive partnerships with research facilities and other institutions and organisations in Berlin.

>> Doing Business in Berlin

Starting Out and Scaling Up

Feel the spirit of entrepreneurship in Berlin! Berlin startups such as Zalando, DaWanda, and ImmobilienScout24 are major influencers in the German market, and venture builders like Rocket Internet and Project A are also located in Berlin. Accelerators and incubators exist at every level and for almost any sector.

>> Starting up in Berlin

Research & Science

Berlin is the capital for researchers and scientists in Europe. You’ll find research on the hottest topics in fields like bio technology, medicine, communication technology, photonics, mobility and transport, and more, carried out by top-level experts at universities and institutions of world renown.

>> Brain City Berlin

Living in Berlin

Finally, the large pool of highly skilled specialists from all over the world is a key reason to locate a company in Berlin. Thanks to the relatively low cost of living and vibrant cultural scenes, Berlin attracts many highly talented people – which directly benefits businesses in the city.

>> Life in Berlin

A growing German economy – good for entrepreneurs and investors

GDP growth is high and unemployment is low. A large market with consumers who like to spend. It's a great time for investments and market entry in Germany. Reason-Why.Berlin offers useful information on the German economy and various aspects of building business in Berlin.