Soundbrenner device PULSE

Why music tech startups choose Berlin

The booming startup culture that Berlin has been nurturing since the mid-2000s has developed into one of the most relevant pillars of the capital’s economy over the past decade. While food, fashion, fintech, travel and IoT companies make up the largest share of the city’s economic evolution, a new player has matured into the mainstay of the local startup scene: MusicTech.

Berlin’s liberal way of life is probably one of the reasons why talents from all over the world settle in the German capital. But it is the city’s creative and vigorous spirit that helps over 1,450 companies and startups to create innovation. For years, behemoths like SoundCloud, Native Instruments and Ableton have been the biggest names in the music tech industry; yet in their shadow, new, innovative startups have sprouted.

We talked to three innovative Berlin-based music tech companies and asked why they chose Berlin as their business location.

“Berlin is the European hub for talented people!” 

The Berlin-based startup Holoplot builds hardware and software products that push the boundaries of conventional audio and loudspeaker technology. Their products allow for flexible sound design by controlling the sound propagation by software, which addresses the challenges of conventional loudspeaker technology. Founded in 2011, their office is located within the Tempelhof neighbourhood just south of the historic airport. The company is looking to become the global leader for professional audio systems within the next decade and believes that Berlin is the right place to support their bold vision of turning the sound industry on its head.

He loves being in Berlin and appreciates the creative music scene as a strong benefit for Holoplot. He identifies the capital as the “European hub for talented people” that helps to further innovate and develop their technology into commercial products.

Are you interested in Berlin as a MusicTech location? Please find further information about the local industry and contect Berlin Partner if you have any questions!

A prominent standing in the European tech landscape

Berlin’s attraction for talents is also greatly valued by music and audio tech startup Mimi Hearing Technologies. The company develops sound personalisation solutions to bring science-based sound personalisation integration to any consumer electronic device, everywhere people listen. In fact, they had built up an international team with a long-standing science and audio industry background so quickly, that they outgrew their first office in Berlin-Mitte. But the startup was able to find a new location in the eastern district of Friedrichshain. What could have been a potentially business-threatening endeavour in other European cities –  ofiice rent in London or Paris can sometimes be three times the rate of Berlin – moving into a more spacious place was less of an issue here.

Team Mimi
Team Mimi © Mimi Hearing Technologies

Mimi also successfully partners with consumer electronics giants like beyerdynamic and Loewe Technologies – an accomplishment that can to some extent be attributed to Berlin’s development into the centre of gravity within Europe’s tech business and startup ecosystem.

“People are open-minded and always happy to help!”

Various Berlin-based initiatives help smoothen market entrance and assist in answering all the questions that come with relocating a business to Berlin or establishing a startup in the city. Among these associations is the Bundesverband Musiktechnologie Deutschland e.V., or simply MusicTech Germany. As a main contact point for all matters of music and technology, they serve as a networking and logistics hub for the industry.

One of the founding members of the initiative is the Prenzlauer Berg-based company Soundbrenner. Combining wearables and smart software, they introduced the Soundbrenner Core, a 4-in-1 smartwatch, designed specifically for musicians, including a vibrating metronome, a magnetic contact tuner as well as a decibel meter. They have shipped over 80,000 wearables, and more than 500,000 musicians are using their mobile application monthly. They operate out of Berlin, with an office in Hong Kong managing their hardware supply chain.

Florian Simmendinger (right) & Julian Vogels (left) of Soundbrenner
Florian Simmendinger (right) & Julian Vogels (left) of Soundbrenner © Soundbrenner

The reasons for focusing on Berlin as their main office? “Its great music culture and edgy charisma are almost unparalleled, and musicians as well as developers from all over the world gravitate to the German capital because of it. All our employees feel welcome and appreciate German healthcare, great public transport and a relatively low cost of living when compared to other European metropolises,” Julian Vogels, CTO and Co-founder of Soundbrenner, says. When asked about a story that best describes Berlin’s edgy and open-minded character he adds:

This social atmosphere is also noticed by Holoplot’s CEO Roman Sick. He feels that “networking in general is very easy in Berlin. You can get in contact with everyone you like through a couple of connections. People are open-minded and always happy to help (…)”.

Are you interested in Berlin as a MusicTech location? Please find further information about the local industry and contect Berlin Partner if you have any questions!

Room for improvement

While naming some advantages for Berlin as a startup location, Roman Sick also points to some of the challenges that businesses and talents face when starting a business or career in Berlin. “The challenge in Berlin is competition for certain types of engineers and sufficient housing options for young families moving here,” he explains.

Julian Vogels, CTO and Co-founder of Soundbrenner, also identifies some areas in which Berlin has work to do and needs to advance itself, considering there are no signs for the startup craze to slow down anytime soon:

“There is some potential for improvement, and many opportunities for the city administration to renew themselves and become more efficient. While there are great city services like the Business Immigration Service of Berlin Partner, dealing with the local district administration can be challenging to our international employees from outside the European Union.”

As other supporting organisations that were essential in getting off the ground, he further names Startup Weekend,, betahaus and the Fab Lab Berlin. New music tech Berliners are also invited to check out Soundbrenner’s Musical Instrument Maker Meetup Berlin, “(…) a growing community of makers and tinkerers with over 160 members already”.

More about Music Tech Berlin

Do you have a specific question or inquiry? Don't hesitate to contact with Berlin Partner directly!

Text: Spring.Brandideas

Header image: Soundbrenner

More articles


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.