© Priscilla du Preez for Unsplash

Educating and inspiring tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and scientists

High-quality lifestyle, low-cost living and a creative atmosphere are only part of the reason why people from around the world flock to Berlin. With 40 higher education institutions and more than 70 research institutions, Berlin has one of the largest and most diverse science landscapes in Europe. The city is a melting pot of opportunity for interdisciplinary work and industry collaboration.  

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.

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, the Free University of Berlin and the Humboldt University of Berlin, as well as some internationally-renowned technical colleges.

© Peter Himsel/Freie Universität Berlin
© Peter Himsel/Freie Universität Berlin

Berlin is the most popular location for students students coming from abroad. One the one hand, the 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 the future") offer unique development potential to work collaboratively, transfer knowledge effectively and develop exciting new products and technology.

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

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.

© Matthias Heyde/HU Berlin
© Matthias Heyde/HU Berlin

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.

© Berlin Partner - Philipp Jester
© 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.

© Matthias Heyde/Campus Adlershof
© Matthias Heyde/Campus Adlershof

When it comes to educating digital pioneers, developers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow, Berlin also leads the way. 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. 

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. For example, university-based startup centres can 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 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: Berlin Partner - Philipp Jester

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