In 2015, Berlin was designated the fastest growing hub in the world for new companies, with companies like SoundCloud and Foodpanda expanding into the global market with seemingly lightning speed. With its significantly lower cost of living compared to other global cities like London, Berlin poses many advantages for companies looking to place solid roots.
As we prepare to head to the German capital for our upcoming Speexx Exchange Conference on digital transformation in HR and L&D on December 6, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Berlin is an exciting place to be today:
It’s Home to Multinational Companies and Residents
With around 3.5 million inhabitants from 190 different nationalities, Berlin is home to a sizable global population that influences the dynamics of the city. 17% of its residents do not hold a German passport, and pockets of cultural neighborhoods like Little Istanbul and the Vietnamese Dong Xuan Center lend incredible diversity within the metropolis.
As a result, Berliners display a higher-than-average fluency in English compared to the rest of Germany, and the capital can be characterized as a bilingual city. Companies recognize the necessity of English as a global currency in conducting business. This diverse talent pool means employees often speak languages other than German or English, and have to start their language education once they make the move to the city. Companies like Shutterstock and SoundCloud, for example, have been hiring software developers over from all over the world to relocate to their Berlin offices.
In addition to fast-growing startups, those who call the city home include major corporations like Coca-Cola, Bombardier and Universal, as well as tech giants like Amazon and eBay. These companies employ thousands of people from the world over in wide industries ranging from IT to transportation, shaping Berlin as a modern city with cutting-edge technology and infrastructure
It’s a Strong Economic Hub That Attracts Investors
Although Berlin has traditionally been an economic stronghold in Germany, it is increasingly positioning itself as a viable alternative to the financial center of London, particularly in the wake of Brexit. With its strong potential for growth and lower cost of living, the city is in an excellent position to entice businesses considering relocation or expanding their operations elsewhere in Europe.
FinTech funding in Berlin grew 200% between 2014 and 2015, and raised €2 billion in venture capital funds in 2014, beating out London. Bigger companies are also taking note of the growth, with corporations like Microsoft acquiring the Berlin-based startup 6Wunderkinder in 2015 for a sum reportedly between $100–200 million.
Why You Should Come to Berlin
It’s an exciting time for both corporations and entrepreneurs to be in Berlin. According to a study conducted by PwC, Berlin’s potential even extends into the real estate market due to demands created by companies seeking office space. This has positioned the city as the number one spot in Europe for investment opportunities.
As more companies begin to operate their businesses out of Berlin, HR managers need to be prepared, both for the competition for talent, and to make sure their employees are well-equipped for the city’s international climate. The theme of this year’s Speexx Exchange conference — which will be held in Berlin on December 6 — is Digital Transformation.
With Berlin’s growing role as a hub of innovation, both within Europe and on a global scale, this is the time for HR professionals to meet the people shaping this dynamic city and learn from some of the best in the HR and L&D industry. Register here to meet experts from over 15 countries and dive into the latest in e-learning and talent management.
First launched in 2011, Speexx Exchange has turned into an internationally renowned event for learning innovation where thought leaders, friends, and customers meet to explore today’s hottest trends and define the future of learning-driven organizations. Don’t miss it!
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