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© Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de/Wiki Commons
© Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de/Wiki Commons

After Brexit: Berlin Enjoys A Surge In Tech Talent

Picture of Lily Cichanowicz
Updated: 13 December 2016
Berlin has long been a relevant startup capital, but after Britain’s Brexit decision, it may have just gotten a lot more important. Berlin is an appealing option. This is particularly the case for techies currently residing in London, a city that is often considered to be the tech capital of Europe, though perhaps not for much longer.

Brexit could certainly lead to some economic upheaval in the coming years, and many workers are considering their best options before the statutes of the referendum are instated. Specifically, it is expected that there will be raised tariffs and other restrictive changes to trade barriers between the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, which will make doing business in an increasingly globalized world more difficult. Plus, any non-British citizens may have more barriers in terms of living and working in the U.K.

While many people are woeful about the state of Great Britain, there is one place that might actually benefit from this monumental decision: Berlin, a city that has long attempted to lure in British tech talent. According to experts, a solid portion of the £180 billion that London rakes in annually from tech-related business, might flow instead into Berlin’s tech industry.

Tech-related profits have plummeted in Britain since the referendum, but Germany’s have risen by a solid 16% in the three months, a fact that has helped experts to arrive at this conclusion. Berlin has already been an important startup hub in the global sphere, with companies like SoundCloud, Zalando, Wooga, Wimdu, Trademob, Rocket Internet, Blinkist, and many others that have set up shop and subsequently thrived. Hessam Lavi, founder of Jobspotting saw an increase of over 100,000 job hunters from the U.K. utilizing the site in search of work in Berlin after the Brexit vote. That’s four times more than normal.

While this outflow of promising tech professionals and budding ventures is unfortunate for the UK and a loss for Europe’s overall culture of startup competitiveness, it could lead to the business boom that Berlin’s steadily growing tech startup scene has been waiting for. What’s more is that in actuality, Berlin’s startups have actually been faring slightly better than London’s for some time now. In the past two years, Berlin has attracted about €400 million more capital. This is largely due to the many tax incentives, accelerator programs, grants, and public funds available to new businesses in Berlin. Many stakeholders dream of one day seeing a company as big as Facebook or Google emerge from Berlin.

It may be that Berlin’s market climate will serve as an excellent refuge from any economic backlash to follow the Brexit decision, inviting the capital and the talent needed to finally make this dream into a reality.