Berlin's bold bid to lure London start-ups

Germany's capital is hoping to profit from UK's vote to leave the EU

Berlin's bold bid to lure London start-ups

It's in Berlin but inside this start-up campus they speak English.

Only 70 percent of the staff are German - and the percentage could soon be even lower.

Berlin is looking to profit from the UK's vote to leave the EU by tempting companies away from London.

Lukas Kampfmann, Factory chief marketing officer, said: "The prevailing feeling here in Berlin is that London has more or less taken itself out of the race."

Berlin's been sending letters to firms in London's technology hub urging anyone worried about the impact of Brexit to consider moving.

It's even opening a pop-up shop in London.

Stefan Franzke, managing director Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, said: "Talent, technology and tolerance. People are very open minded and when you want to do business you need creativity, you need the spirit, you need the energy of the city."

There are signs some are being won over.

Hans Dahn, the CEO of Swissbank, said: "It is this uncertainty that makes us leave. Plus we learnt that the culture in Berlin is a very good fit for our company and also politics and partners are very excited to work with us, so it's a very good eco-system."

But London won't be handing over its business without a fight and it has strength on its side.

61,000 people were employed in the sector last year, according the Ernst and Young, that's five times the number in Berlin.

Bureaucracy is also a problem in Germany.

Landlords favour long rentals, official forms are often only in German and it even takes time to open a bank account.

There may be good recreation facilities but one firm complained it took two months to set up in Berlin compared with three days in London.

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