02:57 - Source: CNN
Making Berlin the next start-up hub

Story highlights

Berlin is vying with London to be capital of Europe's start-up scene

Factory has 24 companies in its space, including global players like Soundcloud

The large co-working space is supported by Google and KPMG

Editor’s Note: Smart Business explores the ways companies are thinking smart to thrive in our digitized world.

CNN —  

It’s the business buzzword that’s helping to change the global economy: Start-up. But in Berlin, the start-up world is still shaping up.

Simon Schaefer is the founder of Factory, a 16,000-square-meter co-working space in Berlin designed to cultivate entrepreneurship. Factory allows small start-ups to work on the same campus as more established tech companies, providing a “playground for entrepreneurs and innovators.”

CNN spoke with Schaefer to find out how Factory is facilitating start-ups and the burgeoning Berlin tech scene.

CNN: How many start-ups are currently working at Factory?

Simon Schaefer: Right now we have about 25 companies here on the premises. The big and important difference between other work spaces and us is that we’re stage agnostic so we have later-stage companies or established companies like Mozilla, local heroes like Soundcloud or Wunderkinder, which are role models for younger founders to look up to.

CNN: How does Berlin’s start-up environment compare to the likes of Silicon Valley?

SS: If you compare Berlin to other ecosystems, it’s very early stage. And it needs time the most, and collective know-how. And getting companies from different stages and having them work with each other is much, much easier with proximity and bringing people together in one place.

CNN: What advice do you have for others who are starting a business?