Entrepreneurial hotspots: Have you thought about Berlin?

August 15, 2013 at 7:34 AM

When Americans think about innovation and entrepreneurship, we think of Silicon Valley, Boston, and other U.S. success stories. Although “entrepreneur” is a French word, most of our mental top ten entrepreneurial city lists don’t include European cities. Why is this?  We’re missing out on some really important new venture hot spots.

Let’s look at Berlin. An Australian firm, 2thinknow, publishes an annual Innovation Cities ranking. While Boston, New York, and San Francisco Bay area are among the top four, Berlin is listed in the top fifteen cities, along with places such as London and Hong Kong.

So, why highlight Berlin? Charlotte has extensive connections throughout Germany with many German firms operating in Charlotte. As a result, we have an active chapter of the American Council on Germany. On August 23, they are offering an easy way to learn from the Berlin experience with a breakfast discussion with Benjamin Rohé, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Make A Startup Angel Fund. The program is 8:00-9:00 a.m. at UNC Charlotte’s Center City building.

Broaden your entrepreneurial thinking. Learn what is working for Berlin’s angel investors. Advance registration is required. Contact christine.u.davis@gmail.com for program details.

-Paul Wetenhall


Paul Wetenhall has served as president of Ventureprise, Inc. since returning to the Carolinas in 2008. He has been involved in every aspect of entrepreneurship and innovation since leaving a corporate career in the 1980s to co-found a software venture that commercialized technology from Xerox PARC. His perspective includes experiences as CEO, corporate director (public, private, and non-profit), entrepreneur coach, university lecturer, and leader of efforts to build regional entrepreneurial ecosystems.


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