Google has a number of initiatives aimed at entrepreneurs globally, and a thread of a strategy appears to be emerging in Europe, albeit with different approaches. The tech giant has already supported the creation of an accelerator/workspace called Le Camping in Paris, part-backed with state money. In London it literally took out a ten-year lease on a building, Google Campus London, and stacked it with co-working companies and accelerators. And now today in Berlin it’s announced a new initiative with a vast new start-up centre/accelerator called the “Factory“, which is backed with private money.
The extensive partnership will see Google contributing money and resources into a space which hopes to become one of the epicentres – if not the epicentre – of Berlin’s white-hot startup culture right now.
Under the badge “Google for Entrepreneurs”, the scheme plans to contribute €1 million over three years to support the whole German start-up sector. However, the money and resources will be channeled though the Factory, so the programs and events financed will not just be not exclusively for the Factory’s resident companies, but for all comers, although clearly €1 million over three years is not exactly a knock-it-out-of-the-park figure.
Hard luck for startups developing on Apple or Microsoft technologies? We’re told not. Plus, the Factory says it will have a strict “no recruiting policy” on the campus.
There are plans for training programs, technology and events for young entrepreneurs and developers, and Google experts will join Factory’s mentoring program
Google and partners such as StartUp-Weekend and Google Developer Groups will use the new premises. Google employees will be on hand to provide advice. And an on-site technology laboratory (“Device Library”) will be equipped with Google hardware (such as Android-Tablets, Chromebook), which developers can access as required. A free software package of Google services for start-ups is also in the planning.
Amongst Soundcloud, possibly Berlin’s fastest growing startup, Mozilla plans a large presence in the building.
Situated close to the Berlin Wall Memorial in Bernauer Strasse the campus, when completed, will be 12,000 m2 in size, and house many other startups including Versus IO, Toast, 6Wunderkinder and Silicon Allee. Restaurants and cafes, sports and event facilities will complete the concept.