Factory, which bills itself as “Europe’s largest innovation community”, has announced a strategic partnership with NUMA Berlin, the German capital’s wing of a global network of challenges and innovation training platforms. The aim of the pair is to closer fuse Berlin’s corporate and tech communities, as the city continues to strengthen as a continental startup hub.
The exchange will open opportunities for Factory-based entrepreneurs to learn from corporate innovators, making young businesses more viable while maintaining Berlin’s creative reputation. By most metrics the city, which has earned the moniker “Silicon Allee”, is second among Europe’s tech cities, behind London, whose looming “no-deal” Brexit has rafts of tech companies grabbing for their contingency plans.
NUMA will look to support “courageous thinkers from various sectors that want to solve business and city challenges like Smart City, Smart Industry, future of work or corporate innovation,” according to a press release. The network is present in eight countries, on four continents. Its 212 alumni startups run the gamut of sectors, in cities as far flung as Casablanca, Moscow and Mexico City.
Berlin has had a topsy-turvy week in tech: Google’s proposed campus in the hip neighborhood of Kreuzberg was culled by a grassroots movement whose “Fuck Google” stickers were found all over the city. But yesterday it was announced that digital giant Siemens would build a €600 million ($678m) “Innovation Campus” on the city’s western edge.
“We firmly believe in the strengths and benefits that a cross-industry and cross-functional collaboration implicates,” says NUMA Germany co-founder and CEO Dario Moeini. “Our goal is to increase the quality and speed of innovation in the German startup ecosystem. Therefore, we are very excited about the new partnership with Factory Berlin, which will benefit both of the communities.”