London-based “pre-team, pre-idea” company-builder Entrepreneur First is expanding to Berlin, as it looks for tech workers who buck establishment trends.
The 2011-founded firm, which opened its second office in Singapore in 2016, told Wired UK it had “lots of big tech and Oxbridge (a combined term for Oxford and Cambridge Universities) types,” but that its Berlin operation would hunt a “new kind of talent.”
It is an interesting move for Entrepreneur First, which received a $12.4 million cash injection from Greylock Partners and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman last September. Its alumni include Multiply co-founder Vivek Madlani and Flora Tasse of video platform Selerio.
Besides its years-long reputation as a startup hub, Berlin’s counterculture past and cheap cost of living has made it fertile ground for anarcho-tech trends like cryptocurrency and hacking.
Hackerbay has become one of the German capital’s most promising tech brands, supplying corporations with fast-moving hacking talent. A raft of smaller firms have shown there is much more to the city than Rocket Internet, the multibillion-dollar powerhouse that has spun out some of the world’s most successful e-commerce sites.
Unlike Entrepreneur First’s London and Singapore programs, its Berlin program will run for three rather than six months. Successful candidates will get the chance to win funding from the company’s London office, which is being converted into a European fund. It is part of a global expansion that Greylock Partners has suggested could comprise several dozen cities.