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Berlin bids to lure British talent

Reporter: Laura Luo 丨 CCTV.com

11-23-2016 16:51 BJT

As British companies grapple with post-Brexit uncertainty, Berlin has come calling with an audacious bid to lure London’s top talent and startups to the German capital.
Berlin Partner, the German capital’s marketing organization, opened a week long pop-up lab in Soho in London’s West End, to showcase the experience of Berlin to London firms.
“We noticed that a lot of companies from the UK are interested in Berlin. We have, the whole time, a good collaboration between Germany and British companies, but after the Brexit, young companies especially the start-ups, are much more interested in Berlin,” said Stefan Franzke,CEO of Berlin partner.

Berlin Partner say that five startups have moved since the vote and that 40 others are seriously considering making the move. Web development company MBJ, is one of those who have made the move, affected by the Brexit and the fall in the pound.

“It kind of decided the speed and to what extent we get people on board depending on which office. I think it had an impact on deciding that we can’t risk having to issue or having to apply for 40 to 50 visas here next year or even the year after, so right now just to be on the safe side we are going to be hiring the majority of the team in Berlin,” said Julian Baladurage, MBJ CEO.

However, it is not a one-way street. Some German firms still believe in the business power of London.

“The British industry, it’s quite strong, so even if the Brexit will change it a little bit, yeah, it’s an important market for us. We take this opportunity to go out of Germany. At the moment we are more focused on Germany with these robot products but we need to go out, we need to make it more international and London is the perfect place for that,” said Thomas Manke, head of marketing Pi4.

German companies creating everything from wearable subwoofers, 3D printers, robots and interactive technology are showcasing their businesses at the lab, hoping to attract British talent. The pop-up runs through Saturday.

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