The Factory, a new high-end incubator, has finally opened up in Berlin

After two years of construction, the eagerly anticipated Factory held its grand opening yesterday. The startup campus will welcome 22 companies, including SoundCloud, Twitter, and 6Wunderkinder, to its 16.000 m2 space. The full-day event was kicked-off by Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit along with the Factory Founders Simon Schäfer and Udo Schloemer. The evening’s official Opening Ceremony brought in the crowds with Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, as the keynote speaker. “When I think of this location, I feel that it is perfect for the renaissance to come,” says Schmidt on the Factory. In his keynote, Schmidt spoke on the rapid transformation of Berlin through its difficulties to becoming what is now for him a unique, vibrant, and global cultural center. With this environment as a springboard, the “renaissance to come” is the shift towards becoming a more entrepreneurial society.

The Factory, a new high-end incubator in Berlin funded by Google and other corporate partners, opened its doors on Wednesday, after a much-hyped, long-delayed roll-out. It will host a group of start-ups from the Berlin ecosystem such as SoundCloud, 6Wunderkinder, and Toast, as well as more established names like Mozilla and Zendesk as “residents”. Mentors include staff from Google for Entrepreneurs and Twitter, and the program will offer an array of workshops, courses, and other events designed to help founders navigate typical start-up challenges like product development, networking and funding. The Factory is a sleek campus with a renovated old factory at its center and includes shared apartments for residents. Situated close to a historic site where the Berlin Wall once divided the city, the complex has the capacity to employ up to 500 people and will also offer community outreach programs like coding courses. Google’s Eric Schmidt was the VIP of the evening, giving a keynote speech that ran the gamut from the lack of a start-up culture in Germany, to his promise that Google and young start-ups would deliver jobs to Germany.

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