Deutsche Telekom has launched a new incubator in Berlin to develop ideas around telecommunications services, Internet services and digital media. The German media giant’s CEO Rene Obermann made the announcement as he gave the opening keynote at the NEXT conference on Tuesday morning.
The incubator is called hub:raum – ‘Hubraum’ is German for engine capacity – and is located on Andreasstrasse near Ostbahnhof. The project will enable Telekom to improve its interaction with the startup scene and benefit from the wave of innovation currently swelling within Berlin.
Min-Kim Mak, one of the two leaders of the project alongside Peter Borchers, told the startup stage at NEXT that they felt it was important to lift young companies (‘Hub’ being German for lift): “We are happy to host fresh companies, groups of creative people, startup teams, if that is around digital Internet and telecoms. We have a full package… it comprises a number of ways of how to operate with Deutsche Telekom, not least a really impressive group of high quality managers who bring along really substantial knowhow of how to build companies and how to grow them.”
The program will allow startups to benefit from Deutsche Telekom’s size and reach while maintaining entrepreneurial independence. Also included is support from expert mentors such as Jörg Rheinboldt, alando co-founder and managing director of eBay Deutschland for many years. In addition, Deutsche Telekom will offer seed funding of up to €300,000.
Thomas Grota, senior investment manager at T-Venture, told Silicon Allee: “There are a lot of things that startups can do for us that maybe they do not know about and that maybe we also do not know about.”
Around ten to 15 startups will be included each year, and anyone interested can apply on the website.