Silicon Valley to Berlin, the ‘Best Place to be in Europe’

By David Knight |

Berlin is increasingly justifying the hype as Europe’s hottest startup scene (despite some dissenting noises), and a key part of that process is increased recognition in Silicon Valley of the German capital as a tech hub. And a leading marketing figure in San Francisco has become the latest to be bitten by the Berlin bug.

Julia French founded Covered Communication in the Valley a few years ago – but is now set on opening up an office in Berlin. She is currently in Germany working with clients, and spoke to Silicon Allee about Europe’s growing tech environment.

Julia has been working with WhatsApp as well as and Wappwolf, and in the past was director of marketing at Blue Lithium – since acquired by Yahoo – and also worked at Socialtext. In addition, she was involved in setting up events like the Office 2.0 conference and WebMission.

Now she feels strongly that Berlin is the place to be in Europe – so much so that she is setting up an office here in the German capital. She said: “We are going to move over here, it’s just a matter of figuring out the timing. We feel it’s the best place to be in Europe… What we are asking ourselves is how can we participate in the (Berlin) ecosystem? What can we do, and how can we help?”

Facing what she describes as a more global playing field than ever before, Julia considered Munich and Hamburg – not to mention London, Oxford and Cambridge in the UK – before settling on Berlin for her European office.

And a big part of that is the potential she sees for Eastern expansion. She added: “I think Berlin is the closest to the East, and more open to the East, with its history of East and West Berlin. I think there will be a lot more activity in the East, with less of the copycat stuff, and the first place they will feel comfortable in is Berlin.”

And while there may be other candidates, Berlin has more going for it than just its location. Julia said: “Some say Amsterdam, but it’s so small and crowded. Berlin has massive amounts of space; it is anything but crowded.”

This kind of increased recognition can only be a good thing to grow the ecosystem in Berlin and to take it to the next level.