Every year, there are 50 new startups in the canton. The scene is relatively small, but growing steadily, says a consultant.
“I discover something new here every day,” says Lars Diener-Kimmich. He knows his way around the small Bernese startup world. Small world, because Lausanne and Zurich would have more startups. But Bern is growing and has a special strength: “We are all very well networked here,” said Diener-Kimmich.
Many innovation drivers in the canton
Most of the approximately 50 to 100 startups that are set up each year in the canton of Bern are from the ICT sector – software companies that work digitally. These startups did not take long to have a marketable product – unlike medical-technical startups that sometimes spend years developing their product.
Lars Diener-Kimmich Managing Director «be-advanced» Expand Personal Box Collapse Personal Box Lars Diener-Kimmich studied Technology and Innovation Management and Product Design at ETH Zurich, worked for Swisscom, Nokia and ABB and had his own consulting agency. In 2017, he co-founded a cleantech startup in Hong Kong. He has also been managing director of “be-advanced” since 2017. On behalf of the Canton of Bern, the company promotes and advises start-ups and SMEs.
Especially the different colleges and universities in the canton are stimulating for the startup scene. Again and again, there are research projects that end in a startup.
But independent of the schools there are now many companies that promote startups and innovation targeted – distributed throughout the canton.
How does the canton of Bern benefit from startups?
A startup based in Bern leaves its mark – if it succeeds. “They provide new jobs and pay taxes,” says Lars Diener-Kimmich. But the Bern location also benefits in a different way from the young blood: “Startups are breaking new ground and inspire already established companies.”
Only around 10 to 30 percent of startups survive the first few years. Many give up. But they can also benefit from these: “They have gained a lot of knowledge and learned a lot about entrepreneurship.” That’s what you need to be successful in business.
“Bern is more than mere appearance,” says Diener-Kimmich. There are many companies in Bern that are active all over the world – but you just do not hear about them all the time because they are not involved in the stock market.
Also published on Medium.