Start-ups in Adlershof: Adlershof provides the perfect location for high tech start-ups with long term plans for sustainable growth

23. November 2015

Start-ups in Adlershof

Adlershof provides the perfect location for high tech start-ups with long term plans for sustainable growth

Roland Sillmann, Geschäftsführer der WISTA-MANAGEMENT GMBH. Bild: © Adlershof Special


The greater the precision achieved in the manufacture of aerofoil surfaces, the less turbulence they generate, and the less fuel they need. The optical instrumentation produced by the Berlin start-up 5micron can measure aerofoils to a precision as high as five micrometres, and this not on the test rig, but in actual operation – in the air. “We can document tiny deformations in the surface during the flight,” explained Ute Franke. The cofounder of 5micron has been residing at the innovation and start-up centre in Adlershof since the spring of 2015. According to Franke, this city of science was the perfect location for her start-up: “We received excellent support here. Not only that, we were surrounded by a network of innovative technology companies pursuing similar lines. So we always have our finger on the pulse of technical progress.”

Start-ups in the Adlershof city of science do not have much in common with the start-up scene in central Berlin. Even the target group is entirely different: They do not produce for end consumers, but are leaders in their niche technology in search of close cooperation with industry. “Operating in the B2B field means pursuing goals other than expansive growth and a fast buyout,” explained Roland Sillmann, Managing Director of Innovations-Zentrum Berlin Management GmbH (IZBM) in Adlershof and recently Managing Director of WISTA-MANAGEMENT GMBH as well. “Adlershof start-ups generally want sustainable and long term growth.”

According to the conventional definition, start-ups are less than five years on the market and pursue an innovative business model. Roland Sillmann estimates the number of these companies at the location to be 150–200, or 10–15 percent of the total. “About half come from Berlin, a further quarter from Germany, and the last quarter from abroad.” New companies may find support at two start-up hubs: The innovation and start-up centre IGZ is the contact address for both new and established companies, and the internationally aligned centre OWZ sees to the global players among the start-ups.

The start-up centres accommodate first-time entrepreneurs with flexible rents for offices and laboratory rooms, at the same offering a wide range of consultancy services. These focus primarily on everyday problems. “If somebody doesn’t know how customs work,” explained Sillmann as an example. “Or we help in the preparation of a product presentation at a company group.” He and his colleagues are forging a network of start-ups and setting up contacts to medium-sized business for an interlinked system of product development, financing, and sales. And yet one other factor is important for many start-ups, explained Sillman: “New, unknown companies seeking cooperation partners and customers
now have a renowned address in Adlershof that has become synonymous with high technology.”

By Mirko Heinemann for Adlershof Special

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