Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall: the countdown is on
The countdown for “25 Years – 25 Stories” starts on October 16, exactly 25 days after the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The capital’s marketing campaign be Berlin chose this motto to invite the designers of Berlin’s economy to tell their very personal company story. An editorial team with representatives of business and science selected the top 25 stories out of over 180 submissions. “We received many emotional stories of founders, entrepreneurs and researchers who helped shaping Berlin’s economy after the reunification. With this campaign, we give them a face. The selected stories will be presented to the public by a citywide countdown starting tomorrow. As a special highlight, the companies will become “balloon godfathers” of the Lichtgrenze reminding of the former division of the city”, said Melanie Bähr, Managing Director of Berlin Partner for Business and Technology.
It is entrepreneurs like the ones who provided the 25 stories who have shaped Berlin’s economy till this day: “Since the fall of the Wall in 1989, Berlin has developed into a dynamic, innovative and open-minded metropolis. The excellent infrastructure, the high quality of life and the international environment attract young creative talents from all over the world. Berlin sees more new companies emerging than in any other federal state. The good economic development depends on the many companies contributing to the rise of Berlin. These are people who shape and promote Berlin”, said Dr. Richard Meng, State Secretary and Senate Spokesman. Along with traditional companies, startups were also asked to tell their story within the scope of this campaign. “For many startups, Berlin has become an attractive location especially due to the former division of the city and the dynamics resulting from it. Berlin is open-minded and tolerant: young entrepreneurs meet people from over 180 countries here. Due to its history, Berlin has become a place where you can try different things and inspire people with your ideas”, explained erklärt Dr. Stefan Franzke, Managing Director of Berlin Partner for Business and Technology.
The 25 stories are just as multifaceted Berlin itself. Heiko Weidlich delighted the jury with his story: as a former “East-Berliner”, he could experience first-hand how two economic systems had to grow together after the fall of the Wall. In 1995, he founded his company PKN based on this experience. According to the IT entrepreneur, Berlin is still the best place to start a business as it was back then. “My company has in the meantime 50 employees and is active in Berlin because its people are innovative and don't fear changes”, says Weidlich. Another story is told by Gabriele Streichhahn, intendant of the Theater im Palais. Since 1991, the theater has been a part of the cultural diversity in Berlin which makes the capital so livable for visitors, entrepreneurs and young talents. “To me, Berlin is a place for active people where failure and success are equally commemorated”, says Streichhahn.
Brigitta Gabrin, Managing Director of the radio station multicult.fm, has also told her story for the campaign. To her, Berlin is the place to be. Born in Romania, she founded the internet station multicult.fm after the shutdown of Radio Multikulti of RBB. The radio station went on air on December 1, 2008 and broadcasts in Chinese, Kurdish, Spanish, Polish, Turkish, English and many other languages. “My company is active in Berlin because after the shutdown I decided that such a bright and colorful metropolis definitely needs a media platform appropriately reflecting the city’s multi-ethnic population mix”, emphasizes Gabrin.
Starting on October 16, one of the 25 stories will be published every day at www.sei.berlin.de/25.
Since 2008, Berlin Partner for Business and Technology has been successfully implementing the be Berlin campaign on behalf of the Berlin Senate. The campaign is comprised of many ideas, activities and events, showing what is so special about Berlin and establishing a whole city as a brand – be it as a growing business and science location, a creative metropolis or the “City of Opportunities”. Having this diversity, be Berlin will continue feeling the pulse of Berlin and introducing it to the world.