Berlin tech hub Factory launches the Distillery programme – Google-backed “startup clinics”

Simon Schäfer
Simon Schäfer

The next round of news from Berlin tech centre Factory is in: A new programme to aid startups called “Distillery” has been announced in collaboration with Google for Entrepreneurs and the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), a partnership between a number of German higher education institutes.

Simon Schäfer

Together, the Factory and HIIG want to provide expert legal, finance and HR advice for startups and aspiring entrepreneurs by launching so-called “Startup Clinics” located within the Factory campus. These clinics are basically open office hours hosted by HIIG that are free for all startups to attend – even if they aren’t housed in the Factory. The founders view the Distillery programme as a starting point for all internet and tech companies, regardless of what stage they’re at.

On the new programme Simon Schaefer, founder of the Factory, said: “As a place, but more importantly as a curated network of founders, investors and international businesses, the Factory is already a great breeding ground for startups. The Distillery should allow startups that are not located in the Factory campus the opportunity to also gain access to this network.”

What does HIIG get from the collaboration?

The new programme will be used by HIIG to gain information on what helps and hinders internet startups, which they will gather from the discussions with founders in the clinics. The focus will be on what legal, financial and personnel challenges the entrepreneurs faced when developing their  business models. The results of these discussions will then be integrated into the HIIG’s research – following open-science principles – which aims to shed light on the changing relationship between the internet and society.

The Distillery is the next attempt by the Factory to secure powerful partners that they can work with to boost the Berlin startup scene. Late last year, the tech hub partnered with Google, which pledged €1m to the tech hub. Additionally, it launched the Berlin Innovation ConSensus last week with Shell, Deutsche Bank and Google to gather and implement new ideas.

Today’s announcement means the tech hub has another powerful ally – representatives from the university system – to join its corporate partners.

For related posts, check out

Berlin Innovation ConSensus – Factory teams up with Deutsche Bank, Google and Shell to encourage entrepreneurship in Germany
Exclusive: Another big-name international startup moves into The Factory – Zendesk
Digs, delays and secret bunkers: Berlin’s tech epicentre The Factory one year on