Silicon Valley’s German Hub
In March 2019, a very special new co-working space opened in San Francisco: the German Hub. Markets Germany asked the GTAI representatives on site, Angelika Geiger and Heiko Steinacher, about this exciting project.
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco © bluejayphoto
Seven German organizations have come together to form a new office community in the Silicon Valley metropolis. Why did they do this?
Angelika Geiger: Previously there was no central point of contact in San Francisco for either German companies or American ones that want to become active in Germany. This new concept provides an opportunity for synergies. For example, I work with energy and IT companies across North America, and I’m glad to share my insights on industry trends with the other Hub partners. On the other hand, I can learn directly from colleagues in the Hub about developments in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and northern Germany.
»Invest in your network – you will be repaid in the long run.«
GTAI’s San Francisco invest representative
Which organizations are represented in the German Hub?
Heiko Steinacher: In addition to the GACC West (Representative of German Business for the Western United States) there is our organization Germany Trade & Invest, Invest in Bavaria, the NGIO (Northern Germany Innovation Office), the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the Technical University of Munich and the tax consulting firm Rüter und Partner. Nobody likes to work in isolation; we all profit from open exchange.
»The Bay Area accounts for 40% of all U.S. venture capital.«
GTAI’s San Francisco trade representative
What concrete benefits does this co-working space have for customers and participants?
Geiger: The German Hub brings federal and regional business developers closer together. If I can inspire a company to choose Germany, and Bavaria emerges as a possible location, I can work directly with my Bavarian colleagues in the German Hub. Sharing knowledge, ideas and important contacts is the Silicon Valley mindset – if you invest in your network, you will be repaid in the long run. That philosophy is shared among all of the German Hub participants, and we all benefit.
What is special about the business environment in San Francisco?
Steinacher: The San Francisco Bay Area accounts for about 40 percent of total U.S. venture capital investment and about one-seventh of all U.S. patents. The environment is very innovative and disruptive. We can see that disruption, the replacement of existing technologies and services through innovative new ones, everywhere. It creates alliances that would have been previously unimaginable, such as that of Volkswagen and Microsoft for the development of the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud. Keeping up with these trends is essential for Germany to avoid falling behind. During his visit to San Francisco in early July 2019, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, made it clear that he wants to rev up the transition to future technologies like artificial intelligence and machine-learning. The German Hub wants to actively accompany, support and promote such processes.
Geiger: Silicon Valley attracts top talent from all over the world. It is exciting to work in such a creative atmosphere. But since no single one of us can possibly partake in all of the learning and networking opportunities available, members of the Hub gain from the experiences of the others.
The German Hub
San Francisco’s Silicon Valley attracts the top tech talent from around the world. The new GTAI-supported co-working space will help German companies thrive in this hyper-competitive and disruptive environment by supporting knowledge sharing, collaboration and enhanced networking opportunities.
101 Montgomery Street, Suite 2050, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA