The startup and investment culture in Germany and Europe in general is, compared to the United States, still lagging behind. Silicon Valley is still the place where the decisions are made. On stage were Neil Parikh (Casper), Cyriac Roeding (Shopkick), Sascha van Holt (Seven Ventures), Ellie Wheeler (Greycroft) and Jeff Jarvis (CUNY/Buzzmachine) discussing why Germany is having this difficulty. Sascha, CEO of SevenVentures, is convinced that it is all about being the first when it comes to investments: "You should go before all spots are taken", he said. Therupon Cyriac, a Silicon Valley-based German-born entrepreneur, commented that with the comparison that it's not really cool to go to a club too early – because it can happen to be boring.
"Entrepreneurs have to think really big"
So it's all about the right timing – which is company specific, of course. By no means Germany doesn’t have a startup culture at all, but it's business culture is kind of averse towards risk-taking. "Investments need time", Ellie said. "But the flowers are growing and the ecosystem in Berlin is great." As Jeff Jarvis wanted to know how big investments can be achieved , all speakers agreed that there is a need of exits, because then there will be fundings. Furthermore the companies have to internationalize quickly. "Entrepreneurs have to think really big", Cyriac said. "That's how you can change the world."