What trends do you see in the IT sector? Where are the greatest opportunities and challenges at present?
A clear trend is not discernible for me at the moment. The development of the Internet does not only go in one direction. Nevertheless, a lot is still happening in the “mobile” area, especially with regard to the development of new apps for mobile devices.
Enterprise applications and entertainment applications also have great potential. Online marketing and advertising — especially in the mobile environment — are equally big topics. However, we also see many young companies here that offer solutions based on a SaaS platform that draw important and usable insights for their customers from large volumes of data — keyword “Big Data”. Content marketing is another area that is becoming increasingly important for companies — here, in addition to search engines, social media channels will have to be included more and more. And last but not least, there is the “Internet of Things”, in whose environment many new business ideas can be found.
Germany, and Berlin in particular, has developed into a promising and strong start-up scene in the digital sector. But if the business ideas lack real innovation, long-term concepts and scalable technologies, they will have a hard time convincing investors and surviving in the long term.
The U.S. is certainly a step ahead of us in terms of exploiting the opportunities and potential of the digital economy. The size and homogeneity of the U.S. market alone makes it significantly easier for a U.S. startup to go global right from the start. The barriers of a German or European startup are obvious here. In addition, there are larger financing rounds in the U.S. market for young companies, which can thus take off faster than their European counterparts. Technical innovations also seem to be adopted more quickly by the American population than they are here. And in the debate about ‘copycats’, US startups usually serve as models for the so-called German copies. Nevertheless, American companies and investors also like to look at the European market, and thus also at the German market, because innovative companies can be acquired more cheaply here.