The 9th German Start-up Monitor, which was published on Thursday and in which more than 2000 young German companies participated, delivers good and bad news for the scene this year.

The monitor is created by the Federal Association of German Start-ups and the auditing company PwC in cooperation with the University of Duisburg-Essen.

The study represents companies that are less than ten years old, as well as their 5000 founders and 30,000 employees.

Kevin Hanschke


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The good news is that the business climate for start-ups has brightened significantly and half of young entrepreneurs are optimistic about the future.

The index is back at the level of 2019. In addition, the study shows that many founders rate the location conditions in Germany as always better.

This trend is also reflected in the number of employees.

The average number of employees rose from 14 to 18, and 91.6 percent of start-ups are planning new hires for the next year.

The reluctance of investors has subsided

On average, they want to hire eight new employees. But the bad news is that in addition to raising capital, the shortage of skilled workers is an increasing problem for the founders. There is a lack of staff to keep up with the upswing. 27 percent of the start-up founders already describe the search for personnel as the biggest hurdle, which is 10 percentage points more than in the previous year.

Half of the companies also state that they are still affected by the economic effects of the pandemic.

Another challenge is insufficient access to data and its concentration in a few international corporations.

Two thirds of the young entrepreneurs therefore advocate an open data initiative by the federal government, through which the relevant data is also available to newly founded companies, and they call for stronger action against data monopolies of large Internet companies. 

Venture capital divides the scene

In this year's survey, 36 percent named raising money as the most important problem.

In 2020, 43 percent said this.

Nevertheless, entrepreneurs rate access to capital more positively than in 2020: 38 percent are satisfied with it.

This is also due to the fact that the pandemic-induced reluctance of investors has subsided.

However, the question of venture capital divides the start-up scene.

Half of the companies would like to finance themselves with it.

Only twenty percent are doing it right now.

This is also a well-known problem in the Federal Republic.

The proportion of female founders has risen more sharply after the only slight growth in recent years and is now 17.7%, two percentage points higher than in 2020. Nevertheless, women remained underrepresented in the startup ecosystem, according to the report on the study.

Most start-ups were also in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2020 with 18.5 percent.

17.1 percent of the start-ups surveyed are active in the start-up capital Berlin.

Which is the second place in the federal state comparison.

The metropolitan areas are particularly attractive for start-ups, but many of them complain about the lack of cheap office space.

Over a third rate the availability of affordable office properties as bad or very bad.