On the occasion of the two-year anniversary of the traffic light coalition, the Startup Association has presented an interim assessment of the startup-relevant measures of the federal government. For Christoph J. Stresing, Managing Director of the Startup Association, there is “room for improvement” in the startup measures. The focus is on talent, capital and digitalisation.
Talent as the cornerstone of start-up success
With the Skilled Immigration Act, the coalition government has taken an important step towards opening up the German labour market to international talent. In view of the dramatic shortage of skilled labour, this was urgently needed. However, legal regulations are not the only decisive factor for success in practice. According to Stresing, “fast and digital visa procedures” are just as important. “There is still a problem here. The digitalisation and harmonisation of visa procedures will determine whether the immigration of skilled workers will ultimately be quick and easy,” warns Stresing.
The German government has also made employee participation schemes more attractive with the Future Financing Act. This fulfils an important announcement from the coalition agreement. However, in order to establish Germany as a top location for global talent, further measures must follow.
Access to capital for more growth
The future fund totalling 10 billion euros is a decisive measure to improve start-ups’ access to capital. The growth fund as a new module of the future fund should be emphasised in particular. This is the first time that investments at fund level have been mobilised by private institutional investors. This is a decisive lever for strengthening the venture capital market in Germany and supporting the growth of German start-ups.
Digital transformation as an unfulfilled promise
Despite the announcement of a “digital awakening”, the digital transformation in public administration and the legislative process has fallen far short of expectations. Some progress has been made, such as the introduction of the digital check for laws. However, there is still a noticeable need to catch up. And in view of the cancellation of the additional digital budget, there is hardly any improvement in sight over the next two years. “The pressure is great, the problems are known – and yet far too little progress is being made. This is frustrating for citizens and an obstacle to growth for start-ups. The postulated “digital awakening” has been stalled before it has even begun,” says Stresing
All in all, the startup association sees many important steps in the right direction in the measures taken so far by the traffic light coalition, which were bundled together for the first time in the startup strategy adopted in 2022. However, further efforts are necessary for Germany to achieve the goal it has set itself of becoming the leading startup location in Europe by 2025.
To achieve this, it is important to set the right priorities now and focus on the future. “Less bureaucracy and more digitalisation are the guidelines,” says Stresing. In addition, the recruitment of talent must be made easier and the financing of start-ups must be further strengthened. Exit channels in particular need to be improved in order to sustainably secure the dynamics of the venture capital market.
About the Startup Association:
The Startup Association has almost 1,200 members and was founded in Berlin in September 2012. The association sees itself as the representative and voice of startups in Germany: it represents the interests, viewpoints and concerns of startup companies vis-à-vis legislation, administration and the public. It promotes innovative entrepreneurship and aims to promote the startup mentality in society. The association sees itself as a network for startups in Germany.