The Platform helps Berlin to improve their Startup Internationalisation strategy

Peer review
By Platform

On 3 and 4 July 2019, the Policy Learning Platform organised a peer review in Berlin, Germany. The two day event was hosted by the Berlin Senate for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises (SENWEB) and focused on startup internationalisation. The 2-days meeting brought together peers working in large urban startup ecosystems from Amsterdam, Genoa, Helsinki and Paris; local incubators and startups; as well as selected members of the SCALE.CITIES network.

The objective of the peer review was to receive recommendations on the newly implemented startegy: 'Internationalisation and Transnational Cooperation within the Programme Berlin Startup' that was launched in 2018. The peer review allowed for the strategy to be further analysed, developed and improved. Take a look at the summary report.


Peers from across Europe

Alongside Luc Schmerber and Rene Tönnisson, SME competitiveness experts, brilliant peers were invited and participated to the peer review:

  • Bas Beekman, Director of Startup Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
  • Pierto De Martino, Representative of Italy at EBN Board (European Business and Innovation Centers Network), FILSE Spa, Genova (Italy)
  • Carin Saloff-Coste, Director of Attractiveness and Employment Department (City of Paris), (France)
  • Marie Monjauze, Head of Innovation Unit in Attractiveness and Employment Department (City of Paris), (France)
  • Christine Chang, Senior Adviser at Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council (Finland)

The peer review discussions

The host presented the following main questions to guide the peer review and to find possibilities to improve their implemented strategy:

  • How can SME project funding be adapted in order to support international activities of startups (e.g. amount and quality of eligible expenditure), without increasing the share of bureaucratic costs?
  • How can we establish partnerships through Network Projects that are self-sustaining at the end of the funding period?
  • How to evaluate the achievement of goals in network projects?
  • Are there similar public programs for creating international partnerships through networks and how can we cooperate?


Through discussions and analysis the following recommendations were established to support startup internationalisation:

  1. The need for an overarching strategy with priorities which remains flexible to address startup needs (bottom-up)
  2. Regions need to be international at first stage in order to create impulse for projects and local partners (if startups need to think global, policy must also)
  3. Monitoring is needed following the startup life cycle approach
  4. Compile / aggregate the information available from the incubators and further relevant intermediaries (project providers) on a regular basis
  5. Follow-up on startups’ development after they leave the funding scheme
  6. Use existing networks between cities (such as e.g. SCALE.CITIES) for developing and opening smart networks to startups, helping them to answer their specific needs
  7. Develop a team of experts (internal and through selected intermediaries) with specific sector knowledge in order to provide tailored support to startups (contacts with first clients…)
  8. Sector-based international offices in selected locations (e.g. French biotech in Boston area)
  9. Local welcome culture (insurance, bank, translation of information) for international newcomers / soft-landing packages

Discover all the recommendations and conclusions in the summary report.


The German host mentioned to be very pleased with the outcome of the peer review:

'We feel extremely enriched by the presentations, discussions and results. We are quite sure that all persons involved have learned something which will be useful for their work. On behalf of all participants we dare to express our wish to keep in contact with each other, whether under the Interreg umbrella or other programmes, networks and events.' - Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises

Interested in hosting a peer review?

Are you interested in hosting or participating in a peer review? Get in contact with us or submit you application through our online form. Note that this service is reserved for managing authorities, public authorities or intermediate bodies of Structural Funds programme.