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Posts Tagged ‘Germany’


October 27th, 2014

Swiss startups: Start-up spirit in the Silicon Alps

Swiss startups: Start-up spirit in the Silicon Alps

Prompt’s DACH series, post #4: Swiss startups

Big bank accounts and ridiculously expensive real estate – Switzerland is known for attracting the richest of the rich. A good spot to launch a startup? When thinking of aspiring young entrepreneurs, rich in ideas but not a dime in their pockets, Switzerland is not the first place that comes to mind. But Switzerland is more than just chocolate, cheese and snow-covered mountains, it is also a hub for high-tech and medical sciences.

Silicon Alps

Support from prestigious universities such as ETH Zürich and governmental organizations such as CTI facilitates the start-up process for many ambitious entrepreneurs. This all has made Zurich the a hot spot for consumer-facing web technology: Booking platform GetYourGuide, note-taking application Memonic, GroupOn competitor DeinDeal and gaming platform Gbanga have found their way to the start-up forefront.

But it is not only the amazing scenery that makes Switzerland a great destination for young entrepreneurs and professionals – the alpine paradise offers easy setup and taxation, fast investment process and has become a great place for those in search for venture capital, R&D resources and incubation.

And not to forget: Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland, is also home to Google’s largest engineering office outside if the US, which is of great advantage for the entrepreneurial community. Swiss start-ups also benefit from the multilingual environment, they mostly operate in the country’s official languages, German, French and Italian, as well as English, which allows them to build a product in Switzerland before rolling it out to other markets.

But the dream of the ‘Silicon Alps’ has its drawbacks: The potentially high cost of living in Zurich or Geneva can make it difficult for startups to attract new talent. So it may not be a total surprise that some startups such as GetYourGuide have moved to other locations such as Berlin – and as we’ve written about in a previous post about ‘Silicon Allee’, Berlin is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of Europe’s most exciting innovation hubs.

If Switzerland’s thriving start-up community is of interest to you, make sure you follow our blog: Prompt is working with an innovative sport technology company from Lausanne that will launch on Indiegogo this week. Launch updates coming soon…

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September 3rd, 2014

Five things you may not know about the German media

Five things you may not know about the German media

Newspapers#1           Germans published the world’s first newspaper

In 1605, Johann Carolus from Strasbourg (then part of the German Empire) published the first newspaper titled ‘Relation’, which included news from all over the world. About four decades later another German, Timotheus Ritzsch, a printer from Leipzig, published with ‘Einkommende Zeitungen’ the first daily newspaper, which was issued six or seven times each week.

#2          For centuries, it was the country with the largest number of newspapers

Until the Nazis came into power in 1933, Germany was the country of the largest number of newspapers. Of the 4,700 newspapers published in Germany before the Third Reich, no more than 1,100 remained after World War II.

#3           It has one of the largest selections of newspapers

Germany offers the widest variety of newspapers in Europe: With 329 daily newspapers, Germany supplies a larger variety of papers than any other European country. Spain offers 130 newspapers, followed by Italy (97 newspapers) and the UK (95 newspapers).

#4           It has the world’s tightest newspaper dealer network

With 1.4 newspaper sellers per 1,000 people, Germany hast the tightest network of dealers in the world. In addition, over 400 sales outlets at airports and train stations make German and international publications available to travelers.

#5           The German press is (mostly) privately owned

Compared to many other countries such as the US or the UK, most of the German press is privately and family-owned. Axel Springer AG, one of the largest newspaper publishing companies in Europe, and Bertelsmann, one of the world’s largest media companies, are still in private hands.


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August 26th, 2014

Germany – the land of printed books?

Germany – the land of printed books?

When Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1450, it marked the start of a new era. The new invention allowed books to be easily duplicated. From now on access to the classical writings were not only limited to clergy and nobility but gradually expanded to a continuously growing audience. Now fast forward to the new millennium: The launch of the e-book about 600 years later has made printing almost obsolete; the product innovation has changed the reading habits of millions of people across the globe, in particular in America, where e-book sales have already overtaken paperback sales.DACH flags

But what about Germany, the birthplace of the printed book? According to a survey conducted by the internet platform deals.com, 93 percent of all participants stated that they still read print books, only 38 percent said that they would also read e-books. This is a relatively small percentage given the fact that 46 percent of all participants stated that they enjoyed audio books. When it comes to newspapers and magazines, Germans still prefer the print version with their morning coffee: A whopping 95 percent admitted to reading the print version.

Although e-book sales have increased by 77 percent in 2013, they only make up 1 percent of all book sales, the market research institute GfK reported. But why are German consumers so reluctant to e-books? First and foremost, it’s a cultural issue: Books are more deeply ingrained in the German way of life than elsewhere. Books and bookshops are ubiquitous in the daily life. Germans like the sound of paper and the smell of fresh ink.

Many Germans might still be reaching for the paperback for a more economic reason. The German book market is regulated by a fixed book pricing – the so called Buchpreisbindung – which requires all German booksellers to abide by the prices publishers set, so the little corner bookshop can compete with the international retail giant. In Germany, print books are exempt from the standard 19 percent value-added tax and subject to a 7 percent tax instead. E-books, however, are not exempt and are notably pricier.

Digital reading might not be as popular as in many other nations (yet), but modern devices such as smartphones and tablets definitely are. With their strive for technical innovation it is just a matter of time until technophile Germans trade in their hefty tomes for a featherweight e-book.

If you’re a German, Austrian, or Swiss company that wants to launch into the UK or US markets – or a company looking to launch and get more traction in the  DACH region, then email us at dach@prompt-pr.com.

By the way, we speak your language!

Wenn Sie ein deutsches, österreichisches oder Schweizer Unternehmen sind, dass am britischen oder US-amerikanischen Markt Fuß fassen möchte – oder ein Unternehmen, das seine Präsenz in der DACH Region ausbauen will, dann kontaktieren Sie uns doch unter dach@prompt-pr.com

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August 15th, 2014

Achtung, start-up alert!

Achtung, start-up alert!

Silicon Valley was yesterday. Now say hello to Silicon Allee. Frankfurt may be Germany’s financial capital and Hamburg the country’s media hotspot, but when it comes to founding new tech start-ups Berlin is definitely the place to be.

With almost 3,000 start-ups and hundreds of millions of euros in investment, Berlin is rapidly gaining a reputation as Europe’s most exciting innovation hub. IT giants Google and Microsoft are rushing to the German capital where tech companies such as SoundCloud, ResearchGate, Wooga and 6WunderKinder have become the face of the city’s start-up success.

But why is Berlin so popular with young entrepreneurs and professionals? Certainly its comparatively cheap rents and utilities make the German capital a desirable location when choosing the right spot for a new venture. But economic reasoning alone does not drive flocks of business-savvy tech geeks to the once divided city. For many of them, Berlin is also a cultural Mecca where traditional arts meet new innovations. A hotspot of contemporary art and music, a rich variety of restaurants and an internationally acclaimed clubbing scene, the multicultural melting pot attracts young and highly educated people, providing the perfect soil for pioneering spirit and innovative ideas.

In the city once described as “poor but sexy” by its mayor Klaus Wowereit about a decade ago, tech related sales now contribute more than nine billion Euro per year. And the booming start-up scene is also bringing good news to the job market. According to McKinsey & Company, start-ups are expected to deliver more than 100,000 new jobs to the capital city by 2020.

As a native German speaker working at Prompt working for DACH-based software and for American software companies that are ramping up their PR presence in DACH, I’m really pleased to see how the region is transforming.

If you’re a German, Austrian, or Swiss company that wants to launch into the UK or US markets – or a company looking to launch and get more traction in the  DACH region, then email us at dach@prompt-pr.com.

By the way, we speak your language!

Wenn Sie ein deutsches, österreichisches oder Schweizer Unternehmen sind, dass am britischen oder US-amerikanischen Markt Fuß fassen möchte – oder ein Unternehmen, das seine Präsenz in der DACH Region ausbauen will, dann kontaktieren Sie uns doch unter dach@prompt-pr.com

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September 10th, 2013

aPriori signs new European PR contract with Prompt

aPriori signs new European PR contract with Prompt

International agency to continue to drive European media relations for PCM innovator

10 September 2013 Prompt has been appointed by enterprise product cost management software specialist aPriori to run targeted 2014 European media campaigns covering Britain, France and DACH (Germany, Switzerland and Austria).

Headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, aPriori develops and markets enterprise product cost management software to reduce the costs of products both post- and pre-production. aPriori Product Cost Management software platform is the first solution of its kind that allows companies to maximize savings throughout the development and manufacturing stages. The software provides real-time product cost assessments, enabling discrete manufacturers and product companies to make informed decisions to drive down product costs. aPriori helps world class manufacturing corporations stay on budget and reduce excess spending. The company recently announced $6 million in additional funding on the back of a record financial year which included annual revenue growth of 84% and a 62% increase in customers alongside a fifth year of 90% customer renewals.

Rick Burke, VP of Marketing for aPriori, said: “In Prompt we feel we have found a public relations company that matches our own personality. Together we are goal focused and strategic, targeting relevant media audiences in key territories, and concentrating on very specific markets. Prompt has understood our ambitions to produce some excellent and metric-based results to date including opinion pieces, interviews and coverage in core automobile, aerospace and manufacturing press. We now look forward to continuing our momentum, press coverage and sales-focused PR activities in 2014.”

Prompt is a PR consultancy that has gained significant experience in the technology industry with PR, copywriting and marketing clients from early stage technology companies to global organisations such as Dell and Oracle Corporation. The company also offers early stage companies an introduction to PR with packaged services called ‘First Byte’ with sales-focused, ‘no surprises’ PR, thought leadership, media coverage and sales-related content.

Hazel Butters, CEO, Prompt said: “aPriori is a unique company that provides a high quality product with huge value for any businesses looking for an innovative way to make more informed manufacturing and sourcing decisions that drive significant cost out of products. Rick and his team are great to work with – and they’re incredibly focused, providing our team with the goals and objectives essential for effective, results-driven PR. We very much look forward to continuing our work with aPriori into 2014.”

About aPriori
aPriori software and services generate hard-dollar product cost savings for discrete manufacturing and product innovation companies. Using aPriori’s real-time product cost assessments, employees in engineering, sourcing and manufacturing make more-informed decisions that drive costs out of products pre- and post-production. With aPriori, manufacturers launch products at cost targets, maximize savings in re-work projects and never overpay for sourced parts.

About Prompt Communications

Founded in January 2002, Prompt Communications is a communications agency with European offices in London and US offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California. Prompt Communications offers expertise across all marketing disciplines, teaming its consultants’ extensive knowledge of start-ups, technology market with experience of pan-European and American media, analyst and marketing campaigns. Using highly targeted marketing, PR, analyst relations, social media and corporate copywriting initiatives, Prompt helps its clients gain the visibility they need to achieve their business objectives, from increasing sales to enhancing reputation with stakeholders.

Media Contact:
Jackie Fraser | Prompt
Tel: +44 845 053 9121 | +1 617 401 2717

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June 25th, 2013

Technology PR Viewpoint: Around the technology world in 80 days – Day #5: Trier, Germany

Technology PR Viewpoint: Around the technology world in 80 days – Day #5: Trier, Germany

With rucksacks full of travel rations and well-connected mobile devices following our stint in Luxembourg, we definitely looked the part as we joined the throngs of InterRailers heading across the border. Founded in 16 BC Trier is the oldest city in Germany, and home to the University of Trier since 1473. Germany’s renowned network of universities and scientific state institutions, such as the Max Planck Society and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, are the buzzing incubators of raw scientific and technology talent that drive the German high-tech industry.

Historic inspiration is never far away if you’re a science student in Germany. In fact it must be pretty overwhelming. Johannes Gutenburg gave us the printing press, Hans Geiger measured radiation, Einstein, Planck, Born, Fuchs, Heisenberg and others reinvented physics, Karl Benz designed the modern motor car, Konrad Zuse built the Z-series of programmable computers, Heinrich Hertz discovered electromagnetic radio waves, Erhard Kietz stabilised video signals, Ralph Baer is seen by many as the father of video games consoles, Karlheinz Brandenburg invented the MP3 audio format. Then throw the likes of Fahrenheit, Bosch, Mach, Daimler, Wankel, Zeppelin, Bunsen, Ritter, Junkers, Doppler, Kessler and Reis into the crucible too.

The dominant player in German telecommunications and internet service provision today is Deutsche Telekom, a massive firm that also has significant operations in the US and most European countries with its T-Mobile and T-Online brands. Siemens is still a big noise in communications, electronics and renewables, although sales and restructuring have seen it dip in and out of a number of high-tech markets over the last five years, notably selling its IT Solutions and Services division to Atos. But probably the most notable German technology provider for any readers working in enterprise business must be SAP, the ERP and data warehousing specialist headquartered in Walldorf.

We fail to find an apple, walnut and celery salad at SAP’s HQ, then head for Switzerland!


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June 24th, 2013

Around the technology world in 80 days: Day #4: Luxembourg

Around the technology world in 80 days: Day #4: Luxembourg

We could have taken another three-hour train ride from Brussels to Luxembourg’s only city, but at under €5 a ticket, we decided to take the bus for a change of pace. With a population of just over half a million citizens living in an area of under 1000 square miles, Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe (179th out of all 194 independent countries in the world), but one of the richest (highest GDP per capita in the world) thanks to a complex geographical, political, and industrial past.

An historical reliance on a powerful and secretive financial sector has served Luxembourg well, but today its government is working to secure a more diverse and resilient future by promoting technology and building Luxembourg into a European IT centre. Attractive tax breaks have notoriously already lured the likes of Amazon, Apple iTunes and Skype here where they have built their European headquarters. High levels of investment into fibre networks have also made Luxembourg one of the best connected locations on the continent, attracting online gaming giants Zynga and OnLive. But the future of technology in Luxembourg will undoubtedly revolve around data and the cloud.

Today the country’s leading technologists and businesses are translating skills and lessons learned as a financial haven, into secure, confidential data management. With more global businesses looking for a safe harbour for their cloud data under the protection of a stable government, Luxembourg is preparing to cash in as a major European data hub.

Just time to replenish supplies at Place Guillaume market – then on to Germany!

MAP_Luxembourg in red

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September 19th, 2012

Prompt Blog: Germany says ‘verboten’ to IE?

Prompt Blog: Germany says ‘verboten’ to IE?

Microsoft continues to be dealt blows just days after the weekend technology snafu that left several security holes in versions of its Internet Explorer web browser. The latest insult to injury came when the German government announced that its citizens should seek the use of other web browsers and boycott Internet Explorer (IE).

This development is very unusual since governments tend not to decree flat advisories against the use of a web browser or any other popular tech product (well, some have, but that’s another story and a larger conversation about human rights). The route of the concern was IE’s apparent ability to harm computers if users browsed through to a malicious website, ultimately leading to a German government official admitting that he feared the code would spread if German citizens continued to use IE prior to a security update.

 Microsoft continues to try to get the situation put in order. Last Monday, the company released a security patch called the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, which is intended to placate users until a full security update can be prepared and released. That security release is expected to be released within the next few days, according to Microsoft’s director of Trustworthy Computing, Yunsun Wee, who remarked that even in the face of international concerns over the consequences of the security brief, in reality there have not been many attacks and the majority of IE users remain unaffected.

As the team at our Prompt Boston office look over to the Kendall Square Microsoft R&D building, am sure they wonder what flurried scurrying of coding must be going on – Godspeed you, Microsoft!

Hot off the press update (20 Sept): On the evening of 19 September, Microsoft rolled out a download addressing this issue and has scheduled a security update for Friday 21 September. 

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