The number of high-tech companies set up in 2007 was higher than in previous years. Their number increased by 4% as compared to the year 2006 and reached a total of 19,200. The reason for this is probably a particularly good economic development in the high-tech sector since in almost all other lines of industry the number of newly founded companies was decreasing. However, the record number of start-ups reached in 1995 was still not attained in 2007.
The above are the findings of a study which was presented to the general public yesterday in Berlin. The study was carried out by the Mannheim-based Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in co-operation with Microsoft Germany.
The study also showed that high-tech companies are rarely founded as a way to escape from unemployment: while the number of start-ups in all lines of industry is affected by the unemployment rate, for the high-tech sector this applies in exceptional cases only.
As was already the case in previous years there was an increase in particular in the number of industrial high-tech companies in the year 2007. Here there were 2600 new companies set up which is an increase by 6% as compared to the previous year. According to experts, in order to provide sustainable stimuli for the German economy as a whole, there is not only the need for more start-ups but for high-quality start-ups which grow rapidly and can assert themselves on international markets.
With regard to the regional distribution of high-tech start-ups Munich is still the unrivalled leader while Nuremberg is now in second place. In the field of high-tech services the regions of Hamburg and Hanover have improved their rankings by three and fife positions respectively.
The traditional high-tech start-up stronghold of Stuttgart, on the other hand, lost its leading position. Over the past decade the region of Stuttgart constantly lost its cutting edge and has currently fallen back to a mid-field position.
The percentage of women among founders of high-tech businesses is still small in Germany. Only one in twelve of such businesses are set up by women. Thus, the percentage of female high-tech business founders amounts to about 8% which is significantly less as compared with the economy as a whole were women set up about 16% of all businesses. Female founders often have expert commercial knowledge. As a consequence, in the high-tech sector women most often set up service businesses and not so often industrial companies.
With regard to the financing of start-ups there are only a few differences between companies run by woman and those managed by men. Experts therefore believe that women are as good at finding external financing sources as men.
The study is based on interviews with almost 3000 high-tech companies set up in the period from 1998 until 2006. The complete study is available for free-of-charge download.