Operating under the name “Axel Springer Plug and Play”, German Vice Chancellor Philipp Rösler oversaw the signing of landmark deal in Silicon Valley at the weekend.
The programme will offer new startups three to six months based in the accelerator's Berlin headquarters, where they will receive office space and between €10,000 and €50,000 in funding to get going. Intensive coaching from expert mentors should also be part of the deal, New Business magazine said.
At the end, Axel Springer Plug and Play will get a five percent share in the business, The Next Web reported, adding that the publishing house – which owns sensationalist Bild newspaper – has been looking for tech opportunities for some time.
Kai Diekmann, the editor-in-chief of Bild, is currently in the middle of an eight-month sabbatical in Silicon Valley.
Kicking off in May, two cycles are in the pipeline for 2013 already and startups lucky enough to be chosen have the choice of spending some of programme in California at the Plug and Play HQ.
Plug and Play has been giving brand new companies the chance to grow into successful businesses since its founding in 2006. The Berlin venture will mostly be aimed at Germany and Europe-based companies.
Berlin has in recent years become a hotspot in the European startup scene thanks to cheap rent and an abundance of young, tech enthusiasts. Each year 8,500 new startups come out of Germany, the sixth highest amount worldwide according to Bild daily paper.
Applications for a place on the two planned programme cycles will, The Next Web said, open on March 15th.