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Big family businesses in Germany put their trust in start-ups
Last Updated: 2018-07-12 00:43 | Xinhua
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Almost half of all medium-sized businesses in Germany are cooperating with at least one start-up while more than two-thirds wish for support to get in touch with new ventures, according to a study published on Wednesday by Deutsche Bank and the Federation of German Industries (BDI).

For the study 250 of 4,700 of the largest family businesses in Germany with annual revenue of at least 50 million euros (58.8 million U.S. dollars) were surveyed. The term "start-up" was defined as innovative and quickly growing ventures of an age of 10 years or less.

The study which was co-published by the research institute (IfM) shows that for 54 percent of traditional family businesses, the main reason to work with start-ups is to advance knowledge and use of new technologies.

As a consequence of the ongoing digitization "family businesses need to quickly adapt or re-invent their business models" reasons Stefan Bender, Head of Commercial Banking at Deutsche Bank.

The biggest challenge for fruitful collaborations are the vast differences in company structure. However, the survey shows the marriage of "old and new" seems to work well in most instances.

Over 70 percent of traditional companies working with new business are happy with the cooperation. Half of all interviewed businesses plan on working with a start-up in the next three years.

However, the environment for start-ups is not ideal as Holger Loesch, deputy executive director at BDI explains. "Industrial start-ups have a hard time in Germany. Resentments and bureaucracy are equally damaging for founders and medium-sized businesses."

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