[Tour du monde] Berlin is the city of entrepreneurs
Knock knock. Who’s there?
We took our first steps in Berlin, but it was not the time to attract tourists, finding start-ups is a full-time hobby… Well, we still took the time to have lunch locally; their “Wurst” are frankly not bad …
No matter how best we could prepare for this start-up tour, we couldn’t be sure what it would be 100% done. Hubert and I have both had experiences abroad but this start-up tour is something really special. This first day was our initiation!
We’re lucky to have a pretty good network already, but even with that there are some intros that we didn’t manage to get or that fell through. But we have our list of people we want to meet and we’ll stick to it no matter what.
To be completely honest with you, our main issue has been timing. For our first visit, we went to Hubraum. We kind of invited each other there. We had been introduced to the CEO, but we learned the next day that he had just been appointed CEO at Allianz Digital, so well done Peter Borchers. Regardless, they gave us a warm welcome and gave us a very good first impression of tech Berlin.
Then, we were invited to visit one of the best coworking spaces in Berlin, Ahoy. We had a nice surprise when we learned that Ahoy was working hand in hand with Tech Open Air (one of the best tech conferences in Germany and Europe), Tech Berlin (the best media in English in Berlin), and Openrs (the communication agency behind all these beautiful people). They taught us a lot about Berlin and its Tech ecosystem. In addition, they invited us to their party the next day.
We were a little tired after waking up at 4.30am to catch our plane, but we went for a few beers with Thomas Weigel, director of a Snapchat influencer marketing agency, in one of the most popular places for entrepreneurs. Berlin, the St Oberholtz.
A great first day. And we have already made new friends!
We were struck by the vibe Berlin. I lived in New York, and more precisely in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and I felt the same side hipster typical of this neighborhood. So, if on top of that you add the aggregation of top international talent and a very inexpensive city, then you will easily understand why Berlin is one of the best European destinations for American VCs.
We have had an intense day, but we have met a lot of fantastic and talented people.
To start the day, we went to visit the Axel Springer Plug & Play accelerator. We knew they were in the middle of a cohort, but we hadn’t been able to get in touch with anyone back home. Despite everything, they took the time to receive us, between two pieces of advice given to the new champions in the making, and to tell us more about Plug & Play, and the Berlin tech ecosystem. In short, fantastic things are happening and Berlin is THE city for entrepreneurs in Europe. It’s not me saying it, it’s them …
For the second stop of the day, head for StartupBootcamp Energy and Transportation at Rainmaking Loft. It’s simple, we absolutely love everything there, the people, the places, the energy… And we met lots of super nice start-ups from all over the world.
This day has not gone by slowing down, on the contrary. On our way out of SBC, we went to meet the boss of Microsoft Ventures accelerator, Marius Sewing. It was once again a brilliant meeting with superb results.
Throughout the day meeting new people, they were asked what is so special about Berlin that makes the city super attractive for start-ups. Everyone agreed to answer us: the people. Berliners are born creators. And to be honest, it feels good in the city. They are not only creative in their work, but also in their way of life …
Obviously, our evening was not going to be easy either. We were invited to 2 events and 2 parties. We wanted to do them all, but in the end we got to only 3 out of 4.
We had the opportunity to take the stage at one of the events we attended (12min.me, a monthly meetup for entrepreneurs). Thanks again to Thomas Weigel for giving us the opportunity to present OneRagtime to your audience. It was a good experience going on stage for me, and everything went well, although I probably should have done a “mic-drop“…
We had lots of great encounters throughout the evening, at the same time as the party spirit of Berlin won us over. We feasted.
Der visionaries …
We partied until late last night, but we were on our way to our first meeting of the day at 9:30 am. SBC and Rainmaking Loft invited us to their breakfast giving us the opportunity to meet even more wonderful entrepreneurs.
In the afternoon, we went to meet one of Berlin’s most recognized entrepreneurs, Robin Hack, founder of Axel Springer, Plug and Play, and now founder of Jobspotting. Meeting Robin was just great; as aspiring entrepreneurs Hubert and I learned a lot from this conversation. As a bonus, he introduced us to some of the best Berlin VCs.
The big kif!
For our last Berlin meeting, we went to visit a start-up studio, makers.do. It was super interesting to learn more about their model, and to speak with Friedrich Neuman, the founder and longtime entrepreneur.
Before going to explore Berlin a little more, we stopped by a start-up meetup, Silicon Drinkabout, which I recommend to anyone going to Berlin (and it seems they are present in other places. cities, such as London or Amsterdam). And guess what? Well, we still had some great encounters.
Throughout the stay we asked people what was special about Berlin. Now that we’ve spent some time there, the answer is simple. Berliners just want to try new things (and not just the latest trendy drug…). If it works that’s great, and if it doesn’t work that’s okay, they move on to their next project. They have the creativity to think up these projects and the vision to put them in place.
Now we join a friend of mine who is going to show us what it means to party in Berlin. And Thomas also invited us for a “dirty 90s” evening. I think we’re going to have a good laugh tonight. Tomorrow, we will take the opportunity to visit Berlin a little before returning to Paris, just one day, time to leave for the next stages of our trip.
Next stop: Lilles and London.
Antoine Delanglade is an Entrepreneur in Residence for OneRagtime. Passionate about extreme sports and a full-time traveler, he helps brands create new experiences for millennials, capitalizing on the power of technology and communities. For OneRagtime, he participates in the animation of the OneRagtime community, mainly in circles of young entrepreneurs and influencers, around the world. Always up to date with the latest tech news and innovations, he helps identify the best investment opportunities for OneRagtime.
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