Our plan was simple: learn as much as we can, speak to as many people as we can. Time and distance were our only limits. Perfectly organized public transit gave as a hand. Berlin is not Tokyo, but without a dense network of U-Bahns, Strassenbahns and Buses we wouldn’t be able to participate in a variety of sessions.
Networking is the key word over here. The first thing we did was going to Telefonica Basecamp. Besides caffeine and carbohydrates, KickOff breakfast fueled us with a bunch of opportunities and actually was a great teaser for the rest of the day. It was also an occasion to meet Elina Rasanen from Holvi, FinTech startup from Finland and one of the leading BSS partners as well as Maciek Laskus, Safary’s CEO.
Our next stop was Hub:raum. Located at Winterfeldtstrasse, this startup accelerator hosted Ralph Riecke’s speech about funding strategies for early stage companies. A lesson to learn for a service provider. The place was packed with fresh graduates and college students who are thinking about their own business. We could see how things look like on the other side of the barricade - what kind of difficulties youngster have to deal with before becoming real entrepreneurs.
Short time slot gave as an option to drop our backpacks and move forward. On our way for Leah Marie Zeppo’s (Holvi) lecture, we stepped into groovy Thai restaurant near Saarbrueckenstrasse. Multi-culti Berlin offers a plethora of cuisines from all around the world, and I can’t hide the fact that our little crew was more than astonished. Leah introduced us and room full of future CEO’s conditions of founding and running a business in Germany. After the session, we spent some time recognizing the most interesting trends in the TechBiz.
Even the fastest U-Bahn couldn’t save us from being late for Dan Cripe’s speech. Dan is a Bonial.com CTO. For us, as a software house representatives it was probably the most interesting session, even now we’re mad at each other because of our delay. Dan briefly explained the whole processing of the app. It was a fruitful meeting not only for web developers but also managers and CTOs. For “youngsters” session threw by Dan Cripe could be a benchmark of a modern middle-size business. We ended up Thursday by a providing very strict examination of German beer industry.
Friday morning surprised us with sunny weather and (almost) blue sky. In a good mood, we joined breakfast session at Parlamind. Companies managers, Christian Wolf and Tina Kluwer, gave a good example of solution based on modern day-to-day business needs. Parlamind develops AI solutions for future customer service, helping B2C service providers in daily basis communication with their customers.
Our next stop was Axel Springer Plug & Play Accelerator. We could finally take advantage of a bit longer time slot and hang out around Haupstadt’s downtown. For a history geek (such as me) visiting unique locations like Checkpoint Charlie was huge extras. During these two days, we (our hosts, participants and ourselves) were trying to find out how the future is about to look like. It’s good to have an opportunity and take a look behind from time to time.
At Axel Springer’s we learned about conditions of early stage investment, planning, and founding. Speakers - Melanie Schroeder and Lars Kahl - gave the crowded bunch of practical advises. On a daily basis Axel Springer’s crew is examining a variety of ideas - as you probably know, not all of them are good. Speakers explained why, and what is more important - what young entrepreneurs should be aware of. We left beautiful premises with heads full of thoughts.
On our way to Klosterstrasse, where Tech startup, Trecker, has its HQ we stepped in for lunch. Nothing happens twice - this time fish and pesto served near one of the bridges over Spree river was… terrible. Trecker’s crew had a double difficulty in pleasing two Polish guys which just witnessed nightmare on their plates.
Fortunately, besides great coffee and refreshing and well-arranged office, Trecker had some interesting knowledge to share. Companies VP of Engineering, Konstantinos Dolkas, supported by Head of Mobile Development, Marcin Titikowski, introduced us to their solution. Once again we had an opportunity to learn how cutting-edge application can support some of the more traditional economy verticals. Trecker’s app is dedicated to farmers, both big and small, which are trying to cut their costs and manage whole paperwork.
Finally, we paid a visit to Honeypot, which is a job platform for web developers, famous among our team for their blog. After quick advising session, we set the sail and slowly started to look for Strassenbahn, which could take us to Masurenallee, where the Berlin’s main bus station is.
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