Berlin, the heart of Europe

I just finished my weekly video log with Startup Cabin, it’s a short break in all my work to stop and reflect a bit about what we’ve been doing from time to time. Right now I’m sitting at a café/bar just by our hostel enjoying a beer 13:45 on a monday. I love Berlin. Not because of that. But because everything is ok, no one will judge you and things just kind of work here. For most things there’s no real process or people telling you what you can and cannot do. Here in Berlin, life finds it’s way. And people are happy with this freedom. Berlin is the startup,tech ,music & art hub of Europe. It’s like a pumping heart with dekadent culture and hard working people feeding the rest of Europe with it’s casual, care-free view of life.


As an outsider coming here, it’s difficult to see how the people actually living here manage to do so. But if you don’t spend time here, seeing the everyday life of someone who lives here, you’re only getting one side of the picture. The people in Berlin (as far as I’ve seen), are hard working, honest and decent people that are trying to do their best. If I compare the mentality here to the one I’m used to in Stockholm, they are very different. In Stockholm we have a habit of seeing problems, and not solutions. We tend to blow small things out of proportion until we’re too afraid to actually try solving the problem. People in Sweden in general tend to see if someone else has done something similar, then copy or make that process better. We don’t want to tread on thin ice, so to speak. But being here in Berlin, you notice that you don’t always have to follow the rules. You can try a different system, you can make up your own process and see if it works. That’s what I love about Berlin.


We have been traveling around for a little bit more than a month now, visiting the different startup hubs of Europe. But Berlin has a special place in my heart. I just visited this amazing city for the first time in january this year. Since then, I’ve been here 3 times. There’s just something that is calling to me whenever I leave the city. Maybe this is just like the first few months of a new relationship where you’re floating on fluffy pink clouds and you look away from the problems. But hey, right now I’m enjoying it, so shut up. Let me enjoy my beer and write my story while I’m still high on Berlin.


This summer has been amazing, and it’s not over yet. One cold winter afternoon in Stockholm I decided that I was going to see Europe, meet cool people and get to know myself a bit more. And here I am, doing just that. Everywhere I go, and all the people I talk to are amazed by the fact that I get to travel around in a really nice car given to me by Audi unite, visit cool events, talk to changemakers and have most of my expenses paid for. I’m still amazed by it myself, and sometimes I want to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming or not. But so far, I’m not dreaming. I think.


But let me get to some useful tips on Berlin as a startup city.

That’s why you’re here I assume.


1. Last week we visited Tech Open Air (TOA),

a melting pot of tech, music, startups and art. As to why you should go here, I’ll tell you this much: If you want to get to know the startup scene in Berlin, it’s the perfect place to go. This is their mission, according to TOA:

 Our mission is to connect, grow, and inspire the human spirit through knowledge exchange and collaboration.

And what it actually is, is a three day unconference with 100 + satellite events, 120 + international speakers and a lot of beer. According to TOA it’s: “An Interdisciplinary Technology Festival”.’


So one good reason to go here as a startup is the fact that you can host your own satellite event, you can share your ideas and market your startup in a cusual way. It’s the perfect place to go if you’re thinking about moving to Berlin, since a lot of the different co-working spaces and hubs open up for anyone to visit. So you can kind of scope the scene, get to talk to some really interesting people and connect with some investors in a casual way. So this is my number one tip if you want to connect with people, find members to your team or just enjoy experimental music, art exhibitions and listen to some of the top international speakers share their thoughts on upcoming trends and tips on how to make your business a success.


2. We also met Berlin Startup Consulting,

I’m going to release a short interview with them where they’ll talk a bit more in detail about what they actually do. But it seems like a good starting point if you want to get your startup going fast and secure. They’ll help you with everything from fundraising, creative solutions, consulting and legal problems.


3. Getting deeper with Startup Guide Berlin

This is a really cool project done by Sissel Hansen. This is a guide that’ll give you some insights in the history of Berlin, how the culture works and what areas are best for your specific objectives.


4. The Berlin Startup Map

Great place that shows you where to find all the co-working spaces, different kinds of startups, investors, events and everything you need.


5. Impact hub Berlin

Impact hub is a great network for entrepreneurs. It’s not just like any co-working space. It’s a culture and a way of life if you want. You have the chance to get connected with hubbers wherever you go around the world and as a hubber you’re always welcome. It’s like a big family of changemakers around the world. We just came here to Berlin and went to the hub and they were amazingly welcoming. Showing us the place, telling us a bit about the startup scene of Berlin and let us spend a few hours to work there.


6. Startup Grind Berlin is a must

Ofcourse, you’ll also need to check out Startup Grind berlin, and join their meetup group. The next event is in just 3 days, here’s a short snippet from the event description:

Claude Ritter is the co-founder of Delivery Hero, one of the biggest food delivery companies worldwide and currently valued above 3 billion Euros.”


This is just barely scraping on the surface of the Berlin startup scene and the culture in general, but I hope that this will help or motivate someone to actually go here and experience the city for themselves.


Until next time, make friends rather than contacts and never stop exploring.

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