Womens Lounge December 2017 (c) Womens Lounge

City of Networks

Different Ways Entrepreneurs Network in Berlin

Networking is key to success. It means getting new ideas, having meaningful discussions, finding new business partners or even an investor. For that reason, Berlin is a great city – literally the “city of networks”.

Startup Events

Thriving startups rely on networks between entrepreneurs, universities, investors, politicians and established companies. Consequently, Berlin offers lots of different opportunities to build those networks. All the many options can be captured in two categories: One is to simply work at one of the scene’s hot spots. The other is to attend one (or more) of the numerous startup and entrepreneur events based in Berlin. These conferences, conventions, and festivals connect entrepreneurs to each other and to experts and investors. The following is meant to be an introduction to the main events.

Events und programes for start-ups from Berlin and abroad: www.startalliance.berlin

Investor Carsten Maschmeyer at HEUREKA Conference 2017 | © Chris Marxen, Headshots Berlin
Investor Carsten Maschmeyer at HEUREKA Conference 2017 | © Chris Marxen, Headshots Berlin

Conferences with Experts

The Heureka Conference is designed especially for startups in their early stages. They invite industry experts to share their knowledge, giving you special insights in your field. Since there are also plenty of scouts buzzing around, you may even find a person willing to invest in your business.

If you’ve passed the beginner level, you should consider applying for the “ Startup Camp Berlin ”. It’s all about startups and their founders. It has therefore invited representatives of established companies and investors to further describe their processes. Such experts contribute their knowledge in “focus camps”.

In this vein, the Blogfabrik hosted a week full of workshops at the Content Creation Week in June. The week was filled with workshops covering diverse topics ranging from mindfulness and creativity to smartphone video production.

Over 5,000 visitors from all around the world gather at hub.berlin for 2 full days of inspiring keynotes, lectures and discussions, interactive workshops and masterclasses, and live tech demonstration. The festival provides a great opportunity to learn from the experiences of over 350 digital experts.

Expert Talk at the Content Creation Week of the Blogfabrik | © Frank R. Schröder
Expert Talk at the Content Creation Week of the Blogfabrik | © Frank R. Schröder

Meeting possible Investors

Berlin is the right place if you want to attend Europe’s largest startup event: the “ Startup Night ”. Last year, it attracted over 4000 visitors that came to see more than 250 founders present their businesses to corporates, investors and potential customers. But this is also possible on a smaller scale …

The concept of “Spätschicht” is best summarized by their slogan “small talk, big business.” Every edition has another location. But to give you an impression: The last Spätschicht took place in the “Chalet”, a club with interior from the 20s and a fairytale garden with an enclosed pond. Invited are founders/entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers, who each get differently colored lanyards. So you know directly whom to approach. But first, you have to apply here!

NKF Summit aims to connect Corporates with Startups. Last year 220 startups, 250 corporates and 30 investors came together for a day of networking and exchanging ideas. The next conference will be held in November 2018. 

Business Network

In Berlin, one of the most important business networks is “Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie GmbH.” More than 270 companies are collaborating with the Berlin State Senate dedicated to strengthen the city and its companies via business and technology support. Every company interested in working together for Berlin is invited to join the association thus taking advantage of the benefits of this strong network.

Know the Hot Spots

The events mentioned above have a general approach: they include all fields in which your startup may be located. However, many startups belong specifically to the creative branch. If you’re in the creative and digital industries, you can always find colleagues at the Café St. Oberholz, Mein Haus am See or the Soho House in Berlin-Mitte. These are known hot spots for people working in that field.

Café St. Oberholz

The Café St. Oberholz exists twice in Berlin , but the very first one, which is located at Rosenthaler Platz in Mitte, is famous for being the place where startups began to rise. Many companies started to work in its coworking space. The lost and found page on their website gives a good idea of what a big part of life the St. Oberholz means to some: from business notes to a pregnancy test.

Light-Flooded Coworking-Space of the Café St. Oberholz | © Andreas Louca
Light-Flooded Coworking-Space of the Café St. Oberholz | © Andreas Louca

Mein Haus am See

The Café Mein Haus am See (my house at the lake) describes itself as “not a bar, not a club, but something sexier in between”, and let me add: It’s not exactly a coworking space either, but there are lots of people working there every day. It’s cosy, has this retro furniture, and free wifi, which makes it ideal for entrepreneurs. But as it becomes night, this atmosphere is turned upside down, a DJ plays techno tunes and the espresso is replaced by beer.

During the Nights, the Coworking-Space Becomes a Club | © Mein Haus am See
During the Nights, the Coworking-Space Becomes a Club | © Mein Haus am See

Betahaus Berlin

The betahaus is a coworking space and a community especially for entrepreneurs and startups. Every year at the 7th of December, it celebrates the Investors Day and therefore invites investors (obviously), experts and other key players on an international level. So this coworking place really wants you to be successful. Additionally, they organize several events for the community in order to tighten the bondage between you and you startup coworkers.

Soho House Berlin

If your wallet is a little thicker and you already caused some sensation, you could apply for a membership at Soho House Berlin. They have a fancy private member’s area with precious furniture and even a rooftop pool. But it’s not as super elitist as it may seem. The Soho House was originally founded in London to create a second home and place of work for everyone based in the creative industry. Here you can apply for a membership .

Text: Blogfabrik - Paul Fenski | Header Image: Womens Lounge during Start Alliance December 2017 Program (c) Womens Lounge