BerlinWebWeek: GirlGeekDinner, Echtzeit and Zanox Summer Party

31. May 2009 - 7.22 pm Uhr

Wednesday and Thursday evening of the BerlinWebWeek 2009 were a good occasion to meet new people and catch up on old acquaintences. Nicole Simon invited the GirlGeeks who were around to her GirlGeekDinner to CoffeeKarma in Friedrichshain and Alexander Hüsing from Deutsche Startups invited the movers and shakers of the web scene to his Echtzeit III event at the zanox campus. Both events were invitation only, at least for men.
Women are of course the target group of the GirlGeeKDinner, so men to come along need to find a female companion, thankfully the website allows you to ask to be “adopted”. ..and the concept works, more than half ot the people were were women. The atmosphere was relaxed, one is encouraged to present ideas and projects. A student presented her idea to write about the History of the Push Button, something I really liked. Or was it the Button Push? I do not know, I just hope she finds partners to write with, and do it interactively, in some kind of portal, web site, as she suggested.
echtzeitberlin_logoEchtzeit (Realtime) was invitation only for everybody, no matter which gender. Short presentations were followed by networking between a lot of entrepreneurs, founders and investors. This concept works as well in my opinion, the relatively small  event (under 200 people) allows you to find the people you want to talk to or get intros to new contacts. The businesslike atmosphere suits the event and is nevertheless relaxed enough, no wonder, it’s all about the web.
zanox_logo_01A much bigger crowd gathered when zanox called for their summer party – I can only repeat estimats that roughly a thousand people met at Spindler&Klatt on the other side (seen rom zanox’ offices) of the river Spree. It was a great party, exhausted as I was from the BerlinWebWeek (it was the 5th day of conferences, barcamps, networking and parties) I left after midnight, the twitterstream tells me that the last people left when the sun was almost up… I would not have liked to miss anything of this and was happy that I could be part of it. A big thank you to all the organizers!

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Berlin at the web 2.0 Expo 09 in San Francisco – review

13. April 2009 - 10.11 pm Uhr

The third year in a row Berlin has had its booth at the web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. I think I remember Berlin being the only German booth as well as being the only economic development agency there in the past. Counting all companies there now I come to approx. 10 from Germany and their majority from the Berlin region. With this I think the German constituency seems to be the largest but one cannot be sure, since the origin of exhibitors cannot be searched. I do not know about the percentage of Germany attendees, I however met several and suppose they constitute the largest group from continental Europe. The Berlin booth was organized by Berlin Partner, Brandenburg was represented by the Zukunftsagentur (both economic development agencies), Solidground (BizDev) and Ralf Otto (TaxConsult) offered their services. Berlin @ web 2.0 expo The highlight turned out to be Metaversum or rather its project twinity, a real life 3D model of Berlin. It attracted many visitors which were curious about the project and gave a us a good starting point for discussions. I am not sure how the founders would like to see it described, I’d call it a mixture between Second Life and Facebook, taking the best things out of each (i.e. the 3D animated world only with “real” cities and the social network with real names and “real” avatars).  They will roll out Singapore and London next, I suppose the US will be tackled then. However, Zanox, who last time shared our booth had set up their own now and Germany Trade and Invest (the former Invest in Germany) had their own large booth, sharing it with the Fraunhofer Institute and Sachsen-Anhalt. Coremedia from Hamburg had a booth as well. Having been there already a  couple of years one could see the recession, I guess the exhibition area was rented out by 30% less and there were 2.000 visitors less. However, the glass was half full in my opinion: most of the exhibitors seemed to have returned and most of the attendees as well (10.000 last year). I share Jennifer Pahlka’s optimism – the vibe was good despite the economic downturn. We were able to show steadiness in our approach with the booth to market Berlin as the ideal investment location for a European expansion of US entrepreneurs. Of course we tried to bring our message across about the digital side of Berlin – we had the chance to talk to Sean Percival (twitter), founder of  the lalawag magazin about Berlin and our intentions. The lalawag covers tech culture, events, gossip and news from Los Angeles.
Another interesting encounter happened with Stuart Schulzke, director from who gather the  “web’s largest collection of unmediated video drawn from live events, lectures, and debates going on all the time at the world’s top universities, think tanks and conferences”. They know now about my choice between the iphone and Blackberry and, of course, about Berlin

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BerlinWebWeek 2008 in retrospect

13. February 2009 - 6.46 pm Uhr

The BerlinWebWeek SpringEdition will take place at the end of May 2009, the preparations are going on fine and I am very optimistic, that the days of the BerlinWebWeek will be packed with events again. They will make travelling to the capital worthwhile. I have tried to compile a digital review. As somebody who is one of the initiators of BerlinWebWeek I am surely not neutral, the initiative is very important to me. However, I found almost only positive feedack in the internet. The choice between events was huge, everybody could find a niche topic for him or her… and if you have suggestions please give feedback. Kai has aggregated, how BerlinWebWeek became a portal and is now a fixture if you want to know hat is going on in Berlin and how we will make it again a series of events in May.
BerlinBlase has compiled a map  of events and locations, Nicole Simon wrote in Crueltobekind. Zanox has filmed a video about some of the events:

There were so many, that is was impossible to be at all of them, as Nico Lumma wrote. The MIKI, which Kai produced shows that in colourful pictures. Fastenyourseatbelts has used the Week to ask me, how events like that interact with citymarketing, investments and tourism. Radio Fritz broadcasted a short interview with me in the broadcast Trackback. is an extensive interview with Nico Lumma about some of the events.
There are so many people and portals who wrote about the BerlinWebWeek, I only want to mention a few: Stylewalker, Dittes, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Dagger, Berlin Kollektiv, Twemes – Tweets with BerlinWebWeek, Fotos on Flickr, Berliner Zeitung and many many more.

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5. February 2009 - 9.27 pm Uhr


To get an overview about who is who and who is doing what in the German (speaking) Startup scene, a regular visit of  Deutsche Startups is recommended. The portal, whose editorial office is located in Berlin, publishes a daily newsletter, offers a huge  list of existing web startups, a long list of potential investors and an equally interesting list with companies already in the “dead pool“.

For entrepreneurs and employees equally interesting is the  Jobboard with jobs for interns. The shareholders of the portal are chief editor Alexander Hüsing, Stefan Vosskötter (managing director of DS Media and founder of „Webnews“) as well as the European Founders Fund (a.k.a. the Samwer brothers) and Holtzbrinck Ventures.
Since the end of 2008 on one can experience Deutsche Startups also offline, Alexander Hüsing has established a series of events called Echtzeit, which has been organized with the help of sponsors already twice in Berlin. I was on the 3rd of February at Echtzeit II Berlin in the premises of  Zanox with over  170 other guests. The topic of the day was “External Financing vs. Bootstrapping”, very suitable for the economic situation of the first quarter of 2009. Since the event is an invitation only event the percentage of entrepreneurs and investors was very high among the guests. I can only recommend to use Deutsche online (if you know a little German) and offline to get introduced to what is happening in Germany and German speaking regions in the web 2.0 area.

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