Justin McMurray is the founder of SomewhereHQ. He has already been featured as the start-up of the week. He recently won the betapitch, so we decided to interview him again. He grew up in Australia and finished school with a degree in Commerce and Marketing in Australia. He afterwards worked for IBM for some time. It took him some time to realise what to do to get fulfillment in his working life. After a lot of travelling all around the world he settled down in Europe. He was living in London for three years, but in the end figured out that Berlin is the more appealing place for him and moved there. One interesting aspect of Berlin for him is the great amount and quality of street art which can be found here. Actually he created a side project for fun, which is documenting street art on the walls of Berlin. He uses the co-working space of Betahaus since August last year. (weiterlesen…)
Jordi, one of the betahaus | BCN founder picked me up in his Mini at the airport and gave me a nice drive through the sunny streets of Barcelona. After half an hour we arrived in Graciá, Vlilafranca 7 1km from the center of Barcelona. A well known neigborhood for the creative dudes and hipstars, the Gaudí-designed Parc Güell is around the corner.
The Terranauten is a project of professional dancer Lisa Oettinghaus and freelance photographer Kay Strasser. They have developed a symbiotic project between dimensions of the creative worlds: text meets dance meets photography, creating something new. Terranauten explores spaces with gravity, and provides a relation between the act of flying, and the texture of the ground. This is what they capture in exciting photos that show what cannot be, taken without tricks, without any technical manipulations and without photomontage. The Terranauten have been betahaus members since last October. (weiterlesen…)
We said it before but we can’t say it enough: We are super happy with the betapitch last week. We were inspired by the pitches of the startups, comforted and buzzed by the vibe in our ‘haus and amazed by all the people that came. (weiterlesen…)
Gourmie is a culinary project by Fumiko Suzuki. She focuses on French, Italian and Japanese cuisine, yet always tries out new things. If you know the menu card of Gourmie , you can see there are no limits to the flavours she uses – from savory quiches to sweet tarts; vegetarian and meat curries, to drinks; small macaroons to wedding cakes. Fumi studied Humanities at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle. Later, she finished her studies at Volkshochschule in Berlin, and completed a diploma in Food Aesthetics. She always took pleasure in cooking for friends and family, which is why she decided to become a chef and start Gourmie. Fumi has been a member of betahaus for one year. (weiterlesen…)
Oh what a night! Not that all of us were not already nervous enough, no, last minute mistakes were inevitable of course. The heat and humidity didnt help one bit with making us feel more relaxed. But then: the first pitch. And it is awesome, wonderful, grande, and so is the rest of the pitches!
To be honest we could not have been happier with last night. We received so many great ideas beforehand, and we saw ten true rockstar startups present last night. So competition was tough. And from what we hear, the discussion after the pitches in the jury room was too. But the quality of the ideas presented during the pitches was so high that the jury uniformly decided that there should be two winners: one for societal impact of the idea and one for the business model.
And here they are (we really cant hold back any longer): The two winners of betapitch #3 are…..
As already said, we could not be happier and we cant wait for them to move in.
Thanks to everybody for making this happen. We are looking forward to the next round!
Cargo bikes are a new form of bike transport. Bikes are already commonly used as a perfect environmental-friendly way of transporting yourself. You burn fat, stay healthy, save money, never get stuck in a traffic jam, etc. But what if you are not alone, but accompanied by a cozy armchair for your apartment? Then you have to ask one of your friends for a lift or rent a car and put your armchair into the trunk, right? Because it`s impossible to transport it through half of the city by bike. Just impossible. Sure? (weiterlesen…)
betahaus | Berlin is bursting at the seams since the beginning of the year. Fixed desks are sold out and teams are piling up requesting better teams space for their ventures AND of course phone boxes not to forget BETTER TOILETTES. (Apologies to all those who lived with the current conditions for years. We love you and we were young and didn’t have the money!)
Well, we are expanding. A lucky coincidence gave us the chance to get a hand on the 1st floor in our beloved building with an additional 800 sqm space for all our dreams to come true in the near future (except the roof terrace). This might be of importance for you, too if you like to have office space. Here are the next steps.
- Stage I (May 2012):
- We are bootstrapping one third of the 1st floor into office space next monday for all those peeps that are in the waiting list for ages. Are you interested to grap a space there? We’ve got 1-2 team tables left. You can sign up on our waitinglist.
- Stage II (June – September 2012)
- We’ll reconfigure the rest of the space during June, July, August and September and push betahaus | Berlin to the finest in coworking space – design. We’ll have bigger team spaces for fast growing startups or those a like and some cool collaborative spaces for coworking lovers as well. There will be lot’s of features we have dreamed of for years: Foozball (kicker), hangout space with sofas, skypeboxes, private areas etc. May the coworkers dream come true! …and the force be with us. ;)
That’s the update for today. If you fancy a space there or like to get involved anyhow, please contact us today at email@example.com and we’ll get in touch!
Kay Strasser is a freelance photographer based in Berlin. His photographs are self-confident, inspiring, and independent – as he is himself. His goal is to make his audience curious about different things. After 10 years working as a freelance journalist, Kay decided to become freelance artist. From 2000-2002, he worked as an assistant in Paris, and afterwards began working as a freelance photographer in Berlin. He has been a member of betahaus since 2010.
You are a freelance photographer based in Berlin, and you have also worked in London. As a photographer, what is for you, the biggest difference between these two cities?
They are totally different and inspiring in their own ways. London is more commercial and rude in its history – it is an interesting space which integrates history with the present and the future in its aesthetic aspect. In London, if a station is refurbished, they don’t disturb anything – they keep the old benches and other things if they can, and it works. In Berlin, you destroy everything and you make something new – that’s how Germans think. For me, as a creative person, I prefer the way London does it. But at the moment, Berlin is more inspiring for me, because more foreigners are coming here, and I like the idea of working in ODC and betahaus – it brought a new perspective to everything, and I find it interesting to work with all the different people here.
Could you tell us something about your camera equipment – what is your favourite lens, for instance?
I am not that interested in technology. For me, a camera should be comfortable and easy to handle. The brand isn’t important – I just need a simple way to access the logical aspect of photography, and modern cameras don’t quite give me that, because they want to make everything easier for their users. I am not normal user; I am someone who wants to find the logical aspect of everything, so I need a camera with high-quality output, no matter the brand.
What is your philosophy regarding photography?
I started with analogue equipment, and I am still really into that. I use a digital camera like I would use an analogue one – I am not so interested in editing or in other possibilities of Photoshop. For example, knowing the circle of colours it is more important for me than knowing any Photoshop function. That means that if you know the basic ideas of photography, and the physics behind it, you wouldn’t need a computer working for you – you can work on your own. That is my philosophy of photography and creativity.
You’ve had many single and group exhibitions, and collaborations with clients from all over the world. Are you especially proud of any of these your work that you have done or be involved?
Pride is not the reason I do this. I am not interested in success or money. In our society, money is important because it is the way to pay for your life. I have done some jobs to earn money, but I don’t consider that to be very important. I am more interested in learning, having open eyes, meeting interesting people, enhancing my perspective, creating something new, find in something that hasn’t happened before – these are the main reasons behind what I do.
What is the most important moment for you when taking a photo? Are you looking for a moment to combine the photo with the story, or does everything happen spontaneously?
I am interested in atmosphere. I try to catch it and figure out what part of it is interesting to me. The image is always of an interpretation, and I am the one who is responsible for that. In the end, I decide what to show, and how to show it. It’s not a simple decision – you need a lot of experience to make the right decision and to carry it out in the right way. A two-dimensional image is technically really limited; you need to use as much experience as you have, keep open eyes, draw inspiration from various fields, and the result can be quite interesting. I have been doing this for 2 years now, and it has become easier for me. I don’t need to think through every image – when I have an idea, I know what to do with it.
How you see yourself in the future? What advice would you give to young freelance photographers?
I like to keep on walking. I would like to have a little bit more security for my assistance, this is not so easy to handle. At the moment I am able to create distracters, which are clearer for me and easier to communicate. I’ve realized some of my clients are interested in what I am doing, even if is not so suitable for their potential market.
It is always difficult to give advice to young photographers on what to do in general. I believe in tutorship – if someone is there who needs help, has questions, or wants me to show them something, I try to help out. If young photographers ask me for advice, I end up learning at the same time as well, so I invite everyone to discuss their projects with me.
Yesterday the betapitch – crew finally got together to cast the final vote on who is gonna present next thursday. First of all: YOU WERE ALL AWESOME, THANK YOU FOR YOUR APPLICATIONS. WE COULDN’T BE HAPPIER.
What strikes me about this place is it’s welcoming atmosphere and casual introduction to fabbing. It’s in the heart of one of the busiest neighborhoods in Tokyo, and Chiaki says they get a lot of walk-ins who discover a nice-looking cafe, have a coffee, and then get curious about the laser cutter.
This week this came along on Twitter:
Followed by this Blogpost explaining the story behind and how difficult it is to get access to rapid prototyping equipment in HighTech City Berlin whilst it is no longer a question of big money oder low demand.
Well, that is what we want. Let’s do this. It seems the right time. Now let’s have a look at how this can be done. a) Let’s have a look at what we already have, b) what we are still in need of and c) where this could lead to.
- What we do have:
- We have got the space. We have got Open Design City and the betahaus Café.
- Opening Hours are Mo – Fri 8 am – 8 pm, enough time to fab.
- We have got Staff operating the bar, opening the space, administering keys, supplies and taking care of payments and organizational needs
- We have got a limited number of tools in the back
- We even host the 3D Printer (Makerbot) of an honored citizen of Open Design City
- What we are (probably) still in need of
- We’d need a properly set up 3D Printing Station that can be moved around and fits into ODC and the Café and it should be very accessible
- We need somebody being able to operate it on standby or it should very very easy to operate it yourself.
- We need a Project Owner who is moving things forward until things run smoothly. This is a Project!
- One might want have a Lasercutter as well. But maybe this goes to the future section. We have to start somewhere.
- This could lead to
- A real Fab Café in Berlin
- Better and bigger Machines later on
- More Workshops, DIY stuff.
- Revitalization of ODC
Berlin, what do you think of this?
Andre Ottlik, is a consultant, coach and trainer for entrepreneurs, self-employed persons, and small and medium-sized enterprises. Since 2005, he has been interested in vision and determination appeal, goals and management, as well as the topics of corporate communications and marketing. Since 2011, he has been teaching social and methodological skills at the HWR Berlin School of Economics and Law as a visiting lecturer. Andre is trained in business computing, and previously worked at IBM; where he worked in sales, marketing and business networking as well. He has acquired several years of extensive sales knowledge – from door-to-door to business-partner sales. Andre has been a member of betahaus since September 2009. (weiterlesen…)
Alessandro Maggioni is a visual designer, and founder of Astra – Design. He has a Bachelors in Industrial design, and specialises in communications. Alessandro works as a freelance designer, and also as a consultant for aspiring architects – people who are in the process of establishing their own style. His portfolio show us examples of the various services that he offers; from traditional works done on paper, to digital art and design. Alessandro has been a member of betahaus since October. (weiterlesen…)
Heads up, Berlin! We will push back the Application deadline to April 27th! A couple of Onepagers are still in the making and we want to give more time PLUS others don’t even know about it and we want to give it another push to reach out to them.
For those who may have applied in a last-minute hurry-up style: You are allowed to send in another paper until the 27th. Everthing else would be unfair, wouldn’t it?
So April 27th it is the new Deadline at midnight. Send your one pager to firstname.lastname@example.org until then.
Well, see you around on May 3rd and keep on rocking!
Chris + Max
We recently sat together to plan the next edition of our local betapitch. While we talked about how and where we could promote it, how to get more applications, what kind of startups we hope for and where we want to go with the betapitch, we remembered an idea some time ago with the folks from Sektor 5: Why not make a global betapitch where all the betapitch winners meet for a final?
Right now we are part of a network of Coworking Spaces all over Europe. There are the different betahauses in Cologne, Hamburg and soon (very soon!) Sofia and Barcelona. There are our friends from Sektor5 in Vienna, Utopic_US in Madrid and La Mutinerie in Paris and many more. Some of them already have pitch events, whether they are called betapitch or not. So why not really join forces and put together a global event?
So we got on the phone and called some folks. And within 20 minutes it was all settled: 6 Coworking Spaces in Europe will hold local pitch events and send their winning teams to the betapitch | global. The winning team of this global event will get a customized tour through Europes Coworking Spaces, tailor-made to their bootstrapping needs, plus (here we go): Funding. Yep, you read right. All participating Coworking Spaces will contribute money to fund the winning startup, in a grassroots, community-based effort, which might be the part that we are most excited about.
So right now we dont know where and when the betapitch | global edition will take place, and which Coworking Spaces will participate, since we are busy to get more people on board.
But one thing is for sure: It will happen. And the upcoming betapitch | Berlin, on May 3rd will be the kickoff event, which means the winning team will not only go to seedcamp and startupbootcamp, but will also be the team from Berlin that is to try their luck in the first edition of betapitch | global, some time early next year. So get up off your but, sit down at your desk and start writing the application. You have three days left, the deadline to apply is April 20th.
Good luck, and we cant wait to see you all on May 3rd! Send your applications to email@example.com
Vassilios P. Bartzokas is an innovator and entrepreneur. He likes discovering business ideas and leading them to success. He was the CEO of CARTECO in Greece a company awarded as one of the 10 best in Europe at the European Business Awards, together with companies like Air Berlin, Deutche Telecom and others. He founded The Archive, a design library for young designers and creatives, and started a design collective called 39.22, which promotes and develops ideas into products for the creative community. He launched a Greek e-magazine for architecture and design called Archisearch.gr. in 2011 which is also available as a free app at app store. Vassilios is also the founder and Chairman of the non-profit organization Brainlab, which organized the Green Design Festival in Athens. He also organized the Athens Architecture Workshop in 2009, which was attended by 100 students from European Universities. In February 2012 he organize ESW [eso ] Conference for Interior Design at the Onassis Cultural Centre. Now he is based in Berlin, and is running his startup, DESIGNLOBBY.ASIA, a platform promoting talented designers and people from the creative sector in Asia. He has been a member of betahaus since the middle of February.
Interview by Mateja Plaskan
Anna Bojic, is an inventor, and is the founder and CEO of Merisier. She studied art at the University of Fine Arts in Berlin, and also Cultural Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin. She is interested in culture and communications, and for her, gift-giving is one of the oldest forms of communication.
Merisier presents a new and fair direction for idea-creation as an online shop for stylish and sustainable gifts. Fair trade and sustainability play a central role in the selection of their products, because they believe that they can change the world with many small decisions. Merisier helps customers choose a handsome, elegant and original gift to give straight from the heart.
Robert Rudnick is one of three co-founders of Coffee Circle, a provider of high quality and socially-conscious coffee across Germany. Uniting the principles of social responsibility and fair trade with a passion for high-quality coffee, Coffee Circle sells coffee sourced from Ethiopian farms, as well as brewing equipment and other accessories, and donates a portion of profits towards various development projects in Ethiopian coffee-farming communities.
The winning startup team of betapitch Berlin 2012 will receive coffee cups from Coffee Circle, as well as 1 kg of Germany’s best coffee.
The winning team of the next betapitch not only gets to move into betahaus | Berlin and become a part of the betahaus community, but will also get a package of services and products to help them develop their business further. The package is solely put together by people from inside the betahaus community. In this series we want to introduce some of these friends that will help you pull yourself up ‘by your own bootstraps’. First in line is Anna-Lena Schiller.
Anna-Lena Schiller describes herself as an “information architect” and “visual sense-maker”. Having noticed the importance of clear visual communication in the success of a business, Anna-Lena – a freelance consultant on visual thinking – works with clients to help simplify their often-complex ideas into simpler ones, while adding an eye-catching visual element into the mix. As part of this year’s bootstrapping package, Anna-Lena will be offering the winning startup team a consultation on visual thinking.
Interview by Mateja Plaskan
Julio Santos is a software engineer with a Master in Informatics and Computing Engineering. His main interests are web and mobile development, interaction design, and building Facebook applications. He is based in betahaus Berlin as lead developer and founder of the Facebook application, Gruvi. Gruvi is a platform that helps entertainment brands build and manage their communities by allowing users to give and receive movie recommendations within a network.