The past weekend I took a dive into the world of founders, wanna-be-founders, entrepreneurship academics and many people who think to know how tomorrow’s world will look like and what we will need for it.
Here are some of my impressions on these exciting and inspiring two days.
“Wenn wir teilen was wir haben” – “When we share what we have”.
To me this was the most important quote of the summit. The sharing economy is one of the hot topics of these days as we can see the success of services as airbnb, carsharing sites etc. Sharing is about sharing profits as well, creating additional value beyond providing jobs and paying taxes.
In a broader sense it is about sharing the resources the planet has given us equally among all people and not creating wealth on the back of others exploiting their nature base, exploiting their work force and health. It thus means to seriously question our current behaviours, the way we consume, the look beyond what directly affects ones living environment.
Many people and companies stick to the principle of never ending growth and profit maximisation as the only goal in doing business. The summit also gave room for topics like social entrepreneurship. The short comings of the discussions on the summit were however symptomatic for how social entrepreneurship is perceived in general in Germany. I would have liked to see a more in depth discussion on the current stance of social entrepreneurship in Europe and in particular in Germany, how social enterprises are perceived by customers, politicians and entrepreneurs. In what direction are we moving in Germany regarding social entrepreneurship and what type of support is already available for social entrepreneurs.
Besides, I received super beneficial info on how to build up our entrepreneurial design with different components (Komponentenportal), how important a proof of concept is and how to implement it, as well as how to best use PR and social media to attract and keep customers.
The summit was a very good opportunity to network, meet interesting and ambitious people with great ideas and concepts. The spirit was motivational and optimistic.
I finally met Karina from Stoffwechsel Natur Bambusstoff in person after we got in contact via the idea competition Gründer Garage. Conversing with her was interesting and refreshing. Her concept of selling 100% bamboo fabrics is great and I hope it will be a real alternative for many in the close future!
Being in Berlin I took the opportunity to also meet a young start up: Kancha. They sell great looking laptop, tablet and smartphone sleeves produced in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. As far as the production is concerned they have a similar concept of transparency as we plan to have for Pitupi, including giving the customer the possibility to contact the producer. The meeting was very useful in terms of reconsidering the important features of the products and what is important to us when addressing the customers. They also shared their experience of having had two successful crowdfunding campaigns and how to use the campaigns to receive feedback on whether your products are liked or not by customers.
All in all a great weekend worth the travel. Berlin is always an exciting and inspiring place to visit in so many aspects!