July 3, 2017

Finding focus and inspiration at the Asia-Pacific Weeks

More than 2.000 people from across the world met in Berlin for this year's Asia-Pacific Weeks (APW) to engage in the Asia-Europe dialogue on digitalization. We were a part of it – and so were many of you.

The APW gave us occasion to various exciting opportunities. To warm us up for two weeks of discussion and collaboration, we teamed up with Global Innovation Gathering to host a meetup on "Fostering Ecosystems through Cooperation & Cultural Exchange" just before the APW started. This collaboration collaboration also resulted in an Innovation Tour through Berlin to introduce our Asian guests to Berlin's startup ecosystem. We started off at the coworking space Ahoy! Berlin, the home of our partners Openers, then visited the makers' space Happy Lab and the innogy Innovation Hub Berlin and collectively joined the official Opening Ceremony of the APW.

We had the chance to thoroughly discuss the future of the StartUp AsiaBerlin platform with our partners from Impact Hub Manila, IGCC from Bangalore, and HYVE from Jakarta in person and plan the details of our upcoming Roadshow. However, we were also very happy about the outcome of our workshop that was open to the public. To make sure we were all focused on a fruitful debate, we started off with a lunch on invitation of the Governing Mayor of Berlin in the presence of the honorable Deputy Governor of Jakarta, Sutanto Soehodho. Many bright minds came together to discuss the future and financial sustainability of our platform while joining forces to elaborate our business plan, as well as debating the professionalization and sustainability of the platform services. The input of so many bright minds with different angles gave us new perspective and inspiration to drive StartUp AsiaBerlin forward. This fruitful day of discussions came to a close with a reception on invitation of Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The “Connecting Startup Cities” Conference of the APW united over 1.300 startup enthusiasts who explored the newest digital trends in VR, FinTech, Internationalization, Hardware and IoT as well as High Tech / Deep Tech and many more. A special focus was put on our partner cities Manila, Jakarta and Bangalore. Our joint panel discussion with Berlin Partner for Business and Technology on „Supporting market entry between Berlin and Asia“ was moderated by our roadshow ambassador Maren Lesche from etventure and included Clemens Dittrich, from Truffls GmbH, Emon Wang from TechCode (Partner Startup Alliance), LizAn Kuster from our partner Impact Hub Manila, our very own Rainer Seider, Head of Unit European and International Cooperation, and Christian Herzog from Berlin Partner. We introduced our platform as well as the Start Alliance through which Berlin invites startups from Shanghai to experience this city and vice versa Berlin startups get the chance to explore the business location Shanghai – two programs implemented by Berlin to facilitate the market entry.

Last but certainly not least, we joint forces with SAP SE to host a Design Thinking Workshop on International StartUp Hubs. We invited innovators, experts and interested guests of the APW to design the next level of a SUAB ecosystem, driven out of multiple hubs and by multiple players.

These three weeks definitely kept us on our toes but gave us many new ideas and angles to develop this platform even further and we are looking forward to sharing the outcome!