November 22, 2016

Roadshow Recap

“Berlin tends to rotate around its own axis which results in people getting too comfortable.”, says Startupboat founder Paula Schwarz about the startup ecosystem of Germany’s capital. She is convinced that Berlin founders would benefit from mobile working and thinking more globally, especially since they could learn a lot from young Asian tech startups. Hence she was pleasantly surprised when she received the invite to join our first ever StartUp AsiaBerlin roadshow through Bangalore, Manila and Jakarta.

The roadshow took place from October 18 to 27 and involved a delegation of ten participants from Berlin and five participants of the partner ecosystems Bangalore, Manila and Jakarta. The program’s central components consisted of own conferences with the respective ecosystem, various international startup events and conferences like the Startup EU-India Summit in Bangalore and the Sankalp Forum in Jakarta, match-making, business visits and excursions.

While touring through the partner cities and attending the various startup events, the delegates had the chance to present their projects, connect with one another and other interesting stakeholders of the local startup ecosystems. Many of them turned out to be relevant contacts for potential business partnerships and soon enough the roadshow was already bearing fruit.

Paula Schwarz’ Startupboat, for instance, will anchor near Mindanao in the Philippines from December 12 - 14 – supported by Berlin’s Ministry for Economic Affairs, Impact Hub Manila and the Bayer Cares Foundation. Later, in cooperation with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and the startup Fuel-a-Dream, it will dock in Kerala/India, where players from the tech and internet industry, media and consultants will work on digital solutions for refugees. On top of that, a number of Asian startups such as Bambike, a Filipino producer of bamboo bicycles, are now planning their market entry in Germany in cooperation with partners from the German delegation. Further outcomes will be represented during the next Asia-Pacific Weeks.

Dr. Rainer Seider, responsible for International Cooperation in the State of Berlin’s Ministry for Economic Affairs, is happy with the turnout of the roadshow: “Visiting three different Asian cities with a multinational and heterogeneous delegation was an exciting experience, especially since there was a very good spirit within the group. There was a strong interest in Berlin and a cooperation within the StartUp AsiaBerlin platform from the delegates and the partners in the three hubs. I am happy to say that we successfully reached the first milestone of the project: People within the platform connected and interacted actively. This was also due to the focus on social impact during the roadshow, with founders who see the problems of their countries and want to support the development through their economic activities.I am looking forward to the next steps.”

Besides planning concrete cooperations, the delegation had a great time travelling together. We laughed a lot, no one got really sick and a very active Whatsapp group kept every one informed on spontaneous changes. One thing became particularly apparent: Despite all technology, the people behind the companies are what matters the most.