Tech, staying young and German breweries: read all about our mission to Berlin!

Last week we had the pleasure at GTEC – German Tech Entrepreneurship Center to host the amazing Soft-Landing delegation of Ecosystem Leaders and Scaleups from all over the world! This special delegation is part of the Europen Union – HORIZON 2020 program which provides a glimpse into different ecosystems in Europe, India and Silicon Valley. The delegation had a busy agenda of meetings and workshops with the German and Berlin ecosystem, from governmental players to VC´s and corporates that share their programs, challenges, and opportunities.

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Monday: Welcome to Berlin!

The week started on Monday with a warm welcome to the 7 Startups und 9 Ecosystem Leaders by GTEC in their Berlin Campus.

The startups:
CyNation, PapSign, Journey Protector, Styler, personal travels, sway and UrbanChain.

The ecosystem leaders:
Alasdair Inglis, Davide Gianni, Florent Mérian, Hleb Herasimovic, Helen Saar, Helena Levison, Justas Samalius, Kamile Kaselyte and Laura Benat.

Why Berlin is not Silicon Valley

After welcoming the Delegation, Benjamin Rohé, Founding Managing Director of GTEC kickstarted the week with a session about “Why Berlin is not the Silicon Valley”

Tech and Innovation in Germany

For the next session Josefina Nungesser, Director Trend & Innovation Scouting from Germany Trade & Invest, provided us with her insights into Tech and Innovation in Germany.

How to set up a company in Germany in 6 steps

After a quick lunch break, Arnas Bräutigam from Berliner Sparkasse presented “How to set up a Company in Germany in 6 Steps”

Intro to the Berlin tech ecosystem

Carl-Philipp Wackernagel from Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie gave a short introduction into the Berlin ecosystem.

G-Force Reloaded

In the evening the whole delegation was invited to participate in the well known G-Force: Reloaded event. The event series G-Force is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their idea to a live audience, as well as to an experienced serial entrepreneur, to test their pitch and get crucial feedback. For this event, GTEC invited Philipp Hartmann from Rheingau Founders to give his opinion on the ideas and pitches.


Tuesday: Stay young, hit refresh and re-image your business strategy and culture to iterate, innovate or disrupt?

On day no. 2 for the Soft-Landing Delegation to Berlin, Olivier Van Duüren from The Dualarity started with us into the day with a breakfast and a talk about “Stay young, hit re-fresh and re-imagine your business strategy and culture to iterate,innovate or disrupt?”

Spotlight session: From a dream to a startup

Afterwards there was a Spotlight Session “From a dream to a Startup” with the GTEC No Bullshit Lab Patrick Gruhn from Replex and Michael Högemann from magaloop, who presented their story to the delegation.

I Solve your challenge!

In the afternoon, Maria Gross, Director of Operations at GTEC, gave a workshop called “I solve your challenge!”
The objective for this workshop is to solve challenges made by others of the group. The attendees should make use of the unique composition of ecosystem leaders and startups from around the world, to come up with creative solutions for their challenges.

Hofbraühaus Berlin

For the evening entertainment, the Soft-Landing Delegation went for a special German treat at the Hofbräus to have a taste of the traditional German dishes and drinks!


Wednesday: Volkswagen Digital:Lab

For day no. 3 the Soft-Landing Delegation went to the Volkswagen Digital:Lab, where Jochen Scherl, Director of the Digital:Lab, presented the Lab and talked about new forms of management.
Gal Bechor, Product Manager at the Digital:Lab had a presentation about new technologies and its implementation and Nora Scherl finished the session with a talk about identification, data and the conflict of different system standards in car technology.




Special thanks to Gal Bechor!


Following the tour at the Volkswagen Digital:Lab, the Delegation took a walk at the river Spree.

Spielfeld Digital Hub

After the Lunch, the Delegation continued their trip to Spielfeld Digital Hub, where Principal of Roland BergerValerius Braun and Senior Events & Partnerships Manager Dori Szep gave a very nice introduction to their Hub with a tour and a session about corporate innovation.

Thursday: Financing, financing, financing

The fourth day started with Tienko Rasker from Leapfunder, who gave a Financing Session for the Startups – solving the big questions and smaller hurdles Startups have to overcome in order to have a proper financial standing.


Spotlight session: My experience as an entrepreneur in Germany

In the afternoon, foreign entrepreneurs from GTECs No Bullshit Lab Gustavo Madico, CEO Aiserve and Joan Tarrago, Co-Founder Infinite Fingers had a spotlight session about “My experiences as an entrepreneur in Germany” providing the delegation with first hand experience of the german ecosystem from a foreign perspective.


Go-to-market strategy

Following this session, Rita Hairwood and Anna Tutak from u2i gave a workshop on “Go-to-Market Strategy”.


Friday: Founders breakfast!

The fifth and final day of the Soft-Landing Mission to Berlin started with a nice breakfast and session with Christian Stein from Coparion Ventures, who pointed out how to separate good and bad VCs, strategies and the difficulties of evaluating Startups.


After 5 days it was time to say goodbye, hopefully not for too long!

Since the aim of the Soft-Landing program is to bring together startups and ecosystem leaders from all over the world, to create and build new bridges and collaborations, we hope to see all of you very soon.

For the startups: We hope you see Berlin and Germany as your next market!
For the ecosystem leaders: We encourage you to build joint ventures with the different communities and people you met and have fruitful collaborations.

Special thanks to Mor Eini for organizing the Soft-Landing Mission to Berlin and Emma Baron.