Right before Easter, we had the pleasure to welcome a delegation of 18 people coming from 6 different countries for 3 days to explore Berlinâ€™s startup hub – a view from our German hosts.
Among our guests, we had government representatives, investors, journalists, ecosystem builders, mentors and entrepreneurs â€“ all of them full of fire and passionate about entrepreneurship!
Day 1 of the Berlin Soft-Landing started atÂ Berlin PartnerÂ offices, with a talk byÂ Carl-Philipp Wackernagelpresenting a brief story of startups and tech in Berlin. He also briefed the delegation about theirÂ Start Alliance program, ran very successfully for several years from Berlin to the world.
The day continued later at GTECâ€™s brand new offices at WeWork Potsdamer Platz, whereÂ Mor Eini, our Innovation Program Manager, introduced the Soft-Landing.euÂ 2-year program, supported by the European Union Horizon 2020 project.Â Afterwards, our Founding Managing DirectorÂ Benjamin RohÃ©Â gave a presentation about why Berlin is not the next Silicon Valley, but a better alternative on how to leverage technology to improve society.
To top up the first day, GTEC andÂ Dentons, worldâ€™s largest law firm by headcount and number of offices, hosted the Global Ecosystem Leaders Dinner to bring together the Soft-Landing Mission Delegation with the movers and shakers from Berlin. A very special thanks toÂ Rebekka Hye-Knudsen, Partner at Dentons, for making this fantastic collaboration possible!
Alexander Piutti, GTECâ€™s Managing Director, was the featured speaker for the Breakfast Talk on Day 2 of the Berlin Soft-Landing, which continued later with the visit fromÂ Leon ReinerÂ fromÂ Impact Hub Berlin,Â Axel NitschÂ fromÂ High Tech GrÃ¼nderfondsÂ and the journalistÂ Tricia Levasseur.
After a morning packed with talks, it was time for the delegation to head toÂ CadusÂ at their Crisis Response Makerspace, where the members learned about Cadusâ€™ mobile hospital offering aid in war zones directly fromÂ Verena LaubleÂ andÂ Christopher LÃ¶ffler.
The last day of the very first Soft-Landing started really strong withÂ Damian Polok, Global Shaper and Vice-Curator Frankfurt for theÂ World Economic Forum, whose talk put an end at the meetings at WeWork Potsdamer Platz.
From our offices, the Soft-Landing delegation went to theÂ EUREF Campus, where they metÂ Aimee Apelfrom atÂ Climate-KICÂ and everyone could enjoy a ride with Emily, Germanyâ€™s first autonomous driving bus!
And with that last rush, the first Soft-Landing Mission ever was completed! So far weâ€™ve received fantastic feedback from everyone who gathered in Berlin to explore our startup ecosystem:
â€œWhat I liked the most about this Sof-Landing experience were the shared experiences and challenges within different startups ecosystems. It was great to gain a better understanding of the Berlin (and German) market, how it works, what are the challenges and who are the players. And the networking part which is always really important and beneficial.â€
Caroline Cannamela, WILCO
â€œThe most valuable lesson for me during this Soft-Landing was to learn about different models of Accelerator and variety of Frameworks for promoting innovations, implemented successfully in France, Berlin and in the Netherlands.â€
Iris Arbel-Ganz,Â HAC â€“ Herzliya Accelerator Center
WeÂ hope to keep it up inÂ future missions planned within the Soft-Landing program: next ones with applications open are Paris (happening between May 21-25) and Vilnius expeditions (taking place between June 11-15) â€“Â you can apply today!