Leadership Challenges for Startups in the Digital Age – Guest Contribution by Peter Ivanov

Often startups have their core team in one location and a number of satellite service providers, essential for the success of the young enterprise.

These flexible organizational setup enables the manager of the startup to work with the best experts worldwide provided he can unite them in one Virtual Team, despite the geographical distance, time zones and cultural differences.

Virtual Teams are everywhere now – from home office workers to workers in offices in multiple locations and teams embedded in large global corporations. Read more

PatientZero Games’ Emerge: the future of e-training

It’s a small room in the AIDA Entertainment House, around the corner of Hamburg’s iconic street Große Freiheit. Just a few desks, a couple of computers, a geeky decoration on the few shelves, and posters pinned on the walls. This is the office of PatientZero Game and Emerge. The team of four is silent, busy striking their keyboards at a fast pace. Work goes first, chitchat can be made over Skype, whenever one has time to reply. Read more

Betahaus Hamburg: Hamburg’s home for the digital scene

Like any other cities with a big startup scene, Hamburg has its share of co-working spaces and other hip places for entrepreneurs, creative freelancers and wannabe start-ups. Read more

What is Seedheart – startup review

Seedheart is an online shop where you can buy super seeds – power food, full of energy for your breakfast. Less sugar more energy!

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What is Besserbrauer – startup review

Besserbrauer is an online shop where you can order all you need to brew your beer at home. From scratch all the way to the pint. Read more

What is Avocado Store – startup review

Avocado Store is an online shop focusing on clothes (men, women, kids) but also a large selection of furniture, gadgets, food, gardening items, books and other cultural products. All of these abide to a set of fair-trade, organic and environmental friendly rules. Read more

What is Foodist – startup review

Foodist is an online store and it sells – you guessed it – food! But not just any food, the fancy type that you did not think existed, imported from all over Europe and selected with care and love. Think of it as the opposite of Rewe.

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Startup@Reeperbahn Pitch 2016: the glorious five

What do the following things have in common; software for speeding up a website, an app for happy horses, a drone that can make 360-degree recordings, a platform for sport sponsorship, and an app that can teach you to play guitar? They and their respective start-ups are the stars of this year’s Startups@Reeperbahn Pitch.

The show will be held on 21st September in Gruenspan, and the victor will go home with a media budget worth 100,000 Euros from the WELT newspaper. We will tell you exactly who the finalists are, and how the decision was made. Read more

Embarrassingly conventional – startups are failing on diversity

Hamburg has serious ambitions to become a truly international city – whatever that means. On 21st March this year, it was announced that our city will be Germany’s candidate for the 2024 (and failing that, 2028) Olympics. This could catapult Hamburg onto the international stage, finally giving Hamburg the international profile that it deserves as Germany’s second largest and arguably nicest city.

In one aspect, the city’s campaign has room for improvement: diversity. In the push to get Hamburg selected as Germany’s candidate city, twelve Hamburg ad agencies stepped in to help. Unfortunately, the image they presented of Hamburg was anything but fitting for an international city:  a picture of the founders, owners and CEOs showed a group of twelve white men.

I, and many other people who know the multinational, metropolitan side of Hamburg, felt a bit embarrassed. How can a city launching an international publicity campaign be blind to something so important (and obvious)?

But surely having a startup ecosystem, with disruption in its very DNA, is a chance to turn mainstream society on its head and show how we can get the most out of all people, no matter what race, religion, colour, creed or gender? Not so fast – looking to Silicon Valley, with only 10% of female founders, startup ecosystems seem to be falling short of these lofty aims.

Sketchnotes by Ines Schaffranek

In Hamburg only 12% women founded a Startup, in Silicon Valley only 10% (Sketchnotes by Ines Schaffranek)


In fact, instead of leading the way it seems that old economy companies like Yahoo (with CEO Marissa Meyer), and Intel (with its $300m diversity drive) are making more progress than their upstart counterparts. And Hillary Clinton, previous to launching her presidential bid, ticked off Silicon Valley for its massive male majority. This is unfortunately one trend that startups around the world not only haven’t set, but have missed completely.

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Hamburg’s startup scene should pave the way to a more international Hamburg

Hamburg can be tough if you come here looking for a job without speaking German. I know because I often speak to internationals who moved to Hamburg, not least for my blog “Why Hamburg?”. A city as international as Hamburg – with its 250,000 foreign nationals – should be a relatively easy place to find a job if you’re able to do business in English. But unfortunately, too many people still have problems fulfilling their potential because they cannot (yet) speak German. Read more