betahaus Hamburg transformed into a start-up arena on 13 January, setting the stage for over 150 guests to hear six outstanding pitches in a cauldron of knife-edge suspense. The challenge: It was up to the jury and the audience to decide which start-up would fly to Texas to represent Hamburg at the SXSW German Startup Engine in Austin in March. All of the start-ups came highly motivated, clearly determined to win. Jenni Schwanenberg, responsible for innovation management at dpa whenever she’s not driving startups through the arena with ever so delightful charm, was an engaging host at the evening’s event. Triprebel, a travel startup presented by its founder Carlos Borges, and the e-commerce agent minubo, showcased by Torben Sominka, emerged as winners and can now look forward, among other things, to an exciting trip to SXSW.
Hamburg looks very different from an international perspective than it does domestically. Within the German-speaking world, Hamburg is a strong brand: everyone has heard of the Michel, the Reeperbahn, the port, the Speicherstadt, the musicals and increasingly the Hafencity. Even individual neighbourhoods like St. Pauli, Eppendorf and Eimsbüttel are familiar at least by name, and Hamburg is known as Germany’s media powerhouse. So justifiably, to people in the DACH region, Hamburg is level with places like London and can easily compete with Berlin.
But internationally, Hamburg is not as well known. No-one has heard of the Michel, the Reeperbahn is just a red light district, and most people aren’t aware of Hamburg’s maritime identity. Internationally, people have heard of Hamburg, but couldn’t say where it is on the map.
Every now and then, we hear that the authorities in Hamburg want to bolster our international standing: whether to attract more tourists, or – more relevant to Hamburg Startups – attract the brightest and best. I think they are sometimes perplexed by the disconnect between Hamburg’s success within Germany and the outside world. The question is: how to resolve it? How to make Hamburg more attractive internationally, so that talented people want to come and live here, found companies, build a life and make a contribution? Read more
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
September was hot in Hamburg, as international startups stirred the Reeperbahn Festival, bringing a huge amount of SXSW flair to our otherwise commercially-oriented Hanseatic city! It all happened at our second Startups@Reeperbahn event, which took place as part of the Reeperbahn Festival: Our finalists, five european startups had the opportunity to pitch to investors, media representatives and other startup stakeholders in a dimly-lit, neighbourhood atmosphere. TripRebel convinced both jury and audience and took home both SPIEGEL ONLINE PRIZE – a media budget of EUR 100,000 and the audience-price a ticket to M-Forum this week at the baltic sea. John Heaven – Englishman, blogger and independent web developer, summarized the evening at Club Hamburg for you. Please give John also a warm welcome for it’s him, who will take over the wonderful task of writing the English Column ‘Views From Heaven’ which you can enjoy on regular basis at Hamburg Startups. There’ll be more of John then soon but for now, please enjoy his guestpost of TripRebel’s Perfect Pitch Read more
Ana Cristina Agüero, CMO of brightup and one of her team mates Kiran Joseph pitched at hy!demo Berlin on 19th of January and returned home to Hamburg happily being second placed among 24 other startups. Founded and based in Hamburg, brightup definetly is a startup worth keeping an eye on an we’re happy to report about the team’s achievements. Hy!demo is one event organised by hy! along with international accelerators such as Techstars, Seedcamp, ProSiebenSat1, just to name a few. Europe’s best startup programs presented their classes of 2013 to numerous VC’s, angels, industry experts and of course a range of international media. Brightup took part as class of Berlin Hardware Accelerator. Hy!demo claimed the event of being the first oft that kind in Europe. Ana now tells us about her impressions of being part of that.