There is a lot of events in Hamburg. But this one takes the gold when it comes pronunciation. It’s a terrible word to utter if “sh” sounds don’t roll out easy for you: Spätschicht (late shift). I let you practice this tongue-twister a bit with bab.la (click on the speaker icon). At any rate, I reach Mindspace Hamburg where the event is being held to discover a gorgeous building in the heart of Hamburg (Rödingsmarkt) – impressive from the outside and even more on the inside. After climbing up a few flights of the majestic stair, I walk into a large room filled with jazzed-up entrepreneurs, service providers and investors.
The mix of people is rather even and conversation seems to be going well. The tokens for free drinks must be helping. Cosima Radelfahr, IT recruiter from Computer Futures, is actively hopping from a group to another to broaden her network in Hamburg. The Hannover-born young woman is looking for IT people, especially for mobile development. These are as rare as hen’s teeth but she is very conversational. She is hoping to find the rare gem. Patrick Stümpfl from SysEleven, a cloud company, has come to broaden his network in Hamburg, accompanied by his oldest friend Mathias Kirsche. “There is a lot of start-ups represented at the Spätschicht, more than investors. It’s a good thing,” says Stümpfl. “In Berlin, it is rather the other way around in such events.”
Then hunger strikes
Time to try out one of these pulled turkey burgers. Going back to my group, I meet Jenny Sommer. Very poised, she tells me about the Munich-based co-working space Friendsfactory. They are opening a new branch in Hafen City this February. She pitches the project with conviction and enthusiasm, I soon agree to meet her again for the grand opening. She is hoping to find lodgers for the location among the freelancers and start-ups here. Competition is tough in Hamburg, but she’s optimistic.
Behind the scenes
At the front door, the banned smokers relieve their addiction. The conversation flows faster than ever. In spite of the biting cold, it is more quiet than upstairs to have an important talk. Sipping on my glass of wine, two girls come to me ask to bum a light. Theresa and Ottavia work at Mindspace and are responsable for the organisation of the Spätschicht event. They are both very enthusiastic about this evening. “If there were a ranking of the best co-working places in Hamburg, Mindspace would be number one for sure,” asserts Theresa. Ottavia arrived just over a year ago from Italy. “It’s so cold here in Hamburg and I don’t even speak German. Then I found the best job I could ever dream of! It’s a miracle!” They both beam with pleasure, I don’t question for a second their honesty. Mindspace must be a really good employer.
It was quite a good night altogether. I met some new people, caught up with others I had not seen in a while and there was a bag of goodies for the participants. Bonus: I learned a new German word “abgefrühstückt”. Nothing to do with breakie (Frühstück), it actually means done, sorted, checked. Good to remember!