Source: Felix Handler, reaches for an international scope with Worldwide Playground

The decor is set in Altona, a district in the west of Hamburg, known for being a prime choice of residence by many expats. Tonight the team expects us in the basement of a Uruguayan restaurant –  Carrasco –  in a large and comfortable room that can accommodate roughly 70 people. The room is only half full, but the mood is cheerful and conversation is flowing effortlessly among the attendees.The choice of a Uruguayan restaurant is not a coincidence. The featuring country of tonight is indeed Uruguay and the event is generously sponsored by the Uruguayan consulate of Hamburg. They also held the first speech of the event.

Hidden gem in South America: Uruguay

The consulate sent María Elizabeth Bogosian to 12min to extol Uruguay and its soaring development. Located in the South-East of South America, between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is presented as an oasis of freedom and happiness. Apart from the breath-taking landscapes, Uruguay benefits from the highest Internet penetration rate in South America, a very dynamic IT and software industry, as well as other services, a high level of literacy, and, last but no least, a strong political and economic stability. In a word: the perfect place for investment.

Source: Felix Handler,

Bogosian is very enthusiastic about her homeland and does a great job at promoting it. No doubt most of the audience is already planning their next holiday to South America. The few skeptical mavericks let themselves convinced by the Uruguayan food and wine brought in after the speech.

Let’s all love bamboo!

The second speech on 12min is made by Claudia David, who is here to tell us about “Nuestro bambú“, an Uruguayan initiative by Katia Sei Fong. The project is great, but what really strikes the audience is how much we can do with bamboo. Houses, furniture, food, clothes – virtually anything and everything can be made of bamboo. And don’t look at it as a second choice material, you would be seriously mistaken. Bamboo is robust, much stronger than wood, grows fast and easily almost anywhere on the southern hemisphere. Because bamboo is actually a grass, it grows much faster than trees and represents an underestimated potential. A sustainable project and an eye-opener I strongly recommend looking into.

The provocative Andrew Livingston

With a presentation called “Why German startups fail”, Livingston certainly knows how to make an entrance! He illustrates his provocative statement with a series of examples about Germany and why, according to him, they contribute to the failure of many startups. Among the most decried problems he highlights: too many managers, closed doors, weekends, holidays, time off, lunch breaks, contracts, 40-hour weeks, speaking German instead of English at the office,… A nice list of complaints with very few solutions suggested.

Source: Felix Handler,

Andrew Livingston

After these, we are all invited to network for the remaining time. It works, people are in a talkative mood and wine seems to be ordered a fair bit at the bar. A rather nice event in a nutshell, with a great crowd and a very nice ambiance. I look forward to the next session! Thanks to the team for the organisation!

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