Three cheers for the STARTERiNNEN 2021!

The decision has been made! After a pre-selection by a board of trustees and the vote of our readers, a jury of experts awarded the title STARTERiN Hamburg 2021 to three strong women in a high-class pitch final: Yesica Rios of JOBMATCH.ME, Madeleine von Hohenthal of Bracenet and Britta Wiebe of Vulvani. Find out what makes them and the other finalists stand out in our follow-up report!

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Sparkassen Innovation Hub has launched online voucher portal for local retailers

Like so many others, the Sparkassen Innovation Hub wanted to make the journey to the SXSW in Austin, Texas. The coronavirus, as is well known, put a big dent in this plan. Now more than ever, the team said to itself. It took part in the #WirVsVirus Hackathon of the German government and developed it into a campaign for local retailers under the hashtag #gemeinsandadurch. In a new episode of the video conference #CouchbyCouchwest, Martin Schaffranski from the Sparkassen Innovation Hub explains exactly what this is all about.

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Nina Kalmund: ten tips against the crisis

In the sofa conference #CouchbyCouchwest today there is a special edition with a clip that has a particularly high utility value. The architect, philosopher and investor Nina Kalmund gives tips on how to survive the current crisis and perhaps even emerge from it stronger.

Nina Kalmund is an award-winning architect with over 23 years of professional experience. Together with her brother Stefan, she runs an investment company, and with her mother Julia she founded the platform Street Philosophy. She is as much in demand as a speaker as she is as an advisor, and it is this role that she performs in an episode of #couchbycouchwest. The Chinese character for “crisis” consists of two elements: One means “danger” and the other means “opportunity”. Nina focuses on this aspect in her ten tips, which offer orientation not only in times of corona crisis.

  • Take full responsibility
  • Work on your energy
  • Work on your mindset #cleanyourthoughts
  • Think deep
  • Connect and collaborate
  • Level up
  • Become a financial wizzard
  • Build your brand
  • Be strategic, not tactic
  • Be super fast and super patient

This contribution to #CouchbyCouchwest was again made possible by the network german.innovation and the city of Hamburg. The software for the video interview was provided by the London startup Sceenic. Sceenic and its founder Paul Bojarski have a very special relationship with Hamburg, as Paul explains in our 2018 interview. At that time we also accompanied Sceenic to Austin to the SXSW and supported him on site.

More interviews from the series #CouchbyCouchwest can be found here, here, here and here.


Since 2014, we at Hamburg Startups have been making sure that startups can show that they hav it at SXSW. From March 13th to 22nd, Austin was once again supposed to become the hub of the creative and digital world. Traditionally, the German delegation is one of the strongest. Thanks to the support of our partners from Hamburg Invest, Baden-Württemberg International, Sutor Bank, Vast Forward, german.innovation and Klitschko Ventures, startups received comprehensive support. We reported in advance and planned to do this on location.

New in Austin would have been the first appearance of german.innovation, an open collaborative network. It was created with the aim of strengthening and connecting innovative creatives, founders, companies and scientists. The presence was made possible by the commitment and financial support of the cities of Hamburg and Munich, the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate, and numerous partners from industry and science.

#CouchbyCouchwest – the sofa conference continues!

#CouchbyCouchwest goes to the next round. This time, the Digital Media Women, the singer Sofia Portanet, the Digital Hub Logistics and serial founder Dirk Lueth will have their say at the sofa conference, which was created in cooperation between german.innovation and the City of Hamburg.

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#CouchbyCouchwest – entrepreneurs in sofa chat

Actually, they all wanted to be in Austin, Texas to participate at SXSW. As you know, that couldn’t happen, but luckily there is #CouchbyCouchwest, and so the founders of JOBMATCH.ME, femtasy and Vast Forward can present themselves to the world in a video interview. You can read how this sofa conference of the network german.innovation in cooperation with the city of Hamburg came about here.

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#CouchbyCouchwest – three highlights of the sofa conference

#CouchbyCouchwest instead of South by Southwest – we’ve already introduced you to what’s behind this idea in an article. The videos are made possible by the City of Hamburg. The sofa event continues today with clips about a pioneer of the SXSW living room conference, with tips on how to pitch yourself most skillfully, and about a performance artist in the video age.

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#CouchbyCouchwest – we’ve moved SXSW to the couch!

The corona virus forces many of us to the home office on the sofa. Together with the german.innovation network and Hamburg, we have made a virtue of necessity and are presenting important elements of the planned program and the delegation, which we had actually planned for the SXSW 2020 in Austin, Texas, comfortably from the sofa. So look forward to the premiere of #CouchbyCouchwest!

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SXSW 2020 -What happend and what is going to happen

Our team has accompanied SXSW 2020 with all their heart over the last few weeks: with anticipation and at the same time as a big nail-biter. Will the Corona crisis finally lead to the popular festival being cancelled after all? What are we going to do? Every day in the office, every phone call began with the question: And? What do you think? Will it be canceled?
We were in close coordination with the team on site: We’re going forward, that was the clear motto! The city of Austin and the festival followed a clear course – every day there were new crisis meetings.

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With yōyoka old bottles get a new life as yoga mats

More and more startups are developing clever ideas to clean up the world of plastic waste. This includes yōyoka from Hamburg. Its yoga mats are mainly made of recycled PET bottles.

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next media accelerator: more space for creativity, emotions and advertising revenues

In the third and last part of our mini-series about batch 10 from the next media accelerator we present three startups, which aim to make the work and lives of creatives, event organizers, customers, advertisers and online media better: Moderne, VibeVision and yieldPass.

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