Hello from rainy Berlin, and the second part of our Discovery Expedition! The weather may be wet, but at least it gives us a chance to show off our fancy IMD umbrellas. We’ve only been in Germany for 24 hours, yet we’ve already done some great activities. Here’s what we’ve been up to…
Welcome event at Meistersaal
On Sunday night we received a warm welcome from Maria Gross of German Tech, the company hosting us this week. On stage at the legendary Meistersaal – a venue that has hosted the likes of David Bowie, U2, Iggy Pop and many more – we got to hear from our first start-up founder, Eskinder Mamo. Eskinder gave us some great insight into what it takes to lead a successful start-up, and the importance of mindset in making this happen.
Speakers from the ecosystem
After a much-needed night of rest, we began our morning with presentations from two more players in the German start-up ecosystem. The first was, René Weinholtz, founder of Loom Impact, a self-proclaimed impact finance boutique. He did an excellent job of explaining why impact finance is an increasingly important part of the global economy’s future, and why Berlin is considered Germany’s most popular start-up hub.
Next, it was on to Jan Berewinkel from Berlin Partner, who took us through the ins and outs of the Berlin innovation ecosystem. Drawing comparisons with the likes of Silicon Valley, it was fantastic to learn that Europe, and Berlin in particular, has its own unique brand of innovation culture.
Finally, we spent the afternoon on a scavenger hunt or ‘paperchase’ around the city. Not only did we exercise our well-developed leadership muscles with some team challenges, but we also picked up bits of history along the way. Before taking in the spectacle that is the Brandenburg gate, we each took the time to experience a walk through the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This is an impactful and beautifully-curated experience for any first-time visitor of Berlin.
We still have another few days to look forward to together. I’m looking forward to learning more about this gigantic city, and how it helps entrepreneurs to thrive and achieve their passion.