A sort of review: Lange nacht der start up
We took part at the Lange nacht der Start ups on Saturday. It was fun, generous and inspiring. And I think the Inspiration is the key for us. It is not easy to plan in a full day of work on a Saturday- make sure the kids are happy, the husband kept sweet and that you your self have the energy to actually enjoy a 6th work day in the week and actually gain from it.
As we work mainly online I really looked forward to have whole a day with my colleague. We would miss our third partner who is on holiday. To be in a vaccum away frow everyday life without deadlines and interruptions is great. Like a long train journey. To start the day with a bike tour through Berlin (conference was on Fasanenstrasse by IHK), a nice breakfast at 9 followed by a interesting Key note speech by the CEO of Telecom Niek Jan van Damme was a good start!
The conference has a good set up: 3 streams: starter, Advanced and Partnering stream and you can choose topic and speakers according to your liking. We thought most of the starters stream seminars fitted as it concentrated on PR, how to grow and how to fund. All things that keep us busy at the moment. Strengthened by a lovely cappuccino we set off to separate talks. I went to “mistakes you shouldn’t miss- stories about funding a start up”. Fun and good to know all things IHK can do for a new start up. The speaker Nadahl Shocair from Silicon Allee had a valuable advice: "On a network platform your audience is your product". Also lovely to see 3 women in the panel(and two men). Each talk is 45 min and then it was a 15 minutes pause- very good!
Quick catch up- a water and off to the next. Next talk interested us both as we are at a point with Niesolo where we really need to work on the PR: “ 10 proven steps to grow your Business with Public relations” with the principal of Piabo, Tilo Bonow. And he actually gave us several really good ideas- he did not try to tell us that we should come to him but gave funny and unusual ideas how to approach PR. Really helpful!. Another coffee and then separate talks again- the last before lunch: “First hand report: idea meets capital” A conversation between a Start up founder and his Venture Capital investor. Even though that might not be a way for us it was exciting to hear what they have done in only 2.5 years and the advice I took away: “go all in or go away!”
Lunch- yummy. But first a one to one with one of the employees at piabo, Maria Rosenau . Her advice to us was-“ use your network skills and use social media.” We try. She had also heard of us from the BPW business plan competition. Great! Made my day.
So now lunch and time to discuss other internal Niesolo business issues – we skip one talk after lunch in order to have 2 full hours of kids free discussion time. Great, intense and important.
Last talk of the day: “How to build the support network you need to nourish a sustainable business”- three speakers who are founders of “non-profits” in Berlin (Quartiermeister, Orginal Unverpackt and Bürger Energie Berlin.)They described successful crowd funding, social initiatives and how a non-profit needs to earn money to make sense. Young idealistic entrepreneurs that show that all you need is a strong will.
We had a cocktail- green and delicious, and discussed what the day had given us. As the networking mainly will take place with the glamour mingling at night when we are at home putting the children to bed we did not manage do any massive networking but the talks were actually very good and we got some good names to contact- gave away a few business cards and spread the niesolo- word. However, what was great was the inspiration and power the whole conference was beaming (I mean a lot of good looking 20- something men with go get it attitude helped) but is showed how much willing experience there is out there- how Berlin is geared up to nurture and help start ups and as long as you ask you will get answers.
We hope to see you there next year!
There are many conferances like this yearly and maybe there is one that fits your bussiness better- all we can say is - do it! and we are happy to get recomendations and tip to repost.
Text by Lina Lahiri