On the 10th of October, 14 Centerlings headed to the capital for an experience which is close to becoming a tradition at the CDTM: the annual Berlin Startup Tour. Together, the active students and alumni visited several startups which are associated with the CDTM, but also had the opportunity to drop by and look into other startups and even a VC office.
After driving from Munich to Berlin early in the morning, the tour started at 2:30pm. The first stop was KRY, a Swedish telemedicine startup. The students were welcomed by Manuel Grossmann, a CDTM alumnus who works for KRY and currently supports them in their mission of brining remote diagnosis to Germany. The visit took place on the premises of Project A, an operational VC, who is currently investing into KRY in a Series B. Next up was Bitwala, a blockchain banking startup. Bitwala offers a bank account that includes a wallet and enables you to easily trade bitcoin. The co-founder and CTO, Ben Jones explained the company’s story and shared his view on the hype around cryptocurrencies.
The next day started with a visit at the office of FreightHub. The students were welcomed by co-founder and CDTM alumnus Michael Wax who shared some inspiring insights on how they managed to build a successful logistics startup. After some delicious pizza and good conversations on FreightHub’s office terrace, the Centerlings moved on to their next station: 7Mind. The meditation startup was founded in 2014 by Manuel Ronnefeldt and Jonas Leve. The two founders shared their story and answered plenty of questions in a casual Q&A setting at their office in Prenzlauer Berg. The last stop for the day was BCG Digital Ventures where the students listened to three engaging pitches from Andreas Schuster and his colleagues, who presented their current projects. The group gained insights on the way people work at BCG DV and learned that it’s not so different from what we do during the second core course “Managing Product Development”. The second day ended at the Brewdog bar where the group got together with alumni from Berlin, whilst enjoying some nice craft beer.
Nowadays it’s all about the data, which is why our students also visited Contiamo at their beautiful workspace at WeWork near Potsdamer Platz. Steffen Iwan, CDTM alumnus and currently Head of Business Development at Contiamo gave insights on how they build valuable data solutions for their customers. He also gave an inspiring eLab-style presentation on why hunting one or two big whales is a fruitful B2B strategy for data companies apart from chasing after hundreds of small fish. The last stop of the tour was Holtzbrinck VC, where the group was welcomed by alumni Fabian Gruner. The students could ask many general questions on VCs and also walked through a hypothetical investment case. Afterwards they rounded the day off with a cold beer on Holtzbrinck’s roof-top terrace.
Shout-out and a big thank you to all the start-ups who made time in their busy schedule to show us around and present their work. Thanks also to Johnny, Felix and Paul who organized this awesome trip!