Startupbootcamp Berlin mentor Michael Gaiss, formerly SVP at Boston based Highland Capital Partners, has spent the past 4 weeks exploring Berlin. During his time in the european tech hub, he consistently updated his blog with fantastic insights and learnings of an American in the German capital. Last night, Michael got together with the Startupbootcamp Berlin teams for one last beer, before catching his flight back home. This guest blog post is a final wrap-up about Michael’s take on Startupbootcamp Berlin.
Once a week the Startupbootcamp Berlin teams get together for a group breakfast. Beyond just sharing a meal, it’s an opportunity to keep everyone in the loop on program related activities and for each of the teams to update the others on what they’ve done over the week.
I like the format and flow a lot. Reporting updates just help with transparency and raising the bar around making progress against objectives. More importantly from a group dynamics standpoint, it really ensures that everyone is in the loop on what the others are doing. Coupled with close proximity of workspace, it’s all part of a greater group support system that better positions the teams to lean on and help each other. The added benefit is the longer-term relationships that you see developing across teams that will last much longer than the program itself.
The Startupbootcamp team of Alex Farcet, Wilken Bruns & Sophie Hechinger has been awesome to watch. The amount of coaching, advice, introductions, counsel and expertise they offer to teams is pretty amazing and I’ve learned a number of things in the process. As I mentioned earlier they’ve offered me a workspace close to the teams. While I’ve been in-and-out over the last three weeks, I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to interact with them and see their development over this period.
The early excitement around the start of the program has been replaced with a more heads-down & focused approach as the program kicks into the next stage. The teams have benefited from a ton of input & feedback from mentors and the marketplace over the first five weeks – some supportive of their ideas & business models, others less so. For the most part, it’s remarkable how the teams have been navigating everything so well. As they say, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, and this has led to a sharpening (or even overhaul) of their original vision, product-market fit, and go-to-market strategy.
As an aside, the mentor network involved with the teams has been exceptional. Berlin is coming out to support & engage the teams as are entrepreneurs & investors from across the rest of Europe. The teams are getting access to an incredible array of people. Many are spending half or a full day with the teams.
BTW, here’s a look at the first five weeks of the program using Weavly’s mashup tool.
We’re just under 50 days until the Startupbootcamp’s Demo Day on November 27th. The event is the week before LeWeb, which will be in Paris. For U.S. investors, this offers a great combo to come to Europe and take them both in over a week period. Independent of LeWeb, if you have an interest in getting closer to the Berlin ecosystem, Demo Day offers a great cornerstone around which you experience it firsthand. If you’re an investors, you can request an invitation here.
Personally, I’ve just had to say my good-byes to the teams tonight. Here’s one last pic plus a little funky Loopcam. I’m looking forward to watching their progress and wish them all the best as they continue to work through the challenges of creating successful & sustainable businesses.
Stay tuned for Michael Gaiss’ FLASH INTERVIEW with Alex Farcet.
This post was originally published on Michael’s blog (31) Days of Berlin.