19. November 2012–
It’s a simple idea and one others in Berlin and elsewhere are also pursuing. The technology to make this kind of map is easily accesible – the elegant Mapped in Israel and Represent LA, for example, are built use open-source code RepresentMap.
The actual challenge is getting, cleaning and maintaining the data that underlies the map. Startupmap.io founders Erik Stoffregen and Emil Kendziorra started the original map to help them decide where to found their new company – onFeedback – in Berlin.
“We didn’t know where to move,” Kendziorra explained. He and childhood friend Stoffregen, at the time running a web development agency together in Darmstadt, called on one of their freelancers for help aggregating data, until they had a map they could use to choose an office close to other startups. “We decided it was something others could use.”
The team’s “passion project” quickly expanded to other verticals, such as events, and is now – under new domain name Startupmap.io – expanding to startup scenes beyond Berlin, starting with Italy, Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dhaka and Lisbon.
Ultimately, Kendziorra said, they want to create a tool that any newcomer to a “startup capital” can use to settle in quickly and then to keep an eye on what’s going on. “Let them know what’s hot, what’s new…”
Since Kendziorra and Stoffregen are committed to onFeedback as their main project, they’re looking for ambassadors to manage the data entry for each new startup scene. In Berlin, they’ve now handed over those reins to Thomas Aberrant.
No plans to monetise – yet
So far, the project is bootstrapped and there are no active plans to monetise it. “This is not a project we want to make money from – that’s not our main focus at least,” Kendziorra said. “Our main focus is creating a tool for the community and something we can use ourselves.”
Clearly, there’s a lot of work ahead – even in Berlin, the map’s new verticals for investors, accelerators, incubators and coworking spaces are extremely patchy (according to Kendziorra, there’ll be much more info added this week). But there’s ambition here, for a genuinely useful tool, and the crowdsourced aspect of the project means it might just be possible.