Last night saw the cream of the Berlin startup crowd mix with representatives of the Tel Aviv scene last night in a format well-loved and utilised by both cities – a rooftop party.
The event, hosted by Waymate was initiated by the Israeli Trade Centre with the cooperation of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and designed as an informal mixer to get Berlin names such as Readmill, Berlin Startup Academy, FOUNDD, Deutsche Telekom, Moped et al chatting to delegates from Tel Aviv on the similarities (and differences) in their respective startup spheres.
Hemdat Sagi, Commercial Attaché at the Israel Trade Center introduced the evening and explained why the Israeli Embassy in Berlin was becoming so actively involved in the startup scene here: “We see a lot of similarities and a lot of opportunities to get our two cities working more closely together in the startup scene. It’s an exciting time for both places.”
Raising the Israeli profile within Europe
The Israeli Trade Centre in Berlin has been keen to raise the profile of Israel within Europe, Germany in particular. As well starting its own blog covering the links between the digital scenes in both countries, it is also hosting a special three-hour event as part of Medianwoche tomorrow, which aims to give investors and startups a chance to “present their recipes and visions for successful founders’ clusters and provide insights into their business strategies”.
As well as addresses from Brandenburg’s Minister for Economic and European Affairs, Ralf Christoffers, and his Israeli contemporary Yakov Hadas-Handelsmann, there will also be a roundtable discussion on what makes a startup hotspot, attended by the likes of Conrad Fritzsch of Tape.tv, Felix Petersen of Amen, Yair Re’em, Investment Manager at Hasso Plattner Ventures and Ciarán O’Leary from Earlybird, as well as prominent CEOs and founders from Israel.
The Berlin hype bubble
Yair Re’em of Hasso Plattner spoke to us at the party last night on the issue of Berlin hype. He moved from Israel to Berlin to be with his German wife and sees some marked differences in the scenes: “The main difference between the two cities is that Israel is much more focused in B2B and tech – in Berlin, it’s much more consumer-facing products that need a certain amount of hype to survive. What I mean is that with these type of products you either have to spend a lot on marketing or you have to create that buzz.
“But I think there’s enough money in the scene here, yes – if you have a good product and a good team, there’s always money. I think the next couple of years will be really interesting for Berlin…”