22. June 2012–
Tonight the Amano Hotel is hosting (what Facebook counts as) 125 of your closest Berlin startup friends. Invited guests number to 418 and counting. Those "maybe" attending number 38 (the majority of whom you'll recognize by face, going, "Oh, ya, Candy's still in New York, right?") Built by peers, made by peers. Leading the party is the TOA team, just 62 short days away from their much-anticipated Tech Open Air conference. Hey, who needs a reason to celebrate early? For Berlin, it's as easy as soccer. Oh, sorry, football...
Only TOA could get us excited about another Amano rooftop party
The Tech Open Air Conference has been nothing but cool since its onset. This whole Amano "Greece vs. Germany" soccer viewing is another mere excuse to party together, something the Berlin startup scene is becoming increasingly good at. To rehash the fun details, TOA is being held August 23-24 at KaterHolzig: that club that even your Berliner housemate thinks is cool. Tickets are currently going at €75. It's a respectably low price, but I nonetheless gasp that it's too high with TOA organizer Lutz Villalba this morning.
"What did you all charge for Heureka?" he asks me. "We had one price for the early birds, another price if you found a cup somewhere in Berlin, another price if you did this, did that..." (No need to rehash the dirty past with hashtags, we dissolved into laughter, quickly punctuated by that sort of congenial respect that seems to characterise a lot of our conversations here.) "Can you send me some screen shots of you guys on Kisskissbankbank?"
The dialogue has arrived. Berlin's startup generation celebrates itself on a rooftop.
The TOA team is nearly halfway to its goal of €20K. If you sign onto their Kisskissbankbank page, you can donate as low as €5 to the cause. Their mission is to create a dialogue, a mission familiar to the likes of nearly every major corporate event, but somehow purer here among us. And they said it, "In a Nutshell." It's part of our mutual mission: to make the hand that feeds us ourselves, our friends.
While the event and preperation are 100% geared toward the community, Villalba is quick to tell me, regrettably, that the majority of the €8K came from major companies. "It was a mistake we made, actually," he said. "We made the prices too high at first. We didn't mean for it to attract sponsors."
Too high means a number of things in this context, not the least of which includes the community's expectations for the event. Elegantly pioneered by community fellow and friend Niko Woischnik, the progress so far has been nearly flawless, in that effortless sort of Blake Lively way.
From the explanation on site to the mission statement, community activism and weekly meetups to the video, the project has made participating admirers of us all. It's no surprise the even tonight's event begins with one of the many "TOA Berlin Town Hall Meetups," aimed at getting you to "discuss how you or your startup/company can take part in this collaborative festival" (so says the Facebook page.)
"If you buy a ticket today, you get a free shot"
There's a lot to celebrate in the Berlin startup village this week. Two Berlin-based apps- Moped and Gabi- launched in the app store. Many of us skipped out on LeWeb in favor of our own local events. Others flocked the city's roofs for those few hours of sun between the rain spells. Change.org moved into Oberholz and is preparing to launch its German website, led by one of the most inspiring women I've met in a long time.
As he likes, I'll let Niko have the closing words. "TOA Berlin is designed to be a festival by the community for the community," he tells me when I ask him for a 'quote,' "Our meet-ups and events aim to bring active members of the community together to brainstorm the best ways to build this festival together. What better way to do that than by doing what Berliners do best: Drink Beer and watch football!"
For all the sloppy details, check here. Otherwise, see you there. 18:00
Featured photo credit: Tape.tv's August 2011 party on the Amano rooftop.