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Dear TOA Berliners,

awesome news from Austin!

There will be a dedicated Berlin panel at the next SXSW festival. The panel is organized by the Berlin Music Commission and TOA Berlin with support of Project Future. It will be moderated by TOA founder Nikolas Woischnik.

So who…

HY Berlin Startup Competition promises to be highly rewarding

A new kid has emerged on the block and it’s offering a bag of goodies. HY Berlin aims to be a platform where early-stage startups can present their products to investors, press and the Berlin tech community.

Yes, there are a quite a few pitch events in Berlin already, but HY Berlin promises to have the edge when it comes to rewarding its participants. Let’s not beat around the bush and get straight to it: At HY Berlin’s first startup competition, the winning team will receive a prize package that will include 10.000 € in cash and a one week trip to Silicon Valley. Cha-Ching! 

The competition will take place on October 16th at Radialsystem, during Axel Springer’s Media Entrepreneurs Day 2012, which aims to be a platform for constructive dialogue on how to use, advance, and disrupt digital media. Next to the HY Berlin startup competition, the Media Entrepreneurs Day will feature deep-diving workshops and a media hack area. You can apply for it here

Applications for the competition itself will be accepted until the end of September and from all over the world. A focus is set on startups that are not older than 2 years and have not received more than 1m € in venture capital funding.

Next to the winning team receiving 10.000 €, powered by Deutsche Telekom’s incubator hub:raum, the CEOs of the three best teams will fly to Silicon Valley. As part of the itinerary the founders will get the chance to meet Axel Springer’s Silicon Valley research team comprised of Idealo Founder Martin Sinner, Bild Editor in Chief Kai Diekmann and Axel Springer Chief Marketing Officer Peter Würtenberger.

For more information and to apply for the competition, go visit www.hyberlin.com

by Nikolas Woischnik


Dear TOA Berliners,

we have some great news to share! There will be a TOA satellite at the South by Southwest Festival 2013 in Austin, Texas. We are very grateful to have been asked to design and organize a Mini-TOA as part of the official Berlin-Brandenburg presence that is spear-headed…


Bald ist es soweit: Das Tech Open Air Berlin wird zum ersten Mal seine sommerlichen Pforten öffnen! Vom 23. bis zum 24. August werden einige der aufregendsten Start-ups, Kreative und Jungunternehmer an mehreren Schauplätzen in Berlin zusammenkommen, um Open-Mic-Sessions zu führen, Ideen auszutauschen, Wissen zu vermitteln und die Tech-Szene zu feiern. Und du kannst dabei sein!

Tech Open Air verlost 20 Freikarten an die Tumblr-Community, die den glücklichen Gewinnern den Zugang zu allen Festival-Veranstaltungen und Satelliten-Events an beiden Tagen ermöglichen. Hier geht es zur Verlosung!


So you have (an idea of) a product, be that a technical app or a piece of art. Now what you need is to understand how to make it a successful business with a great impact on the world we live in. What better way to do that than by surrounding yourself with experts and inspirational people?


In line with the spirit of crowd sourcing key components of this festival, we just launched the TOA Berlin T-Shirt contest. Like any good festival, we want to have a unique, limited edition festival T-Shirt. Many people already pre-ordered it on our crowd funding campaign.

Do you have…

Get Pitch’n

Wanna enter the pitch zone? Next week you’ll get the chance to test your business idea and enhance your pitching skills with two pitch events. 
The first one, PitchSlam, will take place this coming Wednesday, August 1st at Yaam. PitchSlam is hosted by Lutz Villalba-Adorno and David Nagy who co-organized the last TwistBerlin event at Ahoy! Berlin

Compete in a series of disciplines to become the “Pitch Master of Berlin” and win 2 tickets to the Tech Open Air Festival. The best pitches will also be invited to take part in the Pitch Clinic at TOA, where you will get the chance to pitch to international VC’s. 

No actual startup or prototype is required. Everyone with an idea can participate and compete with each other in a series of disciplines. A jury, together with the audience, will pick the winners.

For more information and to register to pitch or buy your ticket please visit www.pitchslam.eu

Just one day after the Founder Institute will host the Startup Pitch Bootcamp, described as a “community workshop-type event” designed to help founders improve their pitching and communication skills and potentially meet a co-founder. There is also the chance to win a scholarship to the upcoming Founder Institute program.

Space is extremely limited so please register here: http://fi.co/e/1374/blog

Happy Pitch’n! 

by Nikolas Woischnik 

Quiz Show from Hell: Sued, taxed, and quartered

Berlin’s has a new “startup accelerator”: The Berlin Startup Academy. It is not your typical accelerator though focusing explicitly on the intersection between the startup and corporate worlds, instigating knowledge exchange and leveraging these increasingly overlapping networks. 

Founded by veteran Christoph Räthke, who can tell you war stories about his time in both the corporate and startup worlds, the academy already has a notable cast of mentors

Come meet some of them at the next BSA event on August 8th!

Find our why founding a startup is not just about brilliant ideas, Club Mate, passion, tech blog reading, St Oberholzand much more great-sounding stuff you overhear when buying lunch at the Currywurst joint on Rosenthaler Platz. 

Christian Musfeldt from Osborne Clarke, an international law firm specializing in startup law, and Daniel Frischkorn from Ecovis will explain you why founding a company is not only your entry into the world of potential fortune, but also into the sinister Realm of Legal Constraints and Tax Requirements.

While you can rest assured that Christoph and his crew will make this a fun experience, the subject matter involves hardly exciting, but unquestionably important points of founding a company such as: 

  • balance sheet setup
  • employment contracts
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Geschäftsführergehalt v Gewinnausschüttung
  • term sheet clauses

For practical reasons - namely, the sheer density of terms specific to the German tax system that will have to be examined -, keynote and discussion about tax topics will be in German.

You can get your free ticket here: http://taxtorture.eventbrite.com/

by Nikolas Woischnik

TOA Berlin Festival: First Speakers & Satellite Events announced

TOA Berlin today announces its first “speakers” and satellite events. At TOA we want to focus on formats that boost effective knowledge exchange among the whole audience in multidimensional ways. Like Alex Farcet of Startupbootcamp said in the TOA Berlin crowdfunding campaign video: the value at a “conference” is not on stage, but within the audience.

Talks will be heavy on Q&A and we will have Open Mic sessions that will be announced prior to the festival so that the audience can prepare to engage as well if it wants to. This way anyone who can add value to a certain topic will get the chance to do so. Workshops are obviously another format that leverages this. More to come!

Confirmed “Interaktive Talks” & “Workshops” at Central Location (Kater Holzig): 

  • Ansgar Oberholz, Proprietor of the world-renowened St.Oberholz 
  • Ciarán O’Leary, Partner at Early Bird Venture Capital 
  • Edial Dekker, Founder of Gidsy 
  • Caitlin Winner, CPO and Co-Founder of Amen
  • Fabian and Ferdinand Heilemann, Founder of DailyDeal (now part of the Google family) 
  • Fabian Siegel, CEO at Delivery Hero (Lieferheld)
  • Felix Petersen, CEO and Co-Founder of Amen 
  • Holger G. Weiss, CEO of Aupeo 
  • Ijad Madisch, Founder of ResearchGate
  • Marcel Duee, Founder of Tweek
  • Ola Sitarska, Founder of HACKWAW, FashionStyle and Reaktor
  • Robin “Daddy” Hemingway, Grammy winning musician and Startup Aficionado 
"Satellite-Events" all over town: 
  • EyeEm
  • Gidsy
  • Leanovate
  • Startupbootcamp

You can find an up-to-date list of our speakers and satellite events as well as ideas on how to get involved here. TOA Berlin is still short of their crowdfunding goal so if you plan on attending this festival, go ahead and buy your early bird ticket today: http://www.kisskissbankbank.com/en/projects/tech-open-air-berlin-festival This way you will not only save money (as Early Bird Tickets are considerably cheaper), but also contribute to making this Festival a reality. If TOA Berlin does not reach its target, you will get your money back! 

If you are an organization that would like to be involved, please get in touch with us

If you are in Berlin and want to meet the TOA Berlin team and discuss ways to collaborate on this, please come to the TOA Berlin Townhall Meetup tonight on the rooftop at the Hotel Amano. Just RSVP here: http://www.facebook.com/events/375106269215863/

by Nikolas Woischnik

Office Hours with Mangrove Capital at Ahoy! Berlin

Eugene Mizin of Mangrove Capital will host office hours this Friday June 8th at Ahoy! Berlin, immediately before the TWiST Berlin vs. London event. Mangrove Capital Partners is one of the world’s top early stage VC firms; its investments include Skype, Brands4Friends, KupiVip, Nimbuzz, Wix, and SohoOS.
Eugene, an experienced product guy (AOL, Skype), will also sit on the judging panel for TWiST Berlin, where he joins Simon Schäfer (The factory), David Knight (Silicon Allee) and Tim Lossen (Developer at Wooga).  In Eugene’s words: ”There is lots of great talent in Berlin startups today and I am excited to support them in this competition and perhaps more importantly outside of it.  Looking forward to a great event!”
Startup founders, please sign in for a slot with Eugene here: http://ohours.org/officehours/8323. (This is not just for the startups that pitch at TWIST, but open to anyone!)
Thanks for helping young entrepreneurs in such ways, Eugene! 


Here we go, the 15 lucky startups that will get a chance to represent Berlin at the TWIST Berlin vs. London show this coming Friday and that are about to stir things up: 

The startups were chosen from all applicants based on the following criteria: market, product innovation and monetization potential.

What’s next? The startups will now go through two days of pitch training at Ahoy! Berlin with our TWIST mentors Alex Farcet (Startupbootcamp), Christoph Räthke (Berlin Startup Academy), Christoph Sollich (won best pitch at recent Startup Weekend) and Bianca Praetorius (actriss at Junges dt).

Then on Friday these 15 startups will compete for the coveted 3 spots on the actual TWIST Berlin vs. London live show with Jason Calacanis. The pre-competition will take place from 7pm-9pm with the actual live show starting at 10pm. After that it is party time with Grammy winning DJ Daddy Hemingway.

The tickets are limited, so if you do not have one, get yours today: http://www.twistberlin.com/tickets/

by Nikolas Woischnik 


Talking to Startupbootcamp founders Alex Farcet about TOA Berlin

Check out our fourth key actors video, this time we went and interviewed Alex Farcet from the Startupbootcamp accelerator.

The video is part of a series of videos we did telling the startups community about TOA Berlin and asking them about feedback and what they would expect/hope for.

Thanks to Alex his time and support! 

SPONSORING TWIST Berlin vs. London

Come on, help a brother out! We are currently looking for sponsors for the next  TWIST Berlin event where startups from Berlin will battle their counterparts from London live on the famous “This Week in Startups Show” by Jason Calacanis in the US. 
This is the second TWIST show that TechBerlin helps organize and that our sister company Ahoy! Berlin will host. The first show was already epic, but this one promises to be even bigger. This is your chance to connect with aspiring startup entrepreneurs and early adopters from around the world and be involved in a memorable Berlin community event! These are the sponsorship possibilities: 

1. Pitch Sponsor
  • You can pitch your own service and/or company during the jury decision making.
  • You get 3 min to pitch your service in front of the 100 startup people in the Ahoy! cinema and more people at the Ahoy! lounge upstairs who will watch via live stream. 
  • Meet up to 400 people afterwards at the after show party.
  • 500€ per sponsor
2. Event Sponsor
  • Your brand name and slogan will be mentioned during the live show (According to TWIST around 100k people watch/listen to the live web show)!
  • Your logo will appear on the banner at the Ahoy cinema + on our website + you will be mentioned as an event sponsor in all press work. 
  • 1000€ per sponsor
3. Party Sponsor
  • The after party will be called after your brand and you sponsor the drinks. 
  • You can decorate the Ahoy! space with brand material. 
  • We will organize a kick ass party, but if you want to add some swag, you are welcome to give us input. 
  • 2000€ per sponsor
The program for this event runs over two days and there will be lots of possibilities to connect with aspiring entrepreneurs one-on-one:
  • Rehearsal with great mentors from the Berlin startup ecosystem to help startups give their best pitches during the live show. This will take place the day before the actual event and mentors include Alex Farcet (StartupBootCamp), Christoph Räthke (Berlin Startup Academy) and last year’s Startup Weekend “best pitch” winner Christoph Sollich. An actor will also be present to help give founder presentations the certain edge. 
  • Pre-competition three hours before the actual live show, where a jury will end up picking the three best startups that get the chance to pitch at the live show. The jury will consist of Simon Schäfer (Founder of The Factory), Tim Lossen (Developer at Wooga) and David Knight (Editor at Silicon Allee). 
  • 90minute live show which will be streamed at the Ahoy! cinema as well as the Ahoy! lounge upstairs. We expect up to 400 people to attend the event.  
  • The event will finish with a big after show party. 
Please get in touch with us via Mail or Twitter if you are intersted in the sponosoring aspect of TWIST Berlin or have any questions about it. 


Dear TOA Berliners,

Sorry for going MIA for a while. We haven’t forgotten about you, we have just been very busy over the last couple of weeks. So today’s post is a milestone to update you on what we have been up to and what is about to happen.

We would also like to…

Talking to Gidsy Founder Edial about TOA Berlin 

Check out the short video interview we did with Gidsy founder Edial Dekker. The video is part of a series of videos we did telling the startup community about TOA Berlin and asking them about feedback and what they would expect/hope for.

Thanks to Edial and the whole Gidsy team for their time!

by Nikolas Woischnik

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