Recently I was honored and delighted to be invited to keynote the opening of the new digital HUB in Aachen, where I spoke about why and how corporations engage with startups (and sometimes vice versa).
As a known startup evangelist, the venue was perhaps the most fitting I’ve spoken at so far. The event was held in the digital church, a church converted to a coworking space!
I think it’s safe to say the opening sparked some interest… The digital church was packed!
These were the slides I used:
Dr. Michael Bayer of IHK Aachen welcoming us to the opening of the digitalHUB Aachen – and what a location; The first coworking space in a church in Germany!
Recently I had the pleasure to sponsor the Essener Energie Forum 2017 through my company +ANDERSEN & ASSOCIATES and together with Alexander Küppers from Statkraft Ventures, I offered my Pitching Masterclass as a part of the symposium’s workshops.
The Essener Energie Forum is a yearly student-run interdisciplinary symposium on energy technology, innovation and politics in Essen, Germany.
Recently I was invited by NRW.INVEST to moderate a panel discussion on how to build a business with innovation at the Polish-German Startup Forum at the Hannover Messe 2017.
From the official description of the event:
Poland has made an impressive economic leap within the past two decades. The country did not overlook the global trends and became an established start-up center for Central Eastern Europe. The great catch-up demand in Polish economy, not only attracted investment, but also created enormous creativity and ambition among young generation of entrepreneurs who have recognized the key to international success in innovation. The ever-growing Polish startup ecosystem is just one of the evidence of the rapid development in this area.
The aim of the event is to exchange experiences between startup developers and large and medium business from Poland and Germany, as well as, introduce German investors to the potential of Polish companies.
Recently I was honored to be invited to speak at the members-only pre-opening of the digital HUB Cologne about “What Startups Need”.
Spoiler alert: It isn’t corporate partners and digital hubs.
The digital hubs in the state of NRW in Germany is a political construct part financed with public money. It’s supposed to support and help small and medium companies get onboard with “digitalisation”, whatever that term means.
The ensuing panel debate and Q&A
As you might know, I’m much more of a libertarian than a socialist, so I’m not the biggest fan of this publicly funded hub concept for a number of reasons.
I don’t believe taxpayers should be subsidising private enterprises
If the market had wanted or needed a “digital hub”, it would have created one already by itself
The market is Darwinistic and self- correcting – putting public support-wheels or bandaids on failing businesses is wrong
Creating publicly funded competition to existing local business offerings is wrong
You get the drift.
In sum, I think it’s a political innovation theatre paid for in part by us the taxpayers.