This week I was helping out Cologne’s own Tom Bachem’s <>CODE University, coaching youth building interesting products, solutions to real problems, at the Code + Design Camp in the Balloni event location in Cologne.
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.
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.
These were the slides I used:
It’s that time of year again! This year the WebSummit moved to beautiful Lisbon, Portugal. Who’s in town? Hit me up on them there social interwebs and let’s have a drink or dinner.
Previously, we had been visiting Moscow to spread the good word and recently I was invited back by the city of Düsseldorf (the capital of NRW) and NRW.INVEST to be a part of the delegation with the Lord Mayor of Düsseldorf, Thomas Geisel and others, to spread the gospel about why the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) is a great place for startups in Warsaw, Poland (twin city of Düsseldorf).
These were my slides: