If there was ever a place of antithesis, Berlin is it. The city’s history is made up of a range of contrasts, and its growth as a tech hub couldn’t be left out of the mix.
Just a few blocks from Checkpoint Charlie, which for decades served as the border between two colliding worlds, something new is growing.
In a former art gallery, turned into the local headquarters of Startupbootcamp, a co-working space is poised to house some of the newest introduction to Berlin’s startup scene. Introducing Rainmaking Loft. We got an all-inclusive guide through the premises from Lucie Montel, who is in charge of running operations there, where she let us in on some of what they’re up to.
If you’ve never been to a co-working space before, but have imagined what one might look like, it might be something along the lines of this. Large open work spaces, an urban feel, common kitchen, and a wide array of private work rooms.
Serving as an art gallery before becoming a springboard for startups, there’s an event room, along with a bar run by the Loft. Yes, a bar.
Lucie noted that when they launched a few months back after partnering with the first Rainmaking Loft in London, there was a need for diversified revenue streams which could produce enough money to keep the business self sufficient through event hosting. That’s where the idea for ‘Le Labo’ came up. The self proclaimed ‘liquid nitrogen bar’ serves the community as well, and is a unique take on what in most cases is a pretty straightforward business model.
Startupbootcamp is still part of it all, holding their own programs at the offices, and the general feel of the area breeds the kind of connection between entrepreneurs that co-working spaces are known for. We were invited to take part in the Friday breakfast, a gathering where everyone literally stops whatever they’re doing, and takes a seat to eat as a family.
After breakfast Lucie began the tour. Besides the building, we also got to meet some of the businesses using the space to grow their global footprint.
One of the most striking aspects was the range of fields represented. Everything from transport ventures like Drivy, SEO startups such as Rocketlinks, along with banking firms such as Avuba call Rainmaking Loft Berlin home. Until recently, Bitcoin Center Berlin was also a resident.
It was a community in the truest sense. Not to mention that the doors are always open. A group of students from the Hasso-Plattner School of Design Thinking took part in breakfast at the Loft, and received a first hand look into what was going on, mingling with the entrepreneurs, honing into the creative aspects of what goes into developing a startup.
If there was a prevalent theme though, the writing was on the wall, literally:
Time For Goodbye
Lucie was optimistic about what the future held for Rainmaking Loft. While the competition for the most promising new firms in Berlin’s rapidly expanding startup scene is relentless, she noted that through the networking they’ve been able to do since the space’s inception, there’s not a lack of companies looking to work there.
Furthermore, the fact that the building’s spacious design and amenities, including the bar, can host a variety of events, offers the potential for increased sponsoring options. Major multinationals across the city have been quick to jump onto the growing tech scene, and the Loft is in the process of working with some already to commit funds to its further development. Having your name on one of Berlin’s fastest growing co-working venues can mean important exposure even for the most established corporation. Nobody wants to be left behind the curb, and it’s easy to see why they’d look at further association with the venue as a great marketing opportunity.
It was the perfect way to close a fruitful trip to the German capital, and get an up-close view of what’s going on that makes the city one of the most attractive destinations for new businesses across Europe.
We should note that Startup Safary played a key role in facilitating the visit, connecting us with what looks poised to become a prime site for future business development programs both in Berlin and abroad.