Co-working in Studio 70 in Neukölln. Photo: Berlinow

How to: Find a Desk in Berlin

Taste Festival

Berlin Taste Festival. Photo: Esbjörn Guwallius/Berlinow

The Taste Festival in Berlin is a ten day long event, celebrating design and food. The festival is a must for food enthusiasts as well as industry professionals.

Ever wondered where your food comes from, before it ends up in the supermarket or on your plate? At the Taste Festival you can learn about the sourcing of ingredients. Find out more around the experimentation behind the dishes and the cultural significance of dining.

The ten day program includes presentations, workshops, mini-markets, film screenings and parties. One of the more interesting events, in our humble opinion, is the Berlin Coffee Society presentation on Friday June 8th. Cory Andreen, the current German SCAE Cup Tasting Champion, will hold a talk about “the forgotten taste potentials and qualities of coffee”. Single-origin coffees will be freshly brewed cup for cup with an old preparation method at the Coffee Society’s Brew Bar. You will also have to chance to try cascara, a coffee cherry tea with a real natural sweetness and notes of plums and raisins.

 

The Concerned Expat

 

How You Can Support the City You Love

Photo: craig Cloutier/flickr[source]CC BY-SA 2.0

Is there more to expat life than walking up and down Weserstraße drinking Club-Mate while tweeting your daily outfit? Actually, yes. You could give something back to Berlin, and support the city you first fell in love with.

Berlin is rapidly changing, not only to the better. Fellow expats Ami and Anders has given birth to “The Berlin Expat Integration Project”, an initiative that aims to support Berliners that can’t afford top-notch education for their kids, homeless people and others far away from living la dolce vita in gentrified neighborhoods.

In her blog Ami gives a few examples on what you could contribute with.

• Music/dj/art/dance/programming/whatever school for kids or teens
• Extra German/English/French/Spanish lessons
• Mentoring kids about work and career possibilities (read: be yourself)
• Helping out in a soup kitchen for homeless people
• Play cards, chatting about life and hanging out with people who are most of the time bullied and very seldom taken seriously
• Whatever you can come up with

Head over to the blog post (link below) to find out how you can participate.

Via Berlin – En kärlekshistoria

 

Twist: Berlin vs London

 

Update: The event is postponed – read more below

Twist Berlin #2

Montage: Berlinow. Photo: Berlinow (Fernsehturm) & Simone Graziano Panetto/Flickr (Big Ben).[source]CC BY 2.0

In just a week Berlin and London will battle out which city is the king of the European startup scene. Three London startups will compete against three companies from Berlin.

Jason Calacanis, co-founder of the ThisWeekIn network, and his sidekick Tyler Crowley will pick the show’s best three pitches. The Berlin startups will pitch from Ahoy! Berlin co-working space, with a live stream between Berlin, London, and the hosts in Los Angeles.

Before the actual battle, there will be a pre-competition where a jury will select Berlin’s top three startups for the event. After the show there will be a big party to celebrate the winners.

Here’s the schedule for June 8th
19:00–21:00: Pre-competition
21:00–22:00: Live show
22:00–open end: Aftershow party

Update: The Berlin vs London Twist event is postponed. A new date will be announced soon. Read more here.

 

Flattr

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Jöns Filsgatan 4, 211 33 Malmö

Flattr is a network for social micro-donations. If you’re a blogger, podcaster, or the like, you can open a Flattr account and add their button to your page. Visitors can then click this button to ”flattr” you, which will transfer a small amount of money.

The Flattr name is a play on words. Flatter, to like something, and flat rate. A user can state that they would like to give, for example, 5 euros each month, and then start to click around on different Flattr buttons. If they by the end of the month has clicked on five different buttons, 5 euros will be distributed across those five clicks. This way, each click would be worth 1 euro. Flattr takes a 10 percent cut, the rest goes to those who have been flattred.

Area served Worldwide

Current status Active

Founders

Peter Sunde
Linus Olsson

Investors

Federico Pirzio-Biroli
Passion Capital

Flattr’s Per Thulin and Simon Gate during their visit to Berlin. Photo: Berlinow

2,500 euros per month through micro-donations of, on average, 50 cents. Impossible? For Berlin-based podcaster Tim Pritlove it’s reality, and Swedish Flattr made it possible. Flattr has, thanks to Pritlove, become a well known resource in Germany.

This content is also available inSwedish

It’s crucial for Flattr to reach out to further bloggers and web developers in Germany. Consequently, Simon Gate and Per Thulin from the Swedish startup boarded the train from Malmo to Berlin. During the Berlin Web Week, earlier in May, they participated in several conferences, meetups, and a hackathon.

– Berlin is a great city, and the best part is that it has such a vibrant tech scene. It’s fun to meet others in the same line of work and talk, says Simon Gate, when Berlinow meet with the Flattr duo during a break from the coding at 5apps hackathon at Betahaus in Kreuzberg.

Per Thulin elaborates:
– We cannot really say much beyond that. We’ve just talked to tech people, and haven’t really had time to take in anything else. There is always something happening in Berlin, a hackathon or a meetup. In this regard, Malmo (where Flattr is headquartered) is a little poorer.

Have you found any potential collaborations with Berlin startups during the week?
Simon: SoundCloud is one of the largest startups in Berlin, Swedish as well, and we have already a good collaboration with them. We have met with more companies during this visit, and there are several we would like to work with. One service, I can not go into which one, told me that there was a considerable pressure from their users to integrate Flattr. That’s very cool.

Are you going to establish an office in Berlin?
Per: We might not need an office in Berlin, but we have to be at meetups and hackathons more often and represent Flattr. We are getting ready with our platform and want people to use it, but there are still a lot of folks who doesn’t know about us. The companies that are doing well are those who are good at reaching out to developers and represent themselves at hackathons. At each hackathon I have been to, Mozilla and SoundCloud have been represented. We must attend more, clearly.

Why has Flattr become so big in Germany?
Simon: First, I think it has to do with Peter (Sunde, Flattr’s founder), who announced Flattr publicly for the first time at Re:publica in Berlin. I also believe that Flattr is well suited to the German mentality, and the ongoing discussion about copyright and privacy. I think that’s why we’ve had such an impact here.

Per: A major German podcaster, Tim Pritlove, began using Flattr and it has been a big chain effect. Some time ago he wrote in his blog that he earns around 2,500 euros per month via Flattr. It’s good for him, and a proof that the model works. If you wait, something similar will happen in Sweden or any other country.

Is it easy to install the Flattr button on a website?
Per: Many blogs use the WordPress platform, or other major systems, for which we’ve developed plugins that you can activate with a few clicks. But even if you have a website that you’ve coded yourself with html and javascript, it’s very easy.

How do you get your users to start to ”flattr”?
Simon: For example, if you’re in the German podcast scene, everyone already know what it is. Then you just have to include a Flattr button on your page. If you have an audience who has never heard of Flattr, you should introduce it, and explain to them how it works. I also think that the buttons should be easily accessible and visible in connection with the article.

What is the vision for Flattr?
Per: I think we have the potential to transform major industries. What I’ve been thinking about since I started working with Flattr is the music industry. There is a real problem to solve – how artists can get paid these days. Flattr could change an entire industry.

Flattr have managed to interest investors. What do they see in your company?
Simon: We have something that many startups don’t have, a clear business model that you can make money of. If our concept is successful, getting into industries like music and film, it’s a real source of income. That’s where I think our investors see a potential.

Where is Flattr in five years?
Per: Flattr is everywhere! I think the future looks bright, indeed. Micro-payments has been on the table for a long time now. All of the proposed pieces of legislation and regulation, to target those who violate copyright, are strongly opposed by the public. I think it’s a great value to have a constructive solution that can solve this conflict.

Simon: It is also a trend on the internet to skip the intermediaries, like publishing companies, and instead build a direct link between the audience and the creators. Flattr fit like a glove.

Flattr will soon be back in Berlin. A meetup is scheduled June 7th, this time with founders Peter Sunde and Linus Olsson. Aforementioned podcaster Tim Pritlove will also attend.