Angela Merkel at CeBIT 2012 in Hannover. Photo: CeBIT

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How to: Find a Desk in Berlin

 

All You Need to Know About Co-Working

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Studio 70 in Neukölln. Photo: Berlinow

Tired of working from home or that café chair every day? Time to find a real office. But hey, not a boring office with cubicles. Berlin has a booming scene of new, inspiring co-working spaces. Rent a desk for a month, a week, or just for the day. As a bonus, you’ll get co-workers, and might make new friends and find potential business partners.

Betahaus

Prinzessinnenstraße 19-20, 10969 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

One of the largest and most well known co-working spaces in Berlin. Betahaus organizes different events, among them Betapitch and Beta Breakfast, and a number of Berlin startups call it home. Several floors of co-working and a large café and lounge that is open to the public. Prices Basic membership 10 euros; Day ticket 12 euros, Week ticket (5 days) 49 euros, 12 days flex 79 euros, One month flex desk 149 euros, One month fix desk 229 euros. There are also packages and optional extras. Open Monday – Friday 8 am – 7 pm (24/7 access possible).

Office Club Berlin Prenzlauer Berg

Pappelallee 78-79, 10437 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

Lounge style co-working in the middle of Prenzlauer Berg. It’s also possible to rent a private office for your startup at Office Club Berlin Prenzlauer Berg. Several regular and popular startup events, among them Tech Berlin and Webmontag. Prices 1 day/month from 12.90 euros (add additional days for 19 euros/day), 1 month full time from 199 euros, 1 month night desk (6pm-9am) from 59 euros. Open Monday – Friday 9 am – 7 pm (24/7 access possible).

Nest

Görlitzer Straße 52, 10997 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

Upstairs from this popular Kreuzberg café, there is room for about 23 co-workers. Nice old rooms with high ceilings and large windows. One of Nest’s advantages are their opening times, you can work here every day from 10 am until late in the evening. Flexible desks only. Prices Day ticket 12 euros, Monthly ticket 180 euros. Open Monday – Sunday 10 am – 22 pm.

Co.up

Adalbertstraße 7-8, 10999 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

Co.Up certainly lives up to it’s name, there is quite a walk up to this loft style co-working space. But when you’re up, large desks and comfortable chairs are awaiting you as well a lot of daylight. There’s also a lounge area where you can hang out with a Club Mate or sip on a coffee from their espresso machine. Free use of large computer displays and a meeting room. Lots of public events for developers. Prices Day pass 12 euros, Half time monthly (2-3 days/week) 95 euros, Full time monthly 180 euros. Open Monday – Friday 10 am – 7 pm (24/7 access possible).

St Oberholz Ko-Working

Rosenthaler Straße 72A, 10119 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

St Oberholz’s co-working space is located in an old turn of the century apartment two floors up from the busy Torstraße. The owners have done a good job preserving the old charm, while taking in elements of contemporary design. The downstairs café is home to regular startup events, such as the Likemind breakfast. Prices Monthly membership 240 euros net. Open Always (24/7 access for all members).

Webworker Berlin

Ohlauer Straße 43, 10999 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

Need a place to work, and maybe support for your new startup idea? Then Webworker Berlin might be the place for you. Located in Kreuzberg, on the border to Neukölln, this co-working space offers monthly founders seminars as well as other events. Prices 1 month flexible desk 99 euros, Fix desk costs 49 euros extra Open Monday – Sunday 9 am – 9 pm (24/7 access possible).

Ahoy Berlin

Windscheid Straße 18, 10627 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

On a Kiez-like street in Charlottenburg you’ll find a 400 square meter co-working loft that offers up to 40 work stations. Besides from your very own desk, you’ll also get access to table tennis, a billiard table and, when you’re just stuck with that line of code, a punching bag to clear your mind. Prices Day ticket 11 euros, 5 day ticket 47 euros, 10 day ticket 75 euros, 1 month fix desk 140 euros (net prices) Open Monday – Sunday 9:30 am – 7:30 pm (24/7 access possible).

Studio 70

Kottbusser Damm 70, 10967 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

Studio 70 is located on the ground floor of an old factory building in Neukölln. Open workroom, café/bar area and a meeting room. Prices Day ticket 10 euros, One month 149 euros Open Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 18:00 pm (somewhat flexible).

Wostel

Hobrechtstraße 66, 12047 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

CLOSED Cozy and relaxed co-working in Reuterkiez. Wostel doesn’t feel like an ordinary office, rather like a living room where you can get inspired and actually get some work done. Personal locker included. Prices Day ticket 10 euros, 10 day ticket 80 euros, Monthly ticket 175 euros. Open Monday – Friday 9 am – 6 pm (24/7 access possible).


The original version of this article was first published on 2012-04-22.

More Co-Working Spaces

We have not covered all co-working spaces in Berlin in this guide. There are numerous of other spaces, and new ones are popping up every other week. Here are some more places worth checking out.

Supermarkt Studios Brunnenstraße 64, 13355 Berlin (Wedding)
BCN Berlin
Paul-Lincke-Ufer 44A, 10999 Berlin (Kreuzberg)
Club Office Berlin Bundesallee 171-175, 10715 Berlin (Wilmersdorf)
Buerow Dunckerstraße 59 B, 10439 Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg)
Creative Media Lab Alexanderstraße 7, 10178 Berlin (Mitte)
Tante Renate Waldemarstraße 37A, 10999 Berlin (Kreuzberg)
House of Clouds Wiclefstraße 16-17, 10551 Berlin (Moabit)
Berlingreenrooms Ganghoferstraße 2, 12043 Berlin (Neukölln)
CubicMeter Rodenbergstraße 29, 10439 Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg)
Launch/Co Warschauer Straße 70A, 10243 Berlin (Friedrichshain)
Pulsraum Kottbusser Damm 25-26, 10967 Berlin (Kreuzberg)
United Urbanites Pappelallee 24, 10437 Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg)
Raumstation Berlin Stendaler Straße 4, 10559 Berlin (Moabit)
Agora Mittelweg 50, 12053 Berlin (Neukölln)

Still haven’t found a place that suit your needs? Check out Deskwanted, ShareddesksHallenprojekt and Loosecubes for even more co-working spaces.

 

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

FacebookFoursquare

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.

 
Justin McMurray, Somewhere founder, at Betapitch. Photo: Berlinow

A few where entertaining, while others where nervous first time pitchers. The winners? Somewhere and Knowable.

Betapitch is a chance for emerging startups to present their idea in front of an audience of investors, tech folks and, of course, the jury. The winners get to move in at Betahaus for six months to develop their business.

The first winner, Knowable, builds a social network for connecting creative ideas to solve everyday problems around the world. Tonight’s other winner, Somewhere, is a matchmaking platform for jobseekers and companies. Their focus is on finding talent that fits a company’s culture, rather than providing endless job listings like ordinary job sites. Somewhere is in open beta, so you can sign up on their site right away.

The other pitchers

Loopcam, an app that makes it easy to create animated gif-loops on your iPhone, has been around for a while. Since they launched last year, they moved from Stockholm to Berlin and got funding from Passion Capital and Soundcloud’s Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss among others.

EinFach is German for “easy” or “a box”. The startup is developing a physical platform, connected to a smartphone app, for exchange of services and products. For example, you leave your coat for dry-cleaning in one of their boxes. When it’s cleaned and ready for pickup you get a notification on your phone.

Optima Labs want to help you keep an eye on your energy consumption. You connect their box to your energy meter, and another box to your wlan-router. Now you can monitor your consumption, and compare with other users in your region.

ShakeBee is a new gesture based messaging app for iPhone by an Armenian startup. All you have to do is shake your phone to send secret messages. An early version of the app is already on App Store.

Greenguin is a crowdsourcing platform for green projects, Mobeelizer adds cloud sync to your mobile apps, Get-A-Gig connects independent artists with promoters, and WhyOwnIt is going to launch a peer-to-peer sharing network for physical stuff. Why buy a power drill when you can borrow some else’s?