I am sitting now - a bit hungover - in a great hostel (Generator) lobby, sipping coffee and thinking about the three amazing days we have just spent in Berlin on Startup Safary.
We attended a lot of meetups and conferences in Poland and frankly speaking we were expecting to see a huge difference in Berlin. Not because we are not satisfied with what is happening in our country, but because we think we still have a long way to go - startup and enterpreneur-wise.
But maybe before i go any further - few words about the city.
Berlin is amazing. A lot of places to go to, very interesting loft-business spaces and a great transport network to travel between them. People are very friendly, speaking perfect English (I was often suprised to find out some person is actually German because of his/her perfect accent). We had absolutely no problem in arranging meeting with total strangers (we wanted to talk about our startup, Magello, with some people from the events-business). I totally recommend pinging interesting people whenever you are here - they will probably be very happy to meet and listen to what you have to offer, giving some interesting feedback in return.
But going back to startup scene and all the lectures we have attended.
If I had to describe the difference between the things I've seen in Warsaw and Berlin in one word, it would be SCALE.
It was amazing to hear about the way that deliveryhero does its business. Their size and momentum is amazing - allowing them to do things that are impossible to achieve for any other company. But that is not startup.
Venture capitals also are amazing here. I remember the feeling i had when the guy from PauaVentures said that the average seed round is 200-700 thousand. I though "meh - in warsaw it is exactly the same". And in a minute it stroke me - EURO!!! But that is also not a startup.
What we really wanted to see is how startups or companies like ours are doing here. And there it was: WebPGR, FriendSurance and many people we have met at amazing parties and networking sessions. It turns out - yeah the money is bigger, yeah the market is bigger, but people deal with the same problems we do. At some levels we even felt we are few steps ahead. There was this thing that people at WebPGR said which made me think. They went for three months to Sillicon Valley with their startup. And they said: "in USA the scale is unbelievable. Money-wise think about adding a zero to the funds you can raise". So what I am actually trying to say is we should not feel inferior. What we should do instead is think of more ways to cooperate with companies here. We definitely should think about seeking funds here.
We really loved Berlin. The business-atmosphere here is amazing. We will definitely come back here for Startup Camp Berlin in March.
We got also very inspired to make our business even more better, so look closely at our company as you will see some big things happening this year:)