Berlin Startup Girl’s Gift Guide for Women in Tech

 

Kalie Moore Gift Guide for Women in Tech

It is officially the holiday season, and I had to come up with some items to ask for at the family gift exchange. After putting together my list, I realized that almost everything was pretty damn girly and techie, so I thought I’d share my wishlist here, and maybe help out some fellow women in tech.

For the lady geek in your life who cares about style as much as technology:

ElektroCouture Artdeco Necklace

Art Deco NecklaceElektroCouture is a collaboration of artists, designers and technologists working together to create electronic jewelry and fashion pieces. The group was founded by Berliner and fellow Geekette Lisa Lang. Last month, over coffee, she told me about all of their amazing projects, and I fell in love with her Artdeco necklace. Not only is the design gorgeous, but the necklace lights up (in a non-rave-y way) making it the perfect statement piece. There are several different versions. The first is the gorgeous laser cut necklace with batteries and LED lights (approx 129 euro). The second version will light up based on your body heat (approx 249 euro). Though they will not be out in time for Xmas, you’ll be able to preorder from the ElektroCouture website.

RinglyRingly

I’m well aware that Ringly has been covered by every tech publication and women’s fashion blog, but I want it. Crafted with an 18K matte gold 3 micron plated setting, and precious and semi-precious stones, Ringly alerts you when you get an email/call/tweet from someone who matters. I’m not sure who that person would be in my life, but the pink sapphire ring looks exactly like a piece I declined to buy five years ago, on a trip to India, that I still think about. Ringly is the best example out there of a company focusing on style just as much as tech.

Tory Burch for FitBit (the Bracelet, not the ugly necklace)

tory burchI have a FitBit. Or, at least, I did. It was an impulse purchase when buying a new laptop last year. I wanted to prove (to whom I’m not sure) that I walked more in Europe than in the US. Duh – I have a car in California, and in Berlin my metro stop was closed for the last year. Anyway, once I confirmed that I walked an average of five miles per day in Germany, I put it in a drawer, never to be seen again. Now that I’m considering another marathon, busting out the FitBit makes sense, and part of me thinks that if it were more attractive, I’d be more inclined to charge it. Enter the Tory Burch for FitBit’s gold band. Worth a shot.

 

 

Ricky bag from Ralph LaurenRicky Bag

At $5,000 this bag definitely goes on the wish list.  The New York Times recently reported that Ralph Lauren has introduced an improved “Ricky bag with light” for the holiday season. The new version of the bag is  equipped with a USB charger and four discreet LED lights that come on when you open the bag. While the bag is a work of art – each one  is handmade in Italy out of calf skin and takes 12 hours to create – I’m more excited about having a light and a charger in a big purse.

For the health nut or anyone who lives in Berlin:

 

VessylVessyl: A Smart Cup That Counts Liquid Calories

I’m a typical Californian health nut. Although I eat a healthy, mostly veg diet, and workout 5 to 7 times a week, I always lose 5 lbs when I visit California and gain it immediately when back in Europe. Why? Wine. In a city with no last call, it is easy to rack up five or six drinks in a night. In San Francisco, where bars start shutting down at 1:30am, there is only so much damage you can do.

Enter Vessyl, a smart cup that doesn’t allow for complacency. Vessyl is a cup designed to automatically assess what’s been poured into it and track what you’re drinking in real-time. Put any type of liquid into the cup, whether it be soda or juice or coffee, and the Vessyl’s advanced sensing technology breaks down the fluid to a molecular level in order to identify the beverage. It can even differentiate brands like Pepsi versus Coke, plus, it gives caloric make up including total grams of sugar, fat, protein, sodium and caffeine.

6SensorLabs Gluten Testing Device (available in 2015)

California seems more hip to food allergies then elsewhere. While Berlin isn’t as bad as parts of Eastern Europe where chicken bits floating in a vegetable broth still counts as vegetarian, I have been told that items are gluten free when they aren’t. 6SensorLabs is creating a device (available in 2015) that uses chemistry-based technology to determine when a food sample contains the protein gluten.

You place a tiny morsel of food into a pocket-sized sensor, wait a few minutes or less, and the device will inform you whether it the verdict is g-free or not.

For the transient techie with a lover or two abroad:  The Luxurious Remote-Controlled Bullet Vibrator

Lyla 2In our supposed hookup culture, remote control vibrators seem to be all the rage. As someone who bores of Skype sex and long distant relationships in general, I’ve never felt the need. Then my favorite Swedish sex toy shop, Lelo, created the LYLA  2,  the premium bullet-style vibe with a wireless remote featuring revolutionary SenseMotion™ (movement-activated controls). If past Lelo gifts have taught me anything, this is definitely worth a shot.

 

Berlin Startup Girl on Wikimedia Deutschland: Berlin Coworking Spaces


In November, I sat down with Mark Fonseca Rendeiro from Wikimedia Deutschland to talk about my favorite Berlin Coworking spaces –  including the Rainmaking Loft, Agora Collective, and Factory Berlin – and the changing freelance culture and challenges of raising money of Germany versus the US.

 

Five Tips to Get the Most Out of Networking in the Berlin Startup Scene

Startup Guide BerlinIn August Sissel Hansen created The Berlin Startup Guide, an ebook and web platform for getting started in Berlin. The Berlin Startup Guide is filled with advices, how to do’s, case studies, tips and a fresh/real perspective of how to start-up in Berlin. The book includes portraits of start-ups, stories of founders, experts, project managers, creators all both national & international people who have started a business in the city. They interviewed over 50 people, including myself, focusing on understanding their personal journey to Berlin. Below is my chapter on networking in the Berlin Startup Scene. You can buy the entire book for $6.99 through iTunes or in twenty retail stores in Berlin.

Five Tips to Get the Most Out of Networking in the Berlin Startup Scene

I’ve received dozens of emails, through my blog, from people who are interested in moving to Berlin and want advice. Most of them want to find jobs before they move here, or plan to come network for a week. This biggest piece I have to offer is to just show up. Unless you are an absolutely amazing developer, most startups here won’t have the budget to fly you out for an interview. You need to be on the ground and it will take more than a week. Is it risky? A bit.

I showed up in Berlin in March 2013 with a backpack and a general idea of what I wanted to do. Within three months I had three Berlin startups paying me to handle their marketing and communications and was working with the best accelerator in Europe, Startupbootcamp. How did this happen? Networking. Was it easy? No. Even if you are the most outgoing former cheerleader in the world, networking in Germany can be painful. Not known for being the most open of cultures, networking in Germany requires you to take charge, and not get your ego hurt it your efforts aren’t reciprocated. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been blatantly ignored.

When it comes to networking, just show up, to events, and to the speakers room at conferences, to VIP areas. Doors won’t open for you, you need to kick them down, but the more informed and strategic you are about networking, the more results you will see.

Network More Than You Want To

Go to every. single. event. Trust me, this will get old fast, and incredibly boring, but if you do this for a month, you will meet 60% of the people in the scene. The other 40% are harder to meet – 20% are running successful startups and you will only see them at events like TechCrunch Disrupt or Tech Open Air – and the other 20% are VC’s and angels that you will meet through accelerators, or mutual friends further down the road. So just how do you get started? Here are my top six tips to making the most out of networking in the Berlin startup scene.

Create a Comprehensive Calendar Focused on Your Target Market

In Berlin there are dozens of events going on each week, if not each day. There are huge and expensive tech conference, intimate meetups, and exclusive founder-only mixers. So what to attend? For a curated list of events, by the Berlin Startup Guide. And, for a list of all the best tech conferences in Europe, Mike Butcher from TechCrunch just released this comprehensive guide.

I know it is a lot, and most of you reading this are busy building a startup! The key is to select quality over quantity. Make a list of your goals. Do you need to network to raise funding? If so, only go where the business angels and VC’s go, like hy! Berlin or the Noah conferences. Do you want to build relationships with tech journalists? Hang out near the press room at major conferences like TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. Maybe you want to meet other founders who could use your service? Attend the exclusive Spätschicht events or conferences with a big draw like Tech Open Air. Figure out your networking goals before you plan your calendar in order to save both time and money.

Create a Must-Meet List Prior to Each Event

Do your research! For most events you will have access to who is attending whether it is from a Facebook group, an Eventbrite page, or one of the popular conference apps like Bizzabo. Comb through that list and figure out the top ten people you want to talk to you and why. Research those people and their companies. If you can walk into a busy conference and single out an investor and congratulate him or her on their latest achievement, they will be more likely to remember who you are.

Target that List on Social Media

Once you have your top ten must-meet list, your work should start prior to the event. Follow those people on Twitter. Retweet interesting posts and be helpful. Lots of out of towners will inquire about where to go or what to eat in Berlin; respond to them. This way they will most likely already have some idea of who you are before you approach them. It is also totally appropriate to reach out via social media and say something along the lines of, “I see you are also attending XX conference. I’d love to talk to you about XY. Can we grab a coffee together during the first break?” Utilize social media to warm up your leads.

Don’t Leave Until You Meet Your Goal

Networking can be challenging even for the most out-going, but you need to make sure you are getting ROI for each event that you attend. Make the goal to not leave the event until you talk to every single person on your list. This doesn’t mean launching into a funding or sales pitch; in fact, save that for later. It just means that you made a personal one-on-one connection with every person you intended to meet, that way when you follow up they will remember you, hopefully fondly.

Follow Up

Follow each person you had a conversation with on Twitter and tweet how lovely it was to meet them, or if they were a speaker, how amazing their speech was. Connect with them on LinkedIn and send them a follow up email, this time with your ask, or just a note about how you would like to meet again.

Networking, especially in the overly saturated conference scene can be challenging, but if you go in with clear goals and the idea that you are warming up leads, rather than doing a cold sale, your event ROI will go through the roof.

Use Technology To Your Advantage

Maybe you are moving to Berlin and aren’t exactly sure what you want out of the city or who you should meet. Weave pairs you with other professionals based on your location. You see their photo and LinkedIn profile, and just like with Tinder, just swipe left to pass, or right to initiate a chat or express interest in meeting up. This can be a great way to meet people at companies you might be interested in applying to, or just to bounce ideas off of other people in your field. Also, depending on your relationship status, Tinder is a great way to meet like minded Berliners. 70% of my Tinder matches are in the startup scene, including founders, investors, and mentors. While my goal of online dating was not networking it oddly ended up that way.

Other Tips for Starting Up in Berlin

Moving to Berlin and thinking about founding a company? There are dozens of accelerators, and some offer EIR programs. You get to work with talented people and meet mentors and investors. My time as an EIR at Startupbootcamp was the best professional experience I’ve had.

Most Berlin events use a Facebook group, an Eventbrite page, or one of the popular conference apps like Bizzabo. I love using Bizzabo to comb through that list and figure out the top ten people I want to talk to you and why,enabling me to connect with them prior to the event. Research those people and their companies. If you can walk into a busy conference and single out an investor and congratulate him or her on their latest achievement, they will be more likely to remember who you are.

 

Berlin Startup Girl Featured in The Hundert – Connecting the Dots of the Berlin Startup Ecosystem

Kalie Moore

 

 

Awesome news! I was recently featured as one of 100 international entrepreneurs in The Hundert’s Connecting the Dots of the Berlin Startup Ecosystem Issue.

In his famous 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech, founder legend Steve Jobs explained how he could only assess the single “Dots” – the connections between his life and his decisions – in retrospect. Based upon this assertion, ‘the Hundert – Vol.3’ gathers the memories of one hundred founders, investors and “makers” from 48 different countries. [Read more…]

So You Want To Move To Berlin and Work For (or Build Your Own) Startup?

 

Berlin Startup

So You Want To Move To Berlin and Work For (or Build Your Own) Startup?

I get it. San Francisco is so 2003 – when did 6th and Mission become hip? Buzzfeed is giving you 22 reasons to move here (by the way, they are sooo wrong about no one paying for the Ubahn – you will be caught your first time without a ticket) and, according to the New York Times, half of Brooklyn’s DJs have already immigrated. While some say that Berlin is over, if your goal is to work for a startup, or build your own, this could not be further from the truth. Berghain may have fallen from grace, but the startup scene is just heating up.

With the (far too many) accelerators and ever expanding tech hubs, people spent too much time last year asking: is Berlin just hype? It could have gone either way, but only three months into the new year, Berlin has proved that it has staying power. From Delivery Hero’s whopping $88m funding round this January, to TVSmiles’s 7 million series A, to Outfittery’s 13m round, Berlin is settling into its startup ecosystem skin. This means more opportunity for you entrepreneurial expats to come in and conquer the scene. Want to move to Berlin to work for or build your own startup? Here’s my advice.

[Read more…]