Christoph Fahle
January 27, 2010

Ausflug in die Schweiz - Erste und zweite Schritte in Richtung betahaus Zürich

We were in Switzerland last week . We visited  Pascal , Mark and Flavia from our team in Switzerland and made a few days of unsafe with you. The three have been looking since the middle of last year whether a betahaus in Zurich is feasible and have already brought some stones rolling.

Zurich is interesting, because at first glance one does not necessarily think about creative industries, but rather has an international financial center in mind. So you would have to build a betabank or coworking for financial analysts, I thought. As far as my personal prejudices, which have lasted exactly two hours.

Zurich is at least as full of freelancers, creative workers, coworkers, entrepreneurs, journalists, designers, etc. as Berlin, and if you look at the figures, the creative economy has a similar value as the financial sectors in value creation. And all need collaborative workplaces.

We have visited the  citizen space of Jürg. Coworking on approximately 400 square meters including Fotostudio and until further notice. Marc kindly explained to us the  basis-lager.ch with a round tour through the mobile container offices in Zurich Binz. Stefan Camenzind has shown us his Google Office . Nico from the sandboxers gave us a small start-up introduction for Zurich and took us to the  Wuala office opening. We were at  Smaboo coworken (a thousand thanks) and met extensively the Volkshaus , there a very good conversation with Andrew, Gesa and Michel from the Swiss Creative Industry Association , and met Ron Orp . Sure, we also took a few parties and exhibitions to talk about the betahaus and "spread the word". The next few months will show where and how we implement this in Switzerland, what we have learned in berlin.

All that was possible, is and will be by our really great team on site, which has done so far the main work. A second factor, however, should not be forgotten: no matter who we talked to, or what we looked at, from the city administration to the real estate company , it was clearly written in big imaginary letters: Zurich needs a betahaus! In the 10 days of Zurich, a feeling that feels almost as good as in early 2009 in Berlin has consolidated. Very many nice people, support and encouragement and lots of creatives, they want to move in immediately. We just have to unlock the door. (And find a suitable property)

So THANK YOU TO ALL !!! We will keep you up to date! ;)

Cost is a big one here. In regards to total transportation costs, the last mile comprises up to 53% of those - making it the least efficient part of the supply chain. Expectations of free shipping and next day deliveries add up to this.

Due to increasing digitalization and convenience services in every area of people's lives, the smooth and flawless process of getting the delivery to one's doorstep is exceedingly becoming what customers care most about. On top of that, for companies that package being delivered is an extension of their brand. The consumer is basically coming face-to-face with the brand, which makes it the biggest opportunity to heighten customer satisfaction.


If you live in a city and have even slightly observed your urban surroundings you’ve probably witnessed it first hand - urban congestion and crowded cities make it pretty tough to satisfy the growing demand and rising expectations of super quick deliveries. Add unpredictability in transit (like weather conditions), an incorrect address or remote locations, just to name a few, and you can see where this is going.

The worst part is, all those delivery trucks and vans that also produce a fair bit of emissions, are often only half full when they roll out for deliveries. This is mostly due to low drop sizes and stops along the route that are far and few between.

It’s not all hopeless though - Where there is a problem, there are solutions.


Same old, same old - isn’t always all that bad. Sometimes, all that’s needed are some new perspectives! The city of Utrecht, for‌ ‌example, implemented a zero-emissions electric barge nicknamed the “Beer Boat”. 

Since 2010 it’s carrying beer and food to the city’s downtown restaurants by using waterways. Other electric barges in Amsterdam not only deliver but even collect organic waste, which is then turned into biofuel in processing plants! Isn’t that cool?

It becomes clear that cities, logistics, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌urban‌ ‌planners, are equally part of solving the inefficiency of the last-mile. Tackling this mountain of issues calls for teamwork!


A centralized platform, hub or network for similar companies, could do the trick to fill up the delivery vans & trucks that are barely loaded. Parcels could be distributed more efficiently between different companies and their delivery vehicles.

Like a big pool of parcels from different companies with every single parcel going into that one van with the same route!


Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicles are also areas with huge potential for improvement and innovation.


Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company. 

Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.


Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard.  The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.


Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one? 

Then head over to our Future Logistics Challenge! Applications are still open until September 23rd.

Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.

Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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