Christoph Fahle
January 14, 2013

We take the best bits of the news, your social media, email, stock and location information and create your very own online listening experience.

What is! plays your favorite online content as a live, interactive and personalized audio experience. We take the best bits of the news, your social media, email, stock and location information and create your very own online listening experience. It's just like hearing your own web. Using advanced text-to-speech technology combined with our unique editorial engine, you can stay connected to your online content when you can't use your eyes or hands. So drive to work without missing a thing, or stay fit and informed, or even use it as a way to catch up on what you missed out on when sleeping. We will begin with by app, but our ambitions are to create the very first audio web.

We have been part of:Startupbootcamp Berlin 2012, came second at and HY Berlin were invited to Silicon Valley, presented at NOAH Conference in London, won 1 million € in TV Media as part of the SevenVentures pitch competition, among the 3 winners of the public vote for Startupbootcamp's Demo Day, winning a trip to SXSW.You can find on the web, Angellist, Crunchbase and Linkedin.We are 3 co-founders: Espen Systad, Tor Langballe , Danielle Reid.

Why did you apply to the hub:raum program?

We used to work at betahaus in the past and when we heard that the hub:raum accelerator program would have taken place here we were very happy. We enjoy working in a coworking space and in a great and friendly environment as betahaus. Other reasons why we applied to the program are mentors that are offered at hub:raum, as well as the workshops from General Assembly, which I believe are helping us a lot. In addition, we wanted to be close to a big and well known company as Deutsche Telekom.

What is your experience with coworking?

We (Espen and Danielle, the two co-founders) actually met in a coworking space in Berlin.We enjoy the idea of a open dialog that usually are created in these spaces, and you can decide to be part of. These discussions are very helpful and motivating. Coworking spaces are great places where you can meet people with similar ideas and work attitude, whom you can eventually team up with. In addition, meeting people that work in different areas makes the coworking space motivating and innovating. Lastly, Espen, the CEO of, believes that coworking is how we will work in the future and where you can be the most productive.

What are the difficulties that you faced so far?

Honestly, we did not face any difficulties so far. Since the creation of the company the process has been very smooth. The idea behind is very innovative and original; therefore, many people want to work with us and help us growing. Also, the programming language that we use is very popular at this moment.

What are your future goals?

Our main goals are raising money and launch the product next year. In addition, the idea is compatible to any kind of device, from smartphones to computer, from car to radio. Therefore, we would like to provide our product to all of them. Lastly, we want to add more languages in order to increase the market potential.

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Lubomila: The carbon footprint of a company is always involving what's happening in the actual office but it also involves the external partners and choices. We always advise companies to start in-house, looking at what's happening in their office and within their team. As second comes the communication aspect including how you present yourself as a brand and what you communicate to your customers or online followers. Then the final step is actually implementing changes on a product level, looking deep at the supply chain, and checking if all small parts of your product are sustainable - for ex. the packaging, products made with palm oil, etc.

Lubomila: Our focus has been shifted towards actually educating businesses on what is sustainability and helping them connect to actions that can make them immediately more sustainable, and reduce their carbon emission level. This is also where our new tool comes in handy. We have built a platform which calculates, monitors and offsets CO2 emissions, that are created by a certain company and connects them to environments and projects that you can now see on our platform.

Photo by Lea GK

If a company wants to get on their sustainability journey, they come to us and the first thing we do is an initial analysis. We ask them around 20 questions, which gives us an overview of how sustainable or unsustainable they are, we understand what's their emission level on a monthly basis and then we propose to them projects that they can use to offset their emissions. The point of this, and why we shifted is because actually, close to 70% of emissions on this planet are created by businesses. And unfortunately, very few businesses actually have any sustainability strategy. They don't know how to become better and they don't know what they need to do. So, this is where we're helping to kind of giving them an action plan as well as a place where they can immediately support a positive impact.

Vihra (betahaus): We as a company have also worked together with Plan A to create an actionable plan for our spaces and make them more sustainable. They also keep us accountable and support us on our journey. So why don’t you? 
Photo by Lea GK

The way we engage with the music community is something really important for us and honestly, what makes us different than other background music providers. A lot of the background music providers out there have internal teams of maybe five or six DJs that do all of the music for their clients. We aim to connect with the local scene and always work with local DJs. There's some kind of magic in finding the exact right artists for the brand.

And on the flip side of it, when we hire artists, we make sure that the project is also inspiring for them and that they would be interested in participating. We always make sure to pay them well. The whole project creates for them a new income stream that they wouldn't have otherwise.

People in beta Clay Bassford Bespoke Sound

Yes! This was really fun. The objective with the betahaus "betabeer sounds" playlist was to showcase the community side of betahaus. There are so many cool, interesting people in the betahaus community and we thought a playlist could be a perfect way to not only help bring the community together but also show the diverse funkiness of the communities of Berlin and Neukölln, which is why Hazy Pockets, a longtime local Berlin DJ known for his eclectic mixes, was perfect for this project.

This playlist moves from bluesy 60s rock into surf and tropicalia, picking up momentum into Motown and onwards through some laid back disco tunes. Perfect for the betabeer events betahaus hosts monthly!


Oh, there are just so many! Like the Imren Grill for instance where you can find the best homemade Turkish food or Das Gift and Gordon which are both run by great music people. Kohelenquelle in Prenzleuer Berg is my favorite local bar (or rather kneipe). To satisfy my  techno / electronic records needs I always go to Hard Wax and one of my most special places is the Zions Kirche steeple, which has an awesome view of the city and a great Weinerei close by. 

You can see me around betahaus. Online, you can always check out my website and listen to our public playlists on Spotify. We’re also currently working on a collaboration with betahaus, so a special Playlist curated by is will very soon sound around the spaces in Kreuzberg and Neukölln. 


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