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Taylor Record
January 31, 2018

We're Moving to Albania! What's Ahead for betahaus | Tirana

When betahaus started nine years ago, we were one of the first coworking spaces in Europe. Digital nomadism and remote teams were in their early days and Berlin was just on the edge of becoming a startup city. We saw an opportunity to create something that wasn’t quite there yet. We were driven to be at the center of innovation, but getting people to actually come to our coworking space? Well, that was to be our next challenge.

About the Deal

Nine years later, we can finally celebrate that the idea seems to have worked. We set out to pioneer coworking in Berlin, but to see our concept spread across Europe has surpassed everything that we could have hoped for in our early days. Not only have we seen betahaus expand into Hamburg, Sofia, and Barcelona, but we’ve established a long list of partner spaces around the world. That’s why when the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) invited us to collaborate with the Regional Economic Development Agency (RED) of Albania to create betahaus | Tirana, our answer was a definite “yes”.

About betahaus | Tirana

Located in one of the busiest areas of Tirana, the space for betahaus | Tirana will be revitalized in an ongoing effort in 2018.  Once renovated, the coworking space, event space, makerspace, restaurant, and café, will aim to serve Tirana’s budding community of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and other creative professionals. While the space will be locally managed, our team has committed to contributing everything we’ve learned about coworking and event management. The space will have its own BETAPITCH and its own version of the betahaus Academy. Rather than just looking good, it will be designed to facilitate the same open, collaborative atmosphere that has been so fundamental to our space in Berlin. We plan to have our hands in the project every step of the way, both in an official sense (business plans, training, etc.) and also in a more conceptual way (vibe, style, etc.) while allowing for adaptations to local culture and expectations of a workspace.

The construction works of the building for betahaus l Tirana are planned to be finished by September this year and the official opening date will be in the Q1 of 2019. In order to connect with the ecosystem and introduce betahaus to startups and entrepreneurs in Albania, we're organizing a Coworking Week in Tirana from October 4-7th this year. Investors, business development experts, and leading startups are going to host workshops and connect with the audience. There is also BETAPITCH Tirana, which will give a stage to great ideas and entrepreneurs. We're looking forward! 

Coworking Terrace of betahaus l Tirana
Construction Works by October 2018

It has always been at the core of our business to empower entrepreneurship. We have no doubt that the next months will be busy, but it is with great excitement that we take a leap into this emerging market. We look forward to watching as betahaus | Tirana becomes a hub for entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation. We hope you’ll join us there when the door finally opens in 2019!

Want to work with us? Learn more about our coworking memberships at betahaus | Berlin.

Toni: Currently, we’ve somehow ended up in this niche of building a lot of internal tools for startups and teams. But this is not the only thing we want to do. What I like about it is that we’re starting projects from scratch and we have full control over them. 

Martin: The first project we worked on was a tool for a large scale real estate development company. What they needed was a tool for their Sales people - to be able to mark their different spots and locations at different stages of the sales funnel. So we created a tool that helps them in this process.

Toni: And this one actually served as a starting point for the tool we’ve developed for  betahaus, which aims to allow the Sales and Management team to see which team rooms are occupied right now, which ones are free or will be occupied in a few weeks or months, so no double bookings appear. 

Alex: These two projects were more focused on real estate, let’s say, but we’ve also done more design-heavy projects like the one we did for Artique which is an online artists agency. For them, we built a whole website and an online system to present their artists starting only from their logo. It had to be very flexible, because the artists needed to be able to edit their own profiles, putting their resume, changing colours.



Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different. 

Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally. 

Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.

Photo by Lea GK


Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.

Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte

Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.

Want to get in touch with Obst Digital? Come around betahaus | Neukölln and meet them here or send them an email to contact@obst.digital !

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