You offer consulting, coaching, and training for freelancers, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. Which of these is your main specialization? What inspired you to work in this area?
I am communications trainer; I help people with personal and business development by improving their communication in any way possible; with how they or their company communicates, or how they communicate with workers, investors, customers, and so on. It is all about figuring out who you are, and the best way to communicate within a space.
I was inspired by two of my mentors who are also communications trainers. I got to know one of them while studying business computing. A lot of my work has been inspired by the philosophy and methods of Stefan Merath, who is also a business coach, I have read also really good books which inspired me and they are part of my basic philosophy.
Before you start a seminar or training session, what is important for you to know about your client? How does a typical seminar take place?
If I want to get to know you, anything I’ve read about you in advance is unimportant. What I consider to be more important are things like why you are here, your energy, your voice - things like that. With all that, we can build something that is called rapport, and we work from there. I try not to find out too much in advance about my customers; especially if they are asking me for help, as that would lead to problems.
I offer two types of training. The first of these is open seminars. When I started working at betahaus, I got to know many people, and was asked for help by a lot of them. I then started offering seminars on things such as how to manage yourself, how to figure out what you really want, or how to motivate yourself.
I don’t feel the need to have a vision for my clients, but rather that they should have one for themselves.
How has working at a coworking space like betahaus affected your work?
Working from betahaus has shown me that people really are all different, and they each need the right circumstances and environment to work in. I also got a lot of creative input from various people here.
I have worked with some startups, such as Netzwiese, as well as some freelance workers within betahaus.
What kinds of problems do your clients usually face, and how long would a typical session take?
My clients have many of the typical problems: they don’t earn as much money as they want, they aren’t getting enough customers, or they are working too much and can’t develop themselves as much as they’d like to.
I have had a couple of clients who just came to make one decision, and that took about an hour for me. On the other hand, some people come to me to set up entire strategies, so they will go through both my seminars and be finished in about 20 hours. I’m also a coach, and I offer regular sessions once or twice a week to gradually develop a client’s strategy.
Could you tell me more about the Elevator Pitch?
The idea comes from America, and refers to a way in which people present their ideas. The name comes from the situation in which one would try to show their boss an idea while in an elevator, and present it in the time it would take to reach another floor - so about 20 to 60 seconds. I show people how to present their business ideas like this, and how they can attract attention from customers or investors with an elevator pitch.
Do you have any plans for the future?
I will have another workshop this year on management and communication skills for startup managers, which will be sponsored by the European Social Fund. I am also organising an adventure group tour, with a focus on personal development. We will be going to Nepal, and trekking through the Himalayas. I would like to do more things like that in the future - helping people develop themselves through things like travel.
Your portfolio shows us some of your recommendations for further reading. What would you recommend for people at betahaus to read?
There is one book written by Stefan Merath: Der Weg zum erfolgreichen Unternehmer. Wie Sie und Ihr Unternehmen neue Dynamik gewinnen. I think it’s one of the best books for freelancers and founders of startups or medium-sized firms.
Join Andre and other entrepreneurs at betahaus! Click here to see how to become a member!
Working for Lufthansa back in 2002, Joachim (CEO & founder @ Jolocom) had the idea to develop a better system for companies to swap data internally and for people to share their data with companies. Back in 2002, the resistance to open networks and communication was strong. However, just a few years later, social media and blockchain changed the rules of the game, which led to the founding of Jolocom in 2014. (Read the whole story here)
Ellie joined the Jolocom team in the fall last year. She’s part of the content team and is responsible for communications and online platforms maintenance.
Volker is currently studying IT-Systems Engineering at HPI, working on his master thesis with Jolocom. He joined the software development team in March this year and has previously worked from betahaus for another startup company.
With two locations in the heart of the city, betahaus l Sofia is a home of some of the most successful Bulgarian startups and is one of the leading innovation hubs in Sofia. Their main space is located just two minutes on foot from Sofia University and the second one stands right at the central Slaveykov Sqaure and has a beautiful view over the city.
As all of our locations, its pet and bicycle friendly and offers the same comfy and relaxed atmosphere you've come to expect from betahaus. Identical to our space, betahaus | Sofia uses glass doors for its team rooms, to build transparency and inclusion.
betahaus | Sofia is spread across 1800 q.m. divided into 2 separate spaces. Shipka 6 is 1300qm and takes over the entire 3rd floor of the UBA – Union of the Bulgarian Artists. Slaveykov Square is placed on the roof top of another historical building in Sofia. There they have two balconies with 360 degrees view, a cafe/bar and a shared kitchen.
Membership plans start from 350,– BGN for Workspace and go up to 435,– BGN for Private Offices. Currently, the space has around 190 members and will soon implement also Club Memberships plan. Every member of the Club will have access to events, conference room and betahaus community.
Ellie: Currently we have around 5 active pilots and we effectively work B2B2C. So we build our application for businesses which have their own user bases.
Volker: One of our ongoing projects is a pilot with Telekom. With their team, and partners from Riddle & Code and Simple Mobility, we have created the Magenta Scooter — an innovation in e-mobility that allows users to ride share while using their decentralized digital IDs. That means users can rent the scooter with our app and our identity. The main advantage there is that you can store your drivers licence in your Jolocom SmartWallet and then share this license with the app of Telekom. This eliminates the long onboarding process of verifying your license.
Ellie: Another example is our e-government collaboration with The City of Antwerp called Blockchain on the Move. Using the SmartWallet, municipal employees can issue and validate their own credentials and create eIDs for citizens – it’s a digital ID with which you can register at the university or go to a swimming pool, as two examples.
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.
Ellie: I know that before joining betahaus Jolocom was in the Ethereum office – a collaborative blockchain space for companies also building on the same platform and the idea was always to stay within a coworking space. When they closed and we had to move, the next closest choice in terms of company culture was betahaus.
Ellie: The people in the building and the spaces are just really cool. I personally don’t go to community events as much as i would like to but I still end up meeting a lot of people here. Mostly in the kitchen. One of my good friends is actually someone I met in betahaus.
Volker: I once saw a friend of mine presenting at betabreakfast and I didn’t know that he would be here. It was so funny seeing him on the stage.
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.