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Christoph Fahle
November 7, 2011

Member of the Week: Karim Bouchouchi mit Netzwiese

2019 was a big year for betahaus. Before wrapping up this year and heading towards our goals for 2020, it’s time to look back and take a minute to appreciate the lessons we learned.

Eigentlich sollte Karim Bouchouchi Member of the week werden, weil er der allererste im  betahaus war. Er selbst allerdings bestreitet das. Er habe nur den ersten Vertrag unterzeichnet, sagt er, gearbeitet aber hätten schon andere vor ihm im betahaus. Member of the week ist er trotzdem geworden, denn – ob erster oder nicht – Karim ist der vielleicht überzeugteste Netzwerker von allen und aus dem betahaus längst nicht mehr wegzudenken.

Anfang 2009 kannte kaum jemand das betahaus, wieso du?

Ich kannte es auch nicht. Stefan, mein Partner bei Netzwiese, hatte davon gelesen. Ihm hatte ich erzählt, dass mir zuhause die Decke auf den Kopf fällt. Gemeinsam sind wir dann spontan hier vorbeigefahren und haben uns alles angesehen. Überzeugt hat uns dann vor allem die Idee des gemeinschaftlichen Arbeitens.

Stefan Klasen und du seid Netzwiese. Was macht ihr genau?

Wir entwickeln und programmieren Apps für iPads, für iPhones und fürs Web. Gerade arbeiten wir beispielsweise an einer App für ein Carsharing-Unternehmen, haben aber auch schon einige zum Remixen von Musik gemacht oder eine Info-App zum Thema Pokern.

War das euer Traum, als ihr Netzwiese gegründet habt?

Entstanden ist Netzwiese eigentlich aus einer anderen Idee. Stefan und ich kannten uns vom Stadtmagazin Tip. Stefan war da Programmiere und ich Online-Redakteur. Gemeinsam hatten wir die Idee, die Veranstaltungsseiten im Internet interaktiver zu gestalten. Wir wollten daraus ein kleines soziales Netzwerk machen, in dem jeder seine Veranstaltungstipps geben kann. Die Geschäftsführung aber wollte das nicht und da haben wir gekündigt, um solch ein Netzwerk selbst zu basteln. Das allerdings liegt bis heute fertig in der Schublade.

Aber das ist doch sicher ein Produkt, das sich gut verkaufen lässt...

Wir wollten keine halben Sachen machen. Wir wollten es nur mit gutem Marketing auf den Markt bringen. Dafür aber fehlte uns das Geld. Stefans hatte dann die Idee, dass wir erst einmal Sachen machen sollen, in denen wir gut sind, die uns Spaß machen und die außerdem auch Geld bringen. Und daraus ist dann unser kleines Softwareentwicklungshaus entstanden.

Hat sich im betahaus etwas verändert, seitdem du da bist?

Das Café ist natürlich dazugekommen und einige Arbeitsräume. Aber auch die Leute haben sich verändert. Heute arbeiten viel mehr Menschen hier, die mit ihrer Arbeit auch Geld verdienen wollen. Alle möchten zwar auch weiterhin, dass Ihnen die Arbeit Spaß macht, haben aber mittlerweile eben auch einfach gemerkt, dass sie jeden Monat essen und ihre Miete bezahlen müssen.

Das Interview führte Sandra Middendorf.

‘’Moving into a new place takes time. Don’t rush!’’

January was the month we settled in our new ‘haus at Rudi-Dutschke-Straße. Just like moving into a new apartment, it was cold at the start. It felt a little new and different, but the moment the Club Lounge started filling and members were getting lunch together at the betahaus | Cafe, a new magic started to happen. The magic we call the betahaus community. It takes time to build, but the connections that blossom inside the ‘haus stay forever.

betabeer & Wine with BioWein Laden
FemGems Live Podcast @ Mother + Founder

’There are so many cool solutions to make Berlin a more accessible city’’

In February betahausX released The Accessible Transportation Challenge - a partnership with Toyota Mobility Foundation for the BETAPITCH challenge in Berlin. Devoted to making Berlin a more accessible city, this edition of BETAPITCH gathered many startups working on great new transportation solutions.

The Accessible Transportation Challenge @ betahaus | Neukölln


"The creative, back-to-the-roots vibe was always a part of us’’

In March, we announced a soon-to-be-open second location in Berlin in our favourite neighbourhood in the city. We took over the iconic Geyer Werke building in Neukölln and with the help of our architects from Kim Wang we turned the place into a four-floor coworking space. We shared with you some fun facts about the space before it’s opening and made a virtual map with our favourite businesses around the ‘haus.

betahaus | Neukölln


’We’re not getting older, we’re just growing up!’’

In April, we celebrated a decade of coworking with our biggest party in the last few years - ''10 Years in beta''. For this one we transformed the coworking area in betahaus | Neukölln into a party venue. An art exhibition took over The Basement underneath and The Garden was filled with activities like acro yoga, mandala painting, and a collage workshop.

10 Years in beta -The Garden

‘’One of my many favourite betahaus moments this year was when Christoph, Max and I stood nervously in the Garden to give a speech in front of all our friends and members at our 10th birthday party. We talked about our values, our future goals after this whirlwind of a change and our intention to make tech more human. There was just so much love and appreciation around us.’’ - Madeleine (Co-Founder, betahaus)


10 Years in beta -The Speech

 

"My favourite betahaus moment of the year is the woman who was gently putting beef and minced meat around our 10 years party installation. Until this day, no one knows exactly who she was and if this was a part of the installation, but out of all the things we saw on the 10 years in beta, she stays my highlight.’’ - Maria (Graphic Designer, betahaus) 

10 Years in beta - The Club


"Love is the secret ingredient to success’’

The 10 Years in beta party was also the official opening of betahaus | Neukölln. Spring was the perfect time for our new project to start growing. The Club Lounge started filling, amazing new teams joined the community such as LAUDO, Obst Digital, Wonderwerk, Trybe and The Zeitsprung Project. Our Gil became the Lord of the house, giving hugs to everybody, fixing all kinds of problems in the ‘haus and keeping it run smoothly with the rest of the Front Desk team. This was also the month when we launched our beloved weekly yoga classes guided by our dear Cynthia from Arrive Yoga.

Club Lounge in betahaus | Neukölln
Team Room in betahaus | Neukölln

" People matter! Community was always what we were all about. ‘’

In June we launched #PeopleInbeta - our monthly blog post series in which our Content Manager - Vihra interviewed teams and freelancers from the betahaus community to present the variety of creatives we have in ‘haus, to understand their missions and get some useful advice for our audience. We talked on topics such as sustainability (with PlanA) , decentralized digital identity (with JOLOCOM), curated music experiences (with Bespoke Sounds), freelance photography (with Sara Herrlander), full-stack development (with Obst Digital), design (with LAUDO) and much more.

Interview with LAUDO at betahaus | Neukölln
Interview with Obst.Digital at betahaus | Neukölln

"The Summer is the best time to host Backyard sessions and BBQ’s’’

In the summer, we launched a couple of new events in Neukölln like Freelancers, Unite!, The Backyard Sessions and My friend’s BBQ. 

Freelancers, Unite! developed as our productive coworking session with freelancers from in and outside the ‘haus. Once a month, we picked an important freelance topic (such as taxes, time-management, etc) and invited experts to give us insights on the topic. We saw so many new faces and had the chance to come back closer to where we started from - the freelance, grassroots culture. 

Freelancers, Unite! at betahaus | Neukölln

Another event, which started in July (and turned out to be our favourite events) were The Backyard Sessions. Organised by our queen of Neukölln - Robbin – the Backyard Sessions are our creative evenings with live music jams, movie screenings and cocktails. 

The Backyard Sessions at basement.berlin
Movie Screening at basement.berlin

This last event was hilarious because for quite some time, nobody knew exactly who organised it or invited them. The friend was throwing a BBQ for the community in the garden and this led to all our members joining and staying after for a beer or two with us.

‘’My favourite moment this year was the second friends bbq which was actually cancelled because of the rain forecast. But despite the bad weather, people show up and it turned into a super nice intimate evening with Elizaveta and Paul giving a garden concert.’’ - Robbin (Community Manager, betahaus)

''In July, it was great how the casual after-work BBQ turned into an impromptu acoustic blues jam session with Elizavetta Barsegova and Paul, who have the voice of an angel. Actually, all of the My Friend's BBQ's and Backyard Sessions were AWESOME.’’
- Paige (Head of Marketing, betahaus) 

The Garden at betahaus | Neukölln
My Friend's BBQ at betahaus | Neukölln



"As a coworking space, you have to give stage to important topics.’’

This year we released a new event format in Kreuzberg called ‘’The betaSalon’’. It's an open panel discussion which aims to give stage to important topics and give free speech on them. The fist one we did on the EU elections, last month we talked about changemakers, but our favourite one for this season stays ‘’Mother + Founder’’ where we partnered with FemGems podcast and recorded a live podcast episode for them having Madeleine Gummer von Mohl (betahaus co-founder), Kristine Zeller (co-creater of ooshi period underwear) and Luisa Hoffman on the stage.

betaSalon at betahaus | Kreuzberg

"We should fight for a more human-centered tech development’’

Every September, our co-founders take part in the Techfestival. in Copenhagen, spending a few days disconnecting from the daily life and focusing on creating a better, more human-centered tech future. This year the think tank which included our co-founders Madeleine and Max came up with the TechPledge. The Tech Pledge was made to emphasize the need for a new direction in tech. Similar to the Hippocratic oath for doctors, the Tech Pledge is a promise to make tech a force for good and ensure responsible and sustainable tech leadership. It’s a commitment to driving a new direction in technology.

Techfestival. 2019 in Copenhagen


"Startups are transforming European football as we know it.’’

One of the most exciting projects for betahausX this year (which is also continuing in 2020) is their new startup challenge called The Werder Lab - a global startup competition that aims to reimagine the way clubs like Werder work with athletes, fans and partners.



"You should leave time for the things you love most’’ 

This year couldn’t end without us having our favourite events - the end-of-the-year holiday party and the BETAPITCH Global Finals. On the 6th of December we saw the 9 finalists of the regional BETAPITCH competitions pitching in front of our jury. Congrats to Troy from Hamburg for winning the big prize.

We finished the year at our Holiday Party celebrating anything and everything at betahaus | Neukölln together with our members, friends of friends and our favourite artists from Passiflora LIVE, Tapete and Kotoe.

Love at The betahaus Holiday Party 2019


Thank you for being with us in 2019. It's been a crazy big year for us and it wouldn't been possible without your support, trust and the hard work of our amazing team. Have an amazing holiday time and we'll see you again in 2020.

With love,
betahaus

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