Interview by Alessandro Vercesi (current intern at betahaus)
What is OleaPark and what does it offer?
Oleapark is the first horizontal platform for events and gives the possibility for users to interact with other attendees before, during, and after an event. iPhone and Android users can download the App for free and start using it by simply logging in from their Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile. The App has been created to allow customers to network at events as well as having the important information needed to attend it. Customers create a “badge” for each event and have a portfolio in which they can manage them. In this way, they are able to keep up with what is happening at the event and be in touch with the other attendees before, during, and after the event. Therefore, users can plan a meeting with other attendees and keep in touch with them after the event through the ability of creating a contact list. Thanks to the possibility to link with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, the App shows people going to an event. These are displayed according to three categories; people that you have already met at an event, people that you are connected with in the other social networks, people that you might know or be interested to meet because you share interests or contacts with them. Another benefit of the App is that users can request to arrange a meeting with another attendee of an event through a messaging/chat system within the App. In addition, the “badge” gives information about the location, agenda, hosts, attendees, and a description of the event. Check out this video...
Florent I know you were part of "Le Camping" in Paris, how was the experience and why did you decide to move to Berlin?
Le Camping is an accelerator for startups. The structure could be considered similar to betahaus because it is a coworking space where 12 startups work at the same time in the same place. Many startups face recurrent problems and being in a coworking environment can help people to be more confident and have the possibility to network and learn from the experience of the other startups. After living in Paris and working at Le Camping for 6 months, we - Florent (CEO) and Karl (CTO)- the two co-founders, decided to move to Berlin 3 months ago. This decision we made primarily because Berlin is considered the best place to be for startups. In fact, here startups can find many investors willing to support them and a very creative environment that can help the company to grow. (Check out this video ...)
Why did you decide to become a member of betahaus?
The choice of betahaus came straightforward to Karl and me because of our experience at Le Camping. That experience taught us that we want to work in a coworking environment because of the possibility to exchange opinion with other startups and the possibility of networking. After 3 months at betahaus, we are still enthusiastic of our choice and believe that the coworking environment helped us to grow a lot in this initial and crucial phase of our company.
What kind of problems do you have to face?
As for many startups, the biggest challenge that OleaPark faced is a lack of time. In fact, whenever a startup is built, the most important variable is time, and in particular, how to prioritize all the important decisions that has to be made. In addition, only two people are part of the team, which could be considered a disadvantage in bigger companies; however, this created the opportunity to be very flexible in each decision and work. As a matter of facts, we were able to develop an App for iPhone and Android, develop a web platform that corporates can use to upload their events, and being able to success in all commercial aspects. In fact, if you work in a well-integrated team, you can be even faster and more efficient than a big team.
Which are your future goals?
As most startups, our main goal is raising more funds in order to open an office in Berlin and keep developing oleapark. During one year, we were able to increase our market share from Paris’ events to a more international range. In fact, right now the app has badge for many events in Europe: Berlin, Paris, Milan, London; and the US, especially in San Francisco. Another goal of the company is being able to wider our range and be able to offer as many events as possible.
Thanks alot for the interview!
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Claudius: Design is the core of what we do and what we’re all passionate about, but hardly our only focus. Design, at LAUDO, stands more for designing a whole strategy, often very close connected with marketing. We’re developing websites and apps for our clients, but also help them reach their target audience through SEO, Google ranking developing newsletter systems, print brochures etc.
Claudius: A lot of other companies are seeing themselves as a service provider and don’t really question what their client wants and why. We pay very close attention if the work we provide for a client is in line with our personal values and vision. It’s not just delivering a product to the client, getting the paycheck and leaving, but also building relationships with clients and collaborating. Because they are often our doors to new opportunities
We see LAUDO as an airport, where the clients are our gates to new guests, new perspectives and new potential clients. It happens all the time that whoever we’re working for, from there we get a new project, which wasn’t planned before. So we open up a new gate. That’s how we were able to grow and why good connection with our clients is so crucial for us.’
‘’We see LAUDO as an airport, where the clients are our gates to new guests, new perspectives and new potential clients. It happens all the time that whoever we’re working for, from there we get a new project, which wasn’t planned before. So we open up a new gate. That’s how we were able to grow and why good connection with our clients is so crucial for us.’’
Orietta: I think one thing that makes us stand out on the market and our number one strength is the team. We’re a small team and we all look in the same direction and have the same approach and vision. That makes the communication go smoothly.
Joey: Another thing is that we have a very hands-on approach. We are the guys, who say: ‘’Okay, let’s do it’’. That’s our culture.
Orietta: When we started looking for a place I was already involved in the betahaus community. Working from previous betahaus locations and attending the community events, I already knew a lot of people in the 'haus ...
Joey: Yes, I remember on the first day we came to betahaus Orietta was like ‘’Oh, hey! Hi! Hey, how are you doing? Hi!'' giving high-fives to everybody and we were like: What is going on, why does she know everybody?!
Orietta: Well, the vibe in betahaus is just super easy going. You directly feel that you can meet people easily. If you go to the kitchen for example and just ask ''Hey how are you, what are you working on?''. We made many new contacts too.
Claudius: What makes it nice here is that people are enjoying being here and working on their projects.
Claudius: The truth is, we could probably afford an office for the same price, but that would put us between these four walls, which put you into a box, much harder to exit and to connect with new people. We went for a Team Desk because here we have so much more space and everything seems much more connected. You can easily meet people.
Orietta: And it’s just so spacious here. We have this super nice garden.
Claudius: I like being focused on my work but I also like if someone disturbs me from time to time. It helps when the door opens. In an office we would work in a whole different way. Here Gillord (Coworking Manager) is coming in everyday, giving me a hug, telling me about his workout .. that’s the main reason - the personal connection.
The day in betahaus starts with a hug and ends with a hug. The time in between is pretty much spent on doing what you love.
After you’ve taken care of your paperwork and you’ve signed up both in Bürger- and Finanzamt, you are all set up to start working. One of the best ways to get integrated into the city fast, meet like-minded people, and even find clients is by working from a coworking space. There are tons of benefits for freelancers and luckily Berlin has a lot to offer in this way. A coworking space is a physically collaborative shared workspace, which brings all kinds of creatives and entrepreneurs together. It’s a perfect place for startups, freelancers, digital nomads and even corporates searching for innovation. And it’s the biggest advantage towards the typical office space is that it pushes a collaborative exchange between its members and facilitates the creative process and networking.