Christoph Fahle
November 27, 2012


What is Railsonfire?

"Software is eating the world” as Marc Andreessen says and in this software industrial revolution, software engineers need to release their software in faster cycles and with less bugs. We provide them a hosted continuous testing and especially continuous deployment service to address both of those needs.

Currently, most of the developers are managing the testing environment on their own server, but it is much easier, cheaper and helps to speed up the development when doing it in the cloud. Furthermore, they can concentrate on their core business (eg. on their product or on their customers).

How did you come up with the idea?

While working on various software projects we saw how much of an improvement a dedicated infrastructure for testing can be. But getting that infrastructure up and running was a long and painful process every single time. So we decided to build something that takes care of all the setup and makes starting with this incredibly easy. Continuous deployment as software as a service is a rather new market with a very big potential. Many companies test their software on their own, however, it takes lots of resources (time and money). Therefore, there is a need of exporting this process to the cloud in order to be faster and cheaper. Especially startups have to be as fast as possible and iterate quite often. Services like Railsonfire assure a smooth continuous testing and deployment functionality to automate a lot of painful procedures in the software development cycle.

Why did you decide to participate in the hub:raum accelerator program?

Railsonfire started as a side project while all of us were working in different jobs (other startups or freelancing). We realized that in order to be able to promote our project, we needed to dedicate all of our time to it. So this summer we all decided to quit our job and fully dedicate ourselves to Railsonfire. We applied to the hub:raum accelerator program because we wanted to move to Berlin to take advantage of the startup scene. When we heard the hub:raum accelerator program would happen at betahaus we were even happier. We knew the people behind betahaus for some time already and came by several times over the last years. Also coworking is perfect for us. It is very motivating as we can experience both a fast-paced environment broken up with some more relaxed networking and spare time. As long as we are able to focus on our deadline it is easier to meet people with a similar mindset and have positive feedback in a coworking environment

What are the main difficulties that you faced so far?

We worked on a first iteration of our service for a long time, but it wasn’t always clear to us when we should jump in full time. Although we were sure that we tackle a massive problem and that people are willing to pay for a solution, the overall market size was unclear for a while. We probably should have gone full-time earlier to push our product and company even more.

What are your future goal?

The first goal, once the hub:raum accelerator program ends, is moving to the US, specifically to San Francisco. We believe that it is the best place for a tech startup in the cloud computing industry. We would have the possibility to build relationships with other providers in order to target and conquer our market. In addition, the American market is really important for us as a starting ground to promote Railsonfire all over the world.

Want to join Railsonfire and other entrepreneurs at betahaus? See how here! 

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

Photo by Lea GK

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 @ Shipka 6

betahaus | Sofia @ Shipka 6

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.

betahaus | Sofia @ Slaveykov Square
betahaus | Sofia @ Slaveykov Square

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.

Photo by Lea GK

Want more? Check out betahaus | Hamburg and betahaus | Barcelona.

If you want to know more about how to travel and work from different coworking spaces with one membership, click here.

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.

Photo by Lea GK

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 cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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