Christoph Fahle
October 4, 2011

Startup of the week - #12: Mechatronikwerkstatt Berlin

betahaus: Was machst du im betahaus, wer bist du?

Axel Stab: Zusammen mit meinem Kollegen, Stefan Knorr, konstruiere und baue ich mechanische Prototypen für kommerzielle und nichtkommerzielle Zwecke. Am Computer programmieren wir die Maschinen und stellen schließlich den Auftrag komplett her. Unsere Arbeit bildet damit eine Schnittstelle zwischen einerseits Kreativität und andererseits Fachwissen des Ingenieurbereichs. Außerdem arbeiten wir im Maschinenraum des betahauses gerade daran, ein „Toolbot“ anzufertigen - eine universelle Bearbeitungsmaschine, auf die man alle möglichen verschiedenen Maschinen aufspannen kann. Damit wollen wir ermöglichen, in einer Maschine alle Anwendungen zu vereinen und die Arbeit benutzerfreundlicher zu machen. Wir vermieten unsere Werkstatt auch an gelernte Fachkräfte und bieten jeden Montag zwischen 17 und 18 Uhr eine kostenlose technische Beratung an.

Was für Projekte habt ihr bisher realisiert?

Angefangen bei elektrisch angetriebenen Fusionsständern die auf Knopfdruck hoch und runter fahren, bis hin zum Energiespar-Deckenfluter in Form eines Bootes aus Holz, waren schon viele unterschiedliche Aufträge dabei. Typisch sind auch Kunstprojekte wie Buchstaben aus Holz oder Metall sowie Architekturmodelle und Prototypen für Erfindungen. Manchmal betreuen wir auch kleine „Weltverbesserungsprojekte“ die nicht viel Geld abwerfen. Deshalb machen wir das ganze bisher nur nebenberuflich.

Gibt es denn aber genug Bedarf?

Aufträge haben wir genug, nur leider noch keine Mitarbeiter. Da wir noch am Toolbot arbeiten fehlt es zurzeit noch an Kontinuität um jemanden fest einstellen zu können. Deshalb suchen wir jemand, der nur einmal die Woche mit arbeitet. Solche ausgebildeten Metallarbeiter bzw. Ingenieure, die uns helfen könnten, sind nur leider schwer zu finden.

Was steht für die Zukunft an?

Anfang nächsten Jahres möchte ich mit Stefan eine GmbH gründen um die Werkstatt zu finanzieren. Unser Traum ist es, permanent eine Werkstatt verfügbar zu haben. Denn momentan ist es eine Verschwendung von Ressourcen, wenn die Maschinen nicht täglich genutzt werden sondern nur, wenn wir nebenher Zeit für dieses Hobby haben. Hauptberuflich haben wir unsere Jobs um die Mieten bezahlen zu können. Die GmbH wollen wir gründen weil wir es leid sind, als Ingenieure immer am Schreibtisch zu sitzen. Wir wollen ans Material und richtig was herstellen. Vorher muss aber die große Maschine fertig gebaut werden; das sollte auch bis Anfang nächsten Jahres realisiert sein. Irgendwann wollen wir dann einen Angestellten einstellen.

Was sollte sich im betahaus für euch noch verändern?

Wir wünschen uns mehr technisch versierte Leute im betahaus. Es kommen zwar immer mal wieder Ingenieure hier her, aber mehr Techniker wären schon schön. Eine Art Anbieterverzeichnis in dem ersichtlich ist, wer was macht und anbietet wäre gut um Qualifikationen auszuweiten. Interessenten könnten sich eintragen und dann kann für diese ein Workshop organisiert werden.

Genauere Infos zu den Leistungen der Mechatronikwerkstatt findet ihr hier. Anmeldungen zur technischen Beratung gehen an post@mechatronik-werkstatt.de.

I’m currently in Sende - a great coworking and coliving space in Spain, very close to the Portuguese border. I travel pretty often and the idea of being out in the Galician countryside, around other creative, entrepreneurial people sounded like a good idea. I’m currently doing a sort of high-level "Design Thinking" appraisal of my business, rethinking what I’ve learned so far in this first stage of business and how we can improve our services to better benefit clients and artists. The rest of the time I spend on music-making, and mixing the next batch of my own music for future release.

People in beta Clay Bassford Bespoke Sound

To be honest, I sort of fell into it. I was always working somewhere between content marketing and the music industry and around seven years ago a friend of a friend was searching for someone to help him curating music for his boutique surf spot on the beach in Costa Rica. The owner was a big music fan, but he just didn't have time to keep all the music up-to-date. So I got introduced to him, we shared similar tastes, and agreed that I would do the music for his space - curating it and updating it with new music on a regular basis.

This for me was a dream come true. I could finally work with music all day, and at the same time, I could help create an awesome experience for the guests. I saw people's reactions when they heard a song they liked. I saw them dancing, getting a little closer to each other at the bar and that for me was really rewarding.

This was the moment when I realized that there is something special about this idea and I got interested if there is actually market out there. I did some market research, and a lot of interviews with different hoteliers people in the industry trying to get more feedback. And the idea started growing more and more. 

People in beta Clay Bassford Bespoke Sound



Interesting is the story of the last years winner in the category “Creative”. Hamburg based headraft literally took music experience to the next level by creating the world’s first AR Music Video for the German band “die Fantastischen Vier”. Designed for their song “Tunnel”, the cited app unfolds a virtual story world once the track starts playing, giving fans the opportunity to go on an interactive journey with the band rather than being a passive viewer. 

Applications are now open! Finalists will be awaited by a curious jury of five leading industry experts. Among others, Kathleen Cohen who was already taking part in the first year will be in the panel of judges again. With a 25-year multiplatform career history under her belt, she is one of the most regarded in the field. As a digital experience expert, she has successfully implemented projects for DreamWorks Interactive and IBM Innovation, to name a few.

Needless to say, the yearly AUREA Award is definitely the place to be. Apply and become a member of the community bringing together all the promising products and solutions in the AR/VR sector.

Photo by AUREA Award

OKAY BUT HOW IS BESPOKE SOUND DIFFERENT THAN PLAYING MY "DISCOVER WEEKLY’’ OR ANY OTHER AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED PLAYLIST ?

Well, both. Currently we offer the following two options: shorter publicly available Brand Playlists and long-form private Soundtracks for spaces. For both of them we work closely with the client to understand how sound fits into their brand DNA and what their audience is like.

We believe that the guests’ experience with a particular space doesn’t have to begin and end with their stay. The idea of the Brand Playlist is to be a public brand playlists designed to engage the customers before, during, and after their visit at a space. It’s always accessible for them and serves as a new, dynamic marketing channel.

The Soundtrack is slightly different. It takes sometimes up to weeks of work and is designed by a world-class artist, DJ, or tastemaker. For it we first work with you to develop a deep understanding of your business and style. Then we match you with the perfect artist, DJ, or tastemaker to create unique, always fresh playlists, custom tailored to match your brand. 

In both cases, we update them regularly based on guest habits and clients’ needs. 

People in beta Clay Bassford Bespoke Sound



The way we engage with the music community is something really important for us and honestly, what makes us different than other background music providers. A lot of the background music providers out there have internal teams of maybe five or six DJs that do all of the music for their clients. We aim to connect with the local scene and always work with local DJs. There's some kind of magic in finding the exact right artists for the brand.

And on the flip side of it, when we hire artists, we make sure that the project is also inspiring for them and that they would be interested in participating. We always make sure to pay them well. The whole project creates for them a new income stream that they wouldn't have otherwise.

People in beta Clay Bassford Bespoke Sound

Yes! This was really fun. The objective with the betahaus "betabeer sounds" playlist was to showcase the community side of betahaus. There are so many cool, interesting people in the betahaus community and we thought a playlist could be a perfect way to not only help bring the community together but also show the diverse funkiness of the communities of Berlin and Neukölln, which is why Hazy Pockets, a longtime local Berlin DJ known for his eclectic mixes, was perfect for this project.

This playlist moves from bluesy 60s rock into surf and tropicalia, picking up momentum into Motown and onwards through some laid back disco tunes. Perfect for the betabeer events betahaus hosts monthly!


YOU’RE CURRENTLY ENJOYING THE SUN FAR FROM BERLIN. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES in berlin that YOU MISS THE MOST?

Oh, there are just so many! Like the Imren Grill for instance where you can find the best homemade Turkish food or Das Gift and Gordon which are both run by great music people. Kohelenquelle in Prenzleuer Berg is my favorite local bar (or rather kneipe). To satisfy my  techno / electronic records needs I always go to Hard Wax and one of my most special places is the Zions Kirche steeple, which has an awesome view of the city and a great Weinerei close by. 


You can see me around betahaus. Online, you can always check out my website and listen to our public playlists on Spotify. We’re also currently working on a collaboration with betahaus, so a special Playlist curated by is will very soon sound around the spaces in Kreuzberg and Neukölln. 

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