Christoph Fahle
March 5, 2013

Studying Arts and Selling Copy Machines - Ralph Riecke and His Office Hour

Business analyst Ralph Riecke came back to betahaus and is offering an Office Hours to share his experience and help startups to deal with the problems they usually don’t even think about or don't expect to come up.

Who are you?

I am a business analyst at hub:raum, the incubator program of Deutsche Telekom. Prior to that I worked as a strategic consultant and have many years of marketing and sales experience. I spend two years in San Francisco working as an consultant on ICT innovation projects and scouting for potential businesses. Before flying over to the US, I worked for a mobile, location based, social community  startup here in Berlin, Germany where I practiced my startup and business skills.

After coming back to Berlin from Silicon Valley I joined the hub:raum, the incubator & accelerator program of Deutche Telekom. I really enjoy working together with people who are passionate and excited about the work that they’re doing here. For me it is a perfect way how to apply my knowledge and experience on the new businesses which apply at hub:raum and bring it together with the resources of Deutche Telekom (DT).

What are you working on at hub:raum?

My field of work ranges from application-inflow analysis, deal negotiation and also consulting with the startups that are in the incubation program. It is important to estimate the fit of the startup into DT in the very beginning and also vice verser, see if we fit to the team.

During the acceleration program I provided consulting to the startups that we had here and gave them some insights and advices on the VC business. The program provided the startups with networking and mentoring from highly experienced people and programs like from GA., whichmakes the accelerator unique.

Why do you come back to the betahaus?

I appreciate to stay in touch with the betahaus community and try to give back, what betahaus provides to the Berlin Start-up scene. There are always many people  with different backgrounds perspectives which provide new insights and perspective on given processes and structures. I will offer my knowledge to the betahaus members – how to form their idea, structure it and consequently sell it to their customers and possible VC’s.

Which fields are you able to help out with?

During the office hours I’d like to share some of my experience that I gained throughout all my career and help the startups to deal with the problems they usually don’t even think about or the ones that will come up.

It includes investment perspectives, all business relevant topics and also the project management of the businesses, e.g. which milestones to set, which steps will lead them there and so one. I try to provide advice on a wide range of topics, reflecting my background where I’ve –studied at the University of Arts, was selling copy machines, worked in the Silicon Valley – I’m really looking forward meeting you...

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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!


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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