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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A centralized platform, hub or network for similar companies, could do the trick to fill up the delivery vans & trucks that are barely loaded. Parcels could be distributed more efficiently between different companies and their delivery vehicles.

Like a big pool of parcels from different companies with every single parcel going into that one van with the same route!


Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicles are also areas with huge potential for improvement and innovation.


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.


Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard.  The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.


Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one? 

Then head over to our Future Logistics Challenge! Applications are still open until September 23rd.

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

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