Alice Nell
October 22, 2015

Team building in Albania

A couple of weeks ago we were in Tirana, the capital of Albania, for our betahaus camp. The two questions we got upon arrival back home were: ‘Why Tirana?’ and ‘I saw lots of fun-photos, what did you actually do there?’ Let our CEO's Max, Madeleine and Christoph answer them for you.


Why we went to Albania (and not to something more obvious, like Barcelona)?

Max says that "Albania is the country in Europe with the youngest population. It has an inspiring cultural heritage, which is a unique combination of Orient and Occident. In Tirana there’s a good vibe and there’s a spirit all around that gives you the feeling something big could happen soon."


Also, we will probably be opening a new betahaus in this beautiful space!


Madeleine explains that we “Usually meet once a year with all the local teams for a "betahaus | Summit" where we work on our global milestones. Such summits are always very intense and packed with work sessions. In 2015 our Berlin team grew in highspeed and betahaus | Hamburg welcomed two new CEO’s. For both reasons we felt the need for some off-time. Time for everyone to get to know each other a bit better on a personal level. So we decided to spend three days of doing fun things and add a few inspiring talks on the side!”


And Christoph tops it:

“Whenever we do those getaways with our betahaus teams I realise that spending quality time with each other is one of the most important things we have to do as company and as a team. We need it to work together well and to be good hosts to our members. Of course we do some formal things, like workshops and keynotes, but the things that happen before and after have much more impact. Getting to know each other, having meaningful conversations and learning of each other’s dreams and fears is what’s making us a good team. Then when we get back home, there is a slight increase in smiles and heaps of new stories to refer to in our day-to-day jobs. It makes things much more easygoing and joyful. Ultimately I believe we should take on tour the whole betahaus community with us.”


Long story short: We had a blast and can't wait for next year's betahaus camp. Want to share your team building experiences and beliefs with the betahaus community? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you.

Want to get to know your betahaus coworkers and our betahaus | Berlin team a bit better? Let's meet at our betabeer upcoming Thursday, October 29th, 6 to 9 pm (members only). We'll all be there, because we're planning to celebrate the opening of our 2nd floor! Ideas for an afterparty are very welcome (shoot us an e-mail). Hope to see you there!


Don’t forget to check our Event page for more events coming up.

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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