Christoph Fahle
April 17, 2012

The Beginning of Something - BETAPITCH | Global

We recently sat together to plan the next edition of our local betapitch. While we talked about how and where we could promote it, how to get more applications, what kind of startups we hope for and where we want to go with the betapitch, we remembered an idea some time ago with the folks from Sektor 5: Why not make a global betapitch where all the betapitch winners meet for a final?

We recently sat together to plan the next edition of our local betapitch. While we talked about how and where we could promote it, how to get more applications, what kind of startups we hope for and where we want to go with the betapitch, we remembered an idea some time ago with the folks from Sektor 5: Why not make a global betapitch where all the betapitch winners meet for a final?

Right now we are part of a network of Coworking Spaces all over Europe. There are the different betahauses in Cologne, Hamburg and soon (very soon!) Sofia and Barcelona. There are our friends from Sektor5 in Vienna, Utopic_US in Madrid and La Mutinerie in Paris and many more. Some of them already have pitch events, whether they are called betapitch or not. So why not really join forces and put together a global event?

So we got on the phone and called some folks. And within 20 minutes it was all settled: 6 Coworking Spaces in Europe will hold local pitch events and send their winning teams to the betapitch | global. The winning team of this global event will get a customized tour through Europes Coworking Spaces, tailor-made to their bootstrapping needs, plus (here we go): Funding. Yep, you read right. All participating Coworking Spaces will contribute money to fund the winning startup, in a grassroots, community-based effort, which might be the part that we are most excited about.

So right now we dont know where and when the betapitch | global edition will take place, and which Coworking Spaces will participate, since we are busy to get more people on board.

But one thing is for sure: It will happen. And the upcoming betapitch | Berlin, on May 3rd will be the kickoff event, which means the winning team will not only go to seedcamp and startupbootcamp, but will also be the team from Berlin that is to try their luck in the first edition of betapitch | global, some time early next year. So get up off your but, sit down at your desk and start writing the application. You have three days left, the deadline to apply is April 20th.

Good luck, and we cant wait to see you all on May 3rd! Send your applications to

Click here for more announcements and events at the 'haus! 

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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