Startups Spreading Wings – The First Startup Internationalisation Bootcamp

Blue Factory Berlin hosted its first Startup Internationalisation Bootcamp on 27 and 28 October 2021. More than 20 selected startups had the chance to meet professionals from the German, Italian, Spanish and French startup ecosystems. Participants got suggestions for their next growth moves, did a lot of networking, and a bit of wine drinking.

Kicking startup internationalisation off with a “bang”

After a warm welcome by René Mauer (the European Coordinator of our institute), the afternoon started with an introduction to internationalisation by Matthias Mrożewski. He holds the Chair for International Entrepreneurship at ESCP Business School.

Then it was time to put the theoretical part into practice with a workshop. The participants followed the lead of Urszula Wawrzeniuk and Anna Rogowska. Both of them work as agile leads for 10Clouds, Agile Software House. With that, they touched first hand the advantages of building an MVP with the help of a software house (10Clouds). After that, Tomek Nowiński (serial entrepreneur, working for Kasa Living Inc.) held a keynote speech. Finally, the startup representatives were able to ask about all their doubts in a conclusive Q&A.

Virtual networking and actual wine

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At last, to wrap up the first day, the participants treated themselves to a wine and alcohol-free gin tasting. Alisa Sydow (Entrepreneurship Assistant Professor at ESCP Turin campus), founder of the wine and coffee startup Nampelka, led the activity.

Loosened up by the drinks, the different founders took turns presenting themselves as well as their activity and had the occasion of doing some good old networking. 

Getting in deep into the markets 

We dedicated the second day of the Startup Internationalisation Bootcamp to country-specific workshops. There, industry professionals from Germany, Italy, Spain, and France introduced their specific ecosystems.

Germany workshop

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Firstly, Blue Factory Project Managers, Ronja Kirschning and Sönke Mestwerdt introduced the workshop. They provided the participants with must-know information on the startup environment in Germany. This prepared the participants for the presentation by Philipp Kövener and Danny Stephens, both managers at Germany Trade & Invest. To conclude the workshop, Steffen Terberl, Head of Profund Innovation at Freie Universität Berlin provided relevant contact points in Germany for all participating startups.  

Italy workshop

After the Germany workshop came the workshop about Italy, in which Alisa Sydow pointed out how Italy isn’t just a nice vacation destination, but also a market with great potential for startup development. The brief introduction by Alisa was followed by two inspirational talks by Nicola Lambert, Investment Manager at Oltre Venture, and Roberto Sfoglietta, CEO & Co-Founder of both Starting Finance Deal (Ventive) and Touch and Contact (TAC). The workshop ended with Alisa giving relevant contact points to the participants, who also had the occasion to ask their questions.

Spain workshop

The Spain workshop was moderated by Niko Muñoz, who did an excellent job at presenting the different hosts and asking them interesting questions during the session. The introduction to the Spanish startup ecosystem was done by Susana Jurado (Head of Telefónica Open Innovation Campus), followed by three amazing inspirational talks by Fernando Moroy (CEO, GDSFin & President Chapter at Keiretsu Madrid), Daniela Pavlova (Senior Manager at SANNAS Triple Bottom Line Business) and Sharam Yalda (Founder of HumanNation). To finish up, Natalia Andia and Ramón Fisac provided relevant contact points in Spain. We are not able to report the whole workshop in detail in this blog post, but we can tell you that “patatas caldas” play a huge part in being accepted in the ecosystem.

France workshop

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Lastly, the France workshop took place to end the event en beauté, as we say. The introduction to the ecosystem was given by the Head of the Blue Factory, Maeva Tordo, followed by a presentation by Claire-Sophie Martel (Investment Advisor at Business France) about ways to enter the French startup market, how to get funding in France, and the main contacts to know. The workshop ended with a panel discussion with Thomas Habib (COO at Implicity), where the participants were able to express their final doubts and curiosities.

Lastly, we would like to thank all participating startups, as well as all the hosts that made the workshops possible. We couldn’t have done this without you. We are looking forward to the next, new and improved, Startup Internationalisation Bootcamp, possibly next year!