I posted the photo below with intent.
Today, I had 3 meetings in some pretty amazing buildings that used to be part of what was East Berlin – the part under what was the former Communist rule. I remember this stuff, because I grew up knowing and studying about it.
You walk into a building, and walk up old marble stairs, or wooden staircases that have a history, voices of the past, and character. There are magnificent elevators that don’t work, but are works of art that you not going to see anywhere else in the world.
You go up the stairs, the walls might be beat up, old, lots of graffiti and then you walk into the office of a startup festival, workspace, or accelerator and as you can see in the photo, the floors are brand new.
They are more than floors, or new and clean walls.
They are new paths and journeys that another generation of this community is taking over, building new bridges, and in my world and where I currently focused, Berlin is a gateway to Europe from Israel.
In my mission to #BeHelpful, I am looking at opportunities for the Rackspace Startups program – and what could be here.
Berlin is also a place where the cost of living- especially a flat is 1/2 the price of what you get in Israel. Dining out is much less. You can keep your core team in Israel, and bring your developers from Eastern Europe to work from and base in Berlin.
You can tap into the ecosystem and expand your network. It’s a one hour difference in time zones and a 4 1/2 hour flight.
I am looking at the links between Israel and Berlin (I say “Israel” and not just Tel Aviv).
These are trading routes that have evolved.
I am only two days into this experience, and need to reserve judgement on what I am seeing and where I am connecting the dots.
I like to process things when I do something new like this. I just wanted to share what I have seen and my first impressions.
So far, so excellent.
Thank you to all who helped with introductions and many thanks to those of you who I have met and have hosted me so graciously.