Many people reading this – maybe even most – will know the stress and headache of moving to a new country. This is especially true when you don’t speak the lingo in your new home, which will have been the case for many of the recent influx of talent to Berlin’s startup scene.
But now a new service, G1OBALS.org, is promising to provide quality assistance with things like accommodation, advice in dealing with the authorities and healthcare. It functions as a closed network, showing which trusted members have been using which business services – thus combining the qualities of a social network and a marketplace.
It could well make life easier for the programmers, designers and other startup workers who are arriving in Berlin from Spain, Greece, the US, Brazil and all around the world. In addition, it will provide local business with the opportunity to tap into that growing market by being listed on the website as socially recommended ‘Solutioners’ as long as they fulfill certain requirements.
These requirements include providing an English-speaking contact with a personalised social profile on the page, making English-language documents available and offering international payment methods.
Helping Global Minds
G1OBALS is still in alpha as a responsive Web platform but there is a crowdfunding campaign to launch it in beta with a mobile app. The startup is based on the idea that many expats and ‘global minds’ who move countries have a high income, financial stability and are savvy with the latest technology. This premise is along the same lines as the InterNations, and G1OBALS was founded by two people who acted as ambassadors for that service in Berlin; Mario Paladini and Anja Gnaedig.
They both left good jobs at Oracle to plunge head first into the startup world, but Mario, who is originally from Argentina, is confident that their project will be a success: “People will use G1OBALS because we are helping them in their new life with jobs, accommodations, professional services – it’s based on the requests I received in recent years as an ambassador for the world’s largest expat social network, where I was helping connect them manually by email one by one, sometimes until 3am. G1OBALS is a much more efficient way to help expats.”
There are three growing trends which spurred the platform’s development: People being more likely to move further, the rise in eCommerce and the growing influence of trusted peers in business decisions.
Maintaining Complete Trust
And as well as the obvious sectors like housing, there are many different ways in which life in a new country can seem daunting – as this writer can personally avow. Things like getting a mobile phone, arranging childcare and even picking which area of the city to live in can be stressful. So G1OBALS seems to make a lot of sense, at least for the section of the expat community at which it is aimed. To enable users to maintain complete trust in each other, it is necessary to keep the network closed – but that in itself narrows the band of people which the platform could potentially help.
It still looks very promising, however, and plenty of good things have been said about the InterNations events in Berlin in the past few years – the two founders appear genuinely passionate about building international communities. After they launch, they are planning to open a social business foundation to support people with great ideas to develop their local economy.
For now, there will be many people already in Berlin who will look at G1OBALS and think: ‘I wish that had been around when I moved here…’