Shedding Light on the Boring Side of the Business

By Claire Adamson |

An attentive audience showed up ready and willing to participate on Wednesday night at the Quiz Show from Hell, an event aiming to teach startups some of the less exciting parts of starting a business – namely legal issues and tax regulations.

The show, which was organized by Christoph Raethke of Berlin Startup Academy, started out fairly conventionally but turned into a kind of group workshop with the speakers and the audience engaged in serious discussion by the end.

Beginning with an introduction from Christoph, the extremely well behaved audience listened in rapt attention as Daniel Frischkorn of international tax agency Ecovis talked about tax requirements for businesses in Germany. Christian Musfeldt of Osbourne Clarke was also well received, talking about legal requirements for startups and answering lots of questions from the audience, made up largely of upcoming entrepreneurs and founders.

A lower-than-expected turnout turned into a blessing for the organizers, with the Quiz Show itself providing a fun and entertaining discussion session to wrap up the evening. Members of the audience were quick to volunteer to take part, and rules were made up on the spot.

Despite all the show’s publicity being in English, the show went ahead in German after a quick show of hands revealed that there were very few non-German speakers in the audience. Whilst it had been previously warned that many of the tax terms would be in German due to their untranslatable nature, which may have scared off some non-German speakers, it is interesting to see the kind of reach that English speaking tech media has on the German startup community.

Christoph was pleased with the event: “Despite dealing with presumably boring tax and legal issues, Quiz Show from Hell was more fun and intense than many pure networking events I’ve been to. People had serious, burning questions and got meaningful answers. My highlight was when the entire room was discussing with our mentors Daniel and Christian – it didn’t feel like an event anymore, more like a working group of like-minded people. Afterwards, participants did not just leave into the night – most actually came up and thanked us honestly for the event, and how often does that happen?”