The Factory Helps Berlin Wow Geeks on a Plane

By David Knight |

The came, they saw, they didn’t invest… at least not yet, anyway. The Geeks on a Plane, led by Dave McClure, undertook a whistle stop tour of Berlin at the end of their trip to Eastern Europe this past weekend. They took in a FridayatSix show, a brunch with the cream of the startup crop courtesy of Earlybird and, most Berlin-style of all, a Pirate Summit in the building site that is the Factory’s main building.

And Dave McClure told Silicon Allee in a special interview that while his 500 Startups hasn’t yet invested in the German capital, the scene here appears to be growing on him – a scene he dubbed the New York of Europe.

The event at the Factory on Saturday afternoon saw the serial startup investor take part in a heavyweight panel alongside Christophe Maire, Christian Reber, David Noël and Henrik Berggren. There was also a pitching competition judged on how loud the crowd’s ‘arr’ was and ultimately won, after a run-off against Klash, by Scrappd.

Also taking part were Versus, Epiclist and BoxCryptor.

The event seemed to help pique Dave’s interest in Berlin, and he told Silicon Allee: “Strangely we don’t [have any investments in Germany]. It’s been one of the few places where we haven’t invested. I’m not exactly sure why that is… I have had various attempts and came close to doing some companies in Germany but we haven’t just yet. I totally f**ked up by not taking a look at SoundCloud earlier. That’s definitely a miss.”
And he added: “It seems like there is definitely a big scene happening in Berlin.”

The previous evenings FridayatSix, meanwhile, also took place at a fantastic venue – this time on a terrace halfway up the skyscraper at Potsdamer Platz 1, at the offices of law firm Olswang. The stunning views more than made up for a chilly wind, as regular host Derk Marseille grilled Lydia Benkö of Corporate Finance Partners and Schuyler Deerman of Moped.

Dave McClure was also on hand to discuss GOAP and provide some pitching feedback.

Read our Q&A with the Silicon Valley veteran, including why he thinks Berlin is like New York, here.

Additional writing by Conor Rushby