Another 48 Hours: The Pop Up Agency in Berlin with HowDo

By Simone ODonovan |

Talk about a whirlwind visit – the Pop Up Agency blasted in and out of Berlin to work with startup local HowDo for a grand total of 48 hours. Time is not of the essence, however, when it comes to results – the details of what happened during the visit will only be revealed at the end of April.

The team of six young students from Hyper Island in Sweden are undertaking a project during which they will fly to different cities, receive a brief, work on it for 48 hours, pitch their solution to the company and move on. They offer expertise in web design, social media, branding, promotion and digital strategies.

Overall, they will visit 15 different countries and work with 15 companies across 15 weeks. Rather than being paid for their services, the team only ask for help with transportation, sustenance and accommodation.

What started out as a weekend project has transformed into a mobile creative agency for Swedes Abraham Asefaw, Julia Schierbeck, Maksimilian Kallhed and Zlatko Corluka, Wout Arets from the Netherlands, and Alejandro Masferrer from Spain. They met in August at the beginning of their course and started the agency two weeks later, with the team hailing from a variety of backgrounds including digital media or product management.

They started off using their spare time at weekends for side projects but decided to use the 15 weeks, in which the students are supposed to be doing internships, to try something a little different.

Hyper Island is an industry-based learning institution for the digital world, providing both student programmes and executive programmes. “It’s very different from a normal school, it’s very creative,: said Zlatko, “we have no teachers or course books or exams. A lot of people from the industry come in and give us lectures so we get a taste of the ‘real life’, so to speak.”

The students have just come from working with MediaMonks in Amsterdam, and after Berlin they went to the MediaMonks office in London, and then will join BBH in Singapore. They remain unsure where their next stop is, but they hope Tokyo and San Francisco are on the cards.

And it’s the diversity of the 15 weeks that is the real motivation, Maksimilian said: “First you work with a super traditional agency, and then with the largest auction houses in the world, then with one of the largest production companies in the world, and then you’re here working for a startup in Berlin. We started living in a luxury house in Copenhagen, to sleeping on an air mattress in Berlin. It’s so much fun.”

HowDo co-founder Emma Metcalfe said: “The Pop Up Agency brought us a nice and super-fun concept. I was initially sceptical about it and I didn’t know what to expect from it but it’s always great to have this energy around anyway. It’s very exciting.” The concept itself will be launched at the end of April but until then will be kept a secret.