Bringing Tech to the Masses with the First Lange Nacht der Startups

By David Knight |

There’s no denying it, startups have become cool in the past few years. They carry with them an overriding image of young, scruffy computer geeks working away at their screens all hours of the day and night, emerging a few years later with millions in their pocket. It’s an image that fits Berlin’s unique style perfectly. But most people won’t fully understand the reality of founding or working for a young tech company.

That is changing, not least thanks to events like the Lange Nacht der Startups (LNdS). Presented by Deutsche Telekom, Amazon WebServices and other partners, the event on September 7 will see the public invited to check out the tech scene for themselves, with 70 startups chosen from 170 applicants to exhibit their products and who they are.

It’s an ideal opportunity for curious Berliners to see what all the fuss is about – and it’s also a great way to introduce your friends and family to startups so they can maybe start to understand what on Earth you’re talking about all the time and what you actually do all day.

The hope is to illustrate to others that startups aren’t just about nerdy technology and Club Mate, but that they are how we as a generation are shaping the future

Cem Ergün-Müller, the event’s co-ordinator, said: “All of Berlin is talking about the startup hype. With our night we want to show that startups have a huge and positive impact on Berlin life as well as its economy and we want to present the innovative products they put on the market.”

Tickets to the Lange Nacht der Startups cost €5 – buy them here – and that will give you personal access to the 70 companies in fields including music, gaming, shopping, communication and e-commerce, as well as startups founded by women, which will all have their own stands to show off their products and offer a few surprises as well. Attendees will also have the chance to win an original LNdS bike and three Microsoft Surface Pro tablets PCs by voting for their favourite startup in the Customer’s Choice Award.

lnds_bannerBut the event is really about opening the usually-closed doors to the public to show them what really happens in the world of startups. To this end, it will include the final of a pitch competition organised together with the Israeli foreign ministry. Three finalists will pitch live to a jury, with the winner bagging themselves a five-day trip to the Google Campus in Tel Aviv.

There will also be the chance to listen first-hand to some senior figures from the worlds of business and technology talk about big versus small when it comes to companies. Future Deutsche Telekom chairman Timothy Höttges and Amazon WebServices CTO Werner Vogels will join Hitfox CEO Jan Becker, Jess Erickson of Berlin Geekettes and joiz TV CEO Carsten Kollmus to discuss how established businesses will work together with startups in the future.

Deutsche Telekom’s impressive Representative Office on Französische Strasse will host the event, which will run from 5pm to 1am and will also feature plenty of live music. In addition, there are two other events running as part of the LNdS, including a conference on the same day, from 9.30am to 4.30pm, which will feature three separate streams of talks aimed at different expertise levels – starters, experts and tech. Participating startups will get the chance to do some speed dating with T-Ventures and the Investitionsbank Berlin.

Finally, following several highly successful hackathons earlier this year, DT is bringing it back. Starting the day before, Friday September 6, the 24-hour event is also being run together with Developer Garden and Cloudservice Box. Stay tuned for more info.

But while the LNdS provides another opportunity for the tech community to get together, it’s really about bringing the city together as a whole and showcasing what we believe will be Berlin’s economic future.