I was writing this article while sitting on the bus to Berlin. I knew that on my arrival I would have the chance to assist to one of the major startups’ event in this amazing city: the Startup Safary. It was already the 8th edition. For me it meant that the model should have convinced its participants about the interest of such an event. What’s more it is being exported to other cities in the World. I wanted to know a little bit more so I asked its founder and CEO Maciek Laskus a couple of questions.
How would you define Startup Safary?
Startup Safary is an event designed to help people join a startup ecosystem in wherever it’s taking place, e.g. Berlin. It’s most easily described as “days of open doors” for the ecosystem, where all of those companies that make up the ecosystem – startups, investors, accelerators, co-working spaces etc., open their doors to attendees and prepare presentations about themselves.
Since when it has been organised and how it was created?
The first edition took place in 2013. The idea came about when I moved to Berlin and had a hard time breaking into the startup scene there.
How it differs from the other startups events?
Most other events, like conferences or meetups are about networking or sharing knowledge in general. Startup Safary focuses on solving this one specific problem : ” the difficulty in getting into the startup ecosystem”. Additionally, the event takes place all over the city – in the offices of participating companies. Finally, the presentations are about the companies itself – we encourage them to talk about themselves, because that’s what attendees want to learn more about.
This is the 8th edition and we can say that Startup Safary has established itself in Berlin among all the other events. What is the main key to success?
It’s solving a specific problem that many people have and it does it well.
And what difficulties have you encountered since its launch?
The beginnings were rough, because we were creating something completely new. For once, many people didn’t understand what we were doing so it took us a long time to figure out how to explain the concept. Once we managed to do that, it turned out that people loved it (we had almost 1000 people attend the first edition), but then it turned out we didn’t know how to make money on this, so this was another big problem that took us a while to figure out.
What are your goals for the future of Startup Safary?
We see how the event benefits the Berlin community and all the other cities that we have expanded to. We want to grow to more cities and therefore, contribute to even more startup communities.
Today Startup Safary is trying to export itself, what are the other cities where the event is organized?
So far the event has taken place in 11 cities around the world. Our first city was Berlin, but we’re also in places like Budapest, Athens or Cairo.
Where would you like to see the birth of the next Starup Safary?
All the great startup ecosystems like Tel Aviv, London, Paris, Barcelona and so on!
What if one wishes to launch its edition of Startup Safary in his/her city?
Just get in touch with us, we are operating a franchise, which means that anybody can apply to bring the event to their city.
Thanks a lot!
And how was really StartUp Safary Berlin?
Berlin is an amazing city. It is in continuous transformation and you can see that there is still a lot of space to create new projects. StartUp Safary was an opportunity to discover different parts of the German capital and enter the local startup ecosystem. My goal was to understand how this event is designed, how it worked and if it was replicable to France. I selected different types of events. In two days, I visited a corporation Hub, a co-working space, a crowdfunding company, a fashion e-commerce platform startup, a VC fund and some others. It was great to meet with all these people and get inspired by all those projects. With a friend of mine who attended this event as well, we decided to bring it to Paris in March 2017. Hope you will join and enjoy Startup Safary too!