Panel Discussion “Berlin – The next Silicon Valley?”

As a last highlight for this year‘s IdeaLab! all participants had the pleasure to see a great panel discussion involving Mike Butcher (Techcrunch) who was moderating, Stefan Glänzer (WhiteBearYard), Alexander Ljung (Soundcloud), Jens Begemann (Wooga), Felix Petersen (Amen) and Florian Heinemann (Rocket Internet).

You can just tell by the subject: „Berlin – the next silicon valley or just a clone factory?“ and the corresponding speakers that this was an absolutely amazing and unforgettable part of this year‘s IdeaLab!2011.

Mike Butcher‘s British sense of humor was indisputably entertaining and his journalistic and controversial approach on the speakers added quite a bit of liveliness to the discussion.

We heard some really good arguments, all in the end coming back to the one essential question: pro or contra copy cats.

Florian Heinemann, CEO at Rocket Internet, encourages people to widen their way of thinking about a copied concept. Generally, he sees great potential for innovation not only on the idea level but also regarding the conceptional level.

Alexander Ljung wants to encourage highly skilled executers to „not choose the easy way“ in copying ideas but to go for big ideas as well as big execution.

Other speakers tend to approach this issue in a more emotional way, expressing their deep passion for entrepreneurship. Stephan made a good point in saying that he wants entrepreneurs to own the majority of their company.

Furthermore, Jens Begemann, founder of Wooga, explained the advantages about Berlin and what made him start his company there instead of somewhere else. Alex is convinced that Berlin is the perfect place to build a headquarter and go global in a second step. He thinks of it like a brand: „A place where all creative and crazy people come together“.

Felix Petersen, founder of Amen, made a good point and offered a conclusion: He likes the idea that everyone is free to choose his or her own way of doing business, with or without incubators. Since it is up to every founder how he manages the input of funding and know-how, incubators do have a right to exist, Petersen remarks.

In the long run people have to be encouraged to become entrepreneurs, which ever way they choose.

We hope that this year‘s IdeaLab! was successful in exactly doing that: Showing entrepreneurs or people who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs different ways of business and providing them with a platform to exchange opinions with some of the most successful founders and investors. Regarding the feedback we received throughout the conference we can claim that we succeeded in every respect!!


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