Hallo Berlin

Guten Morgen aus Berlin.

Es liegen 5 Entwürfe für einen Goodbye Hamburg Post rum, aber die werden es alle nicht ans Licht der Internetwelt schaffen.

Berlin.
Neues Stadt, neue Zeit, neues Kapitel.

Was schief gehen kann? Alles.
Was nicht schief gehen wird? Auch alles.

Im Herzen alles Gute aus Hamburg mitgenommen, so wird das auch was.

Lieblingsgrüße aus der Wohnung mit zwei weiteren Menschen, einer Spülmaschine, einem Balkon und mir!

#nobadge at #sxsw – Summery & Conclusion

I was thinking about blogging every day about my experience of this years SXSW without a badge, but it simply didn’t make sense. And I didn’t have time. Long story short: It has been great!

There are plenty of activities outside the convention center, plenty of meet ups, many parties, interesting places and talks to see, and people to talk to.

As said, on the first day, I missed my badge, after that I didn’t.

Though the Mashable House was badge only, I got in there, same is with Yahoo!, who required a badge after day 2.

This SXSW has been busy, fun, and insane again, but not as stressful as the ones before. Mostly, because I didn’t have to go through the program, trying to see as many good talks as possible. Maybe I’ll listen to a few talks at home and will read a few blogs, but it’s soo much, that you simply can’t have it all while being in Austin.

Even without attending talks, I missed so many shows, places, and events.

Btw: If you want to listen to  the talks, you’ll find them on Soundcloud. If you rather like video, google them and I bet you’ll find most of them.

It was interesting, that when talking to Americans, mentioning I was without a badge, seemed fine, where Germans gave me looks of pity, questioning my mental health, wondering what I was doing in Austin at all.

I was offered a badge for free, but I decided not take it, because I needed to figure out, if badgeless is right for me or not. And this time it was.

To me, SXSW is not (just) a conference. In my eyes, the conference is part of a huge festival where brands and tech, startup and what not digital people from all over the world come together, discussing issues, getting to know each other and having a good time.

Not having a badge makes it easy to enjoy the activities around it. It’s fine to stay out longer, because you don’t have to be up and running for interesting sessions in the mornings. And honestly, nothing is easier than getting to know people in Austin. But you do that when you are out on the street – not while sitting in a talk.

With a lot of people I discussed job related issues, ideas and trends. We exchanged different views, gave advice and explained points – yes, we didn’t have a powerpoint with us, but I still gained knowledge. It was just not in a big room, but in one-to-ones instead.

Now, if you ask if that is worth the expenses, you clearly haven’t been there before.

I absolutely understand that that can feel different to other people, but for me, it’s “no badge” from now on. You can always get a day pass through speakers or at the registration, if you feel the need to really see something.

SXSW, it has been wonderful! Thank you not only to the organizers, but also to everybody I got to meet! Hope to see you next year!

PHOTO THANK YOU’S GO OUT TO @GUTJAHR, DAN TAYLOR, AND MY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT.

#nobadge Day 1

First day at SXSW without a badge.

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 07.31.59

Friday started with the girls geek breakfast at Magnolia Café – as always: super delicious and again very nice to meet people, a few new ones, a few from last year.

And no, it’s not just girls!

As I wasn’t rushed to get to a pannel, I could take time to walk downtown with one of the girls and keep the conversation going.

As usually, the first day was still a little empty, a few companies hadn’t finished their set up yet and won’t open until today.

With a lot similar tech companies being at SXSW, there is one new player in the game this year, making our conference life better: Cottonelle.

IMG_2975Cottonelle, for those who are not familiar (just like I was), is promoting their wet toilet paper. They offer a place to refresh, get your make up done, get a massage,…

Hashtag: #LetsTalkBums

I’m finding that… interesting. Is the SXSWi audience good to promote everyday products like toilet paper? Or is SXSWi so random by now, that the target group is not just tech people? Or: Is there hope for the hashtag and all to go viral?

Cost = Value?

Whatever it is, the people like it and appreciate it!

Anyways. #nobadge we said.

Most of the locations, like the Samsung Blogger Lounge, let you enter without a badge and provide coffee and wifi (and right now breakfast – THANKS GUYS! Way to go!) to everyone.

Overall, I met a few very nice people, hung out with other people who are without a badge as well and checked out the surrounding.

Number One and Two tips, if you are without a badge:

Find others without one.
There are sooooo many!! But as a group you’ll be better organized and will miss less cool events, meet ups, open talks,…

Advice number 2: Download the Eventbrite app.

It shows you all kinds of events outside the ballrooms, shows friends, who are attending as well, and lets you RSVP.

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 10.03.35

As said, Day 1 was (like every year)  a little slow, and it was the same case with the events outside the convention center. And at one point I really missed my badge. I missed listening to people telling me stuff, discussing it afterwards, I missed sitting in the rooms, staying or leaving, and gaining new knowledge.

And then I managed to get into one talk. I was excited, because at least now, I can listen to someone and hear news. And then… I heard pretty much 95 % of a TED Talk I listened to months ago. Same speaker, almost same slides, …

Disappointed I left and found friends to hang out with again.

Today though, my schedule is packed. After watching the live stream for the Julian Assange interviewIBM Design, Future Mobile Lunch, I fucking love Science, Tumblr SXSW #FuckYeahTheSequel,… are on the list.

Just check your eventbrite and you’ll see plenty of options.

For those with and without a badge: Let the day begin! But bring an umbrella, it’s rainy!

Happy #SXSW!

Pre SXSW – What I want, wish for, and expect

SXSW is a conference divided into three parts (interactive, music, film) and takes place in Austin (Texas) every year. This year I’m going without a badge and think there’ll still be a hell lot to do. I’ll share everything I find and like on twitter with #nobadge #sxsw. Happy SXSW everyone!  

Oops, I do it again – SXSW! I’m half way (not even) there.

Hello from Amsterdam!

As before every US trip, I didn’t sleep much, I’m a little hungover and I already know 3 things I wanted to take with me, but forgot.
Oh well.

Still. Emotionally, I’m in Disneyland.

I can’t wait for the parade!

Let the conference season begin, get the people in one place, turn on the music and throw the confetti – I. Love. Conferences.

It’s fun people from your industry , mixed with some news and a few parties! But also you meet people who build the products you love: From Foursquare to GroupMe to what not. It’s like Hollywood, but you try to stay cool and don’t run to your favorite CEO for a selfie.

So, first conference this year: SXSW14

It’s not (only) the usual bubble. I’ve met people from all over the world, with nuts ideas and great minds and I’m really looking forward to catching up again!

Two years ago, it was loud and wild, last year, it was unexciting and very average, but this year I hope it’s gonna rock again.

This year I’ll go without a badge.

After missing the Early Bird one, it’s just too expensive (by now about $1,200) and two years in a row I didn’t see the real value.

Now why is that?

Talks are often a little marketing thing (I actually did fall asleep last year in the Al Gore session) or the information has been shared 1.000.000 times before. And even if not, half of the audience (at least!) blogs about it.
Plus: with the newsletters I get every day, I get the best summaries of everything anyways, without wasting my time inside while the real stuff is happening outside (I hope that the cool stuff is not badge only…).

AND: There is a live stream.

There are plenty of meet ups, so I think, overall, I will be fine.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 08.42.04

The PARSE (Facebook) one, e.g., doesn’t require a badge. And there will be more, probably announced somewhere online. What I find (that I like), I will share with the hashtags #nobadge #sxsw on twitter (—> @frau_feli).

For everybody who’s at SXSW for the first time: GET. EVERYWHERE. EARLY.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE, everything is packed! Yes, also the annual Mashable Party has sooner or later a two hour line.

At least I hope that.

I pray that companies apologize for their behavior last year and rock again this year.

I hope Foursquare shows creativity again, google goes wild like 2012 again and Skype throws the best party again (or someone else, but please do epic shit!).

The audience gets bigger. I hear of a lot of Germans are showing up, I wonder, if it’s the same with other European nations, and I also hear, San Francisco is staying home. Let’s see how that goes…

I’m getting the feeling that there will be even more international start up yay yay this year, I’ll check it out and if it’s worth talking about, I’ll mention it here.

I WANT:

* A mind-blowing app launch again.
* More outside hooray from the companies
* More open bar events
* Get to know fun people from all over the place
(* a good time. This is my vacation.)

I WISH:
* that I get what I want

I EXPECT:

It’s hard to say. Airbnb is doing a thing with Snoop Dogg this year, UBER will support the shuttles (and has coupons for some events) and Facebook will throw a party (I heard). The rest we’ll see when we get there.

So some tech companies are back, but I hope for more. Not just more parties, but more creative marketing yay’s!

Ideas to blow my mind, to show me how innovative the tech industry is; Stuff, that we will share on our Instagrams and Facebooks and everything, because we can’t get over how bad they rock! Give me Google Village and Nokia Snow again and show me what you’re working on right now and what to expect of you in the next few month!

SXSW, give us some paper, we’ll make confetti out of it!

Boarding time!

So etwas passiert mir (hoffentlich) nicht…

Es steht ganz selten mal in der Zeitung, es passiert nicht in Hamburg, schon gar nicht da, wo ich wohne, und vor allen Dingen passiert es nicht mir. 

Mir kommt keiner zu nah, mir läuft nachts keiner hinterher, mich bedroht keiner, mir zieht man nicht das Telefon ab, mir hält niemand ein Messer an den Hals und sagt “Mach die Tür auf und sei ganz leise”. 

So etwas passiert mir nicht. 

Und dann kommt der Anruf. 

         “Sie liegt im Krankenhaus in Berlin. Da ist sie ja kürzlich hingezogen. Versuchte Vergewaltigung. Schwere Verletzungen im Unterleib.” 

Was

ist

los

“Ist meiner Nachbarin hier in Köln auch passiert. Sie schloss die Haustür auf und plötzlich warf sie jemand in den Hausflur, riss an ihrer Hose rum und so… Sie hat dann so lange so laut geschrien, bis endlich mal ein Nachbar wach wurde und rauskam… Hätte auch anders enden können…”

Bitte was?

Das geht nicht. Ich will nicht, dass so etwas passiert. Nicht Fremden, nicht meinen Freunden, meiner Familie oder mir. 

Aber ICH pass ja immer auf… Ich achte ja immer darauf, dass mir keiner hinterher läuft, wenn ich nachts von einer Party nach Hause laufe. Ich wohne ja mittendrin, direkt neben dem Ex-Gefahrengebiet, da passiert ja nichts. 

Überhaupt… Ich bin fast ein 1,80 groß, mir tut doch keiner was… 

Vor allen Dingen, weil ich ein Mädchen bin… Die viel und gerne Röcke trägt… Die gerne immer noch ein Bier mehr trinkt… Die alleine nach Hause geht, weil sie ja um die Ecke wohnt… Am Park vorbei, wo wenig Verkehr ist… Durch Straßen läuft, auf denen nichts los ist… 

Man muss nicht mein Freund auf Foursquare sein, man muss nicht “Hoch die Tassen”-Bilder auf Instagram ansehen. Man muss sich nur an das Ende des Tresens stellen und uns zusehen, wie wir Gin Tonic, Wein und/oder Bier in Runden bestellen und abwarten, bis uns das Geld ausgeht und einfach ganz entspannt hinterherlaufen. Fertig. So einfach ist das. Und eigentlich muss man nicht mal die wertvolle Zeit in der Bar bis morgens um 4 mit uns abhängen, man kann uns auch einfach unterwegs abfangen. 

 

Nein. Stopp. Wer mich kennt, weiß, dass ich die bin, die heute feiert und nicht an morgen denkt. Für besondere Vorsicht, Ängstlichkeit oder Schüchternheit bin ich nicht bekannt. Aber das hier ist anders. 

Ich werde es nicht aufhalten können, aber ich möchte, dass wir mal drüber nachdenken. 

Ich trage jetzt immer Pfefferspray bei mir. Ja, das kann alles und nichts sein. Gegen den Wind schieße ich mir ein Eigentor, das weiß ich auch, und ich möchte, dass es niemals zum Einsatz kommt, aber vielleicht tut es das doch, und vielleicht hilft es ja. 

Ich bin die Letzte, die sich Zuhause einsperrt und nicht mehr rausgeht. Aber ich möchte mich im Zweifelsfall vielleicht etwas wehren können. 

Ich hoffe, dass alle die das lesen, es auch tun. 

In der Bar suche ich die kleine Dose jetzt schon raus, stecke sie in meine Jackentasche und halte sie in der Hand, bis ich Zuhause die Eingangstür hinter mir geschlossen habe. Man sollte das Spray einmal “testen” – wie Haarspray –, so braucht man beim ersten Mal etwas mehr Kraft, um den Hebel zu bewegen. 

Ich habe mich nie nie nie unsicher, beobachtet oder verfolgt gefühlt. Aber das haben andere mit Sicherheit auch nicht.

Pfefferspray gibt’s bei Amazon. Kostet so viel wie ein Glas mittelmäßiger Wein. 

So. Und jetzt bin ich auch fertig. 

Ein schönes Wochenende allen. Please be safe. 

12 Gründe, warum ich dieses Jahr nicht meinen Facebook Account löschen werde

Es war einer dieser Tage wie jeder andere im Internet. Letzte Woche. Die so war wie jede andere.

Fassen wir mal zusammen:

Das Hamburger Gefahrengebiet wurde jetzt abgeschafft, also weniger Klobürsten, dafür mehr Berlin Fashion Week, obwohl meine Filter da sehr gut zu funktionieren schienen – ich bekam fast nichts mit. Ob das positiv oder negativ ist, hat jetzt jeder Leser selbst zu entscheiden.

Ansonsten… Joa… Google kaufte aus der Portokasse so einen Indoor-Thermostat- und Feuermelderhersteller, wozu es dann von jeder GMX-Adresse einen “Was das in Wirklichkeit für die Welt heißt” Beitrag gibt. (Die Links zu all dem könnt Ihr Euch gerne selbst raussuchen…)

Und zwischendurch erschienen bei Huffingtonpost.de mal wieder ein paar Worte über Facebook. Im Prinzip die gleichen wie immer. Aber was soll es…

Der Titel “11 gute Gründe, Ihren Facebook Account zu löschen” lässt es ahnen: Irgendwas mit Datenschutz, Information Overload, mehr Zeit in der freien Natur oder so, eine Studie, nach der Facebook-Nutzer unglücklicher sind, weil sie sehen, dass andere ein schöneres Leben haben,… das übliche.

Aber nein, der Artikel geht noch weiter. Facebook macht eine Trennung noch schwerer, Eltern und Großeltern wissen alles, Facebook weiß sogar, was man NICHT postet (jaja…), aber dann auch besonders schön:

8. Sie stellen fest, dass Ihnen von Ihren 1000 Freunden nur 20 wirklich wichtig sind.

und

9. Ihre Freunde schreiben ständig über ihre Verlobungen.

Ernsthaft?

Nicht genug, als nächstes erscheint irgendwo, dass Obama feststelle, Facebook sei nicht mehr cool und dann heute final ein weiterer Artikel auf Medium: “Why I broke up with Facebook“.

Ich bin keine Präsidentin, aber ich habe nicht nur einen Facebook Account (seit Jahren und aus Liebe) und ein Blog und darum hier

12 Gründe, warum ich in diesem Jahr nicht meinen Facebook Account löschen werde

1. Ich glaube, dass Facebook seinen Newsstream wieder in den Griff kriegen wird.

Zugegeben, es wäre schön, wenn es bald passiert, denn es ist kein Geheimnis. Der Newsstream von Facebook ist komplett im Eimer. Ich sehe tagelang das Gleiche und praktisch leider nie das, was mich interessiert. Zum Beispiel Input von meinen Schwestern. Ja, obwohl wir auch auf Facebook kommunizieren.

2. Wenn ich mit jemandem reden will, finde ich ihn hier.

Telefonnummern, Anschriften, E-Mail-Adressen, Ehepartner,… Alles ändert sich irgendwann mal. Ein Facebook-Profil bleibt in den meisten Fällen.

3. Wenn ich wissen möchte, wo jemand ist, gucke ich auf Facebook.

Nicht alle nutzen Foursquare, was an sich schade ist, aber ok. Trotzdem. Zieht jemand nach Berlin, macht Urlaub am Nordpol oder kommt zurück in die Heimat: Auf Facebook wird es für gewöhnlich gepostet. Fahre ich also in meine Heimatstadt, poste ich es nicht nur, sondern schaue auch mal kurz bei alten Freunden auf der Pinnwand vorbei, um zu sehen, wo man sich ankündigen muss.

4. Es muss nicht immer Foto sein.

Ja, Instagram ist toll für Fotos und jaja, ein Bild sagt so viel mehr als tausend Worte, aber darum ist Instagram Instagram und nicht Facebook. Auf Facebook werden Blogposts und Nachrichten geteilt, Videos, etc… Hin und wieder ein Foto, schön, aber bitte kein Photobook.

5. Facebook Gruppen

Man könnte auch sagen, Facebook ist nun mal der Global Player, aber egal. Facebook Gruppen haben sich insgesamt eher stärker durchgesetzt als Google+ Gruppen, und ich bin gerne in meinen kleinen Grüppchen, in denen dann zielgruppengerecht irgendein Hamburg-, Startup-, oder Konfettikram gepostet wird.

6. Events

Geburtstagseinladungen bekomme ich zu 90% auf Facebook. Wäre ich nicht bei Facebook, würde ich es anderen schwerer machen, mit mir in Kontakt zu treten. Und ich würde es mir selber schwerer machen eine Party zu organisieren.

7. Meine Daten

Das ist kein Facebook-Problem. Das ist ein Internetproblem. Heißt nicht, dass wegsehen und ignorieren die Lösung ist, “einfach löschen” aber auch nicht.

8. Daten-/information/ alles overload. Gäähn.

Grundlagen der Medienwissenschaft, erste Stunde. Jedes Medium muss erstmal ankommen. Information Overload ist eigentlich schon jede (gedruckte) Zeitung, ein Kiosk ganz zu schweigen, oder, um bei Facebook zu bleiben, jeder Raum mit mehr als einer Person. Landest Du auf der falschen Party, labert Dich wieder irgendwer mit banalem Müll zu, auf Facebook kann ich die Leute wenigstens aus meiner Timeline kicken.

9. Werbung nervt.

Ach. Werbung nervt. Immer und überall. Warum? Weil sie nicht nur nervig platziert ist (ja, das ist Facebook schuld), sondern auch extrem vollidiotisch gestaltet wurde. Ja. Das gab es auch schon bei Zeitungen, Zeitschriften, Bushaltestellen und besonders krass im Radio. Auch bei Facebook kennt Geschmacklosigkeit keine Grenzen, aber das ist nicht nur ein Werbeformat-, sondern auch ein Werbeinhaltproblem.

Um mal die Themen von der Huffington Post aufzugreifen:

10. Wer Facebook braucht, um festzustellen, dass von 1.000 Freunden nur 20 wichtig sind, sollte für dieses Tool dankbar sein.

Was Menschen nicht zu raffen scheinen: Ein Facebook-Freund ist nicht gleich “Ein Freund, ein guter Freund, das ist das Schönste was es gibt auf der Welt…”

Facebook ist eine Ansammlung von Menschen, die ich kenne und mag. Punkt. Wie ein Adressbuch nur mit kleinen Fotos, Kommentaren und so. Ich kannte schon im Kindergarten viele Leute, heute habe ich nur ein digitales Album, das sie fast alle zusammenfasst.

Und wieder um auf die Huffington Post zurückzukommen:
11: Alle meine Freunde schreiben, dass sie sich verloben.

Ja. Und? Erwarte ich von jedem, dass er mich anruft? Am Besten tagsüber, wenn ich arbeite. Oder abends, wenn ich meine Ruhe haben will? Schwanger, verliebt, verlobt, verheiratet, getrennt,… Ein Post und zack sind die meisten informiert. Wie praktisch ist das denn?

Ja, auch beim Ex. Wieso sollte ich mich nicht für andere freuen?

Warum soll ich erst die Zeitung mit der großen Hochzeitsanzeige aufschlagen, wenn ich es bei Facebook sehen kann, einmal kurz “Like” drücke und gut ist?

12. Facebook macht mich nicht unglücklicher, wenn ich sehe, was andere haben.

Neues Auto, neuer Freund, neue Wohnung? Schön. Freut mich! Klasse! Ehrlich. Neid? Neidisch sein kann man auch so, da braucht man kein Facebook für.

Schön, wenn andere ihren Sommerurlaub in den Winter legen. Sollte ich vielleicht auch machen. Toll sieht es irgendwo aus, vielleicht sollte ich da auch mal hinreisen. Und andersherum: Warum soll ich allen E-Mails mit fünftausend GB Fotos Anhang schicken, wenn ein Album auf Facebook reicht, um meine Freude zu teilen.

Nee. Mal ehrlich. Bei allem was für und gegen Facebook spricht, ist es am Ende ein tägliches Tool geworden. Eigentlich ist dieser Beitrag genau so überflüssig wie der der Huffington Post. Anyways.

Wer sein Facebook-Profil aus welchem Grund auch immer löschen möchte, möge das bitte tun, aber ich finde, dass es nun mal für die meisten Menschen ein Tool zur täglichen Rundum-Sorglos-Kommunikation geworden ist.

Jeder kann damit unterschiedlich umgehen, pünktlich zur Fastenzeit kommen dann wieder die “Ich faste Facebook”-Posts. Ja, hätte ich Mutti früher gesagt, dass ich faste mit Freunden zu reden und Zeitung zu lesen, hätte sie mich zum Arzt geschleppt.

Egal.

Zurück zu was Wesentlichem, irgendwas, was ich dann wieder auf Facebook posten kann…

Lisbon Challenge. Last stop: London. And over. And out.

Big Ben, the Queen, the London Eye?

Just to name a few things we didn’t see!

Again, this was not planned to be a vacation but a business trip.

And this time, we started at the Google Campus in Tech City, the area that hosts most of London’s tech startups, a lot co-working spaces and startup events.

View from The Hoxton Mix (http://www.hoxtonmix.com)

View from The Hoxton Mix (http://www.hoxtonmix.com)

Again, we saw some co-working spaces (again with really cool views over the entire city), went to offices (e.g. from SeedrsSeedcamp and Harbottle & Lewis), heard great pitches and met super interesting people.

This week was shorter, it had less meeting, and after all, we had less power.

And now?

That’s it.

Gone is the “jetset life” of having lunch in New York, dinner in Boston and wake up to a nice airplane breakfast over the Atlantic Ocean.

I’m back in Lisbon now, will return to Hamburg next week and than … Well. Nothing.

I feel tired and a little worn out. After almost 20 weeks, hundreds of pitch presentations, talks with accelerators, VCs, and whatnot we all have come to the point where we couldn’t do our own pitch anymore and be super excited about it. (Though I still get nervous and a little shaky – a great feeling that nothing else can give you!!)

Those who did all three trips (not all of the TOP 10 companies did) and I agree on the fact, that we couldn’t do this much longer. We couldn’t keep traveling, because it is really exhausting and it slows down the development of your startup. Being exposed to so many new experiences, you start to forget people, names and relations in less than 36 hours, and you cannot keep up with emails anymore, not even to talk about your friends.

Party, party, all the time? Ehm, no. 

Firstly, we visited only expensive places.

Secondly, meetings started at 9 a.m.

And finally, after being surrounded by people, people, and more people all day, at some point you just want to close the door behind you and enjoy the silence doing your emails.

On the other hand, I met super interesting people that I loved to hang out with, who I would have never met, if it wasn’t for this trip, and  saw great places and learned a lot!

These weeks were so crazy and full of incredible things, that I’m glad I took so many pictures to remember it all. I got insights about startup projects by a Brazilian power company, had people explaining to me what “Good/Bad Leaver” means, and walked through the Huffington Post office, and on and on and on…

It. Was. Simply. Great! And I will miss it. The trips, the new people, the flying, the places, the life. But it couldn’t go on forever, could it?

Really, the next challenge is to go home and get used to my old life again.

Or not.

Let’s keep the confetti flying and see what 2014 will bring!

As of right now: Obrigada Lisbon Challenge! For the opportunity, the people, the experience and the change you brought to me and my point of view.

Lisbon Challenge in São Paulo.

After returning from New York for 2 nights, it was time to get to the airport in Lisbon again to hop on the next plane. This time to São Paulo.

Image

Subway Station in São Paulo.

To sum up the days and the experience:

This. City. Is. Simply. Huge! And expensive.

I wasn’t expecting it, but life in São Paulo is not cheap.

Taking a cab doesn’t cost too much. Thing is: You will always be stuck in traffic. I was told not walk around in some areas, and we are not talking about Ghetto areas, means: We’ve spent a good amount of time in cabs.

I’m not used to that at all, as I love exploring cities by foot and don’t mind walking a few kilometers.

Tap water? Just don’t.

Ordering bottles of wine in a restaurant? Just leave it.

Buying clothes? Yes, GANT, GUCCI, H&M, and Kate Spade – you’ll find it all. More expensive than anywhere else in the world, I was told.

That being said, let’s talk about business, as that was our reason to be there.

On the first day, we met Carlos Moura from aicep Portugal Global, who helps Portuguese companies to touch ground in Brasil.

Here is some of his advice:

- BE REALISTIC!

- Brazilian people have a different view on timings (getting stuff done…)!

- Brazil is a very difficult market. Mid-long term investment, not short term.

- Visas & setting up bank accounts is very difficult, takes forever.

- Brazil is split into North and South.

- remember there is still a lot of corruption.

- don’t underestimate the border control (port and airport, they know what they’re doing).

- government is super strict on rules. There is not way around. Live with it!

- laws are very complex.

- Brazilian companies don’t go abroad (very often) and don’t invest in foreign companies to come too often.

- they prefer to invest in American companies (compared to other countries).

- funds are available.

- education is an important topic in Brazil.

- register your brand – they copy fast.

- take your time over there, success doesn’t come over night.

- count in 2 years to see the results you are looking for (including getting all your papers done).

- you need money to enter this market.

- pay on time! If you don’t, you go right on the “Black List” and you don’t want that! Make sure you check your mail.

- “Yes” on a company deal doesn’t always mean “Yes”, but “maybe…” –– Be aware of the fact!

- Not enough developers over there. It’s easier to bring your team over there, than to find one!

- keep a low profile, makes it easier to enter the market.

 - The size and stability of the Brazilian market (200 Million people) is a “yes!”

- Online Privacy Services are very strict: you need your servers stationed in Brasil (just as Europe, USA,…).

Not only he, but everyone we’ve met, gave us the following top 3 advices, if you want to enter the Brazilian market:

First: Study your market. 

Means: Take a VERY close look at the market in Brazil. They like to keep ideas inside the country, and the rest of the world might not know about it. Also: Define the area and city you want to launch first. North and South are very different – you really need to look into that. If it works in SP, it can work everywhere. But also remember that the competition will be bigger in SP than elsewhere.

Secondly: Get a lawyer. 

You think you know bureaucracy – you don’t! Paperwork and laws are so complex and complicated, they will break your neck if you  try it yourself. Therefor let someone else do the job, someone who knows the business by heart. Especially the guy from Groupon stressed that  costumer protection is very high and can get you very easily.

Third: Get an accountant. 

Taxes, fees,… are different from area to area. Just as a lawyer, get an accountant. It will cost you some money, but it will surely cost the success of your business, if you don’t invest in this field.

We visited a couple of other startups, VCs and Co working spaces.

One of them was PTO where Marcus showed us around, explained how working changed in times and showed us this quite cute video about sharing a work space.

The investor day took place at FIAP and later on that day at the Microsoft office and was quite fun.

After all, São Paulo was exciting – of course! I’ve never been there before. It’s a crazy busy city and though we’ve seen a good bit, there is so much more to explore. Yet, I have to say, it is not my city and I don’t see myself going back there for a vacation.

Flying back from São Paulo, I stayed right at the airport in Lisbon to take the flight to London where our journey continued.

Lisbon Challenge in NYC.

After making it into the Top 10 at the Lisbon Challenge, the traveling began. 

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We went to New York City last week, are currently in São Paulo now before and will be off to London next week to meet investors and attend Demo Days, where we’ll pitch our startups to an audience. Here’s a recap of our time in NYC. 

As all our flights departed from Lisbon, I had to go there first. On Sunday, our group flew out to Boston. There, we had an apartment for 5 of us. As I don’t have my home base in Lisbon, I travel with 26 kg of awesomeness all the time (everything for NYC, São Paulo and London), which was quiet entertaining to the group. As I am the only girl on this trip, I fulfilled the clichê of always taking a walk-in closet with me.

The next morning, we took our stuff, stopped by at Mike’s Diner for a “real American breakfast”. Pancakes, eggs, filter coffee – and of course way more than you can wish for.

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Again, I have to say that foursquare was the tool to use. Afterwards, we went to MassChallenge, an accelerator program in Boston. They showed us around, explained the program, and got us excited about it, the chances waiting for us out there, and also the astonishing view. If you’re a startup that has raised less than $500k, you should consider them as a great option to get in touch with the American market.

Immediately afterwards, I made sure to make my way to the nearest T-Mobile Store. This is advice for all the data addicted: T-Mobile offers a sim card for $10 and a “pay $3/day for unlimited internet, calls and texts” deal. It’s what I always go for when flying over to the States, because I hate not having data and this is an outstanding deal.

Said, done.

We then took the Bold Bus to New York. And it was actually pretty cool. It took about 4 hours, but –welcome to the bus of opportunities– all busses give you free access to their wifi network and –and this is super cool as well– power stations, one on each seat. With our bus being half empty, everyone was able to charge their computer and their phone during the drive, chat with friends, or get work done. Very useful!! Call it nerdish, but sit in my seat and you’ll feel the excitement!

In New York, I stayed at an Airbnb room in “Hell’s Kitchen”. As I was tired, I decided to check out a good thai place on foursquare, found it 2 blocks away and stayed in afterwards because I had an early meeting the next day.

A program was scheduled for us for the day, so after my morning meeting, I went downtown to meet the others. As there were 2 hours of free time until we were to meet at tumblr for an office tour, I decided to head over to 5th Avenue real quick to visit my favorite store: Kate Spade New York.

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As always, it was like entering Wonderland. Kate Spade figured out how to build a story around the brand that is not only told inside the store, but also through all of their social media channels. I love the sparkling, city girl, glitter, yay yay idea and everything they do.

After that personal highlight, it was time to meet the group. Tumblr. I talked my way through the doorman, which, by the way, you find in pretty much every building, and made it up to the office. I managed to confuse everybody until we realized the meeting was canceled and I needed to go to the AOL office to meet the group for a tour at the Huffington Post office. Brandon from the Huffington Post Labs gave us great insights about the ideas the lab works on and how things go. We were able to walk through the newsroom, and got to see the TV production. Pretty awesome place! Adriana’s office is right in the middle of it, but she wasn’t in that day.

The day ended with people from an accelerator program that I don’t want to mention by name, because I hope that they are good guys, but the way they presented themselves (yes, after a long, long day) was so arrogant and ignorant that I don’t have anything nice to say. At least, knowing I didn’t have anything to lose, I managed to pitch a “fill in the blank” pitch, where I let the other participants fill in words to my pitch, because they heard it 500 times already. Yes, it was a lot of fun!

The evening went much nicer. I met a friend I know from Hamburg. We haven’t seen each other in years, as he moved to NYC. It was good to catch up, see his point of view for a few things and hear what is really happening in New York.

The next day started at WeWork, a co-working space, near the World Trade Center. Recommended for startups as they offer meet ups, opportunities to connect, etc… The surrounding is super cool, and if I moved to NYC tomorrow, I would absolutely try to get one of the $400/month desks, which sounds very reasonable for New York standards. We walked to other co-working spaces throughout the day, but there was not much excitement to share with you. WeWork is worth a visit, and we managed to talk to one of the Portuguese startups, who made their way to NYC and could tell us how things run.

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Lunch break. Time to walk over to Banana Republic, a stop I have to do when I’m in the U.S., before grabbing food and running over to the location we later on that day had our pitch at.
Upfront, we were told to prepare a one minute pitch and to have a 5 minute one ready for the 5 investors we would talk to individually. Shortly before starting, that was changed to a three minute pitch. It doesn’t sound like a big deal to those who pitch everyday, but it is in fact, because you have to figure out what the most important part is and which part you would like to move to the Q&A’s.

Worked though. The room wasn’t as full as predicted, but I was fine with that as I feel I’m still in the learning process and that way I counted it as an exercise.

After dinner, I went home. Though I usually go out for drinks and stuff, I knew the next day would ask for a 100% Feli, and with the jet lag I decided to be the grown up and not the silly one. For a change! ; )

And it was worth it!! Again, I woke up really early, which was great for doing my emails and stuff. I always scheduled more time to get to the places where we met up, not only because I know I’m great at getting lost, but also because I love walking through the neighborhood to get a feeling for it.

That Thursday morning, we went to Brooklyn, to be specific: to the area called DUMBO.

And it was wooooaaaah! Between the old warehouse buildings you find a lot of design shops, small businesses and homemade things. The right place to put Etsy’s office, where we were invited to visit and got a tour through a stunning office, that from the perspective of inspiration and craziness, is only comparable to the San Francisco HQ of Airbnb.

The day in DUMBO was nuts, really cool spaces and people and at the end of the day a party hosted by Google, introducing “Google City Experts”, a platform to get the best recommendations from users for a town (yeah, what a brand new idea, but let’s see how it goes). I met a few interesting people, e.g. Brady from technically.brooklyn who writes a tech/startup blog about what’s happening in Brooklyn right now and said, that there are a lot of Germans hanging out at DUMBO at the moment.

Again, I didn’t stay out long, because I had a meeting early the next day, that turned out to be pretty good. I took my huge suitcase

with me and afterwards went straight to the bus station to get back to Boston. But before

getting there, my bus broke down in the middle of the highway! Other busses

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stopped for us, picked us up and I made it back to Boston in time to catch my flight, but that part of excitement was worth mentioning!

Yes, Tuesday to Friday, time is over. Time to fly back to Lisbon home to Lisbon home to Lisbon before taking off to São Paulo.

Bottom line: Life is awesome and it hasn’t been as exciting in a long time! Hurray!

And with the current craziness it was much easier to leave the U.S. than it usually is.

Lisbon Challenge – The (almost) End.

It’s crazy to think that it’s over, but most of it is and it’s only 10 teams left.

I just browsed through a few photos on my iPhone and still try to understand the impact the past 10 weeks had. On others, on the company I work for, on myself.

And yes, it has been a challenge.
I was surrounded by the kind of entrepreneurs you can only wish for.
The startups attending Lisbon Challenge came from 74 different countries and the ideas started with urban farming, over a recommendation comment system, to a closet app, to new ways of finding the perfect employee or designing your own furniture. And not to forget the Event Apps (Eventyard and Eventya).

Some were bootstrapping, other just made it into seedcamp, some were talking to investors, my team got funding, others got an interview at the Y Combinator in San Francisco next week.

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That makes it on the one hand really difficult to compare and to figure out who is having what kind of impact and development, but as an attendant, that made the crowd really interesting.

Not only did we sit together every day, discussing problems, solutions, ideas, or simply plans for the evening, we also saw how smaller or bigger steps were made: launching an app, opening a website for beta, renaming a company, redoing a logo,…

Also, of course, the mentors and the workshops did their part. It was super interesting to hear some other people’s story – about success and failure.Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 07.14.38

Though it was a competition and it got tricky when a lot of people were looking for a slot at one monitor, I want to thank the teams who realized it was a challenge for one personally and not a challenge between the groups. Except for one time, where two teams got nasty to each other, I never had the feeling people were elbowing around, trying to hurt each other or go for their own advantage only.

Even when it came to the pitches, people honestly helped each other to improve their slides and presentations.

And I will miss that. A strong group, with everybody believing in his product to be the best, but therefore talking to others about it and to get feedback to keep improving. During the day.

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 07.16.38And during the night, while some teams had to be work because their home based company just woke up, others did what likeminded people often do: Hang out, party together, movie nights, what not.

A special thanks should go out to “The French Guys”, who opened their home to everyone on a weekendly basis and welcomed each and everyone with open arms. Their apartment “The Petit Paris” – as we called it – was like a group room or so. Thanks guys! For putting up with us, with confetti and the empty bottles we left, with all the chaos and us showing up at pretty much any given time! IMG_1200

Thank you so much to all the people around me, you know who I mean, but also to the Team behind Lisbon Challenge. From all the great people you got us to meet, to the trips we made, to all the organizational stuff, that we never saw – it’s been great! And even though there are complains in the end about unfairness or what not, it is clear that everyone did by heart what they thought was best for the teams.

I admire each and everyone from the program, because you taught me different things. Especially not to give up. I hated these “Believe in your dream bla bla bla” talks and was sure that a business idea needs to make perfect sense in the very first minute, but what I saw was a bunch of highly motivated “I won’t give up! My products rock, YOU just don’t get it!” people who I hope to be like at some point of my life too.

Especially those in their early twenties, having the courage and the power to do so, while others spend years and years and years studying to get the corporate jobs parents will be proud of: You guys rock!

Thank you Lisbon, each of your 7 hills is worth walking up and down, thank you to all the people who make my life so wonderful and keep being such an inspiration to me, and thank you Lisbon Challenge Team for giving me the chance, and as said, for everything you did for us!

Hands up for the Hashtag Group (Inside Joke, sorry)!

And as part of the Lisbon Challenge Top Ten: New York next!