NEXT Berlin has made a pretty good name for itself as an event not to miss for anyone interested in Berlin startups or the German market. Hosted by digital agency SinnerSchrader, we sent our resident half-German Nicolas Metzke out to the event last year, and he came back with new ideas and thoughts on the event. This year, the event, taking place April 23-24th, has already booked digital leaders like Robert Scoble, the European Commission’s Neelie Kroes, Etsy Germany’s Caroline Drucker & many more. For startups, French or otherwise, this is a great event and a great opportunity to get outside your country of origin and start thinking international, and NEXT Berlin has designed a startup competition for just such a purpose.
Having just opened earlier this week, NEXT Berlin’s startup pitch has rolling open entries, and it seems to be a sort of peer review – currently the leading startup has just over 100 votes, so there’s still plenty of time to hack your way to the top. With voting open through March 29th, the top 30 startups will be selected and announced shortly before the event, and will compete in a pitch competition at the event.
Now I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the “peer review” aspect, but I think organizers find it easier than actually reading entries, so I understand. I think The Europas taught us that “people’s choice” means “the people with the largest audience,” insofar as the people don’t really choose or bother to learn who the other startups are, they just vote for the ones they know. At least that’s what I do. Update: While the initial vote is peer review, i have been told that the final competing startups will be selected from among the Top 30, and so not all of the top 30 startups will necessarily compete.
I think Berlin is a great opportunity for Paris startups looking to get away from the stigma of French events and being a french startup, and I hope to see Paris startups flood this event competition. If you enter, just comment below and I’ll make sure to give you a shout out on social media over the next few weeks to give people a heads up!