An Interview With The Startup Guide World Team


A brand New Year – speaking of which, we hope you all had a great kick-off – starts at Startüberlin with an interview with the Startup Guide World team. The project is growing, the idea about being the “Lonely Planet for entrepreneurs” have been clear from the beginning since 2014 when the first book in the series was published! Now the core team behind it has published Copenhagen and Aarhus, with a new Berlin update coming out next week! Stockholm, Lisbon, London, Madrid and Barcelona are in line for 2016! We met with Sissel and asked her what’s cooking, in the immediate future and beyond.

Hi Sissel, thank you for being our guest in this new Startüberlin and Startupberlin season! We’ve heard that on February the 5th the Vol. 2 of Startup Guide Berlin will be premiered at Betahaus. Tell us everything about the new paper baby, which is rather its big brother, isn’t it?

Yes, you are totally right, on the 5th of February Volume 2 will be out. It’s not only bigger in size, but is also a more mature iteration of Volume 1. The concept has also changed a bit, since the beginning of this project we’ve invested a lot in research, which have directed us to new needs and areas, that we should care about and focus on. They are now represented in new chapters in this new edition. So yes, let’s call it a big brother!

You and your team published last year the Copenhagen and Aarhus volumes, also. What are the analogies and the differences between the two Danish cities and Berlin, startups-wise?

It has of course been interesting to analyze these two cities in Denmark, that are so close to each other, but still such a different spirit and startup environment. Aarhus brought the freshness of a big University city, we could compare it to Freiburg for instance. There is high density of talent and startups compared to the size of the city, but it is still in a developing phase, On the other hand, Copenhagen is a much more mature city and startup scene. This is also where you would go when your startup is in a more mature phase and has different investment needs. If you then compare Copenhagen with Berlin the differences are huge. Berlin is much more diverse, attracts people from all over, who often moves here without a defined plan, but rather for its energy, vibrant scene and spirit of opportunity.


From the Startup Guide World facebook page we’ve seen you’ve recently enjoyed some ocean breeze – we’re definitely jealous! – in Lisbon, researching for the next Startup Guide Lisbon. Any treats for our readers on the local scene? Is it different from Berlin and Denmark? Moreover, the next Web Summit will take place next November in the Portuguese capital: can you share your thoughts about this dynamic duo?

I fell in love with Lisbon not so long ago. I got to see the city through the eyes of the Portuguese person, who loves Lisbon the most, my partner. With the financial crisis and feeling of instability also came a perspective of activism and empowerment of the people. Of course the city reacted with many accelerator programs, co-working spaces and investment sto bring forward this new atmosphere, that was emerging. Talking with friends from the city with the urge to open their own company learning that many others wanted to do so, yet missed information and inspiration from others – made pretty sure that we had to bring the concept to the Portuguese capital. And of course the location of the Web Summit is a response to this new era of Lisbon as well. We are now working towards that a Startup Guide Lisbon will be released in November along with the event.

Our last question is also a big congrats from us: we’ve read you have been invited at The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) 2016. What do you have in store for this event?

Thank you! We’ve been thinking about and approached to explore the US market for a long time now, and of course being present at South by Southwest® creates a perfect starting point for contacts. We will also travel around San Francisco, Austin, Boston and New York with the same aim. So 2017 seems like a year where we could start mapping the United States. Very exciting times!

startup-guideThank you for this interview, guys. As for us, we can’t wait to have our hands on the crunchy, freshly baked Startup Guide Berlin VOL. 2!


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