A Final Fairwell from Accelerate@HHL 2018:
How does one choose to say goodbye when a story finally comes to an end? For those of us in Accelerate@HHL we finished the same way we began, with startups. In the second weekend of June, those of us who helped to make the Accelerate conference at HHL a success were treated to a wonderful weekend in Berlin where we had the opportunity to explore the city, the food culture, and tour several well-known startups.
Our heads of organization, Tina Hoffmann and Niclas Lindemann, organized a trip to Berlin for early on Sunday morning. Jumping passed the moment when we got to Berlin and settled into the hotel, and the men taking much longer to get ready than the women — we made it to our first venue of the day: Bites and Vibes hosted by Foodora.
Outside the groups, inside the startup-scene
The venue was set up very well for the Accelerate team to overindulge in a lot of the delicacies that Berlin startups have to offer. Everything was eaten from Poke’ bowls, Indian style tacos, Argentinian empanadas, American burgers, and so much more. The wine and beer were flowing well, while the DJ laid down the atmosphere. We bonded over our love of food, different cultures, and even found ourselves being filmed doing a Bollywood style dance.
In the evening we had the opportunity to get outside of the traditional groups that we have become accustomed to between the MSc and MBA batches. We went for dinner at Umami and stepped outside of our classes to get to know each other better. In general, the trip was a great opportunity to learn more about others who are not necessarily in your program, including exchange students from different schools in Europe. By Monday, the trip evolved towards touring experiences of start-ups from all across Berlin. The first stop on the itinerary had us warmly welcomed at Coffee Circle. We were engrossed in their founding story set in the coffee trade from Ethiopia and expanding to sourcing to such place like Kenya and South America. And also experienced the wonderful aroma and taste of the coffee while we heard about the company.
From coffee to e-commerce
Our next destinations took us to Marleyspoon—competing in the area of home delivery of cooking boxes for families. If you have a passion for food, it’s wonderful to experience opportunities as a business student to explore that love of food, while still applying the knowledge from studies at HHL Leipzig. Afterwards, Home24 sparked the fire in the belly of many of us at Accelerate who had a passion for ecommerce. The enthusiasm was infectious and the recruiting department captured the imagination for the possibility of internships for our business students.
The late afternoon took us on an adventure in technology with the innovation hubs from Microsoft and McKinsey. This experience allowed us a futuristic look into how artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality will likely impact the world we interact with on a daily basis. And if you ever have the chance, there is no more interesting experience than seeing your classmates attempt to fly in a virtual world. Attempt being the key word.
The trip solidified what began close to a year ago when we all came together for the Accelerate Conference at HHL — that passionate spirit for startups, entrepreneurship, and HHL spirit. While this chapter has come to a close, we believe that a strong legacy has been left for next year’s Accelerate.
Christopher Alexander Riccetto has written this charming farewell.
More to read, to watch and to know for fans and fans2be of Accelerate@HHL: