First Berlin Visit


In the evening before the official start of the program, the invited teams from Israel and the project team from Berlin met each other for the first time at a trendy Berlin bar.  We had great conversations in a relaxed atmosphere! Everyone was excited and looking forward to the week ahead!

(Photos © CfE TU Berlin)


On the official first day of the Berlin Visit, we met at the Rainmaking Loft- one of Berlin’s nicest co-working spaces- for a “Meet&Greet”. The teams met representatives from the partner universities involved in the program and from Project Management Jülich (PtJ), who explained in detail how the EXIST program worked. The session concluded with a pitch by two successful EXIST-Alumni teams who summarized their EXIST-experiences, followed by a lively discussion with the Israeli teams.

The highlight of the day was the visit to the German Ministry for Economics and Energy (BMWi), where the Israeli visitors met  Minister Sigmar Gabriel who extended a warm welcome to all of the teams.  Afterwards, the group went on a bus tour through the city of Berlin, organized by Berlin Partner, stopping by at G-Tec and Ahoi, an accelerator and a co-working space respectively, which form the base for several innovative Berlin-based start-ups.

The day finished with a cheerful dinner at a nice Berlin restaurant!

(Photos © CfE TU Berlin and PTJ)


After an exciting introduction to the city of Berlin, having gained a taste of its start-up ecosystem and already with a nice group atmosphere, the “real work” started on the second day. We were very impressed by the great commitment displayed by everyone involved during this day. The Centre of Entrepreneurship was buzzing with creativity!

The morning started with an inspirational pitch session by two EXIST-alumni followed by a Q&A session where the Israeli teams gained first-hand insights about the journey and experiences of entrepreneurs in Berlin. This was followed by a  “speed-dating” session with experts and advisors from the five partner universities. This way, the participants received individual feedback and advice on their start-up projects.

The afternoon started with the “Pitch Clinic” which gave all teams the opportunity to work on their presentation techniques. In parallel, the teams kept working on their pitch decks, improving their presentations for the following day. It was a long and intense work session, so the group deserved a relaxed networking evening with some of the start-up teams based at the Centre for Entrepreneurship’s incubator, enjoying some pizza to conclude the day.

(Photos © CfE TU Berlin and PTJ)


The third day was „Decision Day“!

The ten teams pitched in front of a jury of experts one after the other all day long. It was a very exciting moment, since only five could be selected for the next phase of the program: The coaching phase. All in all, the jury was very impressed with the quality of presentations given – another proof of the great commitment of the Israeli teams.

In the late afternoon the jury made its decision. –This was not an easy one!  The selected teams were announced at our International Closing Party in the evening, with dinner, music and drinks!

Judging on the feed-back that we got, the Berlin Visit was an exciting experience and a great opportunity to network with representatives of the start-up scene in Berlin! We wish great success to everyone, those who are continuing the journey in Israel and also to the five teams that will receive coaching for the application to the EXIST Business Start-up Grant and we already look forward to welcoming the teams of the next round to Berlin this summer!

(Photos © CfE TU Berlin and PTJ)

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