Startup Founders Stories & a Camp-fire at Tech Open Air


Last week was THE week for Berlin startups. Indeed, Tech Open Air was in town, bringing together the tech crowd from Berlin and beyond!

COWORKIES decided to jump on the TOA16 journey by bringing up a special kind of satellite event: PROPELLLERS.


With Propelllers, we decided to gather Startup Founders and Startuppers around a camp-fire, to chat all night long about what it takes to be an entrepreneurs, what challenges do you have to face but also what kind of greatness you will get along the way.

We gathered 5 startup founders:

  • Sabine, Co-Founder of Noisli
  • Daniel and Paulina, Founders of Granttree who flew from the UK for the event, which made us very very happy!
  • Behrad, Head of Product at Grover

All of us have different backgrounds and experiences, hinting to an interesting and diverse night of camp-fire conversations. In the meantime, there was such a huge amount of Satellite events happening that night that we did not know how many people to expect. #startupchallenge.


The first word that comes to my mind to describe the event is magical. It might sound too cheesy, but it’s really how I felt and lived it. Let me tell you why.

First, 40 people registered on Eventbrite, which made us expect around 15 people in total. Guess what? 30 out of the 40 came, which was pretty nice turnout! The seats around our improvised camp-fire were full of great people having interesting conversations before we even started.

Then, the night slowly started with each one of the founders introducing herself / himself. And very naturally, people from the crowd started to tell us about their stories. The vibe became SO nice. I could not have dreamed of a better flow between the questions we were asking and the sparked conversations.


Everyone in the room got a chance to share his/her experience and get to know how we, the others, lived the same or not.  We went from having an idea to founding your own startup, to what it takes to make it and then we made a very interesting switch on personal life and burnout. We had a very natural way of approaching that topic and people felt really comfortable listening to others and giving their insights on a topic that most of the time remains a taboo.

Last and least, we planned the event to last for about 1 hour. In the end, we ended up talking for 2. With everyone around the fire still conversing we decided to continue our conversations in the bar next to the venue.


For me, this night was a really great opportunity to gather a very diverse crowd of people and see magic happen! At some point during the night, as one of the participant noted later, people’s body language became really relaxed, lying down, shoes off, feeling cosy and comfy, which was totally what we wanted. We were also thrilled to connect startuppers with non-startuppers and see how cool interactions became along the night.

The conclusion to that is that PROPELLLERS will definitely be back very soon with more startup founders stories. I also want to take the opportunity to thank Daniel and Pauline for coming directly from London to attend and moderate our event. You guys rocked all the way! Also Sabine, Lorenzo and Behrad, thank you so much for bringing your own magic to that evening. You were a big big part of that success. Most importantly, thanks to YOU who came and spent the night with us around the fire. We hope we kept you warm and cosy. Thank you also to TOA for helping us in setting up the event as well as Rainmaking Loft for being the partner location.

PROPELLLERS will be back soon, keep an eye on us!

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Pauline Roussel

Co-Founder Coworkies. Formerly General Manager at Rainmaking Loft Berlin, a #coworking space dedicated to #startups, Ambassador of French Tech Berlin.

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