05.05.2019 to 11.05.2019
LocationWest AsiaWest Europe
This delegation trip was designed for budding entrepreneurs from Iraq to provide them with insights into the two most vibrant startup locations in Germany: Berlin and Munich. It took place between May 5th 2019 to May 11th 2019 with a total of 9 participants. The trip included startup ecosystems tours of Berlin and Munich, a variety of tailor-made workshops, meetings with entrepreneurs, and a visit to the re:publica 2019 in Berlin.
The selection of participants started with an open call for application published by enpact, and was organised in collaboration with our partners and supporters GIZ. Out of 52 applications, 10 applicants were selected for the program. We were keen on making sure that participants are equipped to make the most out of the experience. To achieve that, the criteria for selection was based on having an established and scalable product or service by a tech-related business with and an existing customer base, good command of the English language, interest to learn from the German startup ecosystem, and a general willingness to engage in peer-to-peer learning and networking.
The selected delegates had businesses representing four cities in Iraq: Kirkuk, Erbil, Mosul, and Baghdad. They are operating in five industries: Health-tech, Education, E-commerce, Logistics/Delivery, Transportation, and Fashion/Retail. All of them demonstrated existing clients and scalability.
During the five-day-long delegation, the delegates not only explored the two most prominent startup ecosystems in Germany but also made relevant contacts and exchanges with prominent actors from the German startup scene. They were able to take valuable learnings from customized workshops and interactions with other entrepreneurs and experts back to their own ecosystems. Based on the goals expressed by the delegates during the selection interviews and a joint assessment of their needs, enpact curated a program with a strong focus on learning via best practices and the support of experts from the Berlin and Munich ecosystems.
In Berlin, delegates participated in How to build a Successful Platform Business, a workshop facilitated by Thomas Schindler, CEO & Founder of delodi UG, and had an interactive exchange session with Tamari Bulia, Senior Business Development Manager at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) Berlin, which focused on how Business Development & Building Partnerships can be done successfully. Because proper talent management is crucial for any business to succeed, delegates learnt about HR best practices in a workshop on Team Building & Hiring by Salah Isayyied, Founder & CEO of HuMan Power. Delegates also received valuable insights into Smart Mobility and How to implement a digital sales channel by Maria Gliemann, Business Developer at Volkswagen Digital Lab. The Berlin ecosystem tour was complemented by visits to two co-working places: Rent24 and Techspace.
In Munich, delegates visited the BMW headquarters, the accelerator Xpreneurs, The Founder Institute, and SPENDIT AG. At the BMW headquaters, Sascha Vukovic who works on the digital strategy of BMW, stirred up the delegates’ preconception of a big corporation by getting them to reconsider existing business models to stay afloat in an ever-transforming digital economy. Florian Gottschaller, co-founder of SPENDIT, a growth stage fintech company, gave delegates insights about his experience of founding a startup and his challenges and learnings. From Robert Kitson, Program Manager at Xpreneurs & Director of Founder Institute in Munich, the delegates received an overview of the dynamic startup ecosystem and its players in Munich and also insights into some diverse investment mechanisms.
In both cities, enpact provided delegates with networking opportunities.
On May 6th, for example, delegates attended the re:publica conference in Berlin, where they connected with German and international founders. They had an impactful encounter and exchange with Guy Kawasaki, an American marketing specialist, author, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist who was one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing the Macintosh.
On May 9th in Munich, delegates attended the Xpreneurs pitch night and a networking event at the Atlas Building, where they met 70 actors from the Munich startup ecosystem, including eight early-stage Munich-based entrepreneurs who pitched their ventures. enpact organized a joint follow-up conference call with delegates on July 23rd, 2019, during which the delegates shared the impact their experience and encounters in Berlin and Munich had on them and their businesses, along with the next steps for enpact’s continued support beyond the delegation trip.
We are thankful for all the wonderful partners and experts who took part in enriching this delegation trip. We’re also proud of our participants for venturing into every session, event, and conversation and making the most out of it.