Road to wavespace – Interview with etventure startup expert Laura Kohler
We’ll continue on our “road to wavespace”. Only two months until etventure will launch the new wavespace in Berlin Kreuzberg together with EY. Laura Kohler, partner at etventure and Head of wavespace & Startup Ecosystem, is in charge of this major project. In our interview she gives insights into the large-scale project #wavespaceBerlinXBerg.
Laura has many years of experience in coordinating startup and digital projects. On behalf of the EU, she and her team lead Europe-wide startup programs such as accelerator and incubator projects, including the current EU initiatives “European Data Incubator” and “Startup Lighthouse”. She is also building bridges between startup teams and established SMEs and corporations . In 2017, Laura was selected one of the 50 most influential women of the European startup scene – as one of only 14 German women. Hence, the perfect prerequisites for building up the new wavespace in Berlin Kreuzberg. Yet, with this innovation project Laura is also entering new territory.
Laura, what is special about the new wavespace?
The motto of the wavespace Berlin X-Berg is: “The next level of co-creation! This contains two essential aspects. On the one hand it’s about “creation”, which means we don’t just want to introduce modern technologies and familiarize customers with their opportunities. Our aim is to really develop something new and to directly implement it. The second aspect is “co”. The goal is to bring together very different partners and stakeholders in wavespace: Established companies meet startups, tech experts from etventure, EY and the ecosystem. We want to combine both aspects and thus literally reach the next level of real innovation.
You are not only responsible for the concept of the new wavespace, but also supervising the construction work. Sounds like a lot of work.
Indeed it is – and for me it’s actually something completely new. Setting up and supervising startup and digital projects is daily business for me. But developing the room concept and supervising the reconstruction in parallel is a new experience. Fortunately, I don’t have to do it all by myself. I have a great team behind me that supports a lot. What makes the project so intense, and at the same time so exciting, is that the conceptual design of the content and the actual premises run in parallel and are entirely in our hands. This way, with the support of our partners, we can perfectly tailor the premises to the needs of the future.
How can you imagine work in wavespace in the future?
Our 1,500 square metres will house a wide variety of working and office spaces. On the one hand, there will be separate offices in which digital teams can work together undisturbed. At the same time, there will also be open co-working spaces to facilitate exchange and cooperation between companies, startups and other stakeholders. In addition, there are large community spaces for lectures and events. But the heart of wavespace will certainly be the spaces for prototyping, the tech show room and of course the data lab.
Our goal is to create the perfect infrastructure for innovation work in wavespace. Moreover, we want to create an open and trusting atmosphere that makes true creativity possible in the first place. And of course we want to bring life into the premises, enable exchange between the people there and attract the entire Berlin ecosystem to us with the help of public events.
At the moment, of course, the whole space is a big construction site. At the same time, it’s great to see we are making progress every week. And we are already addressing companies and startups that will potentially move into the wavespace with us at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019.
The opening of wavespace is also a milestone for the entire Berlin etventure team. What is it all about?
Right – the wavespace Berlin X-Berg is my main focus at the moment. However, at the same time, the reconstruction of the 4th floor in the very same building, the Aqua Carrée at Moritzplatz in Berlin, is running at full speed, because this will be etventure’s new home in Berlin. Thus, the majority of the employees are due to move this year still. It is great that we can link these two projects together. In this way we ensure a close exchange between the teams in wavespace and the etventure digital experts. This benefits both sides.