Tuesday was an incredible night of celebration, conversation and of course – hardware.
We welcomed over 200 members of our community to take part in the public opening of the HARDWARE.co Electronics Lab by Conrad at betahaus. Over the course of the night we heard keynotes from our fantastic partners at Conrad, including their CEO Jörn Werner and Head of Corporate Development Alexander Pöschl. We were particularly happy to give Jeanett Tschiersky (also of Conrad), a tour of the lab after the hard work she put in making sure we were fully outfitted with parts, components, tools and event last minute spotlights.
Guests of the event shared project ideas, mingled, had drinks and a first glimpse of the HARDWARE.co Lab facilities. We were lucky enough to have Stefania Druga of HacKIDemia present their ‘Maker Box’ in the Lab, and discuss their Afrimakers Project to send Maker Kits to each of their ten hubs in Africa. Additionally, Cyprien Decouty of Formlabs brought a Form 1+ 3D printer to demo the amazing resolution of their SLA 3D prints, which was awesome to see and hear about. Thanks to both of them!
The main event of the night was filling the betahaus café with our community to finally see the lab. Our own Jonas Pauly opened up with keynotes discussing exactly how the lab would be used and how it will be available to all startups that are accepted to our March Accelerator program. Following words from the HARDWARE.co perspective, we were honored to have Nicolas Zimmer, CEO of Technologie Stiftung Berlin.
During Nicolas’ keynote he discussed methods by which we can build out maker culture as a city, comparing the current state of making in Germany to the making culture in the USA. Nicolas cited President Barack Obama’s remarks at Techshop in Pittsburgh as a reason we need more political support for this moment toward making, local manufacturing and hardware innovation. KIWI.KI VP of Engineering and HARDWARE.co Co-founder Jeff Katz hilariously suggested that if Angela Merkel would like to hold a Makerfaire in the Bundeskanzleramt, HARDWARE.co would be more than happy to help organize an event – an offer that still stands!
Finally, we heard from Alexander Pöschl of Conrad about the ways in which Conrad – originally a family business with now shipping product to over 150 companies – is facilitating growth and development of startups. The talk was great insight into the history of Conrad as well as the future; their commitment to startups and innovative tech is unrivaled – which makes us very proud at HARDWARE.co to call them a partner.
The Opening culminated in a Q&A session in which Alexander Pöschl, Jonas Pauly, Nicolas Zimmer and Jeff Katz were joined by Betahaus Co-Founder Christoph Fahle and CPO/Co-Founder of Relayr Jackson Bond to discuss the current state of hardware. The Panel touched on a number of important topics from how HARDWARE.co plans to support more women entering technical fields, to what the panelists see as future trends for Hardware. The panel was skillfully moderated by the amazing (and always glittering) Lisa Lang of Berlin Geekettes and Elektrocouture. Lisa was even outfitted in some of her awesome new wearable tech fashion designs.
A special thanks to David Riding for quite literally building the Lab, we owe you so much for your time and expertise, David! Additional thanks to our partners Edelman for their great PR work and guidance before and during the event. A huge debt of gratitude to Conrad for their vision and commitment to hardware, as well as betahaus for being the home of our new Lab and working with us along the way to make the lab a success. A special thanks to our community members for coming out, we can’t wait to see what you do with this space!
Now that the opening is over, we are only just beginning. We have to fill the lab with projects! If you have an idea, a product or just want to talk about great hardware make sure to check out how to use the lab and apply to the accelerator before January 28th or to be a resident of the lab.
See you next time!
The HARDWARE.co Team