First DC Network Meetup inspires with new creative business models & initiatives that tackled COVID-19

MadeBrave - DC Network Meetup 1

Article by Hanna Schäfer

The first edition of the newly established online DC Network Meetups took place on May, 23rd, 2021. More than 50 participants from 13 countries all over the world joined to learn more about inspiring creative initiatives and business models that tackle the COVID 19 crisis.

“Creativity doesn’t stop within the borders of certain industries or disciplines, it is a universal tool for innovation and offers high potential for cross-disciplinary problem solving processes.”

Thomas Schwara – Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Baden-Württemberg

Dr. Petra Püchner, SPOC of the DC member-region Baden-Württemberg held the opening words for the meetup and introduced the welcome speakers Carlo Vuijlsteke (Districts of Creativity Network) & Thomas Schwara (Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Baden-Württemberg). “Creativity doesn’t stop within the borders of certain industries or disciplines, it is a universal tool for innovation and offers high potential for cross-disciplinary problem solving processes. One current example from Baden-Württemberg is CureVac with its RNA Printer®”, starts Thomas Schwara his welcome speech and opens the meeting by taking the COVID 19 crisis in focus. 

Grim Fest: organising a COVID-proof festival

Starting from there, our first speaker on stage was Aage Stokholm, founder of Grim Fest, and the co-creator of the Corona concept: De Grimmeste aftner (Grim nights). Giving up was no option for Aage and his team. They established the format: De Grimmeste aftner. A percentage of the ticket revenue is divided amongst all parties, depending on their investment. The amount of profit of the events were thus in correlation with how many tickets were sold to the specific event. This format not only ensured the survival of Grim Fest but was so successful that it was adapted in several cities.


Watchapp: a new performing arts format and platform

Mathijs F. Scheepers introduced to us Watchapp. The micro entertainment format uses Whatsapp to give the user the possibility to follow an interactive play for 3 weeks as a “spy / voyeur”. The participants are members of a Whatsapp group where they follow the play as a spy on their mobile device. Every message, picture, GIF, link and film the artists send each other will be delivered to the participants in real-time. This format does not only fill the gap on cultural life, but also reaches a total new target group. Right now, they are working on new event formats such as documentaries in order to widen the offer for the audience.


Petersburg Concert: from organising concerts to cultural export consultancy

Petersburg-Concert is one of the largest concert organisations in Russia and was hit hard by the consequences of the pandemic. In reaction to the changing reality, they launched the Cultural Export Activity. The initiative aims to gather new experiences and knowledge for supporting activities of Petersburg Concert and to develop the city’s cultural exports. “Russia has a very vivid and diverse cultural background and we just need to use this.”, said Ekaterina Artyushkina (General Director of Petersburg Concert). Right now, they are exploring a algorithm for promotion of Russian cultural services abroad, they offer online & offline seminars, workshops for potential exporters and they are supporting a variety of exchanging experience formats.

Petersburg concerts

Pitchview: starting an app from scratch again

In the beginning of 2020, everything was looking really good for Pitchview and their product Pitchview Collect, an app to capture leads of trade fair contacts. The numbers of clients were rising and there was a lot of work in the pipeline. March 2020 changed everything. Jonas Reinsch and Frederic Sell (CEOs & founders) started from scratch and together with a client, they came up with a new product: Pitchview Projector. An app that allows the marketing team to easily create interactive presentations in-house, bridging the digital divide. “Really helpful was the convertible funding: Start-up BW Pro-Tect from the state Baden-Württemberg, which gave us the necessary financial security to start something new.”, said Frederic Sell.


MadeBrave: working from anywhere, forever

MadeBravers Can Now Work from Anywhere, Forever – The COVID19 Pandemic is changing the way we work, not just for now, but forever. That is what Andrew Dobbie, Founder/CEO of MadeBrave, truly believes and that’s why he changed the way his company works completely. MadeBrave introduced a “work from anywhere” policy, which will be applied in post-pandemic time, too. Furthermore, they also adapted the working environment of the existing physical office space. “Our office will be more a ‘destination’ for people when they want or need it and not a mandatory 9-5 office space. Therefore, we introduced new physical measures such as desk spacing and Zoom pods for increased privacy.” explained Andrew in his lecture.  Those actions opened MadeBrave to a wider group of potential employees, since they do not have to live in the same city or even in the same country.

About the DC Network Meetups

The DC Network Meetups are about bringing together professionals from the different DC Network-regions to discuss specific topics related to cross-disciplinary creativity, innovation & entrepreneurship. The idea is to share good practices/inspiring examples/projects and stimulate knowledge exchange.

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