How Berlin Startups help during the Crisis!

Berlin, both as a city and as an idea, boasts an ever growing following, especially the startup ecosystem has developed rapidly over the last few years. As one of the few venture capital investors who have been around for most of it, we felt we needed to share some of our experiences and experiences of others we have been so lucky to share. That being said, welcome to Tales of Berlin Ep. 07/2020.

We have left the lockdown behind us, but the Corona crisis will keep us busy for a long time to come. At the same time, many startups are already offering solutions and support for overcoming and coping with the current problems. We would like to show you a small selection of these activities, let’s go!

Free support in difficult life situations from Selfapy

We are all currently living in a daily state of emergency. Professional and private insecurities, lack of social contacts and a lack of daily routine can become too much for some of us. Our portfolio company Selfapy, a platform for psychological courses on depression, anxiety and stress, has developed a free course offering therapeutic solutions to problems related to the corona pandemic. Together with the International Psychoanalytical University (IPU) in Berlin and the University Hospital of Basel, they have set up a course that is aimed at all those who are looking for short-term psychological support in the current difficult situation.
The program consists of psychoeducative texts and videos that provide the user with general information on how to deal with the coronavirus. Through interactive exercises, users learn techniques that help to get rid of negative thinking and deal with feelings such as loneliness. If necessary, they receive individual support from one of Selfapy’s psychologists.

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Learning in quarantine with Sofatutor

As early as January 2018, all schools in Bremen had access to the platform of our portfolio company sofatutor. The learning platform is used by the students at home for learning. But also in the classroom, learning videos, exercises and worksheets have been used by the teachers. So when schools throughout the country had to be closed, the sofatutor team quickly realized that they could make an important contribution to the transition to home schooling.
Since all learning videos, interactive exercises and worksheets on the sofatutor platform are based on the current curriculum of the German federal states, students can work on the learning material under the guidance of their teachers or with the help of the learning management system from home and repeat the content independently. We are very proud that more than 5000 schools have registered within 2 weeks and more than one million students have gained access to the sofatutor platform. Sofatutor was even able to provide their platform to the school of the German Embassy in Tehran, Iran, as well as to a group of students who undertook a class trip to South Tirol and are now isolated at home .

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Free language learning for students with Babbel

To dispel boredom and worry and to feel less isolated, learning a language opens up new worlds and makes us part of a larger community. Just because you have to stay at home doesn’t mean that you can’t develop and learn. And let’s face it: after the fifth repetition, even your absolute favourite show gets boring. Our portfolio company Babbel offers an app for language learning. Apps in particular are a great way to quickly achieve success in learning a language, and Babbel is the world’s most successful app for this purpose. The online offer of the platform is immense and it is now possible to learn 14 languages with Babbel. The learning content is tailored to the mother tongue and the app is suitable for all types of learners. While schools and universities were closed, the Babbel team gave students one free month to learn or improve a language, and tens of thousands in various countries registered.

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Tablets on loan provided by Media4Care to help alleviate the loneliness of people in care facilities

During the corona crisis, senior citizens in need of care are particularly affected by the limited contact with family and friends and the lack of variety in everyday life. Our portfolio company Media4Care has developed a tablet to improve the quality of life of senior citizens in need of care, e.g. senior citizens suffering from dementia. Your product became particularly useful during the crisis:
The ability to talk to each other via video call, view pictures of relatives or simply send a short text message from time to time — any form of digital contact shows that people are thinking about and listening to each other. The Media4Care tablet is designed to be particularly accessible and has an easily accessible messaging and video call function. Relatives can easily stay in touch with their parents and grandparents via the family portal.
Despite contact blocks or a ban on visits, there is a lively exchange with relatives, and especially at moments when physical closeness is no longer possible, it is all the more important to think about each other, talk to each other and meet at least in digital form. Recently, Media4Care also announced that, together with Lenovo, it will lend tablets to the Alzheimer Gesellschaft Baden-Württemberg for senior citizens with and without dementia, whether at home or in care facilities, to bring the tablets to those who need them.

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We were very pleased that so many in our startup ecosystem were and continue to be proactively involved in overcoming this unprecedented crisis situation. The crisis has proven to be both an opportunity to give something back and an opportunity to grow and develop — we hope to continue to do so together with our partners!