Latest on the blog

Friday, 26 October 2012

The Buzz Of A Start-Up Competition

This week, our very own CEO Nitzan Yudan travelled to Liverpool to take part in the Pitch80 BestSmall Business Final. Standing in front of a live audience with several other start-up companies, pitching Flat-Club to a selection of independent judges, Nitzan has talked of the great buzz and excitement that surrounded this event.
Start-up competitions have become an increasingly popular way for companies to launch themselves into their market, spread the word and start building a positive reputation. The number of start-up competitions available has proliferated (we found over 85 for UK competitions only), providing start-ups with more and more opportunities to demonstrate their strengths and recognize their weaknesses. There are so many different ways in which these competitions can prove valuable for a start-up during their first few years of development:

Experience. The more competitions start-ups take part in, the more experienced they become. Through participating in live events, such as the Liverpool final, start-ups gain the opportunity to learn from each other. Through listening to the pitches of other start-ups, small companies can recognize what qualities are needed in order to make their pitch effective. It was through building experience such as this that Flat-Club succeeded in winning the TechCrunch one-sentence pitching challenge earlier this year. It is also a great way to prepare for pitching to investors.

Networking. Competitions are a great place to find like-minded people. Start-ups can cooperate with other start-ups and coordinate their services in a mutually beneficial manner. In Liverpool, we learnt some outstanding tips about social media and finance, and even how to get government support through a new R D scheme.

Building Reputation. It is only through participating in a competition that start-ups stand the chance of being selected as a runner-up, a finalist or even a winner. Not only does this achievement bring obvious benefits of prize money and/or other support, it helps to boost the start-up’s reputation. Reputation is one of the most important factors in the first few years of a start-up, helping to give the company a sense of credibility as well as attracting potential customers.

Spreading The Word. The more events a start-up takes part in, the more chance people are going to know about the company. Just this week, many new rooms and flats throughout England from London to Cardiff were posted on our website, due to more people hearing about Flat-Club in the Liverpool live event.

With all this in mind, Flat-Club is getting ready to participate next week in the popular Pioneers Festival Event in Vienna, as on the of the Top 50 Starts-ups in Europe. As you can imagine, we can’t wait to see what benefits this competition will bring to Flat-Club – so watch this space!

Friday, 12 October 2012

A Relocation Guide To Munich

As part of our program to help you when relocating to a new city, we are launching today a relocation guide to Munich, written by the people who moved and lived there.

Before you go

  • Make sure that you have all your important documentation on hand and ready to go, including: visa, passport, photo ID and health card.
  • If you are a citizen of the EU/EEA, you do not need a Visa to enter Germany for a stay of less than 90 days. Your passport, lease agreement and local registration will suffice for an extended stay.
  • Certain nationalities - Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States – do not require a visa to enter Germany for visits less than 90 days. Longer visits will require a residency, student or work permit.
  • All other nationalities require a visa to enter Germany.
  • The language barrier can be a problem if you do not speak German. Many Germans speak English, but this is not universal. It is therefore good to brush up on some German phrases prior to your departure.
  • Before you leave home, it is a good idea to arrange for short-term accommodation in Munich, to give you somewhere to stay whilst you search for more permanent housing. Take some Euros with you to cover your initial expenses until your bank account is set up.
Visa Information for Germany Flat-Club

Finding a place

  • Give yourself time to look around and decide where it is in Munich you want to live. It’s important to soak up the atmosphere and decide which area suits you (and your budget) the most.
  • Once you have chosen your area, visit as many estate agencies (Immobilienhändler as possible, set up several house viewings and weigh up your options.
  • If you are not a confident German speaker, be sure to research some key German phrases or take a dictionary with you on the property viewings. You want to be in an able position to ask important questions, such those regarding deposits or agency fees, without any misunderstandings or confusion.
  • In most instances, you will need to provide a deposit equal to 2 or 3 month’s rent when you settle on a lease.
  • The average cost of rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in Munich is €700 a month.

Setting up a bank account

  • Most major German banks have branches located in Munich.
  • You must be a resident, student or a citizen of the EU/EEA to legally open a bank while staying in Munich.
  • In addition to residency, you will also need to provide your passport and proof of address (such as a lease agreement). If you are a student, you will need to provide documentation that validates your student status.
  • In addition to your bank account, you will want to ensure that you receive a EuroCheque Card that will enable you to obtain cash from ATM and other benefits.

Health Insurance

  • The health care system features a legal mandate for all citizens to possess either government sponsored or private health insurance.
  • If you intend to work or maintain a resident status in Munich, you are legally required to enrol in health insurance coverage.You can choose to use health insurance you already possess from home; however you will have to investigate whether or not your personal coverage meets German guidelines.
  • Health care benefits associated with the European Health Insurance Card are valid in Munich.
Useful Links:

Staying safe

  • Memorize emergency phone numbers and have them programmed into your cell phone.
  • The emergency number for the police (polizei) is 110 and for fire (feuerwehr) and ambulance (rettungswagen) services, 112.
  • Ensure you keep your valuables safe and concealed from view when in a crowded area, particularly when using public transport.
  • Being aware of your surroundings at all times is the best way to remain safe.
Useful Links:

Travelling Around

  • Munich’s Transport System (MVV) issues a standard ticket for all of its transportation options. Additionally, most public employees speak English, which can be helpful when traveling about the city.
  • A standard fare of €2.50 will grant you access to the U-Bahn, the S-Bahn, tram and bus. In order to more economically efficient, it is advisable to buy tickets in bulk. A set of 10 tickets (Streifenkarte) can be purchased for just €12.00 saving around 50% on single ticket prices.
  • Tickets can be purchased from automated teller machines that are readily available at numerous and convenient locations.
  • Taxis are another convenient and quite reasonably priced mode of transportation in Munich.
  • Munich is a cycle friendly city. Through Call-A-Bike you can rent bikes easily from virtually any location in Munch.
Useful Links:
If you want to read a more extended version of this summary, please click here