Lab-Fellows Portrait #6 | RCKT

No founders, but still Fellows.

The Urban Ideation Lab – the laboratory for the urban quarter of the future and heart of B-Part Am Gleisdreieck – has accepted three trainees from the RCKT agency to the Fellow Team. Their expertise in digitization and their commitment to strengthening the participation of the young generation in future issues of our society fit perfectly into the Urban Ideation Lab.

The RCKT Fellows seem atypical for the Urban Ideation Lab. Lara-Marie Nöh, Paula Alexander and Anna-Stephanie Gurt are not founders themselves, but full-time employees of RCKT. The former in-house agency of Rocket Internet went into business for itself in 2015 and operates as a communications agency with extensive networking in the start-up scene and a clear focus on digitalization.

The reason for their participation in the first Fellow Generation in the Urban Ideation Lab is due to their concrete contribution to the Lab: the TAKEpart workshop, which we have already reported on here. With the TAKEpart format and the “Pupils do the future” approach, the three trainees have laid down a genuine proof of concept, a concept that can also be used with completely different topics and target groups. Even after the end of the first Fellow Season, the RCKT trainees’ methodology is still part of the lab’s ideal inventory and can be used by future Fellows.

Let us introduce the three in-person: Lara-Marie Nöh studied social and business communication at the UdK Berlin, lived in the USA for one year and then started with an internship at RCKT. She is particularly committed to the social participation of young people in topics that are neglected at school, such as artificial intelligence (AI). Among other things, she is a member of the Grassroots-Thinktank Polis180.

After studying communication in England, Paula Alexander works as a graphic designer with an emphasis on interface design and prototyping. This knowledge also flowed directly into the TAKEpart workshop, for example, where the students proceeded quite differently than usual at school and develop their own apps – quite simply through practical experimentation and directly from their own experience.

Anna-Stephanie Gurt studied philosophy and art history in Mainz and then also started as an intern at RCKT. She is also very interested in strengthening the development opportunities of young people. For her, the #FridaysForFuture movement is a great example of what young people can achieve. Apart from the climate crisis, many young people learn at “Fridays” that they can achieve much more than most of them thought.

As their personal project-highlight at RCKT, the three trainees name the “Digital Hub Initiative” on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWi). The aim of the initiative is to strengthen digitization and Germany as a start-up location, which, by the way, does not only consist of the popular Berlin. To this end, a national digital ecosystem will be built up from twelve hubs with different competence clusters. In Hamburg, for example, the focus is on logistics because of the port, Berlin offers specializations in the field of “Internet of Things” (IoT) and Munich has accumulated mobility expertise. Overall, the strengths of the respective hubs and with thus the economic regions are bundled and promoted.

Lara, Paula, and Anna agree that such projects in Germany are absolutely desirable in order to strengthen the founding culture. Despite internationally renowned hubs such as Berlin’s startup scene, Germans still find it difficult to justify their decision in comparison to other countries. In Israel or the USA, for example, a completely different, more hands-on and less risk-averse entrepreneur mentality has developed. If more young people and students, in particular, were to be relieved of their fear of starting a business, much would already have been gained.

Although the three trainees of RCKT are not founders themselves, they are helping to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit and the digital location in Germany. And since they are so intensively involved with start-ups, we might one day be able to welcome the three of them back to our lab as fellows – and then as founders.