2 weeks New York, 253,773 steps, 680 stickers, 478 flyers, 45 Music Moments, 38 bagels with cream cheese, 19 lectures, 9 meetings, 8 records, 1 Starbucks coffee (it was an emergency!).

 

After an incredibly inspiring and intense time in New York, we’re safe and sound back in Berlin. From the 2nd to the 7th of December, we’ve participated in the STEP USA program of the German American Chamber of Commerce, which we’ve got sponsored by PwC.  Other aims of the trip was to collect a lot of feedback on Groovecat from an American market point of view, to find out if the Americans understand the concept of Music Moments and how much they’d like to capture them with Groovecat – (spoiler alert!)  they totally love it!

The week started off with a classic get-together in an Irish pub dishing up dirty food from Chicken Wings to Cheese Sticks – welcome to America. There we mingled with the other participants of the program over a beer or two. 
Meeting up at GACC’s office on the 24th floor with a view over Wall Street was the kickoff for what would be a 5 days marathon full of inputs in form of lectures, workshops on taxes and incorporations in the U.S., marketing, growth hacking and hundreds of other new ideas and impressions. Among otherswe visited German Accelerator, Dentons on the what felt like was the 100th floor and Ernst & Young. It was exciting to see how the American and German culture seem so similar yet different in the same time. While us here in Germany don’t like to point out our successes straight away, Americans consider: „If you have achieved something, brag about it! Otherwise, this is a missed chance!!“.

One of our highlights of the program, which GACC organized together with VentureOut, was the individual pitch training with different investors, who had an American eye on our pitch deck, and the following pitch night with around 100 guests. While in our home country the focus is more on rational reasoning, the financial plan and the business model, over there (surprise, surprise) it is (at first) much more about emotions and excitement for your own product. One thing that made pitching in the USA particularly easy was the fact that Americans know about the term  „Kodak moment„. A Kodak Moment, as they use it, is this „rare, one time, moment that is captured by a picture, or should have been captured by a picture„. One clever investor advised us „hey guys, simply say it’s a Kodak Moment plus music = Music Moment. Music Moments are the next big thing!!“ By using this simple comparison, literally everyone got our idea within seconds. Too bad this word isn’t a thing on the German market… If you have any hints, gladly bring it here!

Visiting the NY Tech Meet Up, the oldest Meet Up in NY, was another highlight, where we’ve listened to eight pitches exclusively by female entrepreneurs. What we liked most about it was the rule „no business model questions being asked“. The whole pitch event and Q&A really focused on the products, ideas and visions – something we miss  a little here in rational-driven Germany. Our favorite project was Shimmy, who are upskilling women from Bangladesh to prepare them for automation in the fashion industry.

Fortunately, we still had a few days before and after the boot camp. From Bushwick as our home base, we’ve covered the city with stickers and whenever we saw somebody listening to and feeling the music on their headphones, we saw it as an invitation to hand out our flyers. Whether in the Subway, in Central Park at Columbia University or in China Town, Groovecat really got around. What impressed us most was the openness and positive attitude  Americans carry towards any kind of project. Thanks to this enthusiasm, we’ve taken home so much motivation for the next steps with Groovecat.
Needless to say, we’ve also dived into the music scene. We’ve seen Andy Stott playing the Knockdown Centre, Bonobo at Output and DJ Skurge from Underground Resistance playing at a really special, old location in Bushwick, the Market Hotel. But to be honest, though New York is amazing – as far as nightlife culture is concerned, the scene doesn’t come close to Berlin. 8$ for a 0,33 canned beer? Tip not included. You can’t imagine how broke we are.
Thanks to everyone who made this trip and the mega experiences possible for us. PwC, GACC, VentureOut and shout-outs to the other startups GearRilla, AirGreets, LocalUp, LindaBra, IBI Systems, Labs.AI, Birdiematch that made our time in the program really interesting and unforgettable. We’ll be back.
As a little pre-Christmas gift, here are Groovecat’s favorite places in NYC:
The Ramen that totally blew Jakob’s mind: Mr. Taka in Manhattan
Our favorite music venue: The Market Hotel in Bushwick
Chill bar with NY-style overpriced beer but free to play Shuffleboard!!: George Washington Bar in Manhattan
Great lunch place: Cafe Mogador in Williamsburg
Amazing Record Store with incredible gems from Funk over Jazz to World Music: Rotten Island Records in Bushwick
Hell of a Burger, Markus said „the best burger I have ever eaten“: BK Jani in Bushwick
Great cinema for indie movies: Cineplex Odeon Cinemas in Greenwich Village, Manhattan
And ultimately secret rare tip for a cool basement Jazzbar true NY style go here:The 55 BarManhattan
DIY bar in Bushwick: Secret Project Robot