The idea for the Hundert comes from Jan Thomas – our publisher and founder. 5 years ago he moved from Frankfurt to Berlin to do a “big online thing” (like many others who came here). With his traditional marketing background, he didn’t know anything about startups and didn’t have any contacts in the startup scene. What he did have however, was a very strong interest in the startup scene. So he started to write about it on his small blog called “Berlin Valley”. While writing, analyzing and reading other blogs and media, he learned very quickly how the scene works, what its problems and needs are. As a blogger he was invited to all possible events, where he could meet a lot of people and collect their business cards. After a year he had a large pile of cards lying on his table and Jan began wondering, how he could use all of his new contacts on his blog. First idea – ask the ten most important players he knew to write their statement on the Berlin startup scene. It should be simple but interesting. Yet he struggled to narrow the group down to ten, so broadened the number of participants to fifty. But if fifty was possible, so was a hundred- the concept of the Hundert began to take shape. The question was, how to convince the most important minds in the Berlin startup scene to write a text for a guy who no one knew? The answer: give them a high quality platform – a real magazine. And from this crazy idea the Hundert Vol. 1 originated in October 2013. Everybody pleasantly surprised to witness the first printed magazine addressed to and talking about the Berlin startup scene. Since then 10 issues of the Hundert have been released, with currently 2-4 editions a year.
Print magazine for the digital scene
The Hundert is a totally independent magazine, breaking the market rules. Its main concept is to paint a picture of the Berlin startup scene, which is dominated by online businesses. Big Data, Online Marketing, E-commerce, FinTech – all these fields have a very strong innovative approach and mostly exist online. We took a risk and developed a print magazine about them. We know it sounds bizarre, but as we noticed, digital entrepreneurs enjoy print products just as much as other “normal” people.
High quality magazine for free
If you imagine a free magazine, what do you see? Probably something similar to EinkaufAktuell – thin paper, the whole space printed, bad design etc. The Hundert is the total opposite! Our role model was actually brand eins. A real high was Jan Beckers (CEO of Hitfox Group and one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs in Berlin) declaring, that “The Hundert is becoming the brand eins for the German startup scene.”
But how is it actually possible to produce a high quality (expensive) print magazine and then distribute it for free? There are 2 factors: we have fantastic sponsors (with KPMG, Weberbank and City Berlin at the forefront), that have been supporting us since the first issue, and our main motivation is to make a beautiful, one of a kind product, putting the quality- not the financial profit!- first..
We’re really happy to put our focus on top entrepreneurs and see from one issue to another how successful they become. Our mission is that as many people as possible should get to know them and so we see ourselves as promoters of the startup community. We try to help in getting funding, acquire new customers or team members, and of course to attract attention to the startups and help them build a good reputation and become well known. That’s why we send the magazines to investors, big companies, journalists, co-working spaces and event partners (also for free). Many of them collect the magazines, put them in office foyers or take them as a present for entrepreneurs in other ecosystems.
Each issue = surprise
The Hundert is a monothematic magazine – we always present one hundred startup related stories. Nevertheless each issue has a different concept, which should surprise the readers, be a work of art and also provide added value. So in our previous issues we asked one hundred international entrepreneurs living in Berlin to give us their tips on the Berlin startup ecosystem (issue 3 “connecting the dots”), then we presented fifty cooperations between startups (50) and established companies (50) (issue 5 “old meets new”) and most recently we photographed one hundred young startups in one hundred locations all around the city. The most crazy concept? Issue 4 “Startups meet Fashion”: we photographed one hundred startup entrepreneurs in outfits from one hundred Berlin fashion designers. And – we did this issue with one hundred different covers!
The most exciting and important part of the Hundert are the photos. We organize all photo shoots ourselves and work with up and coming photographers, who get the opportunity to work in a one of a kind print project and make it special together with us. The magazine is often a stepping stone for them and brings a lot of new contacts and inspiration, after meeting so many interesting people. Unusual photos and the high quality format makes the Hundert a coffee table book, that you open and look through many times and rediscover over it again and again.
Additionally, we celebrate every new issue with a release party. We invite all the startups of the issue, investors, our partners and multipliers. Just as every issue is a surprise for the readers, the party always takes place in a different, special location. The only constant – there has to be an open bar. So far we have hosted at the Journalist Club (19th floor of the headquarter of Axel Springer), Soho House – main meeting point of the scene’s elite, Neue Heimat – crossover between cult club and market hall, and last time we celebrated in our new office space in Gustav-Meyer-Allee, where the Embassy – a meeting point for bloggers, startups and political representatives – is emerging.
NKF Media GmbH
030 46 777 252