C*SPACE LAB for Social and Creative Entrepreneurship – Overview 2023

Author Elsa Rousson
Published January 2024
Location Berlin Weißensee
C*SPACE LAB for Social and Creative Entrepreneurship

As entrepreneurs, we want to address the challenges of our times. However, we consistently encounter obstacles in fulfilling our mission to create a better society. The C*SPACE LAB program is designed to assist social and creative entrepreneurs on their journey to develop sustainable, impactful, and innovative projects.

Thanks to the support from the German Ministry of Economics and Climate Action within the framework of the REACT with IMPACT project, C*SPACE Berlin has been able to provide a range of competence and network-building events, ranging from brief inspirational talks, networking evenings, and in-depth half-day workshops.

The final event on the topic of Digital Sovereignty has been rescheduled to March 2024 –  we invite you to join it, additional details can be found on our Eventbrite page.

As you scroll down, you’ll discover reviews and photos capturing the essence of our past gatherings for learning, networking, exchanging ideas, and prototyping for the future we aim to create.


“Entrepreneurship is an attitude, a manifestation of people’s initiative, and not an industry sector”

On September 26th, 2023, our Kick-Off event brought together over 40 passionate social entrepreneurs, creatives, and stakeholders to ignite ideas and foster connections.

It started with the keynote speeches from the representatives of the Berlin Social Economy Net addressing current trends, facts, and visions. They emphasized the importance of establishing a political and funding framework to support the growth of this emerging “sector.” We were honored to host Afra Gloria Müller from SEND – Social Entrepreneurship Netzwerk Deutschland, Heike Birkhölzer, Founder of Graefewirtschaft GmbH from Tech Net Berlin, and Nadine Thomas from Pankow Wirtschaftsförderung.

Later, network partners introduced their projects and social businesses in short pitches. We could count on the presence of:

  • Eco-entrepreneurs Jan Kratochvil & Marek Brincil, Founders of WINQS: Changing the conventional sports industry,
  • Mike Romig and Alex Rupp, co-owners of Purpose + Motion: supporting game changers to transition towards a healthier, more meaningful, regenerative world,
  • Tao Haiyue, creative entrepreneur & designer, founder of normal.normal, concept store: Bring beauty & simplicity to ordinary life
  • Anna Poeschel, communication consultant, founder of the Women’s Society Berlin: Giving circle empowering and supporting women and girls
  • Jack Becher, co-founder of Foundations Earth: Finding new ways to respond inclusively and effectively to planetary-scale problems
  • Miguel Encarnacion, Managing Partner at Unifier Ventures: How to impact as an investor

The afternoon unfolded with inventive ideas in the inspiring art space of C*SPACE. Coaches Alex Rupp (P+M) and Christian Schlimok (Novamondo) facilitated a co-creation workshop using drawings and symbols, generating excitement as participants explored connections and patterns in the room.

The evening concluded with an open networking session, accompanied by delicious recipes from the RESTLOS GLÜCKLICH team. They conducted a cooking workshop in the C*SPACE kitchen, fostering a delightful blend of learning and interaction.

In summary, the presence of not only a significant portion of participants from art and creative fields but also the abundance of artistic vibes at the C*SPACE location reaffirmed the potential at the intersection of social economy and the arts.

C*SPACE LAB for Social and Creative Entrepreneurship Kick-off evening attendees
Afra Gloria Müller from SEND – Social Entrepreneurship Netzwerk Deutschland
Nadine Thomas, district consultant at Pankow Wirtschaftsförderung and Katja Hellkoeter, co-founder of C*SPACE Berlin
Heike Birkhölzer, Founder of Graefewirtschaft GmbH from Tech Net Berlin and Katja Hellkoeter
Co-creation competence workshop moderated by Alex Rupp and Christian Schlimok
Painted ideas & inspirations in the calligraphy room of C*SPACE
Enlightened ideas in C*SPACE art space
Introduction pitches from network partners
Cooking workshop with RESTLOS GLÜCKLICH team and C*LAB attendees
Creative recipes buffet with saved food

C*LAB #2: SALON “Entrepreneurship as an Attitude” (Teahouse Talk with Prof. Faltin), 14/10/2023

“Yes, we have the chance to create a better world. More loving, more sensitive than it had ever been possible before. But we have to do it ourselves, get in the ring ourselves, do it ourselves. Let’s get active. As self-confident entrepreneurs, frugal but sustainable. More modest in terms of resource consumption. Demanding what a happy life is all about.” (2023 Summit Statement, Günter Faltin)

On October 14th, 2023, a week before the annual Entrepreneurship Summit, we had the privilege of hosting the summit initiator, Prof. Dr. Günter Faltin, at C*SPACE. With 23 participants in attendance, the afternoon was brimming with inspiring conversations and exchanges centered around the topic of “Entrepreneurship as an Attitude.”

As the founder of Teekampagne (Projektwerkstatt GmbH), renowned as the largest importer of Darjeeling Teas since its establishment in the mid-80s, Prof. Dr. Günter Faltin was in charge of this special occasion of our C*SPACE Pop-Up Teahouse.

While offering the guests a variety of black and green Darjeeling and Assam teas, Günter Faltin shared his reflections on his remarkable life experiences, ideas, and thought concepts. Notably, he championed the ethos of learning by doing, recounting how he was the first university professor in Germany in the mid-80s to ‘disrupt’ traditional university systems to enable the foundation of companies as applied academic course projects.

As a pioneer in entrepreneurship education, Faltin reshaped the concept of “business competence,” redefining it not as business administration but as entrepreneurship seen as a creative act. In this context, entrepreneurial design emerged as the paramount capacity and success factor for founders vs having a large capital. This core concept is central to his book “Brains vs Capital: Entrepreneurship for Everyone” (2018). Our conversation also delved into another key idea of his – an “economy of the many” versus an “economy from above,” introducing new players, diverse values, and fresh perspectives.

Professor Faltin left the guests with some insightful takeaways and encouraging tips, including the following: “Take initiative yourself and showcase alternatives! Demonstrate that there is life beyond the confines of the dull and restrictive systems we live in! This embodies the entrepreneurial attitude!”

The discussion was facilitated by Katja Hellkoetter, co-founder of C*SPACE, who herself embarked on the journey of a creative entrepreneur in 2009. This decision led her to establish her first company, CONSTELLATIONS International Shanghai, in collaboration with Magali Menant.

“Entrepreneurship as an attitude” Teahouse Talk with Prof. Faltin
Katja Hellkoetter, C*SPACE co-founder and Professor Günter Faltin, pioneer in entrepreneurship education
Open mic’ for questions and exchanges
Group discussion, networking and inspiration
Sharing entrepreneurship stories and definitions
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” said ancient Chinese sage Confucius
Rainbow of hope for a bright future

C*LAB #3: COMPETENCE WORKSHOP “Finance Modelling” + EVENING SALON “Launch of Women Society Berlin”, 13/11/2023

Developing your financial plan or securing funding for a cause you are passionate about are vital tasks, though not always seen as attractive. These are aspects that every entrepreneur must consider when bringing their ideas to life. The 3rd “C* LAB for Social and Creative Entrepreneurship,” held on November 13th, 2023, looked closer into these aspects with a focus on two learning themes: small-scale philanthropy and financial modeling.

The evening salon provided space to launch of Women’s Society Berlin, a philanthropic initiative founded by Anna Poeschel, a member of the C*SPACE coworking community. Its mission is supporting non-profit organizations and projects dedicated to advancing gender equality through fundraising. During that evening, over 24 participants actively shared knowledge, contacts, solidarity, motivation, as well as financial support to the initiatives presented.

To open the presentation round, Dr. Stefanie Elies, Department Head and Gender Coordinator at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Berlin, delivered a keynote address on the role of gender equality as a catalyst for social-ecological transformation processes.

Later, two impactful gender inclusion initiatives have been showcased :

  • FAIR SHARE of Women Leaders, led by founder Helene Wolf and co-managing director Lisa Tatu Hey. The association advocates for increased representation of women in leadership positions and the promotion of a feminist leadership culture within civil society organizations.
  • Pro Quote Bühne, a growing collective of theater professionals in Germany committed to promoting equal and diverse casting. The presentation was given by France-Elena Damian, Eva Jankowski, and Helena Kontoudakis.

Both organizations focus on sectors where external moral standards are high, yet internal patriarchal structures, particularly in leadership, persist. A key takeaway from the evening was the recognition that relationships and solidarity serve as equally important sources of intangible “capital.”

The afternoon featured another educational session, led by former banker and Impact Hub Berlin coach, Julian Preibsch. In his workshop on financial modeling, 15 participants collaborated on refining their business plan ideas. The focus was on the essential step preceding any financial plan: cultivating awareness and transparently documenting all costs that arise in the process of establishing and operating a business.

Anna Poeschel, founder of Women’s Society Berlin, Lisa Tatu Hey, co-Executive Director at FAIR SHARE and Helene founded FAIR SHARE
Katja Hellkoetter, co-founder of C*SPACE and Dr. Stefanie Elies, Department Head and Gender Coordinator at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Berlin
Helena Kontoudakis and Eva Jankowski from Pro Quote Bühne – collective of theater professionals committed to promoting equal and diverse casting
Keynote speech from Dr. Stefanie Elies about gender equality as a catalyst for social-ecological transformation processes
Competence workshop with Julian Preibsch, former banker and Impact Hub Berlin coach
“Finance modeling” hands-on workshop in C*SPACE work space

C*LAB #4: EVENING SALON “IMPACT with seekicks” & COOKING WORKSHOP, 07/12/2023

This issue of the C*LAB was dedicated to exploring the impact and potential of creativity, art and design as a tremendous force to show and find new approaches to the challenges we face today.

On December 7th, 2023, we welcomed more than 40 creative minds, entrepreneurs, artists and business people at the occasion of a collaborative evening salon with seekicks, an experimental platform for new qualities of innovation and entrepreneurship at weißensee school of art and design.

Prof. Britta M. Gossel, HNE at Fachhochschule Eberswalde – University for Sustainable Development gave an impulse speech by talking about entrepreneurship in the context of complexity, and demystifying key terms around impact.

Later on, creative founders shared their initiatives, such as:

  • tara, a startup project offering a fair, sustainable and social supply chain service in the home décor and home textiles sector, represented by Martin Christoph Preis and Kabilan Thavachelvan.
  • Urban Fibers, a sustainable textile studio based in Berlin, designing new yarns and textiles from locally rescued garments, with the co-founders Vera Castelijns and Tau Rocio Pibernat.
  • Studio Jumi, 2 young textile artists with a professionally equipped waving studio in Berlin Köpenick, moving between art, craft and design.
  • Eva Randelzhofer, artist and curator, experienced in social, educational and political contexts.

The lively discussion space was complemented by the vibrant community kitchen: GUTEmission, a Berlin-based initiative led by women who escaped the war in Ukraine, organized a wareniki workshop and offered tasty snacks for all the guests.

This gathering reminded us how it feels to work and act together locally, while still integrating ideas from global learnings. The collaboration between C*SPACE, Seekicks and beyond is a perfect example of how to combine forces to make a real impact in the world. It’s truly a gratifying moment to be part of a community where diverse contributions matter. We couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion to the year 2023!

C*LAB attendees, including Maria Fallada, freelance artist and C*SPACE team member
Prof. Britta M. Gossel, HNE at Fachhochschule Eberswalde – University for Sustainable Development
Martin Christoph Preis and Kabilan Thavachelvan, team members of the strat-up project tara
Vera Castelijns, co-founder of sustainable textile studio: Urban Fibers
Julia Buntzel and Miriam Gronwald, textile artists, founders of Studio Jumi
Eva Randelzhofer, artist and curator experienced in social, educational and political contexts
Anastasia Zagorni, program manager at seekicks, and GUTEmission representant, vibrant kitchen community
Cooking workshop in C*SPACE kitchen with C*LAB participants and GUTEmission members
Buffet tasting in C*SPACE loft space

C*LAB #5: COMPETENCE WORKSHOP “Digitale Soveränität”, March 2024 – coming!

The last event of the series is scheduled for March 2024. Date to be announced soon!

Benjamin Orgis, co-founder of 101LAB / Agentur für digitale Transformation, will impart his insights on “Digital Sovereignty for Social Entrepreneurs – Why Open Source is Your Friend and Big Tech is Not.” This session will serve as an introduction to the concepts of data sovereignty and open-source software, with connections to data protection and the unique position of nonprofit and purpose-driven organizations.

Stay tuned for more details on our social media channels:


Katze learning about how to become an entrepreneur

As a final word, we are delighted to see the resonance generated by the C*SPACE LAB! This pilot experience of networking, peer learning, and competence workshop events, the program has proven to be a success.

If you have joined any of the C*LAB gatherings, please share your feedback here.

If you have any suggestions/ideas for a new program, contact us at info@c-space.eu

Organizers: C*SPACE Team Katja Hellkoetter, Jan Siefke, Annette Heimann and Elsa Rousson