• Germany's news in English

Berlin event hosting start-up goes global

The Local · 17 Aug 2012, 12:19

Published: 17 Aug 2012 12:19 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Founded by Dutch brothers Edial and Floris Dekker, and Austrian Philipp Wassibauer, in Berlin last year, Gidsy – which comes from the Dutch for to guide - provides users with a platform to host and attend relatively small-scale activities and events in their city.

These range from photography workshops and DIY tutorials to cooking classes and alternative walking tours. Users can post whatever event they like, providing it falls within the Gidsy guidelines – “anything that implies or is explicitly sexual in nature, is not allowed,” community manager Katie Needs told The Local.

Helped along by $1.2 million in seed investment from a handful of powerful investors including Hollywood heartthrob Ashton Kutcher, Gidsy initially only operated in a handful of big cities.

But Thursday's global launch is set to change this. Co-founder Floris Dekker hopes to “provide people in smaller towns and cities with somewhere to find interesting things to do,” he told The Local.

The idea is “to encourage cultural diversity, give locals the chance to offer their skills and tourists more to do than a tour bus.” The platform is open to everyone, he added, from senior citizens right down to (supervised) children.

“Some people are even making a living from running classes,” said 26-year-old Dekker. There is an ex-policeman based in Amsterdam's red light district doing very well showing groups around and regaling them with sordid tales from his time on the beat.

Community manager Needs has been helping drive the company's expansion away from big cities - such as San Francisco and Paris - into more rural areas by launching an ambassador programme, which saw interest from potential Gidsy representatives from more than 60 countries.

“Users can see events as soon as they go online – there's no waiting around for an updated version of a guidebook,” Dekker said.

Kutcher, who had already invested in successful Berlin start-up SoundCloud, is known to have a soft spot for the city and has been spotted in the area several times but has not attended a Gidsy-run event.

Jessica Ware

Story continues below…



The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

21:38 August 20, 2012 by grazhdanin
I think a direct link would not have been a bad idea, but no problem, users are smart enough to find it themselves
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd