Early November 2020, just as we started the second lockdown in Germany, Max Kersting and I sat down for a video call to talk about an idea he’s been working on for over three years as a patient and for one year as a co-founder: Regimen — a science-first health programme that empowers men to take care of their erections.

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Photo credit: Kate Kalvach

Still considered a taboo topic, 1 in 10 men is estimated to have Erectile Dysfunction (ED) at some point in their life. ED is a major predictor of many other types of diseases and the underlying issues can be devastating for patients and costly for them and their insurances. …


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Thanks to your amazing reactions to our list of sustainable apps, we have decided to do the same with our favourite digital health products. Digital health has been a topic that we, as a design company, have been interested in from day one. We’ve had the opportunity to work with Berlin-based startups like Lykon, Mimi Hearing and careship to challenge assumptions, iterate on ideas and build beautiful, user-centred interfaces. Being active in the digital health space, however, makes our standards a lot higher as users of these products ourselves. …


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Jon Derman Harris and Johanna Gmelin. Photo Credit: AMORELIE

Product designer Jon Derman Harris and his team’s mission was to give same-sex couples the opportunity to enter previously unknown territories of simultaneous stimulation. Harris, a Stanford graduate, has been living in Berlin over the last three years and designing sex toys at Germany’s most lovable startup. Screen Shot met him at a riverside café on a sunny Berlin afternoon, with a box full of spacey sex toys and exclusive behind the scenes insights on building a revolutionary sex toy collection from start to finish.

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The Big Dipper. Photo Credit: AMORELIE

What effect would you like this line of toys to have on the greater sex tech industry?

After the launch of Constellations, I looked up for a second and realised how groundbreaking it is to have created a completely gender-neutral brand of sex toys. In the future, I hope that products like these continue to push the industry to be adamantly inclusive of people who identify as men, women, gender-queer, trans, gay, lesbian and whatever descriptors people want to rock. …


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The Venture Design Edition of Product Crunch

Do you want to start an event series? Are you working in a niche space and want to expand your network? Or maybe, like us, you’re a design studio that wants to tap into their local community and amplify topics you’re passionate about. Regardless of who you are or what you’re trying to achieve, starting a meetup or event series is a lot of work. That said, it’s also the best way to connect with people, reach a broader network and make new friends and business partners.

This article will highlight what we’ve learnt the past five years creating and growing the Product Crunch design community in Berlin and Munich and provide you with some tips & tricks on how to kickstart your own meetup series. …


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In an effort to live more sustainable lives, many of us are making changes, big and small, to the way we eat, move, and consume. It’s exciting to see a growing number of startups and digital products emerge around the topic of sustainability and that make use of social innovation and design to come up with new and exciting ways for us all to live a greener lifestyle. Without further ado, here is a list of digital startups and sustainable apps that are only a click away from making your life a little greener:

Toogoodtogo — a mobile application combating food waste

A few months ago, Franziska Lienert from TooGoodToGo spoke at our Future Food-themed Product Crunch event, and we’ve been fans ever since! TooGoodToGo is an app that connects users with unused food from restaurants in their area. The restaurants add their unsold food to the app, and customers can see the local food spots around them and pick up their meal on their way home. Yummy snacks that save the planet at a fraction of the price, so it’s good for your wallet too! …


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On a rainy April day, I had the honour of interviewing Eirini Rapti, the founder and CEO of femtech startup inne — a hormone-based mini lab for women. Despite us being complete strangers, separated by two screens and a few thousand kilometres, the connection was instant and what started as a classical interview quickly became an in-depth conversation about life, product design, and everything in between.

Over the last four years Erini, a healthcare professional gone entrepreneur has grown a diverse Berlin-based team that successfully launched their first product a few weeks ago. More than just a natural contraceptive method, inne is a radical self-knowledge tool for all the phases in a woman’s life. Since founding the company in 2016, Eirini has made the conscious effort to hire both designers and scientists to create a science-based product that is truly delightful for users. …


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Image courtesy of Dainis Graveris

It’s already clear that digital sextech companies (ranging from educational platforms, to sexual wellness apps, to online toy shops) have seen a surge in sales, clicks, and downloads over the past few weeks. The industry has been on an upward trajectory with over 30% annual growth, and the clearly noticeable extra activity can be directly linked to the current period of social isolation.

To quote Dominnique Karetos, CEO of Healthy Pleasure Collective, an end-to-end incubator and agency for sex tech startups: “The age-old adage that ‘sex is recession-proof’ is not us as an industry boasting that we can literally ride out anything, but evidence, that this is where you should be investing right now!”


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Even though many things have come to a halt right now, your tax return deadline hasn’t. It is one of those mundane tasks that tends to get pushed out until the very last minute, however at some point it just has to be done. So, what better time than a lockdown to sit down and finish them off in one go? Without wasting another minute, here’s a list of TaxTech startups, who can help make your next tax session a breeze.

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TaxfixBerlin-based Taxfix, founded in 2016, currently has a team of 100 employees and provides a desktop and mobile solution for the preparation of tax returns. By answering a list of their questions and taking a picture of your annual payslip, you can file your taxes within a time frame of around 20 minutes. A few weeks later, you’ll receive your tax return assessment and your money back — the average refund is €1,007. This efficient little tax tool is free of charge until you submit the taxes, making it easy to try and see if it truly is your cup of tea. …


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Illustration by Aneliya Kyurkchiyska

Slowly but surely, FemTech products and services are entering mainstream media. It is exciting to see how young entrepreneurs are taking previously taboo topics and making them accessible to a wide range of audiences. As a design firm, we’re especially excited to see how these startups are putting in the extra time and resources necessary to think holistically about their products and invest in design — and designers early on. Following is a list of our current favourites:

Daye — À la Cannabis Tampons

After recently acquiring €5.5 million in funding, Daye is one of the hotshots on the market right now. The team at Daye makes CBD infused tampons, and their organic, pharmaceutical-grade products promise to ease menstrual pains and to “close the gender pain gap.” They take design very seriously, which makes them stand out from the crowd. This design-driven approach can be seen in their pristine packaging, their welcoming website, and carefully curated newsletter. This online gem, full of content is worth subscribing to, especially if you live in a city like Berlin, where they, unfortunately, don’t deliver to yet. …


If you’ve spent even an hour in Berlin, the chances are quite high that you’ve heard the words: Venture Capital. Berlin is Europe’s startup capital for more than a few reasons. Here, you’re in the centre of Europe, with every other main European hub no more than a 2-hour flight away. What’s more, founders have access to premier, international talent in Berlin, with many of Europe’s best tech, design and business schools nearby. But most importantly, there’s money here: Berlin is ranked Europe’s 2nd, behind London, for number of venture deals.

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Claude Ritter (Cavalry Ventures) speaking about why design-led teams get funded

On Thursday, January 23rd we gathered at our Berlin studio for three first-hand accounts from venture builders who know what it’s like to build companies in Europe and around the world, acquire venture capital, and create digital products from scratch. …

About

Monica Ray Scott

Writing about design-driven innovation in corporates, startups and everything in between.

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