From Berlin to Warsaw, first steps into helping positive startups.

Last year in Berlin, I met with Katarzyna at a festival around innovation and startups with positive impact.

It’s the first day of the “SenseCamp”, and I’m animating a session to help participants who are interested, to understand how any of them can bring positive change to their city and country.

We’re 15 people and I ask everybody about their interests and what brought them to my session. 
Katarzyna, a 24 years old polish girl, tells me she’s passionate about innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. She is new to the concept of social business and likes the fact that startups can be created not only for money but to bring a positive change. After a few years studying law in Maastricht, she wants to go back to Warsaw and develop the ecosystem there.

Back in Poland, she organizes 4 MakeSense “SenseDrinks” to get people together and see who could be interested in helping. Joined by Anna, Clement, Shanthuru, Steve and many others, she organizes brainstorming sessions, using the methodology created by MakeSense volunteers, to allow anyone to help local positive startups.

MakeSense brainstorming — the Hold-Up of ideas — for Asante Bamboo Bikes

One of them, called Asante Bamboo Bikes, upcycles bamboos into bike frames produced in Ghana. The local community is trained to develop skills for this job and earns a decent wage. In addition to this, each bike sale provides a scholarship for a person in the Asante region.

Asante Bamboo Bikes — The product, the workshop

Another project, The Jillion, raises money for social projects. Instead of regular crowdfunding, contributors can put on auction their skills 
(e.g. teaching yoga or cooking dinner, making jewelry) or bid in an auction and buy one of the rewards. In this way, anybody can support causes and projects that matters to them, even the ones with the smallest income.

This project is an example of how innovative positive startups have to be. Most of the time, they need to imagine ways to generate revenues that are different to selling products of services to their beneficiaries.

To reach more people who might be interested in innovative business models; she’s launching with Clement the first ever MKS Room in Poland: a show mixing live music to interviews of startup-ers.

Some of them will include, Marcin Bruszewski, one of the Forbes 30 under 30 lists of social business entrepreneurs, Jacek Siadkowski, a gamification design expert and president of H/i foundation who implemented the biggest gamification experiences in the social sector and Agnieszka Osytek, who created services to eliminate communication barriers between hearing people and deaf ones.

So in case you’re curious, join Katarzyna and Clement on Wednesday, January 27th for a good load of live music, inspiring conversations, and crazy guests speaking about their business projects to change the world!

More information about the program and event here!

Chloe joined MakeSense in 2013 and is working with Elsa, Mamba, Lorena, Rachel, Solène and Ben on developing the MakeSense Gang of volunteers 
to help positive startups all around the world.

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