The Bothrs in Berlin 🚙

Last week the Bothrs-squad went on an amazing road trip to Berlin.

Our journey started very early on Monday with the Ghent locals gathering at the Watt Factory, after which we set course to Leuven to pick up Daan and Sidney. Or wait, the journey actually started on Sunday with Ruben picking up our ride and branding it!

Check out our epic van!

Since most of us have a severe case of FOMO and tend to read up on all the latest innovation trends hourly, lot’s of the spammy links tend to end up in a Slack channel without being read or being searchable. That’s why on the way to Berlin we decided to have a one day design sprint or hackathon to create an exobrain for all our inspiration. Thanks to Thomas’ amazing development skills, we ended up with a fully searchable prototype that was even connected to a Google Assistant!

Upon arrival we immediately checked-in to our incredible Airbnb and grandpa Chris started prepping a delicious dinner. We had good laughs, shared some drinks and went to bed early to be ready for the Chatbot Summit, the reason we decided to go to Berlin in the first place.

Tuesday morning started with a time-timer session and a nice breakfast, after which we set course towards the conference hall. We attended some interesting keynote presentations and workshops (shoutout to Florian Nägele from Helvetia!), after which the Botfathers (Gil & Stef) and the Vlerick-boys (Daan & Ruben) had an intriguing intermezzo at the AJ&S offices. Jonathan and Laura gave us a warm welcome and shared some amazing insights in their typical no-nonsense style.

Visiting AJ&Smart, check out Stef being a total goofball

Tuesday ended with another cosy dinner and the necessary dose of beers with peers. Everyone got their 15 minutes of fame and we all shared interesting businesses and concepts with each other. Some of which we tried out the next day, like professor Cialdini’s principles of persuasion. A try-out for our coming Beers with Peers if you wish. Most Bothrs were so  stayed up until 4AM to discuss world problems.

Nevertheless, everyone got up on time and Wednesday for the second day of the Chatbot Summit. We had our own booth and although we didn’t have 6 iMacs or a bunch of throw away goodies, we stood out from the crowd thanks to a great team effort! Our service approach turned out to be a welcome relief in the midst of all platform providers attending the fair.

After a little after party to celebrate how wonderful life can be (what a weird night!), we left for Belgium early in the morning. Or at least that’s we planned. But time-timers didn’t work this time (sorry Ruben). Even after 3 hours of sleep, most of us started prototyping websites, thinking about business concepts or looked for the finest drones to start selling them online, the entire way home. After all, sleep is for the weak right? ;)

We got stuck in an elevator, had multiple laser shooting contests, drove for over 20 hours in total, prepared fancy hipster tea, shared dinner and numerous beers. But most important we became more than co-workers, we bonded and became friends. And that’s exactly what we want to achieve at Bothrs. Create a community of like-minded people that want to hang out together outside the 9 to 5 hours!