From TechStars in Kendall Square to the Middle of Mitte

Halley Suitt Tucker, one of the official bloggers for this year's conference, on why cities are important to our stories - even in the post-digital age.

Halley Suitt Tucker is an official blogger at this year’s NEXT Berlin, and blogs at Halley’s Comment and Libboo

A week before Demo Day here at TechStars Boston in Kendall Square and I’m solidly in love with our gang of 12 start-ups, including my e-publishing start-up, Libboo, but also infatuated with what’s going on in Berlin and can’t wait to be there for the NextBerlin conference.  Yes, I can finally say it, NextBerlin is NEXT WEEK!   And I can’t wait to get there and test out SoundCloud co-founder, Alex Ljung’s theory, “We don’t really live in a country.  We live on the Internet.  The idea of countries is secondary.”

But maybe cities are not secondary.  And as for innovations in printing and books, I start my trip by flying to Frankfurt (not far from Mainz where Gutenberg printed his bible and invented moveable type) then visit friends in Alsfeld on the fairy-tale route where you can see a statue of the famous Grimm Brothers’ Rotkäppchen (Little Red Riding Hood) — and those guys were the original storytelling innovators.  From here we take the train to Berlin where Techcrunch says this week, “There is a chapter in the history of technology startups, or perhaps more a book, that will be dedicated to Berlin,” then reports on The Factory, a new building dedicated to start-ups.  (Also check out Henrik Berggren’s quick demo of ReadMill on Techcrunch here.)

So I hope to finish up my visit to Berlin with a lot of stories about innovators and why that city is a great place to build companies.  Feel free to leave some comments about any start-ups you think I shouldn’t miss.