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Renewable Solar PowerI do 100% believe in the energy supply of our future being all renewable and would have started a business in the (renewable) energy sector long ago, If I wasn’t totally committed to drive the #BeerRevolution forward. This “Energy is the new internet” article on Techcrunch is a great wake-up call to entrepreneurs showing some of the massive opportunities ahead. If you don’t prepare for a future with decentralized, renewable energy powering homes, businesses and self driving autonomous electric vehicles, you are definitely not prepared for the future ahead! There are as many nay-sayers, fossil-heads and nuclear believers today, as there were print-media lobbyists and brick and mortar believers 20 years ago and look at the ashes of their remains today. If you don’t believe the skeptics, but put your full force behind the energy revolution taking place right now and execute well, you can start building a future world leader in that exciting new sector from your garage starting today.

I don’t blog often, so what gets me to put this opinion piece up, that got nothing to do with beer? Every here and then I happen to discuss this topic with friends and acquaintances and people are usually just surprised about my passion for renewables as I am surprised to see how few people are aware of this massive opportunity ahead of us. Being born and raised German I always assumed solar must be much bigger elsewhere until I left Germany for sunnier destinations and realized, that my home country was by far the biggest solar market worldwide!

Since 2001 I’m invested in some wind and solar projects through the GLS bank (a visionary german cooperative bank focused on sustainability and ethics, led by my uncle Thomas Jorberg, who already drove around in electric vehicles 20 years ago), but I never managed to start a business of my own in the category.

In 2012 a friend acquired online rights to the incredible 2010 ‘The 4th revolution – EnergyAutonomy” movie, that featured Elon Musk, Hermann Scheer, Muhammad Yunus, and gives a convincing vision of a full switch to a renewable future for the whole world. We started conceptualizing the worldwide free online launch in the style of a grassroots campaign based on the mechanisms successfully demonstrated by the Kony 2012 campaign a few months prior to that. But my focus changed, no international approach was chosen and the ‘free’ donation based release never got traction, even though 90% of the video material was ready for international viewers, using a new speaker. Despite repeatedly attending the Clean Power Africa show at the African Utility Week, my focus changed onto my Beerhouse venture, where electricity only plays a role to serve the beer chilled down to the perfect drinking temperature. While living in Germany with the deregulated electricity market I always switched to an all-renewable-supplier like EWS-Schönau, but customers in monopolized markets like South Africa need need to build their own supply. I hope to soon use the solar crowdfunding platform The Sun Exchange, whose pitch won best of show award at Finance Indaba 2016, just before I spoke about equity crowdfunding to fund the solar installations that I hope to soon build on top of the roofs of my three current Beerhouse outlets and serve more solar cooled beers, as we open more branches around the country…

And how fitting is this song from the soundtrack? ‘Have you ever?‘ by Bukahara Trio! Lyrics below the video.

Have you ever heard about the book I read,
the book about a man who was thinking ahead.
Have you ever heard about the movie I saw,
a movie ’bout the people who open the door.
A movie ’bout the people who open the door.
Have you ever heard about the guy who came,
to tell me about the man who tried to change the game.
Have you ever heard about the girl I knew,
when there she said to me this man could be you.
When there she said to me this man could be you.
She said:
You’re not the only one who feels this way.
‘Cause there are so many people like you.
Oh she said:
You’re not the only one try to live this way behind.
‘Cause there are so many people like you.
Have you ever thought about the life you live,
a life in which you have so much to give.
Have you ever thought about the way you exist,
the way that only told you how to resist.
A way that only told you how to resist.
Oh she said:
You’re not the only one who feels this way.
‘Cause there are so many people like you.
Oh she said:
‘Cause there are so many people like you.
Bridge
Have you ever thought about the people,
who say that there is only one right way.
Have you ever thought about how it would be,
if we were the majority.
If we were the majority.
Oh she said:
You’re not the only one who feels this way.
‘Cause there are so many people like you.
Yeah down… oh she said:
You’re not the only one who tried to live this way behind.
Yeah. ‘Cause there are so many people like you.
Oh she said:
You’re not the only one who feels this way.
‘Cause there are so many people like you.
And she said:
You’re not the only one who tried to live this way behind. Yeah.
‘Cause there are so many people like you.
Yeah she said:
There are so many people like you.
Yeah… oh she said:
There are so many people like you.
Oh she said:
There are so many people like you

Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 KenyaMore than 1500 entrepreneurs and policy makers from all(!) over the world flocked to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya, from July 24th-26th. Due to my affiliation with the Ampion Venture Bus, I was privileged to be invited to represent Beerhouse and Springlab at this mega-event, hosted and (except flights) fully paid for by the US Government and sponsors.

The event was attended by US President Barack Obama, and several other well known figures and celebrities, amongst them Akon, Shark Tank judges, Miss Americas, etc. But first and foremost it was entrepreneurs from all stages of growth, self-made billionaires meeting rural farmers from Africa. Without knowing stats, I’d guess, that half of the audience was US American and Kenyan, while the rest of us were coming from all corners of the world, no continent left uncovered.

If you were now expecting a huge celebrity spotting event, you did not attend the right place. With the exception of Obama himself (who was obviously talking point #1 and closely guarded during his half day stay on the UN compound) they attended their panels and mingled with the crowds afterwards, but the strength of the event was the fact, that entrepreneurs from all possible backgrounds got together and spoke one universal language of creating progress, learnings, challenges, growth and opportunities together.

So I fit in really well with my Afrogerman background and could relate well – though I accidentally managed to stand out and got taught a lesson in personal branding:

Randolf at Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 in Kenya

My tailormade yellow suite that I purchased as a 200 US$ joke on my Thailand-India-Kenya trip earlier in 2015 turned me into something of a talking point, making me explain the yellow colour, that’s representing the Beerhouse brand colour. I really don’t ever wear a suit and my decision to take it to #GES2015 was based on the formality of the event and that my second and only other suit is not home in South Africa, but stored in my german apartment, in case of family funerals I might have to attend.

On day #1 I was dressed in jeans and repeatedly mistaken for my doppelgänger – the ‘White African’ Eric Hersman, who spoke on a morning panel.
On day #2 I was absolutely overwhelmed by the number of people approaching me and asking about the reason for wearing the full suit, leading into many interesting conversations and spontaneous photo shoots.
On day #3 this continued, but I was now also approached by people, who heard the story of a yellow german / south african / beer merchant / incubator / hospitality operator from others and approached me offering valuable introductions to beer or hospitality people or even an interest to license the concept.

This made I met another doppelgänger in red (who even got his shoes right!) and my tweeted picture of the United Colours of #GES2015Kenya went viral… Continue Reading…

OMClub 2013After opening the Beerhouse Cape Town on August 2nd, it’s now time to stay in Germany for the month of September. As it’s always difficult to explain my Hurra OMClub event to my non-german friends and why every year I start to overshare and post in german about OMClub and SEO contests, I’ll try to explain what it is actually about:

In September 2008 I launched a rather unusual party event and an accompanying Google ranking contest that is completely free to attend to people from the online marketing industry. It happens on the first night of the two-day dmexco digital marketing fair and started alternative party to the badly organized, expensive and boring official after-party. It is offering unlimited drinks (long, short, beer, wine, non-alcs, …), complimentary to the 1000 (in 2008) to 3000+ (in 2012) guests in an alternative unusual and exciting setting. Everything is paid for by incredibly generous companies who are keen to sponsor a party like no other (and to get their hands on some of the rare tickets 😉) They like the party so much, they even pay for the title rights to the event, online marketing agency Hurra.com did that now three years in a row – thank you!

OMClub dmexco party

The other thing, that always excites all SEOs (Search Engine Optimisers) in Germany ahead of the OMClub is the ‘traditional’ SEO contest, where one made-up keyword is chosen and the SEO ranking on #1 on the event date is walking away with a high-value price (usually a contract-free iPhone sponsored first by 3Gstore and then by Deutsche Telekom in 2011 and 2012). Expect this to be announced soon and look out for this tournament of google optimizers…

As demand for tickets always outgrew the size of the venue chosen, I now decided to do a big step. In 2013 the Hurra.com OMClub is moving into Colognes biggest indoor venue, the Kölnarena where we expect 4000+ guests for an event that is probably going to be Europe’s biggest (online) business party.

So if you wonder why I turned from Online Marketer to bar owner, the answer might eventually be:

I realized, I enjoy getting people drunk when organising my OMClub event… 🙂

Randolf in Cape Town

November 20, 2007

It’s now more than a month that I arrived back in Cape Town and lots of things happened but I never got a blogpost ready to talk about these events.

Sunset view from my home officeLife here is as different (compared to Germany) as it is beautiful. While productivity is seriously decreased by the lack of instantly available internet-connectivity (Vodacom’s HSDPA is the best compromise I was able to find but it lacks speed and reliability to be used for VoIP and permanent connectivity), this wonderful people and scenery of Cape Town more than compensate for the problems I might be running in. Cape Town really is THE city in Africa to be, when it comes to Online Marketing. I was meeting old and new friends in Cape town, specifically at these events:

Podcamp Cape Town on the October 20th was great for me as a first-timer. I met Dave Duarte for the first time and had a great chat with Chris du Toit, Rafiq (of webaddiCTs) and many others. It’s good to see that there’s a vibrant internet scene here in South Africa. It was here that I first announced the aquisition of the domain name weather.co.za (still without real content) and that I do plan to develop it into a proper weather portal as soon as possible.

The 27dinner in Cape Town just a few days later really showed the size of the online marketing industry in SA. Around 100 people came together to have dinner, talk and listen to the well prepared presentation on user experience by Phil Barret and having to go through that talking thing myself by giving a short speech on my last 9 years in the online marketing world. I was happy to sponsor the corkage at this event so we could enjoy the wonderful Stormhoek Wine. This was a good opportunity to meet new people and I really look forward meeting and doing business with you again. After meeting oh-so-many people there (if I’d start linking and mentioning you, I’d miss out the other half of you) Marcus (of Capetownmagazine.com), Jayx and me decided to end that night at the fabulous Rafiki’s.

After some busy working days there are some upcoming events I’ll attend. First there is mobile and broadband conference AfricaCom starting tomorrow that I was lucky to get a press pass for and there’s the Geekdinner coming up on November 28th where I’ll be present as well. Too bad I’ll be travelling Namibia, when *Camp (aka Starcamp) hits the town December 8th and 9th. Before I go to Namibia, I’ll visit Johannesburg for a few days, and I’m happy to meet new people from the industry over there…

Just a short roundup to my english speaking friends – my german posting contains more details regarding two affiliate meetings I attended here in Germany right after returning from my US-trip.
During SES 2007 we had alot of fun at the Googleplex at Google Dance and Karaoke. The paid-links debate only proved that google does not care about paid links as long as they are on highly relevant pages and not about viagra, so: who cares?
Google Visitor Badge

But much better than the overrated Google dance was certainly my appointment at Google a few days later. The Multiple-Choice-Salad ordering forms and healthy drinks are all I can talk about for now, as my digitally signed NDA does not allow me to say much more. The result of that meeting will soon be online at gulli.com…

The days after were completely different – at Burning Man in the nevada desert I met nerds, freaks and lots of other friendly guys, because half the bay area meets in the desert for music, fun and much much more… I had a blast!