Meet Deborah - our member of the month in August!
Introduction round: Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Deb Choi and I'm the founder of Bright Leap, an innovation agency headquartered in New York City. I was born in Nigeria, raised in small town Ohio and educated in Chicago, though I've been calling NYC home for the past 5 years.
What made you come to Berlin?
There's a saying, "New York is always a good idea". Well, Europe in the summer is definitely always a good idea! I traveled to Berlin for business late fall of last year and decided then to come back for my summer base. The city is obviously a great European hub for entrepreneurship, though it also makes a great base from which to easily connect with our clients across Europe.
What exactly do you do? What's in the pipeline for the near future?
My agency and team support the US expansion of innovative startups across Europe, LATAM, Tel Aviv and China. We help our clients define their point of differentiation for the US market, develop their digital marketing strategies, and support them in developing partnerships with US brands and influencers. We launched in 2013; directly supporting great founders has been our goal since day one. We've expanded in the past year to also support tech accelerators-as-clients in their program expansion to NYC, brands-as-clients who're interested in strategic partnerships with startups, and now also investors-as-clients that want to tap into our global network for expanded deal flow. It's been a very busy year managing the launch and growth of these new service verticals, and 2016 is all about going deeper into all four areas and continuously optimizing how we add value to each group.
Since when do you cowork at Office Club?
I joined Office Club at the beginning of July, so I'm now going into my second month as a member. It's a fantastic space, and I like the seriousness of the co-working community; people are here to get things done.
What is the benefit of using a coworking space for you?
An office to go to definitely provides a lot of structure to the working day. Our team works from a great co-working space in NYC called Grind, in the heart of Silicon Alley. It was a natural decision for me to find an equally productive space to work from during my time in Berlin.
Which questions / problems could you help your coworking neighbour with?
Who's planning to test or expand into the US? Let's talk! Also, if people are planning trips to NYC to connect with the startup and VC community there, feel free to reach out. I'd be happy to make relevant connections.
Do you have favourite spots in Berlin? Something to recommend / consider especially for people coming here?
This is my very temporarily adopted city, and although I've been here since June, I don't think I'm yet qualified to give others advice on unique places -- I'm still very much a tourist! Luckily, I have a great group of friends here who are German and are from here. They've helped me explore beyond the city some of Berlin's great lakes. So, I highly recommend taking advantage of the summer weather and going for a swim as much as possible!
Thanks a lot and all the best to you!