Paaie was founded in 2022 by Ruben Heppner, inspired by Tine Daum’s idea of creating a collaborative agency cooperative with its own value system, aimed at sharing knowledge and resources.
Previously, from 2014 to 2020, Ruben was a co-founder and shareholder of the digital agency FRANZUNDSCHOLZ, which emerged from the agency machtsachen, founded during his studies with Kristina Scholz.
From 2020 to 2022, six self-employed individuals nurtured the idea of forming a cooperative, developed a value system and a constitution, only to decide that the administrative effort for a cooperative with 8 to 20 members would be too great to manage smoothly. Fortunately, we came across the Smart cooperative, and Ruben became a part of this cooperative, being employed there since 2023. Smart takes over all administrative and accounting tasks, while Ruben works autonomously on his projects and manages the project budgets. For larger projects, Paaie can assemble expert teams that operate as a collective within the Smart cooperative and manage their own budgets. Team members have the option to be employed through the Smart cooperative during the project period or to invoice their services as freelancers.
In 2023, the Smart Cooperative won the New Work Award in the „New Society“ category, and we are proud to be part of this innovative organizational structure. The Smart Cooperative has more than 800 members nationwide in Germany and more than 100,000 members across Europe, thus having a vast network of various experts.
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