About us

Benjamin Rüggeberg
Benjamin Rüggeberg
After moving from South Africa to Berlin in 2007 (supposedly for 2 years while my wife was finishing her specialisation) I founded Cape Times as a retail store to present ethically produced contemporary African interior design to the German market. In 2009 (now settled in Berlin and first child born) Cape Times turned into a predominantly B2B business exhibiting our imported brands from Southern and East Africa at international B2B trade shows.

My one-man show was too small to take on more and more brands. In mid-2017 I thus began playing around with the idea of an online trade show in order to offer brands that I could not add to my wholesale business an opportunity to gain access into the B2B market. The first seed was sown when I discussed the idea with partners Andreas and Dino a few weeks later, and in early 2019 MTMfair was finally launched after a year and a half of intensive brainstorming and programming. The idea was not only to offer the much-needed aforementioned opportunity but also to move the fair from a physical show to a platform for three main reasons:
1. For social reasons: to give SMEs from developing and emerging markets as well as businesses with a limited marketing budget a fair and equal opportunity to showcase their products to an international, professional audience of retailers, wholesalers and interior designers.
2. For economical reasons: to act as an extension or add-on to the existing physical trade shows. Long after the doors to a show have been shut and long before they reopen for the next season, MTMfair offers all participants the opportunity to continue exhibiting and sourcing on 365 days of the year.
3. For environmental reasons: the trade show industry is without a doubt a great producer of waste. Sure, MTMfair is not on the verge of replacing physical trade shows, but we intend to offer not only the aforementioned add-on, but also an alternative to those exhibitors and visitors who are actively reducing their carbon footprint.
Andreas David
Andreas David
As an ambitious photographer I accompanied an art project to South Africa in 2009 and photographed a documentation as well as portraits of the participants. Later it turned out that we were guests of one of the manufacturers of Benjamin. So we got talking and in September 2010 I opened the Luxad, a retail store with sustainably produced picture frames made of recycled wood.

My key experience was visiting the international consumer goods fair in search of ethical complementary products. The truly sustainable manufacturers have literally been lost in the oversupply from the East and are often alone in the exhibition hall with their attitude.

After numerous coffees with Benjamin, it has become clear that together we want to make a lasting difference to the trade fair world and also open up the opportunity for small manufacturers to trade worldwide. Together with Dino our team became complete.

So I contribute my many years of experience as technical manager, software architect and fullstack developer to the project and ensure that our many ideas and visions of a "better trade fair" are implemented. But already today MTMfair.com is a great tool for manufacturers, distributors and resellers at the same time.
Dino Santangelo
Dino Santangelo
A doctor who has been working in the field of psychiatry for years co-founds the B2B online trade fair MTMfair together with Benjamin and Andreas.

What is his intention? - I wasn't interested in "doing something different", but rather in designing a solution that would help large groups get to know alternative consumer goods. As parents, my wife and I have been trying for years to exert our influence on the respective suppliers (trade, energy, production, food) through our consumer behaviour, thereby encouraging them to offer sustainable solutions. Now a single household has only a limited need and therefore only a small influence on the development of the companies offering. When Benjamin approached me with his idea for MTMfair, I saw an opportunity to participate in the development of an enormous lever. My motivation to create a new trade fair by developing MTMfair was born. I would like to be involved in bringing suppliers and visitors a great platform that offers them benefits other than a physical exhibition. So for many established suppliers it can be seen as a supplement, because here products can be presented not only on three to five days, but all year round. MTMfair in turn offers smaller and up-and-coming suppliers a first access to markets worldwide and reduces the financial and logistical effort enormously. Visitors get a very strong search algorithm and can, for example, conveniently discover a variety of exciting products from the sustainable interior and lifestyle sector for their shop. The development of more and more features and ways to present them gives me an enormous satisfaction.

I hope that our platform will convey this spirit of sharing a great solution to its users beyond its functions.
What is the idea behind it?

Everybody's talking about it. Everyone knows what would be right. We have a common responsibility and then it is enough if the others... No, it is not enough. And yet everything is actually quite simple. That means for everyone only small steps and only those to which they are prepared. We are not concerned with a raised index finger and many fine words about a better solution. Our approach is much simpler and clearer. We are firmly convinced that everyone has a right for a fair chance. We want to support this equal opportunity, diversity and awareness with our platform. Our values and goals are clear and understandable for everyone. We are concerned about social justice, equal rights for men and women and a fairer trade worldwide. We have respect for the resources and the performance of all those involved in the trade flow between production, sales, trade and, now for the first time, the consumers as well. We all deserve it and if MTMfair.com can make a small contribution to improving the conditions in these trade relations, then we are one step further. And that's what matters to us. Do you believe in that? Then join in and present, search and find a great variety of products on MTMfair.com.

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