For many women the prospect of founding their own company is more exciting than an ordinary career in business. In this blog series we want to find out about the entrepreneurial spirit that drives these women and the ideas they pursue. Learn how they got started, their experience as female founders, and what they wish they’d known before entering the start-up world.
Beer has the reputation of bringing people together and we all relate mainly beer to good times and friends. What many people probably didn’t know or still don’t know is that they have the power at their fingertips to be able to brew their own one at home!
Kathy and Jörg decided to turn their idea into reality with Besserbrauer and try to reach all this people to show them the art of independent beer brewing. Their main product, called Die Braubox, includes the tools, the ingredients and of course the instructions to take you into the world of brewing your beer in your own kitchen. Also great is their online shop to acquire extra tools and additional ingredients to brew specific beers like Pale Ale, Hell, Dunkel or the exotic Coffee Stout. The magical part of the Braubox is that everyone can try it. Either if you make a hobby out of it or if you become a beer brewing profi is only up to you!
What I would like to empathize is that one of the founders of Besserbrauer is a young woman, Kathy Gabel, who is today ready to reply some questions about her way into entrepreneurship.
Are women also pretty much interested in Beer, Kathy, or you are one of a kind?
One of a kind sounds lonesome, so I am glad to say no! New craft beer styles attract more and more women to try the hoppy, fruity ales or nuttily brown ales for example. And I even know female brewmasters and beer sommeliers. But still more than 90% of the Braubox users are male.
And now getting into the point Kathy, what motivated you to have your own startup?
We simply had a very good idea. Plus I was ready to experience something new in career terms after several years of being employee. Instead of doing a very specialized job, I am now Marketing Manager, purchaser, packaging staff, accountant, Sales Manager and even sometimes binman. Binwomen. Seeing all parts of a business working together makes running a startup so precious to me.
Do you think this feeling of willing to do our own project comes to everyone at some point?
It depends on the person but I am sure, the longer you do your “base” job, the more you think about other possibilities. And living in a city might intensify the idea of running your own business, as you see different other people doing it with very different ideas. And having a city’s wide range of possible target groups.
How difficult was it to bring your idea to life?
There were and still are two sides of starting your own business: the startup scene itself, which is interested in ideas, extremely helpful and uncomplicated, when it comes to looking for office space, business tips and invaluable contacts. The other side is the official formation. My advice: don’t get confused by laws and taxes and forms. Just find a good tax consultant and get started.
What are the greatest victories and challenges you faced along the way?
One of the biggest challenges I have to face is not male or female – it’s having enough time for the startup while still working your employee job. The female challenge for me was to find my role in a still mostly male dominated startup scene. Plus our startup is a team with a female and a male founder. I try to use my personal strengths and otherwise ask for help when necessary. This is what makes a team and is most efficient, regardless of men or women. The biggest victory is that our idea of kitchen breweries is appreciated so much! People write us mails, send us photos and write about us in blogs, because they like what we do!
What are your recommendations to other women who have startup ideas?
What are your strengths? Are you ready to spend your free time on concepts, communication and sometimes simply administration, delivery and calculation? Are there enough ideas for year 3-5? If your answers are mostly positive, then find someone to join you or if you want to start on your own, at least people who support you. And never fear the failure!
Why do you think there are so less female founders?
A lot of startups provide apps or other technical solutions. These are still no female domains, but much better suitable than e.g. service, trade or craft to achieve quick success. And maybe women do not face risks as easily as men do. This is not a bad thing, but might keep women from starting their own business.
Is there a difference between female and male founders? Do female founders require special set of skills to get prepared for the startup world?
I don’t like to think too much about being male or female. But maybe we should be a bit more self-confident about our ideas and qualifications and communicate them better.
Do you have another precious piece of advice for aspiring founders attending SWWHH?
If you are convinced of your idea, then just get started! Think enough but not too much!
Many thanks Kathy for your time! I have heard you are also here and there around to make your product well known. Where is the next date to meet you personally?
You want to build your own startup? Build a startup in one weekend and put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur! Join us at the Startup Weekend Women, April 10-12 in Hamburg. If you have a business idea, great! If you don’t have a business idea, join anyway! You can help bring other ideas to life. Guys are welcome, too! Stay tuned for more updates and interviews via our Facebook Page.