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The heart of the Startup Weekends are the people that are part of it – whether as participants or volunteers. We would like to introduce you to a few of them and ask about their motivation and experiences to give you a little insight. We talked to Martin Donath, who was a participant last year and will support as a coach this year. 
Martin Donath
Martin, in which Startup Weekend did you participate?

I took part in the Startup Weekend Cologne in 2015.

What was your motivation to participate?
I guess I just wanted to remind myself what it’s like to start from scratch, as I’ve been working on my own startup VOOLA for quite some time now. Sketching out an idea, prototyping it and seeing if it basically works is one of the most interesting and rewarding things to me, and the Startup Weekend is just perfect for that.

Which idea did you and your team work on?
We worked on LoveUP, an app for couples to find out about sexual fantasies that both like, without having to worry about embarrassing moments when talking about it. Both partners had to sign up and connect themselves through the app. Then they were shown sexual fantasies in the style of Tinder cards which could be swiped left (yes, I can imagine doing that) or right (nope, not for me). If (and only if) both said „yes“ for the same sexual fantasy, they have a match for this fantasy and got it shown. Based on those matches, we would sell toys, bath oil, etc. through affiliate links.

What became of your idea and your team mates?
The original team that was participating at Startup Weekend discontinued its work on the idea.

In retrospective, how did you profit from participating at Startup Weekend?
By heart, I’m a technologist, not a business guy. However, at the Startup Weekend I learned a lot about critically evaluating business models. The help from the coaches was great, as they asked us the right questions – those which you need to answer in order to succeed, but initially have no idea how. This helped me sharpening my senses for the business side of running a startup.

Do you have good advice for all future participants? 
Hack, test, repeat.

Thank you, Martin!

Ready to be part of it, too?
Get your tickets for the next Startup Weekend Cologne (29.-31. January 2016) now!





Carolin Gattermann