← Techstars Blog

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 Nicola Römer, who continued working on her project “Schatztüte”. Find out what became of her idea and what experiences she gained during Startup Weekend! 

Nicola Römer Startup Weekend CologneNicola, in which Startup Weekend did you participate?
I participated at the Startup Weekend Cologne in January 2015.

What was your motivation to participate?
I had an idea about a innovative regional gift concept and wanted to test it in the startup environment, which was pretty new to me at that time. I was looking forward to get many great brains together and see how far we could develop the idea in one weekend.

Which idea did you and your team work on?
I was lucky many people liked my idea so we worked on that. The „Kulturkiste“, how it was called back then, intended to get all typical and authentic Colognian products together in a high-class box and an experience concept around it. The idea was to bring Cologne to life with stories about the city and background info on the products so that Colognian companies have a memorable present for their customers which links to their roots and increases their “gift-giving-ROI”.

What became of your idea and your team mates?
My team mates continued their full-time jobs and I founded my startup „Kölner Schatztüte“ based on the idea in summer. I found many traditional local companies that loved the idea and that I have been cooperating since then (like the Chocolate Museum, Mustard Museum, small manufacturers like CiuCiu or big names like Gaffel). After developing the storylines and designs, Schatztüte launched in October for both B2B and B2C customers (www.schatztuete.de).

In retrospective, how did you profit from participating at Startup Weekend?
I profited in many ways. My team had such a great team spirit with different skill sets both on the technical and „soft“ side, I couldn’t have been luckier! Working until night every day it brought us very close together. Also the mentors that were present on the SW were incredibly valuable. Presenting the pitch on Sunday then was the highlight!

Do you have good advice for all future participants? 
Lots of Red Bull and sleep enough beforehand (laughs)! Joke aside, I’d say that if you have an idea, definitely find the courage to present it. And if you are a rather quiet character and participate in a team, make sure to speak up as exactly the diverse views make the ideas rich and bring them forward. The time pressure is high so and you don’t want to get lost on the way, as it is sometimes hard for the group leaders to give an equal ear to everybody.

Thank you, Nicola!

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

Carolin Gattermann