Where did you first hear about Startup Weekend?
I found an announcement for the first Startup Weekend in Germany in the Coworking0711-Newsletter, a coworking-space based in Stuttgart. On a cold autumn night in 2010 I decided that this would be the right event for me.
Where did you work back then?
I was doing my studies in my 4th semester. I studied service management and worked at IBM.
Why did you participate in Startup Weekend?
I wanted to dive in the startup scene. As a student I found this weekend-event very affordable. 🙂
Did you have an idea for a startup then or did you join another group?
A friend of mine and me wanted to sell coffee pads with individual taste – a concept similar to mymüsli. That’s why we called it MyPads.
How did you experience the weekend? What did you (not) like?
It was the first Startup Weekend ever in Germany, so I didn’t have that high expectations. I was surprised how entrepreneurship can work – you can’t read it in a book. I got a lot of new contacts and got to know my future co-founder of Autonetzer.de. I also won the Startup Weekend. I must admit, it wasn’t that hard as there were only 20 people participating. 😉 I also wrote a blog post about my experiences.
What happened after the Startup Weekend?
Until today I still feel the influence of the Startup Weekend Stuttgart. I worked a little bit more on the idea with the team I met at the Startup Weekend and found out that there is no technical possibility to offer that many perfect-aromated coffee pads – so we cut it down. My colleague Markus asked me if I wanted to join the team from Autonetzer and I said yes. In the following years I became product manager and expert for sharing economy and moderated some Startup Weekends around the world. Today I’m working at MAK3it in Cologne, where we offer a similar event format called Innovation Days.
Are there people from Startup Weekend still in your team?
No, but it’s not necessarily the aim of the weekend – it’s more about inspiration, networking and experience how radically startups develop new ideas. It was an eye opener for a lot of people and it shaped me and my colleagues very much.
What is your résumé?
Since 6 years I’m following the event intensively and the format became established worldwide. It feels right to be part of it, it’s a lot of fun. That’s why I still support the community events as a mentor.
Whom would you recommend to participate?
All those, who have a business idea and want to make the first step, but don’t have a team or don’t know where to start. And to all the hacker, hipsters and hustlers who want to join the makers and visionaries. It’s a great learning!
Will you participate as a coach at Startup Weekend Cologne 2017?
Sure! The MAK3it’s accompany diverse events of this kind. So we’re very happy to be again a part of Startup Weekend Cologne in 2017!
Thanks a lot for sharing!