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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. Serial coach Ruth Cremer will join Startup Weekend Cologne for the fourth time this year. In our interview, she gives you some helpful tipps beforehand. 

Ruth Cremer Startup Weekend Cologne at STARTPLATZRuth, what is jour job outside of Startup Weekend?
Investment Manager in the area of Software, IT, Internet and eCommerce at High-Tech-Gründerfonds.

In which Startup Weekend(s) did you participate and in which role?
SW Cologne 2014, 2015 as a Coach and SW Düsseldorf 2015 also as Coach

What was your motivation to volunteer?
Help new prospective entrepreneurs with their business idea, meet people and network 🙂

Did you personally benefit from coaching at SW?
Totally, it was always a great pleasure and inspiration to take part, and I made valuable contacts each time.

What was the most remarkable moment / the thing that impressed you most?
There was no specific moment as far as I remember. However, I love the spirit, the energy and how some personalities already start to “shine,” hinting at great future entrepreneurs. On the other hand, it becomes obvious from time to time that entrepreneurship is not for everyone. In my opinion, this is not a bad thing, because it (hopefully) reminds us all that it is not just a cool and hip thing to do, but something you have to live for and to love what you are doing. At SW it becomes clear one event after another that three of the most important success factors for a startup are team, team and team 🙂

Do you have good advice for all future participants?
Ask the coaches, talk to them a lot and pick those who are most critical: they usually help the most. Do not stop listening because you do not like what they are saying, they are spending their free time with you because they want to help you! However, the most important thing: THINK about their input, reflect and think again. Do not take everything they say as universal truth. In the end, a good entrepreneur knows how to identify the most valuable input and is able to select which advices to follow when you have a very restricted amount of time. As a jury member this year, I can say that I love entertaining pitches, but they still should cover all important points! Do not make JUST a show!

Looking forward to meet you all!

Carolin Gattermann