Partnerships & collaborations are two of our core values here at TheVentury. This is why we are proud to announce our newest partnership with the STARTPLATZ Accelerator, a program supporting entrepreneurship in Germany’s Rhineland. Together with STARTPLATZ we are striving to boost local and international entrepreneurship, support our startups with an even stronger network and endless possibilities. To learn a bit more about STARTPLATZ, their experiences and know-how, we talked to Carolin Gattermann from the STARTPLATZ team.
Carolin, the STARTPLATZ accelerator is starting its 15th Batch soon and is represented in two locations, Cologne and Düsseldorf. That’s quite a lot of experience you’ve accumulated over time and lots of startups and ideas you’ve seen. What are your key learnings from these past years?

1) Founding is not for everyone. There are quite a few founders who underestimate the amount of time, passion and endurance you need for building a successful startup of just an idea. It’s not all coffee and table football, it’s (also 😉 ) very hard work!

2) It is extremely hard to find founding in a very early stage, the phase where you work on idea validation and a proper problem solution fit. Business Angels or VCs normally start investing when there’s positive feedback from the market, which, as we observed during these last 14 batches, most likely happens after six to nine months. Our program helps bridging that gap and getting to that market fit earlier and better prepared.

3) The right team is one of the most important factors for success, oftentimes more important than the idea itself. Try to gather an interdisciplinary team with different competences so that you can cover most of the tasks in the beginning internally (coding, strategy, sales,…).

Since you’ve seen it all – or at least a lot: what was the craziest idea you’ve seen succeed?

trackle is probably one of those. It is a temperature sensor (wearable) and App for family planning. The trackle sensor is worn in the vagina. It measures the body core temperature continuously overnight and sends the data to the App. In the meantime, they appeared on TV, won the Rheinland-Pitch and started a cooperation with Microsoft.

What are you looking for in startups?

We are searching for ambitious entrepreneurs, who love their product and intention, which is growing fast and who want to develop a sustainable business model. What we are searching in detail: Early-Stage Startups, Scalable Business Models and Technological Leadership.

How do you support participating startups? What can applicants expect?

STARTPLATZ accelerator teams will receive services worth 50.000 Euros which include a fix desk in our coworking spaces in Cologne or Düsseldorf, coaching and mentoring, workshops i.e. for Business Model Canvas, Lean Startup training, agile product development, Online Marketing etc., PR & Marketing support, access to the biggest startup and digital network in North-Rhine-Westphalia as well as internationally through the participation at GAN, and much, much more.

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a founder?

Go lean: Test, experiment, get feedback from as many and diverse people you can possibly talk to – and then don’t be afraid to pivot if the feedback you’ll receive is not as fantastic as you hoped. Only then you will be able to build a product your target group will love. And secondly: Hang in there! 🙂

As always, the final word goes to our guest:

Don’t be shy, just apply 😉

You can find all information about the program and the application on accelerator.startplatz.de

We cannot wait to see what the future brings and are excited for a fruitful partnership with many shared success stories! Thanks for the interview, Ann-Kathrin!
P.S.: Applications for ELEVATE Batch #3 are currently open – apply here!