Kathleen Fritsche

Going up: mastering the elevator pitch

Kathleen Fritzsche - Marketing & PR from CODE_n12 finalist Conceptboard and Startup Weekend Stuttgart

Kathleen Fritzsche – Co-founder of Startup Stuttgart

Kathleen Fritzsche is co-founder and head of marketing at Accelerate Stuttgart and StartUp Stuttgart, the entrepreneurial community for the Neckar Valley and Baden-Wuerttemberg regions in Germany. She has been captivated by the startup community since attending the first Startup Weekend in Stuttgart in 2010.

The brief, structured presentation of your business concept – the so-called “elevator pitch” – is a central element in garnering acceptance and enthusiasm for your business idea.

An elevator pitch can last anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes depending on the situation. A key factor? Make sure you have thoroughly thought through the ins and outs of your idea before presenting it to larger audiences or potential capital investors. Initial feedback from your personal network and people who know your industry is incredibly valuable. These kinds of connections bring in new perspectives and helpful hints. The best thing to move you forward is critical thinking and shedding light on potential weaknesses early on. More…

Janina Benz

Seven Tips for Using Social Media at CeBIT

CeBIT is right around the corner, and we know our finalists and attendees are busy getting ready for the big event. Before heading to Hanover, though, make sure you have a plan for using social media. It might not seem like a priority now, but following a few simple guidelines can make your conference experience even more successful:

Before CeBIT

  • Update your profiles. It’s obvious but essential: check that your profiles have the most current information and are properly linked. Make it easy for people to get in touch.
  • Alert your fans. Let people know you’re going to be attending via your existing social media channels, and start using the appropriate hashtags. (Hint: they’re #CODE_n and #CeBIT!)

During CeBIT

  • Tweet to meet. Let others know where you’re going, and when, so that they can connect with you in person.
  • Report from the field. See an interesting presentation, notice an emerging trend, or read an interesting tweet? Tell others about it—as long as it’s not confidential information, of course.
  • Keep track. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information flying around, so use an application like TweetDeck to monitor hashtags, mentions, retweets, and messages. You’re still using #CODE_n and #CeBIT, right? It’s the best way for your updates to be found!

After CeBIT

  • Record it. Write a blog post, create a video, collect your favorite tweets—whatever will help you capture the highlights of the event before you forget.
  • Stay in touch. Follow up on new contacts and work to maintain the relationship, both online and in person, over the coming months.

What other tips have you found helpful at past events? Let us know in the comments!

Janina Benz

Ridha Azaiz: “Get your idea checked from different angles”

Ridha Azaiz is one of the CODE_n finalists and the founder of Solarbrush. He started studying at RWTH Aachen University and transferred to Technical University Berlin in order to finish his Master’s in mechanical engineering. His research and development activities have led to many awards, such as the  Clean Tech Media Award and the start up award hy! Berlin

Janina Benz: Congratulations on being one of the 50 CODE_n finalists! Could you tell us about Solarbrush?
Ridha Azaiz: Solarbrush is a robotic cleaning system for solar panels. Cleaning is very important, especially in arid regions, as generators lose up to 35% in efficiency in a single month after a sand storm. The robot has a very lean and efficient drive that attaches to the inclined panels, which distinguishes the Solarbrush robot from others. It is also very light weight and can cross the solar panels, costing just a fraction of what competitors charge. We’re pioneers in the field and were first in shifting the focus from the cleaning and maintenance of photovoltaic (PV) cells in Europe to the sunbelt countries. Where there is lots of sun, PV produces the most output but also suffers from deposits. More…