Lena Gaede

3 Mistakes to avoid, when starting your own business as an individual

You are full of ideas and more than motivated to start your own business? Good! There’s just one tiny little detail to take care of: Founding a startup is anything but easy. Even for experienced engineers, creatives and people with deep, industry-specific knowledge, the chances of success aren’t great. Still convinced that your business model will work? Great, because willpower and self-assurance are crucial in this process and cannot be lacking. But still, there are several mistakes to avoid in order to improve chances of success. Some are obvious, others less so. In no particular order, check out our checklist of three mistakes you would otherwise probably make in the first 6 months and can now avoid:

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Lisa Flieg

Antti Vihavainen of Cozify: “Obeying lean startup principles – that’s easy to say, but it’s really difficult to get right”

Cozify – Revolutionizing Home Automation, something we headlined in 2015! At the time, the CODE_n15 contestant was pursuing a vision to provide home automation to everyone. In a follow-up with Antti Vihavainen 10 months after participating in the CONTEST, he told us the latest developments regarding the successful shipping of the first Cozify hubs, which also brought valuable customer and market insights. Cooperation with big players and continuous work with international channel partners really helped boost the business. “Obviously our task is to copy and improve on the progress we made in Finland,” Antti now tells us. Two years on, we had the pleasure of chatting with him again and so much has happened. Prepare yourself for the fact that Cozify is daring to transform the insurance sector from acting as a reactive provider of compensation to becoming a proactive companion in life – based on an enhanced vision of expanding out of the smart home toward a more comprehensive smart living concept! Fail fast, iterate fast, and the balancing act between quick revenue and hunting scalable opportunities are just some of the topics Antti discussed with us.

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Lisa Flieg

Every euro we invest has to be earned first – an interview with Sarah Haide from MyCouchbox

Last week we heard from Sarah Haide, the founder of the snack startup MyCouchbox in our article on Female Pioneers Part 2. Today we’re back with a fascinating interview in which Sarah divulges why she launched MyCouchbox in the first place as she describes the journey she has been on as the co-founder and CEO of the e-commerce company. The business founder from Stuttgart also explains why the model based on subscription boxes was actually plan B at the beginning and how involuntarily bootstrapping her own firm also has its advantages! The result was a candid interview on differences between the owners, the constancy of core values in a setting that is subject to continual change, and the importance of understanding human nature when selecting staff.

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Lisa Flieg

“I rarely faced challenges – until I had my daughter” Female pioneers talk about women in tech and startup life

We’ve gathered more first-hand accounts from women who are striving to make a difference, and proudly present part two of our female pioneers series! Today we present a scientist and mother who beats the odds to make her startup a success. A mobility specialist who applies her smarts to making career fulfillment and family life more compatible. And the experiences of a female co-founder of a snack delivery startup. Enjoy the continuing story of female pioneers as these women talk about tech and startup life! Today with Vesna Prchkovska from QMENTA (former Mint Labs), mobility expert and agile specialist Eileen Mandir, and Sarah Haide from MyCouchbox.

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Lisa Flieg

Startup Codeatelier: “Don’t set up a company in the hardware sector” Interview Part 2

We continue our Alumnus catch up with Codeatelier and provide you with more founders news of Waldemar and Jochen. If you missed the start, don’t forget to catch a glimpse at part 1. But finally, find our why they don’t necessarily recommend establishing a startup in the hardware sector to other entrepreneurs. Furthermore the founding duo sheds light on what’s behind the new startup project Steuerbot.

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Lisa Flieg

Startup Codeatelier: “Our tip to entrepreneurs? Find partners and an amazing co-founder!” Interview Part 1

We love alumni reunions! At the GFT Inspiration Day, we had the opportunity to meet up again with smart home startup Codeatelier. Its two founders, Waldemar and Jochen, gave us an update on what’s been happening since they took part in the CODE_n CONTEST back in 2013. And here’s what we can tell you: There has been a lot of development, since through the competition and the platform at CeBIT, they were able to find a key partner to help them grow further and have now even come up with another startup idea – Steuerbot – which they are currently working on. You’ll also learn in part 2 of the interview why the founding duo doesn’t necessarily recommend establishing a startup in the hardware sector to other entrepreneurs ;-).

 

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Lena Gaede

Why greater Tel Aviv is called the capital of Silicon Wadi – strengths, weaknesses and special features of the tech startup hub

It`s not a secret anymore, but still very much worth a reminder: the best tech startup hubs are not only found in the U.S. and Europe – there is another bright star shining in the Middle East. Israel is often referred to as the Silicon Wadi (wadi being Hebrew for valley). Why? Just imagine, only China and the U.S. have more firms listed on the NASDAQ than Israel, a comparably very small and young country. This standing is mostly due to the country’s main business city: Tel Aviv (and its 10km surroundings).

With about 2,500 startups in a city of only 435 thousand inhabitants, Tel Aviv has one of the highest startup densities in the world. Knowing this, it`s no surprise that Tel Aviv was ranked number 6 in the 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking by Startup Genome. Why so many startups are founded or come to Tel Aviv becomes clear by the description of Ami Gal, CEO & Co-founder of CODE_n Alumnus SQream:

“Tel Aviv is one of the most fun cities in the world to live and work in. Luckily for us, it comes with a fantastic eco-system for a global start-up like SQream. Many talented people, active and large funding, a startup community as well as presence of and access to strategic partnerships with international players from all over the world – Europe, US and all the way to the far east.”

Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? Let’s take a closer look at what it means for entrepreneurs founding a startup in Tel Aviv: the strengths, weaknesses and special features of the tech startup hub Tel Aviv.

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Lisa Flieg

“Women have every ability to go out and take risks” – Female pioneers talk about women in tech and startup life

The contributions made by women to driving forward with innovation is incredibly valuable for the startup scene. But female founders, especially in the tech field, are still few and far between in today’s world of entrepreneurial activity. Why? What is important to female digital pioneers? And what are their experiences when it comes to their careers and doing their own thing? We’ve taken a closer look and asked three visionary women in the CODE_n community about their viewpoint on the topic – one pursuing innovation in retail analytics, another doing pioneering things in smart energy, plus an entrepreneur who built up a startup network from scratch. And guess what: They were more than happy to share their inspiring stories with you! Learn from female entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders about their amazing insights into women in the world of business and startups.

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