Everyone is back from holidays and the work sprint to the end of year has begun. That also means it's event season. Not all events are built equally. Poor organization, boring panel discussions, and lack of networking skills can make many events a huge waste of time. But there is a different kind of event happening in a few weeks called Startup Weekend Frankfurt. Instead of panels and slides, this event is an interactive accelerator where entrepreneurs build teams and work with mentors to launch a business over a weekend. It's a very 'hands-on' approach and a perfect opportunity for anyone looking to launch a business or wanting to join a startup and doesn't know how to get started. Join Today. I hope to see you there.
Here is an interview I did for the event:
Matt please explain who you are and how you can help our Teams at Startup Weekend Rhein-Main? I'm really excited about the concept and format for Startup Weekend this year because the teams will have to focus on understanding markets, customers and G2M strategies, not just a glorified hackathon. Personally I'm passionate about building products people love and in order to achieve that it requires understanding many aspects of product building that aren't found in just a beautiful mobile app. I started as a venture capitalist, then became a 2x entrepreneur. My goal is to help the startup teams think through use cases and critical questions. The teams can leverage my experience from 'both sides of the table'.
What are the trending topics / startups in Frankfurt's Startup Scene? I've spent the majority of my career working in Silicon Valley, thus I have fresh eyes to the Frankfurt Rhein Main area. But that also means I have a 'jaded' view of what I believe it takes to be a successful startup ecosystem. No other place in the world is like and/or compare to Silicon Valley. I think Frankfurt is trying to figure out its place in the German and European startup scenes respectively. Because of Frankfurt's central and accessible location in Europe, as well as being a major banking center, it has a lot of natural characteristics to be an impactful startup ecosystem. Recently I'm seeing this topic debated and discussed at events more often. This is a good sign! Bring the issues to the market. Startups are organizing better, asking for support, and trying to raise capital. This forces the surrounding Frankfurt ecosystem to take notice about the fantastic opportunity in front of them. The big question is will the angel/VC/corporate community bring the support as well. If the startups don't get that support, they will leave to other areas. Industry wise, the Fintech sector has a growing buzz and a few incubators and accelerators are being established with a specific Fintech focus. Also the 'Connected' anything is gaining traction as businesses and consumers start to understand the use cases and benefits that machine to machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) can provide.
From a VC perspective: Why is it useful to support a Startup Weekend as a mentor/partner/sponsor?Many VCs have been entrepreneurs themselves. Making the leap to start your own company or join a small startup team is the first and most difficult step into entrepreneurship. It's risky and historically not widely supported by the culture. That's why it's important that there is a entrepreneur and startup support network available to mentor, answer questions and provide encouragement. The fact is building startups is a meaning, learning and highly rewarding experience. It is difficult to launch a company and at times it feels like being stranded on an island with nothing, but all of us entrepreneurs can point to situations when others have lent a helping hand. That is one aspect that makes a great startup ecosystem. Events like Startup Weekend can help encourage some of these ideas form and grow and hopefully gets others to join as well.