Our 2022 started off with a Startup Q&A event that was hosted by our founder Constantin (Tino) Schmutzler. We cherry-picked some of the most interesting questions to share with you.
💬 Questions about building your business
In an early stage, is it better to stay freelancer or already establish the business?
Depends on the industry. It’s trial and error. General advice:
Find your clients and tap into the demand;
Start as a self-employed person to write first invoices (less effort than founding a company);
See from there if it makes sense to found the company (Important: similar to the self-employment, you are personally liable as the CEO of a company).
When establishing my business, is it better to stay in my home country or shall I go somewhere else and then return?
If you know the market in your home country quite well it makes sense to stay there. With remote programs or webinars you can join from wherever you are and apply the advice and gained knowledge directly.
How should I act towards competitors?
Making strategic alliances with competitors can be very beneficial. Reach out to them, ask what worked well and what didn’t. This helps to understand what they are doing, as well as what they are not doing. You can find out the overlaps and from there work on the USP (Unique Selling Point) of your product or service. You can do all of that without disclosing your idea. At the end, it comes down to the strongest execution. You need to create the best product/service that truly solves the customers’ pain.
How do I really know if my idea is needed?
Observe your customers and talk to them. It’s essential to talk to enough people in the target audience to find out if they really want and need your solution.
Which strategy is most efficient to acquire customers? Besides the common ways of approaching people directly you should produce content to stay relevant. Don’t try to sell; instead share your experiences and be authentic. Content creation is a great start since it’s for free and helps in building credibility. Start right away and after some time people will start reaching you.
You can also tap into the customer journey stages:
Creating Awareness: e.g. social media, PR, advertisements, and more.
Fostering Interest: e.g. web content, blog articles, newsletters, and more.
Building Desire: e.g. e-books, free courses, testimonials, and more.
Leading to Action: Purchase, subscription, booking.
💬 Questions about Berlin Startup School’s programs
Which startups made it to Berlin Startup School Accelerator?
They have a prototype - this brings the idea to life and adds tangibility;
They are disruptive - they have a visionary edge to take risks to challenge the existing industries and status quo;
They somehow make the world a better place - the idea fosters a positive change when it comes to tackling social, economical, and environmental issues.
Are the Startup Academy and the Accelerator mutually exclusive?
It’s actually the other way around: The Startup Academy can be a great preparation for the Accelerator. However, you don’t need to join it to apply for the Accelerator. Both programs are open for applications regardless of your participation in the program. We host free startup events on a monthly basis. Keep yourself updated on our Events section.