Lars Rademacher, holds the chair for media management and conducted surveys about female founders. The question he is researching surrounds about personality, motivation and expectation of female founders as well as their mentors. How women can and should get started. What are the challenges? Female founders are on average at the age of 40, are well educated and highly motivated. 40% women start their businesses in the general Service industry and believe in their personal characteristics as their unique selling point. Most female entrepreneurs wish for more targeted support and mentoring. The most interesting aspect is that most female founders start their company out of a vision rather than because of necessity.
To highlight some practical examples, Tanja Prinzessin zu Waldeck then talks about her founding experience when she set up netmoms. Starting the company was at the same time while she was highly pregnant, so she basically had to found a company while "founding" a family in parallel. While looking back at her experiences with her cofounders she established five key learnings: Jump! : "What would you do if you were not afraid?", this questions was also hanging in the office of netmoms and encouraged the employees to don't be afraid. Founders: Having the wrong co-founder is like having married the wrong person Focus on customer: Bait the hook to suit the fish, not the fisherman. Every two years they changed their business model but this is also absolutely necessary. Do it: Better done than perfect and it is also better meet people who get things done Present yourself: Modesty won't Help as guys won't shy away to present themselves.
Another founding example is boxcryptor a product of Secomba which was co-founded by Andrea Wittek. She shares her insights how she founded her current company. Flexibility The first company they found was not successful as they talked to the customers after launching the product. After that, they had the successful idea to release an encryption software. Know what you want Approaching a VC without what you want from them is not a winning proposition Don't be a princess Founding a company involves a lot of work and being a boss does not imply less but to actually work more. Don't be shy Selling a product is absolutely necessary, so modesty won't help selling the product.
The aspects that have been discussed later in the round touches upon the German reluctance to failing (Germany has a culture that makes it hard to fail), the importance of having a good mentor (a mentor should not telling you what to do), the timing of a start up (there is no perfect time) and not to be afraid of copy cats.