Tag of the Month: Elevator Pitch

Whoever dares to take the step of starting their own business from a business idea often has to rely on supporters and advocates. Especially in the search for capital, one has to convince investors of the idea and business model. But how to convince major investors and multipliers of the idea?

The most important step: The potential investor needs to get to know about the idea; the founders must introduce him to their business concept. In a very brief time, the investor should understand the idea and realize the market potential. This presentation situation is known as “Elevator Pitch”: In two minutes, at the most, the prospective entrepreneurs present their business idea, waking the potential investors’ appetite for a promising investment. Here, the decisive factor is the first impression that the entrepreneur leaves with the investor. In this important moment, the founder must succeed in selling his business idea and himself as good as possible and make the investor curious. If you believe the elevator pitch, the chances for an invitation to a follow-up meeting are not bad at all. In an in-depth discussion, the comprehensive business plan can then be submitted and the business idea discussed in detail. A well-prepared pitch is therefore the “entry ticket” to key contacts and opportunities for further development.

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Tag of the Month: Lean Startup

Starting your own business is always accompanied by a certain risk. Questions arise, such as: Can my business compete on the market? How to finance business expansion? Where do I get the necessary capital from? What do I do if my startup fails? For these reflections, the “Lean Startup” approach can help. It is now one of the common terms of the startup scene and is considered resource friendly and success oriented. But what is behind the now popular term and where does it come from?

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Tag of the Month: Social Entrepreneurship

Many people associate entrepreneurship and founding with financial success and business growth – economic company goals are paramount here. The startup scene shows that there may be other values at a founding. Social Entrepreneurship is a topic one encounters more often and so-called social startups draw attention to themselves. The focus of the founding is not profit maximization but social goals are in the forefront. Social Entrepreneurship – what is it about and what ideals lie behind it?

The term “Social Entrepreneurship” describes entrepreneurial activities in which social problems are to be solved by using a business-oriented approach. Instead of the profit concept, innovative and long-term solutions or improvement of social skills and the fulfillment of the social mission are in the foreground – so to speak, entrepreneurship for the benefit of society. The field of activity of social entrepreneurs mainly includes health, education, and environmental protection, as well as social, environmental, and corporate development.

At first glance, this model does not appear very promising. Therefore, the question is how a company works when the financial success is not one of the main objectives of the company? Social enterprises are financed, in addition to the income of the corporation, mostly through donations, grants, and funds received from the public purse. Despite the profit concept being put in the background, measurable objectives on a financial basis are relevant. Depending on the business model, one can distinguish between non-profit and for-profit companies. However, they both have the solution of social problems on a financially sustainable way in common.

The employees are also an important factor in this social corporate form. For success on a social and financial level, a high degree of commitment is necessary. In order to nevertheless create incentives for employees, social startups often provide special development opportunities for the individual employee such as space for your own projects, coaching offers, or the prospect of part-time studying.

In Karlsruhe, there are also social entrepreneurs. For example, the KIT spin-off Sunsteps.org in the field of donations. With its online platform, it enables the donations for selected projects while you shop online with their partners. Soon, you can learn even more about Sunsteps.org here. Continue reading

Tag of the Month: Bootstrapping

The financing of a prospective company is one of the main issues for each founder. Basically, there are various financing options that can help young entrepreneurs to develop their idea into a viable business model. But especially at the beginning of a founding project, sufficient funds are often not available. In such a situation, one has to economize with one’s own resources. This behavior is also called “Bootstrapping” – derived from the word “bootstrap”.

“Bootstrapping” describes a conscious approach to setting up the company, in which the start-ups only work with their own capital in the development of their business, i. e., very limited budget and limited resources. Accordingly, the founders largely fund themselves. Continue reading

Tag of the Month: Accelerator

The word “accelerator” often pops up in the founder scene. But what does “accelerator” stand for and what lies behind it?

The purpose of an accelerator for founders, as the word suggests, is to get founders to their destination faster.

There are two basic forms of accelerators. On the one hand, there are organizations or programs that have tasked themselves with supporting startups in a specific field or region. They run campaigns, competitions, mentor programs, and much more in order to promote startups, provide support with business building, build networks, and match mentors and investors with startups. The portfolio of well-known accelerators also includes offering spaces, such as co-working spaces. And example for this is the well-known German Silicon Valley Accelerator.

On the other hand, an accelerator is a coaching program within a specific timeframe for selected founding teams during an early stage. Throughout an intensive process, the founders acquire diverse knowledge, continue to develop their business model, and are often supported by an experienced mentor in doing so. Oftentimes, the teams present their output to investors at the end of the accelerator program and thus get the chance to attract funding.

The KIT Founders Forge and its partners offer a variety of forms of accelerator programs.

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