With its platform sunsteps.org, the company enspire UG supports social projects. When purchasing from one of the many partner shops of Sunsteps, such as Amazon, Zalando, or Thalia, up to 12% of the purchase sum is donated to the selected social project, with just one click and without much effort. There is no catch and the customer doesn’t pay a single added cent. The founding team of Sunsteps wants to make the world a little bit better by enabling anyone to support social projects every day without much effort. In an interview, we asked Maximilian Brandenburger of sunsteps.org about the idea, the startup time, and the future prospects.
What does your company stand for?
Sunsteps.org is a platform for all clubs and social projects that want to collect money for their purpose in a new way. We stand for transparency, personal proximity to our projects, and have the demand that our projects solve society problems.
Where and how did you get this brilliant idea?
The idea sprung up sometime on a random day. We have all done something for society, be it through rendered civil service or other volunteer activities. Therefore, social behavior is important to us. Then we noticed that with affiliate marketing, there is basically money lying around “on the street,” waiting to be picked up. Commercial projects that pay back the money to the users already existed but we thought why not do something good with that money?
How did your founding team come together?
Sebastian Bayer and Sebastian Messmer initially founded the company. The team expanded through contacts of the university group “PionierGarage.”
What would you say are the benefits of being your own boss?
It is much easier to realize your own ideas and you are responsible for doing so yourself. That means you can’t just walk blindly in some direction. Well, you could, but if that happens too often, the business will come to an end. Your own considerations are therefore well thought through, yet with a large decision-making scope, a freedom of decision. Justification is given to the team and our users.
What do you think are the properties that one should have to be a successful entrepreneur?
Passion. The founder must stand behind the product/service. If that is the case, all other “faulty” characteristics can somehow be balanced.
What would you term as the hurdles on the way to a successful business? Where did you get support?
Growth. Creating a functioning product or service isn’t the problem. The question is how do I grow? I have to define my exact target groups and appeal to them. Did I develop the product for these groups? It’s a constant process. In the beginning, you often develop a product in the way the founder wants it. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be the product that customers want. Initially, we got help from the CIE and from professors.
How did you deal with the large workloads during start-up?
Fun and passion.
Do you have any advice for other young entrepreneurs?
Startup. Try it. I could insert one of the often-heard phrases about failure being part of it… which is true, but that’s not what you should think of at first instance. Especially as a student, you have the time and are in the right situation make such “attempts.”
- Founders: Sebastian Messmer, Sebastian Bayer, Maximilian Brandenburger, Vincent Kellner
- Founded in: 2011
- Homepage: www.sunsteps.org
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fields: Software & information technology