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YOUR ONCE IN A LIFETIME CHANCE​

BUILD YOUR B2B STARTUP

WITH A STRONG CO-FOUNDER AND PROFOUND PROBLEM-SOLUTION FIT

FOUNDERS EDUCATION 2020

STARTS JUNE

A desirable digital future needs brave entrepreneurs and disrupting innovation and business models. Part-time over the course of 16 weeks our Founders Education program offers you a platform to find a complementary co-founder and validate your B2B business opportunity to a convincing Problem-Solution-Fit.
  • 16 week part time program
  • 6 weeks top co-founder matching
  • 12 weeks validation in the real market
  • focus on B2B and tech business cases
  • goal is a convincing problem-solution-fit
  • co-working at Founders Home office space
  • lead by international experts
  • individual mentoring from successful entrepreneurs
  • requirement for subsequent fulltime accelerator program

JOIN THE PROGRAM?

APPLY ACCORDING TO YOUR PROFILE

THE INDUSTRY EXPERT

founders hackdays
You have professional and industry experience. Over the course of your practical experience you have encountered many problems and challenges which you have always wanted to solve. Now you want to build up your own company and revolutionize your industry. You are looking for a strong co-founder team and lean methods.

THE TECH EXECUTER

ideation workshop

You are an enthusiast for technological innovations that shape the future and you want to participate as a first mover. Your background is rather technological, maybe product, but you have also gained some business experience. Your overall core strengths is execution. You are looking for a promising business case and the right co-founder team.

The scientist

the scientist
You come from a technological but rather academic environment. Your practical experience might come from technological transfer projects which also have given you business and interdisciplinary insights. Now you want to build a business case on the base of your technological knowhow. You are looking for a strong co-founder team and market feedback.

THE BUSINESS EXECUTER

Your background is rather business, maybe product. You are enthusiastic for technological innovations and want to shape the future by leaving footprints. You are goal and people oriented and thrive for the best outcome. You can organize and arrange lean processes that allow the whole team to move on quickly. You are looking for a promising tech business case and a co-founder team.

DOESN’T SOUND LIKE YOU?

We love people who don’t fit into boxes.

WHY TAKE THIS PROGRAM?

Founders Lab

During the program and after successful completion we offer you co-working, individual mentoring and community events at our Founders Lab, the 1st floor at our fantastic Founders Home office, located in the heart of the city centre. Here you will be able to validate your business case to the Problem-Solution-Fit and built a long lasting network.

Part-time program

The program is designed part-time allowing you to participate beside your current occupation, let it be a full-time job, a master thesis, a research project or other. Content Hackathon Weekends will start on Friday evening until Sunday evening. During the week you will mostly organize yourself: Either work at the Founders Home with your team or from your home base.

Top Experts

The program is lead by internationally recognized experts such as Prof. Dr. Jan Brinckmann, under top 5 Entrepreneurship professors worldwide and Head of MBA at ESADE Barcelona, or Dr. Sebastian Kortmann, Director of MBA program at University Amsterdam.

Founders network

The Founders Foundation is playing in the premier league of Germany’s startup education and is well-connected to the international startup scene. We are proud of our network of highly-qualified mentors and experts, industry partners, business angels and VCs.

Strong track record

Over the past years we have built a strong track record and reputation for successful B2B startups, mainly in the fields of IoT, SaaS for automation of management processes, Industry4.0, Crypto Currency and disrupting B2B marketplaces. We don’t hesitate to address white spots you might miss in your validation, which then enables you to scale faster later on.

B2B expertise

We are experts in building successful B2B business cases. Our region, with its many industry companies right in the heart of the German Mittelstand, is perfect for finding first pilot customers. The Hinterland of Things conference brings 1.5k movers and shakers from both worlds together and is the annual “lighthouse event” for the whole region.

Our application process

Four steps One big leap

Application

Fill in our application form (20 min). After completion, a couple weeks later, you receive an invite to answer 4 questions in a virtual interview (15 min).

Decision

We get >200 applications for 30 spots. An expert jury will assess your application and recommend the best applicants to us.

Feedback

You will receive a final answer from us whether you got accepted to the next program batch around May.

Start up

Confirm your participation and get ready for the kick-off. Whoop whoop.

Frequently asked questions

anna luisa korte

Anna-Luisa Korte

Program Manager Education

There is no “too old”! Quite the opposite: It can be a real advantage to have professional experience in your luggage and a serious ambition to start a business!

We provide you an amazing network of experienced and committed mentors from our network. We will introduce you to the mentors and will recommend that you apply to a mentor shortly afterwards. We expect that you meet with the mentor (virtually or on site) at least once a week.

EDP/Tech/software knowledge is not absolutely necessary. Because one person never founds alone (at least in our philosophy). Therefore we will match you with a complementary co-founder. A complementary and quick-witted team is one of the top 3 success factors. For this reason: To know one’s own strengths but also missing competences is a good basic requirement.

Good! Because we will match teams, so not everyone needs a case. We do however expect open and honest interest in technological innovation. We also gather “sponsored ideas” by experts from our network, who then become your “idea sponsor”. Your benefit from this? You have an expert mentor right on hand.

At Founders Foundation we focus on B2B business cases in particular. We want innovations that improve the lives of many and create great value – not on a small level. We aim for nothing less than tenfold growth! Make sure to tell us as much as possible about your business idea in your application.

Sometimes cases don’t work out right away. They just don’t show the potential you first saw in them. This is normal and absolutely no sign for you to give up. We want you to have an open mind, appreciate the feedback you get and take it seriously. If you then realize, it’s not working – no worries! We will assess the situation together with you, will decide whether a pivot makes sense or whether you might have to start all over again – that’s just the way startup life goes.

That’s when the „real work gets done“. You will have to organize yourself with your team on how you work together: Do you meet on-site? Do you work remotely? Who does what? You will need to apply the learnings from the weekends and reach validation KPIs, meaning a specific number on validation (and potential customer) interviews, business meetings. It’s real life, so real work!

The curriculum of our program follows is built up on the lean startup principle. You will be provided with his presentations afterwards and receive “homework” until the next workshop weekend. During the weekends, we will be joined by several well-known experts and successful serial entrepreneurs who will share their stories, insights, and maybe also work with you. Over the eight weeks, you will develop a pitch deck by regularly filling in the validation results you gather. So in the end, you will also have a pitch deck ready for the Final Pitch Day.

We will provide you with drinks, snacks and food during our workshop weekends. So no excuses to not fully dedicate yourself to the program.

… is before the Accelerator. If your validation has been positive and revealed real potential of course we won’t let you down. You will be qualified to apply to our fulltime Accelerator program. In case you may need another validation loop we will most certainly offer you a seat in our Founders Lab where we will continue to mentor you until you have reached a convincing Problem-Solution-Fit.

The Content Hackathon Weekends will give you valuable and necessary input on all relevant topics. But the “real” work, namely work “in the market”, “on the customer” gets done during weekdays. We expect you to be ready for a couple very intense months where you should be willing to commit around 20 hours per week for your business validation, even when you are working full-time. 3 months is not a lot of time and we want you to get to results as quick as possible and not waste time.

HELLO OPPORTUNITY!

Take the first step on your journey.