Max and his team won the Final Pitch Day of Startup School batch #10 with their project plantgreen. In an interview, he told us about their journey through the program and what he learned in 10 weeks of Startup School.
Max! First off, congratulations on winning Final Pitch Day. But, how did your project team get together and where did your idea come from?
Thank you as well, and thanks to all of the Founders Foundation. To be honest, the idea initially came from Trutz and Johann who found this wildflower field concept and thought that that could be real business case. What followed was more or less lucky coincidence. I knew Trutz from way back and we got Julius to join. Bit by bit, the idea took form.
What’s behind the concept?
We closely work with the farming industry which naturally depends on its fields and pastures. Considering the impact of climate change and the necessity of environmental protection, we saw a need to act. One problem we are actively fighting is the decline of insect populations. These wildflower fields are a habitat for insects and different species of flowers – ultimately they are their own ecosystem.
That’s where we pick up: In cooperation with farmers, we seed wildflower fields and get companies to finance these fields. The companies in turn can use that for PR purposes and can that way contribute to fighting climate change locally.
So, you already had an idea and a team. How did you find your way to Startup School?
That was Trutz, again. His flatmate had already joined Startup School. He told us about the program. That was a chance we didn’t want to miss and so we applied. When we started, we didn’t expect this outcome though, at all!
Do you want to tell us how the idea developed during the program?
Foremost, it was really cool to share in the knowhow of the program experts and coaches. There was something new to learn in there for every founder. I think this kind of mindset has helped to understand how people in this microcosm tick.
At the beginning of Startup School, Jan Brinckmann said: “Don’t fall in love with your own idea¨. That’s what had happened to us and it was exactly the right impulse to snap us out of it. So, we challenged our idea. We learned that it’s not simply about a cool vision, but about practiality. This process has helped us the most.
You mentioned Jan Brinckmann. Is there anyone else from the workshops or a workshop leader that has inspired you?
The sessions with Bianca Praetorius were great. She was really impressive. With her help, we made the final preparations for Final Pitch Day. During the whole process, she supported us with a lot of kindness and empathy.
Do you have advice for a good pitch?
There is nothing that’s a complete no-go or that might be too far out there. Don’t worry about giving the most absurd ideas a chance – that’s what we did. Add a large slice of confidence and enough euphoria and you can transform any story into a cool pitch.
Now that you have completed Startup School and won Pitch Day – What’s next?
We are really happy that our journey with the Founders Foundation continues and we are going to move to the Lab. That’s where we are going to take the next steps in developing our idea. Wildflower fields are the first step but we see a lot of potential for more products in agriculture in general. That’s the direction we want to take our concept.
What’s your résumé about the program after having completed Startup School?
Launching a company is new territory for most people, generally speaking. To have the chance to profit from so much expertise, knowhow, honest commitment, and honest feedback from participants and well-known experts is invaluable!
Also, having the chance to get into contact with people who inspire you, who think visionary and innovatively was extremely helpful for us. This mixture of cool people, lots of expertise and knowhow, honest feedback, and a program packed with highlights have made these 10 weeks an amazing and productive experience.
What’s your advice for aspiring founders who have an idea that’s slowly taking form? How do you make that happen?
Just go ahead and try it out. I think the largest obstacle for an aspiring founder is to really take a chance.
Take courage and simply go for it. Nothing will vex you later more than having missed a chance.
Beyond that, you need lots of motivation and ambition. There will always be obstacles on the road but it’s incredible fun to overcome these roadblocks.
You want to really take off with your business idea?
Then join our Startup School. You get 10 weeks time to intensively work on your idea. Find co-founders and profit from our exclusive experts' experience.