The Startup Journey
A groundbreaking idea starts with a group of ambitious people who believe in themselves and want to achieve something wortwhile. Thee people become startup founders because they are deeply and intrinsically motivated.
Most teams start the same way, even if they have many different business ideas and approach the launch of their startup differently. Consequently, they face the same obstacles and must find answers to the same questions.
Connecting this pattern with the way ideas develop and become real products results in a timeline which we call the Startup Journey.
In order to meet every startup in their individual phase and offer them the best possible support, we from the Founders Foundation have the right program for each and every talent. We help talented founders on their very personal startup journey, from the business idea, to assembling the team and the actual launch to the scaling of their startup.
In Startup School, the Lab, the Accelerator, or the Qualification Programs, talented founders or already existing startup teams are being prepared for the next steps in their startup journey. In-depth and topic-related workshops offer additional expertise for teams who want to refine their skills. The choice of program depends on where the founders or teams are in their stage of development.
We do not believe in an “one size fits all” formula. Instead, we take the time to focus on the individual challenges our talented founders face in their journey. As a non-profit organization we do not take any shares from the founders.
The participation in our programs is funded by full-time grants. All that we expect from our participants is that they fully commit to their chosen program and are deeply passionate about entrepreneurship.
After completing the 10-week Startup School, you will have found a team of co-founders that complements your own strengths. Together, you have validated your business idea using real customer interviews and developed an in-depth understanding of the problem that you want to solve.
In the Lab, you and your team members further develop your business idea into a preliminary product, the MVP, and solidify your validation. You become experts for the problem, the solution, and the potential market. This is how you achieve the Problem-solution fit.
To accomplish all of that, you receive individual coaching from program managers and mentors and enjoy all the advantages our Founders Home has to offer. Once during a quarter, you face new startup teams on the Challenger Day where you pitch your progress and receive feedback from mentors and other founders.
During the 5-months full-time Accelerator, you go all out: You acquire the first customers, build your product, iterate your assumptions and insights, until you are on the stage of the Demo Day, with a solid Product-market fit and ready to launch into the first round of financing. On Demo Day, you show off your business case, and yourselves, to the German VC scene and become part of our alumni network.
The Road of Your Startup Journey:
Stage 1 |
STARTUP SCHOOL &
EdTech Next Academy
These two programs offer founders, and those who want to become founders, an ideal entry point into the world of startups: either into the local startup scene in Ostwestfalen-Lippe by attending Startup School or into the Edtech scene in Northrhine-Westfalia by focussing on topics in education through the EdTech Next Academy. The programs serve to connect ambitious talented founders with complementary personality profiles with each other and provide them with the relevant knowledge and the entrepreneurial mindset to launch their own companies during a ten week part-time program with on-site workshops and curated e-learning platforms. The participants profit from our international top-tier experts like Dr. Jan Brinckmann, associate professor of entrepreneurship and strategy at the ESADE Business School in Barcelona, and Sebastian Kortmann, associate professor for strategy and innovation at the University of Amsterdam Business School, and many other special guests and mentors.
Stage 2 |
In the Founder’s Lab and the EdTech Next Incubator, we help complementarily set up founder teams with the continuous and critical validation of their business idea. The goal is to reach the Problem-solution fit. In our Founders Home, the complete team has access to on-site workplaces and receives daily, individual support from program managers for creating and evaluating critical success hypotheses. Once in a quarter, the teams pitch their progress on Challenger Day to secure their position in the Lab against new applicants. For founders working on education solutions, the EdTech Next Incubator has offers for the entire NRW region.
Stage 3 |
The Founders Foundation helps B2B tech startup founder teams with implementing their business idea on the market in a 5 months full-time Accelerator. The teams profit from getting personal support and advice from an incredible network of mentors: entrepreneurs who, in their career, have raised at least 10 million euros of capital and created sales worth at least 5 million euros. The founders become part of an active network of hidden champions and global leaders; they receive feedback on their business models from top-tier investors from Germany. The teams also profit from the Founders Foundation’s regional business and industry network with partners like Miele, Goldbeck, Dr. Oetker, Phoenix Contact, Schüco, and many others.
Stage 4 |
The different tracks of our qualification program focus on a select group of ambitious professionals and managers from fast-growing startups. Experienced founders and experts with long years of experience share their entrepeneurial mindset with the participants: from practical state-of-the-art expertise, leadership skills, to best practices. Among the current qualification programs are the fields fundraising, sales, leadership, operations, and product; taught and led by experts from our network like Stephan Jacquemot, Jens Hutzschenreuter, Dorothea von Wichert-Nick, Alexander Rausch, and Just Beyer.
We help you on your journey
Our unique network of mentors, lecturers, and speakers comprises high-caliber entrepreneurs, international experts, and leading figures from the startup scene. These luminaries are ready to train you on an individual basis.
Get to know our network of experienced entrepreneurs who support our teams along the growth phase of their busines idea
You Have Questions?
Talk to us!
We are happy to answer your questions about our programs, our mission and the events we are hosting.
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