Five questions to... Hamburg's We Dart start-up
The founders of "We Dart", a spin-off from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW), Lennart Zorn, Alisa Möhrke and Florian Bautsch Hamburg, digitise and network dartboards. Their system can show the exact pinpoint of a dart, generate statistics, offer help during training and let people play online with other users. This comes against the growing popularity of darts, which has long since evolved from a game in a pub to a competitive sport frequently broadcast live on television.
Hamburg News: How did your business idea come about?
WeDart: We watched the Darts World Championship on TV, started playing darts in Florian's basement, and soon hit on the idea for an automatic scoring system. It was a hobby for a long time until we realised that such a system would be great not just for us. So, we decided to apply for the EXIST start-up grant.
Hamburg News: How did you found the company and who offered you support and funding?
We Dart: We founded "We Dart GmbH" this February. We received lots of support from HAW, beyourpilot, the Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg and other founders during the EXIST period. But the support of our friends, partners, families and the darts community was also crucial.
Hamburg News: What were the biggest obstacles to founding?
We Dart: On the one hand, the biggest obstacles were developing the proof of concept (feasibility study), and on the other hand and in technical terms, continuously securing our costs of living and budgeting the development.
Hamburg News: Where do you see yourselves five years from now?
We Dart: Clearly, at the Ally Pally (a nickname for the Alexandra Palace sports and entertainment venue in London) during the World Darts Championship. But above all, we see ourselves as a provider of the best online darts community ever and that links up darts players worldwide.
Hamburg News: What important tip would you give to other founders?
We Dart: Get started! Talk to your potential customers, prove your idea and focus on the most important advantages that your company or product offers. You do not have to go it alone. Network with other founders and advice centres and benefit from the experience of others.
Interview by Charles Sinn, Co-ordinator of Content Management at Hamburg Innovation in co-operation with Hamburg News.