Wizards with figures meet mavericks © Wizards with figures meet mavericks networks now boosting young firms through knowledge transfer

People who bubble over with ideas rarely have time or patience to deal with marketing or accounting. At the same time, a wizard with numbers might be looking for a new task. So it’s just a question of bringing the two together. Enter Founded by Michael Beier, 35, and Maximilian Antosch, 27, the latter explained: “ is a platform, which links up exciting founders, entrepreneurs and experts and advances them through regular events.” In July, the start-up launched in Hamburg and is now planning to expand to other German cities.

Average lifespan of only 2.7 years

When it comes to networking, Startluft targets new start-ups and existing projects still in the critical three-year phase. “Our mission is to launch more qualified start-ups through targeted networking and to increase the service life of start-ups. The current average is only 2.7 years,” said Antosch. Start-ups fail for all kinds of reasons ranging from incorrectly assessing the market, lack of financing to faulty marketing, according to the U.S. data service CB Insights.

Workshops, speed dating and expert pool

Apart from Startluft’s online network, which facilitates direct contact with potential founders or interesting business partners, Antosch and Beier are also focusing on events for knowledge transfer in the hope of positioning start-ups better on the market. The events range from exchanging experiences via the founders’ bazar, workshops, Instagram, influencer marketing or advertising on Facebook up to founders’ dating which is akin to speed dating, but for founders and business people, to the “Level Up Day” on which experts give individual marketing feedback.

Overview of service providers

Plans are presently being laid for a pool of experts. “There start-ups will find all the service providers they need – from tax advisors, start-up consultants, designers of logos and CI to developers for building prototypes. This expert pool and workshops will be two of Startluft’s sources of income while an announcement or tenders’ area for gaining partners, co-founders or co-workers will form the company’s third revenue stream. The service is free of charge for those hired while companies pay a fee.

Stop dreaming and try it out!

Around 1,000 people have used so far and the founders aim to expand this reach as swiftly as possible. “And we are well on the way,” said Antosch. Asked about tips for potential start-ups, he noted: “Many romanticize start-ups. But reasoning for the sake of reasoning is a first, good impulse. Yet, a founder should know exactly what they want.” To form a clearer idea of their objectives, potential founders should immerse themselves in the start-up scene and try working with potential co-founders initially. “Working together within a small, clearly defined framework is a very good way of really getting to know each other.” His advice is probably best heeded as team difficulties are among the top three causes of start-ups’ failures, according to CB Insights.

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