Passion for entrepreneurship has inspired us to create Foundum. We believe in entrepreneurs as they have the greatest potential to drive, change and positively influence economies & societies.

December, 2009

SIME Stockholm 2009 – Tips and advices for young entrepreneurs

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

We´ve attended  SIME Stockholm this year and this video summarizes some great learnings from successful entrepreneurs who also attended the conference:

SIME Stockholm 2009 – Tips and advices for young entrepreneurs from on Vimeo.

Barcelona’s entrepreneur networks boosting its entrepreneurial ecosystem

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Are you aware of all the entrepreneurial organizations out there in your city?

Many entrepreneurs are aware of a few organizations in their cities but the majority has no idea which ones are really relevant for them and their business and how to find suitable ones which can provide good support.

Within the last years many initiatives haven been taken by the city of Barcelona to grow and make better accessible its entrepreneurial ecosystem. In November the “Barcelona Networking Day” for the first time created a macro-networking event with 255 members and representatives of the entrepreneurial community to present the city´s most active networking platforms for entrepreneurs.

The Barcelona Networking Day-organized by the governmental institution Barcelona Activa–enabled entrepreneurs to network face to face with entrepreneurs and the most active networks fostering entrepreneurialism and innovation of the city of Barcelona.

Around 8.000 entrepreneurs belonging to all sorts of different sectors (new technology, automotive, mobile communication, etc) attended the event. It’s been a great opportunity to establish contacts, collaborative ventures and sharing experiences of entrepreneurial adventures within the city.

These are the 19 currently most active entrepreneurial networks:

Started in 2004, 22@ is an initiative which actively supports and boosts the development of the District @22 transforming the area into a dynamic hub for technological Start-Ups and Businesses.

Associació Jovenes Empresaris de Catalunya
Created in 1958, AIJEC is a non-profit organization to support young entrepreneurs in Catalonia.

Barcelona Entrepreneurship City
Created in 2008, BCN Entrepreneurship City is a meta community for Entrepreneurs that have the common goal to make Barcelona the European Hub for Entrepreneurship. Members propose new ideas, in order to improve the infrastructure and services for Entrepreneurs in Barcelona. Check also the Facebook Group.

BCN Techworking
BCN Techworking is a community for entrepreneurs focused on the technological and innovation sector.

Cava & Twitts
Cava and Twitts is a monthly gathering to talk about Social Media topics which are related to the communication tool Twitter – how to use it and how to better understand its impact.

Circulo de Mujeres de Negocio
Círculo de Mujeres de Negocios is a non-for profit association with the aim to bring together professional women from the business world such as female entrepreneurs, directors, managers, freelancers and executives.

Entrepreneurs Network Barcelona
ENB enables you to mingle with fellow Barcelona based international entrepreneurs, to exchange ideas, contacts and advice on doing business in Catalonia.

Entrepreneurs Organization Spain
Founded in 1987, The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a dynamic, global network of more than 7.300 business owners in 42 countries. EO is a catalyst enabling entrepreneurs to grow and learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.

Federació d´Associacions de Joves Empresaris i Emprendedors de Catalunya
Objective of the FAJEEC is to help young entrepreneurs to learn and grow and to create synergies between other young Catalan entrepreneurs. JCI Catalunya – and other Catalan governmental institutions have formed the FAJEEC.

First Tuesday
First Tuesday is an independent Business Think Tank encouraging and supporting the creation of knowledge where business intersects policy, technology and innovation. There are First Tuesday forums in 18 countries with over 41.000 active members worldwide.

Gild International
Opened in 2008, Gild is a modern-day business club exclusively for members providing office space, hosting interesting events and offer personalised networking opportunities. Further clubs are planned for Madrid, Paris, London, New York, Shanghai and Dubai.

Iniciador Barcelona
Iniciador is a Spanish community of Entrepreneurs hosting conversations online and organizing regular meetings in all major  cities of Spain.

iWeekend is an intensive event that brings together a highly motivated group of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more to select an idea and work together on executing the idea — launching the first version of the product (usually a web application), all in one weekend.

Jove Cambra Internacional Barcelona
Inspired by JCI Junior Chamber International around 1.000 young entrepreneurs between 18 y 40 years of different sectors have joined the Catalan organization. Apart from grants there is active support provided by the Barcelona government and the Generalitat of Catalunya.

Onion is a cooperative association based on three pillars: knowledge/experience, contacts/networking and cooperation. Xarxa Onion helps PYMES developing key strategies to help them consolidate and grow their business.

Mobile Monday
Mobile Monday is a community of mobile professionals. The open community promotes the mobile industry and fosters cooperation and networking among industry people and their companies by providing opportunities for personal and virtual contacts.

Venturepreneurs Organization
Venturepreneurs are serial entrepreneurs who act as venture capitalists. They have their own entrepreneurial and venture capital experience and like to invest in new ventures in the seed stage. The organisation aims to be a European wide network in order to exchange valuable peer to peer experiences, create high quality deal flow, foster sector expertise and generate co-investment opportunities and business contacts.

Xarxactiva de´empreses
Barcelonanetactiva is a space created by Barcelona Activa, the Local Development Agency of the Barcelona City Council, which offers quality information and tools to entrepreneurs with business ideas, so they can start up and consolidate their businesses in Barcelona.

Learn more about our Co-founder Christopher Pommerening

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Christopher Pommerening about his Venture Capital Experience at SIME Stockholm 2009.

Christopher Pommerening about Active Venture Partners at SIME Stockholm 2009 from on Vimeo.

Foundum First Steps – Part I

Monday, December 14th, 2009

When setting up a business most people ask about the first necessary steps. Every entrepreneur goes about it in his own individual way. Many entrepreneurs actually set up their business adhoc and improve while they go along – creative chaos you might call it.  We´d like to share with you our first steps starting Foundum, as some might be relevant for you as well – creative chaos in a structure ;-)

From Idea to Opportunity
We´ve been playing around with the Foundum idea for a little more than one year. The first idea fragments and concept notes were scribbled into a children drawing book (better than any power point, word or mind mapping software).

Foundum drawing book

It’s been important for us to validate that we don’t have only a nice idea but that there’s actually a real opportunity beneath it. After speaking with numerous company founders, other entrepreneurial key players and stakeholders who helped us validating our concept and developing the idea further, we could verify that there´s a strong need to display the entrepreneurial global ecosystem on-line.

Researching the Market
First thing we did was looking into the market to see what the potential market of entrepreneurs actually looks like and how big it is. Did you know that there exist more than 140 Mio. entrepreneurs world-wide?

Internal Communication structure
Our remotely working team benefits from Web2.0 information sharing technologies. Yammer - our internal company Twitter – enables us to share day to day information, news and resources. As a document repository we can highly recommend using Dropbox where you can share files online whilst having them saved on your computer.

Well, these were the fun parts and now the hard work begins:

Writing the Business Plan
Many entrepreneurs either don´t have a Business Plan in place when starting their business or they go the other extreme… overestimating the importance of a Business Plan trying to create the perfect document. We´re trying to define all important aspects of the business and use it as living document as we go along. It´s important to have a Business Plan especially if you´re planning to apply for grants, loans or other types of investments. You can present your business idea in a structured way and it also helps you to remain clarity of your own goals and objectives amongst your team from day one.

Finding the right name
This is a very tricky topic, since you have to find a name that fits to your business, where the domain name is still available and where you have a high chance to register the trademark.  Some entrepreneurs subcontract a branding specialist for the name finding process. In our case we tried to do it ourself. We brought our heads together several times and soon came up with the name: Foundum - based on the words Founder, Foundation and the latin ending „–um“ interpreted as providing a robust basis.

And of course we were lucky that this domain was still available. Important if you’re estabishing an internet site. ;-)

Creating the Logo
We have some of the the best designers here in Barcelona/Spain when it comes to logo creation. Arnau Masramon from Forabord is the one who turned our vision into an icon expressing it all: connecting entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial entities through local ecosystems all over the globe. The font design we discovered at our favourite Sushi restaurant in Ibiza. The font colour is taken from our best-loved withe wine bottle and the icon colours are the water colours of Espalmador.

Foundum Icon White

Legal Registrations
Especially when creating a brand in the B2C sector a trademark should be secured ensuring there won´t be any difficulties with other companies in the future. We´re working closely with a trustworthy lawyer in our hometown Hamburg/Germany to assure a smooth registration processes.

It´s important to register all major domains just to avoid complications in the future with stolen domain names. We´ve registered the main domains of Foundum which we consider important for our market.

Telling the world  who you are without having a product ready
Before even launching our site it was important for us to show the world who we are and what we are trying to achieve. That‘s why we created a first ´Teaser´ Page and started blogging about topics relevant for entrepreneurs.

Setting up our first Twitter Account
Of course, these days it‘s a MUST to have a Twitter Profile if you want to be someone in the Web2.0 Galaxy ;) I´ve been active on Twitter for nearly two years now and it was a special moment to see our first Foundum Twitter post up and running on 18th November. We are eager to share relevant information and connect with other entrepreneurs.

Developing the Product
We run riot in brainstorming sessions where we´re sticking paper and scribbles on a (real) wall and from there we specify our ideas in a requirements document in the most detailed way. After finalizing this first planning stage we visualize our ideas using the Wireframing Tool Axure. It´s important to plan your website properly before you get the developers starting to code on it as you might lose a lot of time and money if you change your mind later when the site is already up and running.

Setting up the Company
Every city and country has their own regulations – make sure you are aware of them. In Barcelona we had to register the company name first to obtain permission from the government to use it for our purpose. Before the company can be set up in front of a notary, you need to have a provisional NIF in place and a bank account up and running with the initial capital deposited.

… to be continued!