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.


July, 2013

Tech Open Air Berlin – August 1st & 2nd in Berlin

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

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Tech Open Air is Europe’s first Interdisciplinary Technology Festival. Its mission is to connect, grow and inspire the tech, music, art and science communities via knowledge exchange and collaboration. With its open format – conference meets festival – Tech Open Air aims to create a platform for different disciplines to build upon with technology being the common denominator that affects us all. Tech Open Air was initiated in 2012 by Nikolas Woischnik and was the first crowdfunded festival in Europe. The theme of the 2013 edition is called “Reset tomorrow!” and is based upon the concept of Retrofuturism.

At Tech Open Air it´s all about inspiration and knowledge: enjoy ignite talks, knowshops, live music, art installations, panels, outdoor pitching, boating on the spree and many more! 2 days of Tech, Music, Art and Science! Come to Berlin.

Foundum Members receive a 20% discount on the tickets. Please email david@foundum.com to get your discount.

Sixt rent a car – Up to 15% discount for Foundum members!

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

As a successful global mobility provider Sixt rent a car provides a wide range of vehicles of all brands, including the world’s largest BMW and Mercedes Benz fleet. You will find their friendly staff and car rental counters at more than 4,000 locations in over 100 countries worldwide.

In addition, Sixt offers one of the most exclusive chauffeur services in over 450 cities worldwide. Their passengers are being transported on board of the latest models of the most premium vehicle brands, by experienced certified multilingual chauffeurs.

Within the scope of its 100-year company history, the offers and services of Sixt have always been cutting-edge and ever-improving. No matter if you need a vehicle for your annual family vacation, a short break, a business trip, or long-term. Your satisfaction and the unique services are their first priority.

TOP OFFER: Up to 15% discount for Foundum members!

As an exclusive highlight Foundum members receive up to 15% discount worldwide on Sixt car rentals.
Click here for further information.

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Top 5 Crowdfunding Platforms

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Receiving funding for your startup can often be frustrating, time consuming, and discouraging. However, around the world and especially across Europe, many crowdfunding platforms are revitalizing the way startups work, providing considerable funding, advice, and hope to young entrepreneurs. We have compiled a list of five successful and impressive crowdfunding platforms we believe could be of major assistance to you and your company.

Funded By Me:
One of the fastest-growing crowdfunding platforms in the European union, Funded By Me provides an easy-to-use system that connects investors and entrepreneurs. Numerous investors use the site to track startups that interest them, manage their funds, connect with other angels, and much more. Given all these opportunities for investors, Funded By Me has approximately €266,213,301.92 available for startups, making it an extremely appealing platform for entrepreneurs as well. Startups have the capacity to expand globally through this platform on account of its international connections, and the website’s interface makes it extremely easy to publish information that can be shared to all users. The high traffic the site receives illustrates how efficient and popular of a tool it is for the startup community.

Funding Circle:
Eliminating the use of financial intermediaries and banks, this platform tremendously facilitates businesses and investors in need of one another’s services. For venture capitalists and investors, this site provides benefits such as an easy-to-use platform where they can directly manage their funds and upholds 5.8% as its average net return rate. The platform also enables entrepreneurs to receive competitive, remarkable rates by maintaining transactions outside of their respective banks, making Funding Circle a much more stress-free medium to find and obtain funding. Focused on the United Kingdom startup scene, they have already lent £118,917,760 from the 48,033 individuals who have signed up for the program, demonstrating how effective their system is.

Seedmatch:
Specific to German startups, Seedmatch has built a network of connections that enable young entrepreneurs to find the funding they need to launch their business. Investors can join by simply paying a small entry fee beginning at 250 € and use the online platform to browse companies they find interesting, eventually creating a personalized portfolio with all of their respective startups’ information. Given the array of investors involved in Seedmatch, many entrepreneurs also are drawn to the platform as they have the opportunity to expand their network and market their product in exchange for funding. Moreover, Seedmatch automates many logistical processes, saving time and energy for both parties and simplifying investing altogether.

Crowdfund Me:
Based in Italy, Crowdfund Me understands the struggle many entrepreneurs face of having great ideas but lacking the resources and connections necessary for their startups to succeed. It therefore works with its clients closely and carefully, analyzing their proposals and goals and helping them grow into established companies, all under Crowdfund Me’s caring guidance. The platform easily and quickly connects investors, venture capitalists and other funders to entrepreneurs in need, providing a wide range of options for both parties to choose from and contact. Unlike many platforms, Crowdfund Me does not charge anything for their services and also creates a greater likelihood that startups can receive 100% funding through the site.

partiZipa:
If you hold a bank account in Spain, you’re automatically eligible to become part of partiZipa’s financial ecosystem. The platform introduces investors to a variety of businesses in a variety of industries, making the funding process much more personally applicable to both parties involved. Investments occur through a peer-to-company method, making funding a safe, protected transaction. They also require a contract to be drawn up between investors and businesses, allowing great discretion based on personal preferences in deciding what the best method of payment is, when the money should be exchanged by, and other logistical details. On the website, users can also rate and comment on startups, enabling all users to get a better idea on what each company is trying to accomplish and what resources they need to make their goals a reality.

Through these diverse and useful platforms, startups can connect with investors and develop their companies, while investors have the opportunity to receive a high rate of return. Click here for a complete list of crowdfunding platforms, and we hope that these top five platforms are useful for you and your company!

Highlights of The Next Web Summer Extraganza

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Last Thursday, 11th July, we had the privilege to attend The Next Web’s (TNW) event in Barcelona at the old Estrella Damm fabrique, located in the heart of the city, and have highlighted a few talks and ideas we found particularly meaningful and valuable.

The event kicked off with welcomes from organizers TNW and Barcelona.IO, followed by a variety of speeches and panels from successful business leaders and executives.

Robin Wauters (TNW) commented on the city of Barcelona itself, including its merits as a startup ecosystem hub but also the essential resources it lacks that has prevented the scene here from fully moving forward. Specifically, he mentioned that the city is a perfect environment to start a company in but not ideal to grow and expand there is considerable capital but little venture, and entrepreneurs here are talented and passionate but some lack the typical entrepreneurial attitude and overall startup culture that enables a city to take off.

He then progressed to his talk, which provided valuable tips on how startups can receive more press coverage by not only stepping out of their comfort zone and doing something incredible to gain attention but also researching journalists before sending them information to best appeal to their interests. Building relationships with press and media officials, Wauters believes, is key to successful and popular press.

Index Venture’s Martin Mignot followed and talked about startups can receive funding from a big VC firm. He noted that the three key features VC’s are looking for include a) market size, b) how fast can you “capture” the market and c) the ability to defend one’s position in the industry (barriers), aside from traction, team, and product. He also elaborated on the differences with the BA’s who tend to be entrepreneurs and businessmen investing their own.

The event also consisted of a panel with Luis Martín Cabiedes (super BA), Marcel Rafart (Nauta), Angel García (Lanta), and Gary Stewart (Wayra). Their discussion concluded that, in general, lack of money was not necessarily an issue as much as lack of good projects—as the good ideas will evoke money and funding. They also debated the key factors that attract people to invest in a company: KPI’s, Traction, Team, Viable Business, and CAC<LTV (the cost of acquisition of a customer being less than the lifetime value of the user).

Later, Mark Henkel (Paymill) suggested various ways companies can engage their employees in ways more meaningful than putting fruit in the fridge or table tennis in the office. He highlighted the value of commitment to the business’s core values, respect and internalization of their opinions, and a clear mission statement. Good management, in his opinion, leads to 80% of engagement.

Andres Bou (Social Point) and Vicenç Martí (Akamon) hosted a social games panel, where they both agreed that the key is Focus (Social Point—for example, mid-core social games), and they also emphasized the need for successful businesses to be both mobile and international.

Near the end of the session, Heather Russell (Rinkya) made a particularly amazing (and hilarious) speech regarding the mistakes she made in her career, the importance of being strong and resilient, and, for lack of a better word, to “never be a dick”. Her speech acknowledged the unavoidable struggles an entrepreneur must cope with but reminded attendees that they were all part of the startup experience.

To conclude the event, there was a panel on being an entrepreneur in Spain with the people behind Yuilop, Getapp  and Tuenti. Their final parting words, which we thought were particularly interesting and moving, were Jochen Dopplehammer’s (Yuilop) comment “Go to the US market without respect, now!”, encouraging extremely passionate Spanish companies to go abroad in pursuit of their business goals.

After the event, we had the opportunity to further discuss several subjects with some of the very impressive speakers, including Luis Martin Cabiedes, Angel García, and Aldo de Jong . We greatly enjoyed the opportunities we had to both discuss and learn about the Barcelona and global startup scene and would like to thank and commend The Next Web for an incredible event!

The Top 5 Books for Entrepreneurs

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Given the presence of the Internet, entrepreneurs are clicks away from tremendous resources and helpful pieces of advice that can assist them in their daily struggles. However, books still prevail as one of the primary means of educating and inspiring individuals in a managerial environment. To help you find the right book that might potentially change the way you approach your startup, we have selected the top 5 must-reads for any entrepreneur.

1. The Four Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Though a seemingly too-good-to-be-true title, this classic novel encourages abandoning traditional business norms and expectations, such as the idea that working long hours until you are miserable will eventually lead you to success. Ferriss reveals some harsh realities to his readers: he claims that 90% of the work people do may actually be unnecessary and harmful to their success and that our work and demeanor is a product of those closest to us, encouraging entrepreneurs to surround themselves with positive, encouraging figures. The light the author sheds on many crucial business topics makes this novel particularly interesting, stirring up excitement and inspiration in many of its readers and making it the epitome of a business must-read.

2. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

An encouraging and introspective book, Guillebeau elaborates on how entrepreneurs can implement their true passion to make millions. His book contains the stories of 50 business leaders who, despite not spending countless hours or countless dollars on their projects, still prevailed tremendously successful. Creativity, he believes, is a particularly important stimulant to a good business, and he develops the concept of turning a hobby or talent into a successful service or company as opposed to wasting years of one’s life hating his or her job and feeling intellectually void. He also promotes the abandonment of traditional customer analysis: demographics are not the key to marketing—instead, businesses should focus and play on the shared interests and uniting values that attract their customers to the business at hand.

3. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Acknowledging the inherent risk and uncertainty that is coupled with the launch of a new startup, Ries suggests an alternative to this seemingly inevitable struggle: being lean, flexible, agile, and, as a result, profitable. The main mistake entrepreneurs make is investing too much time into the development of an extravagant product before being positive that there will be a large, eager consumer base. Stubbornness and attachment also causes individuals to cling to an idea even after it has basically proven unsuccessful, leading many promising startups to failure.  As an alternative, he promotes the advertising tactic “split testing,” where variations of a product are tested among different groups so marketers and business leaders can see which edition is best received and implemented. By changing the way entrepreneurs begin their businesses, Ries’ book truly revitalizes the way startups approach their endeavors.

4. Startup Communities by Brad Feld

Boulder, Colorado and its entrepreneurial ecosystem is the focus of this book, highlighting both the difficulties and prospects available in a startup environment. Feld praises entrepreneurs and the leadership roles they embody in this literal “startup community,” bringing together all of those involved in this high-tech world. Despite this managerial position, the book acknowledges the importance of startup development through networking, as opposed to creating a hierarchy where the power and ability to expand lies in the hands of a single person or institution. By enveloping the entire “community” and creating a network of involved, passionate individuals, startups are most likely to succeed, shedding light on the ample resources available to startups in tech hotspots that are sometimes neglected.
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5. The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers are defined as individuals who achieve success through empowered, strong decision-making—by taking advantage of opportunities and acting upon them, outliers achieve their goals and are set apart from the rest of the pack. He highlights the interplay of luck and hard work in obtaining success, but reminds his readers that without putting in the hard work and dedication necessary to build a profitable company, the luck will not come. The book has a particular interesting approach by looking at the circumstantial surroundings of individuals that contribute to their success, such as when they were born or what their living situation was like growing up. Gladwell implements this special logic to understand why others are more successful than others, inspiring and questioning entrepreneurs in the process.

From highlighting the importance of hard work to encouraging finding your passion, each of these books contains an important message that will assist entrepreneurs in their daily tasks. We hope that these books will be of great assistance to you at some point!