An instructive weekend: At the biggest Startup Weekend in Stuttgart ever, potential founders and lateral thinkers came together to hone new business ideas. The aim was to drive these ideas using innovative methods such as "Lean Startup" and to present the created marketable products and business models in front of a selected jury. mm1 supported this creative event as sponsor and mentor.
From November 22 to 24, about 130 participants attended the 4th Startup Weekend at the Hochschule der Medien (HDM) in Stuttgart-Vaihingen to develop their startup ideas in a short timeframe and to face an initial assessment. Main sponsor of the event was SAP; further financial backers included the startup incubator of the Scout24 portals, the DLD, Car2Go and mm1, the consultancy for Connected Business.
"The Startup Weekend and mm1 match perfectly: We share the belief in efficient, lean and modern approaches for innovative products and business models. For this reason we are happy to be a sponsor of this event and to take an active part in it", explains Volker Scholz, Managing Partner of mm1, his involvement with the Startup Weekend in Stuttgart. Alongside Volker Scholz and Stella Löffler of mm1 corporate representatives from SAP and Car2Go and experts from the startup scene engaged as mentors as well.
The participants started on Friday evening with 55 subjects – out of these, 22 were selected for further elaboration on the following two days. With a lecture by mm1 on Lean Startup methodology on Saturday morning, the teams received the methodical tools to develop promising products. Immediately afterwards, the entrepreneurs were able to put the theory into practice. Principles of the Lean Startup methodology were utilized, such as iterative prototyping and the constant focus on the customer's problem. Working late into the night, the teams were supported by suggestions and critical questions put forward by their mentors. On Sunday there was a final spurt: Refine concepts, create a compelling presentation and last but not least, face up to the vote of the jury.
Rightful winner was VirtualQ: an app that virtualizes the annoying queuing in front of clubs and at events. Not only concept and business model were award-worthy, but also the professional visualization qualified the team additionally for the special prize ‘best design'.
This year's Startup Weekend was the largest ever in Stuttgart - with a lot of creative energy and numerous enthusiastic entrepreneurial talents. "It was impressive to see how the participants of the Startup Weekends have implemented core principles of the Lean Startup methodology which we featured on the first day. But even at mm1 we can learn from such events – as more than 130 innovative and creative minds came together and proved to be very productive under time pressure. Similar formats are also possible in the context of our customer projects", was the conclusion of Stella Löffler, Senior Consultant at mm1.