What do startuppers think about Go Grow?
“If one has a startup, dealing with struggles will take about 95% of the time”
Martin Witt – founder.
Idea: “Design of happiness.”
Business Target Audience: Denmark.
How can the design of happiness become a startup?
The question to yourself “how does the happiness look like?” can be challenging to almost everybody. Even though the answers can vary significantly, Martin Witt is sure that he found a universal formula and ready to share it. This Danish entrepreneur designed a pretty joyful figure of a whale that can raise a mood of almost everybody who just looks at it. The combination of the child’s simplicity, hidden but evident smile, and absence of sharp forms really makes the figure full of positive and pleasant emotions at the subconscious level.
“I have failed to enter Go Grow at first, although I was sure it was the best idea in the world (smiling). The manager asked to improve the idea and return, what I actually did in 6 months and was accepted. However, it was only the beginning of the long road towards the dream.”
What can Go Grow give to a startup?
“Suddenly, I returned back to school.”Martin Witt
Martin reviews Go Grow as an excellent possibility to learn more about successful business in terms of marketing, strategy, and structure. “I was about 32 years old and had no idea about entrepreneurship when we had joined the program. Suddenly, I returned back to school. I had to learn a lot, visit workshops, and accomplish intermediate tasks. It was hard, but I moved step by step and now is grateful to this accelerator for complex assistance.”
Preparation to pitch matters
According to Forbes, the time of year you pitch, the detailedness of your data, and the value of your pitch deck are a few of the strongest factors affecting the amount of funding a business receives. Martin Witt confirms such a claim in a quite specific manner:
“Go Grow changed my attitude toward pitching. I thought I needed a 10-minute proposition to show a full understanding of the idea and its sides. They forced to formulate the whole concept in 30 seconds or two lines and make it sharp. What is important, it outgrew into making precise steps towards customers and full rethinking of the business, which made it better even without direct sponsoring by the accelerator.”
Even though the acceptance rate to accelerators is about a few percents, not all participants graduate with success stories to tell. “Plenty of drive, energy, and patience is a must-have for everybody, as if one has a startup, dealing with struggles will take about 95% of the time.” Sounds challenging, but the idea, optimism, and results of Martin Witt show that time and forces worth it.
“Drive and energy are the cornerstone elements, and one has to participate during workshops actively”
Oliver Thor Sorensen – co-founder.
Idea: “Easy digital cooperation with driving schools.”
Business Target Audience: Denmark.
The idea of the startup
People cannot be familiar with all possible details that take place in their life and often lose much time and force in the wrong directions. Oliver Thor Sorensen with a partner found the niche where digital structuralization can save up to 60% of the time for participants. Thus, their online platform connects students with driving schools, which allows planning and accomplishing educational processes much easier.
“We took most of the daily administrative work related to driving schools and created a system that helps to organize cooperation better. Students can faster define better options for learning and practicing, while schools receive a more structured and divided load. What are more different types of notifications and features of our system make life simpler for both sides?”
Key aspects to be accepted
Such an idea received beneficial attention of Go Grow as Oliver’s startup was accepted even missing one of the necessary steps. “We were on the proof-of-concept stage, which had to be followed by proof of business stage before joining the accelerator. However, the business step was skipped, and even a small team consisted of co-founder, me, and a part-time developer, was accepted.”
“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”Mario Andretti, Legendary Race Car Driver
On the question about qualities and characteristics that are needed to join the acceleration program, Oliver gave an unexpected comparison. “Drive and energy are the cornerstone elements, and one has to participate during workshops actively. We had plenty of that as I enjoy the phrase of famous racer Mario Andretti – if everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough. Probably, such an approach allowed us to skip one of the stages and grow faster than expected.”
Drawbacks in the free program?
The positive mood wasn’t spoiled even when we talk about the negative sides of Go Grow. “Among the weakest points was the lack of specialization of workshops, as the same lecture or task could be applied to startups from both tech and food industries. As far as I know, some accelerators can be better in such cases.”
Nevertheless, Oliver calmly added: “We fully understood why we joined them, so additional knowledge in business and detailed preparation to pitching was good enough not to perceive workshops as truly negative sides. Knowing that they are also developing and fully free overwhelms specialization aspect.” It sounds fair enough to make the right conclusions and respective decisions.
“We had numerous questions about further development and received answers to all of them”
Kristijonas Zibutis – founder and programmer.
Idea: “Practical collaboration of companies and students.”
Business Target Audience: International.
How may students help companies?
Among the most challenging tasks for graduate students in preparing themselves for work placements, and the idea of Kristijonas Zibutis and Kristupas Saikus is actually about that. Their team created a platform where companies set real problems in the form of a project for Masters and Bachelors students to solve while working on a Thesis which makes such a collaboration useful for both.
“We have been in the incubator program, so entering Go Grow was a natural next step to proceed. Mentors gave us a lot of useful advice, which was especially needed to expand our business abroad. Currently, we have a platform that connects companies and students from all over the world.”
When the founder is also a developer
The question about the role of the interviewee in facilitating this idea did not frustrate him, while the clear answer showed why their project was selected on the first attempt. “I built a software myself and can change the code any time. We actually don’t need to hire cheap developers from Ukraine or Bulgaria. Moreover, it allows us to implement new approaches or change some processes almost immediately. However, the value of our company is not the platform only, now we have professional recruiters and provide appropriate consultations for both students and firms.”
“The best way to learn more about entrepreneurship is to start a company.”Small Business Trends
The assistance of Go Grow
The further talk with Kristijonas forced him to remind one of the simplest rules, which is confirmed with numerous surveys: the best way to learn more about entrepreneurship is to start a company. “We had a perspective idea, but participation in the acceleration program made it more clear and opened new marketing opportunities due to received knowledge. Moreover, we finally made a step towards abroad cooperation.”
The absence of any sharp criticism about Go Grow seems to show the person who knew what he wanted from the accelerator. “Before joining the program, we had a pay-point, knew how and why the customers would pay for the product. However, we had numerous questions about further development and received answers to all of them. That was really helpful and great for us.”
Despite the fact that most startups fail, Kristijonas Zibutis shows how the desire to develop a product and understanding of some basic points can make a difference. Before entering Go Grow, their company had only 2 engaged employees, while now their idea thrives and working on the international level. Another useful motivation story, isn’t it?