Alice Nell
January 21, 2016

Startup Basics 101 with Yatan Blumenthal | Building a Strong Foundation

The word is out! You might have heard it; in March starts a brand new accelerator at ours! Who, what, where? EY Start-­Up Challenge,​ in collaboration with b​etahausX.​ Great reason to ask our Chief Accelerator Yatan Blumenthal to write a series of blogs, and share some basic startup insights.

Phase #1: Building a Strong Foundation

Getting your startup officially started is, officially, the most important, difficult and epic step you’re ever going to take as an entrepreneur. It’s your conception moment; the moment you throw caution to the wind, kick your moving train into gear and go forth and conquer.

 

Pragmatism is the order of the day in these early stages.

There’s no place for platitudes. To work for a sustainable launch, stay grounded, literal and with nothing but the future in mind. Don’t just decide on your concept, buy a URL and just start pumping out whatever product/service you’re looking to flog.

 

"Don’t just decide on your concept, buy a URL and just start pumping out whatever product/service you’re looking to flog."

 

Business can be a bastard and you need to understand, analyze and properly prepare –

You’re about to step into the ring with the heavyweight of all bureaucratic bruisers and receiving a public beat down is not the right way to start anything. For this reason;

 

Before you go running into the ring you need to understand a few things

About what it means to form a business, starting with how your company will legally look. Create the go-to German company: the GmbH or its smaller sister UG, get incorporated as an LTD in the UK, or, if you want to get busy in the Land of the Free, perhaps a Delaware LLC is the way to go. Decisions, decisions, decisions. For many, it might boil down to geography: Where you are at the time of incorporation and where you come from as a founder. You should also sit down and query how you’d like to sell your product/service, where your principal market will be, how taxation will work, registration and company structure. We never said it was going to be easy. Oh, and don’t forget trademarking and intellectual property rights. Or your social security status as founder. The official stuff is important, but more important is to test your product.

 

"For many, it might boil down to geography: Where you are at the time of incorporation and where you come from as a founder"

 

After all that has been ironed-out, you should see clear skies and plain-sailing.

In terms of paper-work, at least. Then just brain-dump everything onto a nice and neat, official business plan and decide on a name. Just remember, this is how you’ll be remembered; it’ll forever remain the crux of your brand. Pick something appropriate. If you don't, you can always change it later.

 

"Decide on a name (...) it’ll forever remain the crux of your brand. Pick something appropriate."

 

The initial moments cannot be overstated.

Setting yourself up right, legally legitimate and with a comprehensive understanding of where you and your business stand is the only way to burst on to the business scene sustainably and effectively. Only then can you throw caution to the wind, kick your moving train into gear, go forth and conquer. Need a little help? Apply for a good accelerator - like the one we're doing with EY!

 

Wanna learn more and get all right from the start? Applications for the EY Start-Up Challenge are open until February 14th. Worried about travel expenses because you're not in Berlin? Travel expenses up to €7.5 K are covered.

Continue reading! 

Claudius: Design is the core of what we do and what we’re all passionate about, but hardly our only focus. Design, at LAUDO, stands more for designing a whole strategy, often very close connected with marketing. We’re developing websites and apps for our clients, but also help them reach their target audience through SEO, Google ranking developing newsletter systems, print brochures etc.

Claudius: A lot of other companies are seeing themselves as a service provider and don’t really question what their client wants and why. We pay very close attention if the work we provide for a client is in line with our personal values and vision. It’s not just delivering a product to the client, getting the pay check and leaving, but also building relationships with clients and collaborating. Because they are often our doors to new opportunities.

‘’We see LAUDO as an airport, where the clients are our gates to new guests, new perspectives and new potential clients. It happens all the time that whoever we’re working for, from there we get a new project, which wasn’t planned before. So we open up a new gate. That’s how we were able to grow and why good connection with our clients is so crucial for us.’’

Orietta: I think one thing that make us stand out on the market and our strength number one is the team. We’re a small team and we all look in the same direction and have the same approach and vision. That makes the communication go smoothly.

Joey: Another thing is that we have a very hands-on approach. We are the guys, who say: ‘’Okay, let’s do it’’. That’s our culture.

After you’ve taken care of your paperwork and you’ve signed up both in Bürger- and Finanzamt, you are all set up to start working. One of the best ways to get integrated into the city fast, meet like-minded people, and even find clients is by working from a coworking space. There are tons of benefits for freelancers and luckily Berlin has a lot to offer in this way. A coworking space is a physically collaborative shared workspace, which brings all kinds of creatives and entrepreneurs together. It’s a perfect place for startups, freelancers, digital nomads and even corporates searching for innovation. And it’s the biggest advantage towards the typical office space is that it pushes a collaborative exchange between its members and facilitates the creative process and networking.

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