A few sleepless nights and a lot of coffee. Attention to every detail and all-changing decisions. Sticky notes on boards, walls and even ceilings – literally everywhere. Courage to pivot and iterate. Big pressure for startups and extremely high expectations from mentors. Five full days of hard work and incredible results. All of this at :agile accelerator’s Launchpad with Google that took place the second week of March in the city of startups – Düsseldorf.
First launched in Israel in December 2012, the Google Launchpad mentorship program is a one week boot camp helping early stage startups to develop their businesses. “It is Google’s global and community driven startup programme”, explains Marc C. Lange, the head mentor and organiser of the Launchpad. “As my friend once said, it transforms something that has been hand-holding in the past into something close to a science”.
For guidance ranging from advice on customer journeys to marketing growth strategies, 12 startups have gathered at co-working space super7000 from March 6 to 10 to learn from experts with an outstanding level of expertise in their fields.
Selected startups came from various areas; from software and grid solutions to e-mobility and health care. Being coached by nearly 30 carefully chosen mentors they all had the same goal – to achieve a rapid progress in a very short period of time.
The Launchpad focused on four core subjects that are essential for every business: technology, product strategy, user interface and user experience and marketing. Dedicating one day of the boot camp for each, the organisers devoted Friday to legal issues, HR and finance – areas that are fundamental, but often not enough elaborated due to time pressure.
"Launchpad experience was very positive for the development of our startup," says Cedric Ceulemans, a team member of Qmod - an energy game for kids. "We were lucky enough to have mentors who helped us not only to reflect on, but also build upon our concept."
Learnings of the Launchpad are countless. There are three main things, however, we hope every startup will take with it: