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OPINION! Christopher Plantener, entrepreneur & mentor at the Startupbootcamp: "Founding a startup takes 30 minutes!"

In Copenhagen, a start-up program will help start-up companies: the winners will receive an office in Copenhagen, money for life support, a lot of advice and maybe an investor for three months. Including: The view over the rim into the Danish founding scene.


Christopher Plantener is originally from Germany and after many years of experience in the internet and advertising industry, he has founded 12 startups in Germany, Canada, Belgium and Denmark and worked in others. Today he runs his own online advertising agency Zielgut in Copenhagen and is an active mentor for Startupbootcamp. His specialty is advising Scandinavian startups and Company when entering the market and online marketing in Germany.

Mr Plantener, Startupbootcamp - sounds good, but what exactly is that?

Startupbootcamp is a founding program based in Copenhagen. The idea is to help startups within 3 months to get from the idea to the product. Until 30. June, startups or people with ideas from all over Europe can join formless application. 10 startups are then selected from all applicants.

And what is the starting point for the founders?

The winners will receive an office in Copenhagen for three months to finance some money for each team member (primarily to finance their own livelihood) and will be accompanied by a pool of 3 experienced entrepreneurs and mentors over the 100 months. On the last day, the so-called Investor Day, the start-ups have the opportunity to present your company more than 100 to European funders to get venture capital. The most successful two companies of the program may then accompany you on your US investor tour.
Because that Concept ABC School Joke Oud originally comes from the USA ( and and is very successful there. At TechStars, 600+ teams apply each year, 8 out of 10 leaving the three-month program on Investor Day with an average of $ 500.000. Many of these companies are now successful around the world.

Where does the idea come from the USA - to what extent are the Americans involved in Startupbootcamp?

Just inasmuch as Startupbootcamp is officially TechStars' first non-European partner since May 2010. This means that TechStars has recognized the program as the first European Partner Program after critical quality testing. That makes a lot easier, because now at least the best startups are open directly to the US and to US capital and mentors.

Startupbootcamp itself, however, 2009 was founded by Rainmaking and Alex Farcet, a Danish-living Frenchman and expert in the Danish start-up scene. Rainmaking is a Danish incubator who has successfully launched 5 companies in Germany since 12 years.

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Apart from the creators of ideas, who are the donors for the project and what interests do they support with their support?

Startupbootcamp is not a classic investor itself and sees itself more as a team member, but of course such a program needs financial resources. This is financed by Rainmaking and a group of Angle investors (mostly startup boot camp mentors). For funding the program and up to € 12.000 per Team Startupbootcamp gets between 5-10% of the new company.

In the vast majority of cases, the continued financing of the startups should then be guaranteed by external investors - which is why the Investor Day on the last day of the program. But there are already some VCs working as mentors in the program.
Participation in Startupbootcamp is not linked to any other conditions. If you don't need an investor or want to find one yourself, you can do that.

Sounds good, so many founders will say, and want to apply immediately. What are the requirements?

All teams across Europe (theoretically even worldwide) can apply for a good idea. The ideas often come from the internet, but that's not a requirement. But it should be ideas that can be realized within 3 months at least rudimentarily (eg no biotech ideas).

A team is typically composed of 2-3 people with the skills IT, sales and marketing. If there is a lack of competence in the team, Startupbootcamp will help to find this before. In addition to a good idea, Startupbootcamp pays particular attention to the right attitude and personality of the founders - without which Scandinavia is not believed in the success.

What about companies that have existed for some time

Even companies that have already been founded are still allowed to apply - but the process should not be too advanced.

What dates and deadlines must be considered?

The Casting runs until 30. June under, The camp will then be from August 30. October 2010 in Copenhagen. Of course, the selected teams must be in Copenhagen from the beginning of August to the end of October and be ready to continue the new company founded - this does not have to be in Denmark, by the way!

And how exactly does the program work?

After submitting the application, there will be a telephone interview and, if possible, a personal meeting. If you choose, it starts in August in Copenhagen. When looking for accommodation etc. Startupbootcamp will help.

After that 3 months 24 / 7 is worked on the product. Roughly the first month is about the strategy, in the second the realization and the third is already sold. In the first week, there is the opportunity to meet all the mentors personally and to choose the best mentor team to accompany you over the 3 months. Anyone who has specific questions or needs help can turn to the mentors at any time.

In the end there is a big final presentation for investors, mentors, friends and other members of the Scandinavian start-up scene. After that 2 start-ups go on tour to the USA and the others have hopefully enough capital, partners, customers and friends gathered to get started really.

What does all this bring to German startups?

I think just for German startups is the view over the rim to Scandinavia very interesting. Those who base their business in Germany have primarily the German market in mind. Anyone who is based in Scandinavia always has an immediate eye on the whole EU market as the home markets are much too small. Many Danish start-ups go straight to the German market but also have other markets in view and are mostly international much better networked.

Do you see fundamental differences between the founding cultures in Germany and Scandinavia?

Yes, however, there is much to learn, from the corporate culture and values ​​over drastic bureaucracy, and the startup must not take more than 30 minutes. Moreover, it is not first and foremost a question of optimizing cash flow, not only but also the human and social side.

Best example of this are the guys from Rainmaking: These are all self-made Entrepreuneurs, who wanted to do something else - and I find that you can also feel strongly in all their startups. Not only to say, but also to live is very Scandinavian and I think many German startups would be exciting.

What are your personal experiences with Startupbootcamp?

When I got to know the founder of Startupbootcamp, from the first moment I was absolutely amazed by the concept, the people, the great energy and the Network enthusiastic - that's exactly what I've always been looking for myself. 4 weeks ago I took part in a startup weekend in Copenhagen (same concept and organizer, the whole thing only compressed into 3 days): 10 teams of 10+ people set up a company in 56 hours.

What I experienced there was incredible: in 2,5 days, we raised a social media platform, built a film and presentation, had the first users, received requests from 3 investors on Sunday evening, and were 2 weeks later at GoogleVentures in California - and all this according to 56 hours of work.

Why do you think the startupbootcamp is so important for founders?

Our video was seen on Youtube for only a few hours and was seen in the time of several thousand people just because we could tap into the startupweekend community. I have already founded 5 startups, but this is probably the most overwhelming result I have ever experienced! And exactly that, now 10 can experience other startups in Copenhagen in three months - I would do it again immediately!

Because I know founder problems in different countries from my own experience, I believe that such a concept is an incredible help for people with good ideas but not so much experience! That's why I wish that this concept is known - especially in Germany.

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2 responses to “OPINION! Christopher Plantener, entrepreneur & mentor at the Startupbootcamp: "Founding a startup takes 30 minutes!" "

  1. Chris Plantener says:

    Who is interested in international entrepreneurship? More infos about the Startupbootcamp in an interview with me

  2. Simone Janson says:

    In Denmark you can set up a #Startup in 30 minutes - as #Entrepreneur Christopher Plantener tells us in an interview

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