Two online lectures were initiated by the goHfG Gründungsoffensive at the Hochschule für Gestaltung.
Nisha Munzig kicked off the event with a presentation on crowdfunding. In her lecture, Ms. Munzig conveyed to the nearly 40 participating students this type of project financing, which presents itself as a real alternative to the well-known financing methods. There are now over 150 crowdfunding platforms in Germany.
Nisha Munzig is a crowdfunding enthusiast and founder of HALLOCROWDFUNDING. Ms. Munzig is the go-to person in southern Germany when it comes to crowdfunding. With her company HALLOCROWDFUNDING, she offers individual coaching as well as workshops and lectures. She also works as a startup coach at the Generator Startup Center at the Hochschule der Medien.
In crowdfunding, the crowd decides whether a project will be realized, as the initiators of a project go directly to the public to convince and reach enough interested parties as investors for funding. For the students, Ms. Munzig had an expert tip for students who want to found their own start-up: By presenting the projects on the platform, this tool also offers itself as a market test for project ideas. The crowd provides direct feedback that can be used as product improvement. How a successful crowdfunding campaign succeeds was shown by Nisha Munzig in her presentation: Special attention should be paid to communication. An own network, multipliers, online and offline marketing are essential, because „crowdfunding is not a self-runner“, the expert knows. Furthermore, she advises a structured preparation time. „The success of a crowdfunding campaign lies in good preparation,“ says Munzig.
Another tip from the crowdfunding expert is to learn from other crowdfunding projects, look at them or join one yourself. „Tell your own story, that’s what makes you authentic and what builds trust“ Ms. Munzig encourages the students.
The second lecture dealt with property rights. Bernd Häußler heads the search center at the Baden-Württemberg Patent and Trademark Center in Stuttgart and had a lot of suggestions, tips and tricks for students who see starting a business as an option.
At the Patent and Trademark Center there are many free offers: Information, searches, lectures and workshops. Furthermore, an initial consultation on property rights is free of charge. „At the beginning, a telephone call to the Patent and Trademark Center or a short legal consultation with a patent attorney is sufficient“ Mr. Häußler revealed to the more than 45 participants. He further advises „Start-ups should be able to deal with industrial property rights and therefore research in advance whether the design, trademark, business model, service concept or technology already exists“, said Häußler. Furthermore, they should know and be able to delineate the characteristics and differences and make a conscious decision pro or contra IP rights, „because a patent is public and accessible to everyone, whereas secrecy is not,“ says the expert. Secrecy makes sense when the invention is no longer recognizable to a product.
„Especially start-ups, should inform themselves early on about protection options, all the better if you do not need them at all. But even a presentation, pitch, prototyping, etc., can pose a risk without the right precautions,“ Mr. Häußler encouraged the students, adding to drop an application for an IP right in the Patent and Trademark Center’s mailbox the night before the big pitch.
Using a technical device as an example, Mr. Häußler had impressively and very vividly gone through all the IP rights and expressed the need to precisely define and describe features and characteristics of a product idea or to submit a detailed drawing. This bibliographic information is laid down in the patent specifications. In principle, however, freedom of imitation applies in Germany and protection is territorially limited.
Both speakers had compiled a lot of tips and tricks from practice for the students and repeatedly included them in their presentations, as well as having the appropriate answers ready for the numerous questions.