EXPERT ADVICE FOR THE START-UP PROCESS
The Worldfactory team provides individual, yet structured support for start-ups. We are guided by Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas model, which means that we work on the individual start-up tasks according to this scheme. The Lean Canvas is ideal for planning young business models and assessing their potential at an early stage. We have added the field of “team” to the classic model, because it is just as important for success as the business idea.
How does the consultancy process work?
Based on your enquiry via email, contact form or social media, the coaches will assess the stage your team is at and the requirements for the initial consultation.
- Do you have general questions and are looking for guidance? The general initial consultation will help you get started and, if necessary, refer you to our network partners for further advice or brainstorming.
- Have you already formulated your start-up idea, drawn up a business plan or worked out other basics? In the structured initial consultation, we explain the start-up requirements and assist in the evaluation of your business model.
- Have you already created a Lean Canvas? Then send it to us before the initial consultation, even if it is not yet complete. It helps the coaches to assess your idea and your stage in the start-up process. It is best to send the files at least one day before your appointment so that the coaches have time to reflect on them. You can find the Lean Canvashere.
- We always consult in pairs and try to match the selection of coaches to the needs of the teams. The two coaches will support you until you leave the Worldfactory. In addition, you will be working with other staff members during the founding process.
- • Once you have officially set up your company, we can no longer provide you with our services free of charge. But don’t worry – if you don’t have enough money to pay for our services, we are happy to offer you barter deals: You get our services (consulting, coaching, space or infrastructure) and we get a corresponding service from you: for example, consulting for other founding teams, mentoring, lectures or similar. Contact us to find out more.
Step by step to progress
Together with your coaches, you define the goals of your start-up consultation (business model development, marketing strategy, financing planning, funding applications, etc.) in a coaching agreement and arrange regular follow-up appointments. To guarantee the progress of the start-up project, but still adapt its pace to your studies or academic projects, you agree on individual task packages from time to time (e.g. “formulate problems more precisely and cut them down them to three”). If you need support in working out the individual task packages, either the coaches themselves or professional advisors or network partners in workshops, expert consultations, etc. are at your disposal.
We recommend our regular pitch trainings, sales trainings and organisational development workshops to every team. Additional expert advice is organised by the coaches individually – and of course it can also be requested by the team. The WSC works with consultants from all relevant fields; for specific questions, we also look for other experts if necessary.
Putting it to the test: the prototype
To test whether your solution works, you may need to create a prototype. The RUB-Makerspace team will support you in building it, so we’ll put you in touch with Florian Krohm-Braukmann in due course. We will then continue with the Lean Canvas – and the results of the prototype tests will of course be incorporated. To learn more, you can view our product design canvas here.
- We want to raise awareness for start-ups, but we don’t want to talk people into setting up a business.
- We don’t make any assessments about the success of a business model.
- We are independent and not looking to gain any profit, which is why we don’t request any shares in the businesses or invest privately.
- The information provided to us on business models, business plans, etc. is treated confidentially, also in relation to Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
- We operate in a solution-oriented and economically sustainable manner.
- We work in a user-centred way, i.e. we adapt our activities to the requirements of the founders and not vice versa.
- We strive to achieve a balance between studying resp. working at the university and setting up a business.
- We can’t advise on legal or tax matters, but only point you in the right direction.
- We support everyone equally, regardless of their degree programme, hierarchical level, industry or technology. Every founder has the right to correct and fair a consultation.
- As a member of the Univercity network, we also provide consultancy to non-RUB students and researchers, as long as our workload permits it.
- We don’t make any agreements with consultants and other third parties in order to refer founders to them and gain financial profit or any other advantage. All referrals/recommendations are always made with the founders in mind.
- As a team, we don’t work against each other, but with each other, in order to offer our founders the best possible advice.
- If we’re out of our depth, we’re out of our depth. But we look for someone who knows what to do and get them in touch with you if we can.
Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, many things are simpler in practice! And with your coaches, you will always have people at your side who will prepare and guide you competently through all challenges of your start-up.