Participation is free of charge and we don't take any equity from your business.

Hybrid format with online and on-site sessions in Bielefeld.

  Part-time with courses after working hours only.

  For single talents & teams with an early stage business idea.

Held by top entrepreneurs and experienced startup experts.

  Program language is English

YOUR PROGRAM

LEARN HOW TO BUILD A STARTUP IN ONLY 10 WEEKS.

Over the course of 10 weeks our Startup School offers a unique platform to find complementary co-founders, develop and validate business opportunities and kickstart your path into entrepreneurship. Weekly workshop sessions provide best-in-class knowledge for future tech entrepreneurs - covering the full range from ideation to funding of an early stage startup. 

The sessions are taught by experienced founders and leading startup experts. The program is divided into three thematic blocks, each consisting of digital and on-site workshops.

IDEA BLOCK
After the Idea Block you can evaluate what a successful business idea is, how to find out if there is a market and customer demand for it and what makes a successful team.‏‏‎
‏‏
BUILDING BLOCK
At the end of our Building workshops you will know how to address your ideal customer and how to get them excited about your product.


GROWTH BLOCK
After these workshops you will know what the most important operating figures of your business idea are, how you can systematically improve these figures and how to finance your company

For more details on the program and dates you can download the latest version of the schedule here:     Download Program
We will update the program schedule irregularly.

YOUR EXPERTS & LECTURERS

Georg Volwahsen_Co-Founder_bloobirds
Georg Volwahsen
Co-Founder & Country Manager Bloobirds
Georg worked for SaaS Institute, is visiting lecturer at ESADE business school, business angel and part of the founding team of bloobird. He´s a sales expert by heart.
Bianca_Praetorius_Pitch_Coach
Bianca Praetorius
Co-Founder KlimaUnion e.V. & Pitch Trainer
Bianca trained pitching at Google, Plug & Play, Bayer, Startup Bootcamp and so many more. Be sure she will be honest with you.
Jana_Goers_Owner_Zephram-1
Jana Görs
Co-Founder Zephram


Jana is computer scientist and teacher of the lean startup method for many years.
Graham_Horton_Owner_Zephram-1
Graham Horton
Co-Founder Zephram & Author of “The Founder’s Playbook”
Graham has taught the lean startup method for more than 15 years and supported thousands of startups, even more by his book “The founder’s playbook”.
Stephan_Jacquemot_Director_Education
Stephan Jacquemot
Director Education Founders Foundation & Investment Partner @ TS Ventures
Stephan was part of building the Microsoft Accelerator and has seen thousands of pitch decks and startups due to his role as Venture Partner at TS ventures.

ACADEMIC DIRECTOR //
DR. JAN BRINCKMANN

We are more than proud to have Dr. Jan Brinckmann on board as our Academic Director. Since the very beginning of the Founders Foundation Startup School Jan has been teaching our top talents the fundamentals of successful entrepreneurship. 

Jan is professor for Entrepreneurship at the ESADE Business School in Barcelona, which is among the Top 5 Business Schools worldwide, offering one of the best MBA programs for Entrepreneurship in Europe. 

Beyond that, he is active as a Business Angel and Board Member of various successful startups like Pinterest, Aklamio, Bloobirds, Pridatect, JUNIQE, Methinks.ai, among them Founders Foundation Alumni such as Valuedesk and Semalytix.

jan-brinckmann (2) (1)
jan-brinckmann (2) (1)
LogoEsade-EN

YOUR BENEFITS

COLLECT TOP EXPERTISE AND BUILD A STRONG NETWORK

PRACTICAL STARTUP KNOWLEDGE
Gain all the knowledge and skills you need to build a successful B2B Tech startup and take a stand in the international startup scene. In 10 weeks you will learn what it really means to reach the Problem-Solution-Fit and set the ground for sales and investments to go through the ceiling.
HYBRID PART-TIME PROGRAM
You can participate beside your current occupation, let it be a full-time job, a research project, a master thesis or other as the Founders Foundation Startup School is designed as a part-time program. You will benefit from digital as well as on-site workshops and meetups in Bielefeld. All sessions will take place during the week after working hours or on weekends.
B2B EXPERTISE & NETWORK
The Founders Foundation is the perfect place to build successful B2B tech companies as our region is a unique sweet spot for B2B tech startups. We have uncountable hidden champions from the German Mittelstand as well as global market leaders next door.
CO-FOUNDER MATCHING
Connect with ambitious talents with an equal mission and grow together. Joining our Startup School will be a groundbreaking step towards a powerful founding team. We match top talents by evaluating your hard and soft skills, interests and personalities before the program kicks off.
TOP EXPERTS & ENTREPRENEURS
You will learn from the best. The program is led by Prof. Dr. Jan Brinckmann, who is one of the top 5 entrepreneurship professors worldwide and Head of MBA at ESADE Barcelona. All our Startup School lecturers are experienced entrepreneurs, investors and startup experts.

FOUNDERS COMMUNITY ACCESS
You will get access to our network of highly qualified mentors and experts, industry partners, business angels and VCs. The Founders Foundation offers one of the leading organisations for startup education in Germany and is well-connected into the international startup scene.
STRONG SUPPORT & FEEDBACK
You will profit from strong support, honest feedback and new perspectives. Over the past years we have built a strong track record and supported many successful B2B startups, mainly in the fields of IoT, SaaS for automation of management processes, Industry 4.0, Crypto Currency and disrupting B2B marketplaces to get started and grow.

INFO EVENTS & MEETUPS

MEET US IN ADVANCE

STARTUP SCHOOL  // INFO EVENT

FREE ON SITE MEETUP
September 8, 2021 | 6.00 - 8.30 pm 

Want to meet us in person and learn more about the program? Then visit us in the Founders Home in Bielefeld and get first-hand insights from our alumni and meet potential fellow participants.


On-site in our Founders Home in Bielefeld:

Get to know us in advance

STARTUP SCHOOL  // INFO EVENT

FREE ONLINE MEETUP
September 23, 2021 | 6.00 - 8.30 pm

Want to learn more about the program, get to know the people behind the Founders Foundation, get first-hand insights from our alumni and meet potential fellow participants in advance?
Then register for our online Startup School meetup.

online via Zoom:
Get to know us in advance

FAQ's

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT STARTUP SCHOOL
APPLICATION PROCESS

Firstly, you fill in our application form (15 minutes). If you make it to round two, you will receive an invite-email to participate in a one-way video interview (15 minutes). Afterwards, an expert jury will assess all applications in terms of their program fit and recommend the best ones to us. As soon as we've made it through all applications you will receive a final answer from us whether you got accepted to the next program batch or not.

CORONA MEASURES

We want you to network and learn efficiently. We also want you to be safe and stay healthy. Therefore, we will ensure that every participant joining our on-site sessions in Bielefeld will be tested against the COVID-19 virus within 24 hours before each session. Of course, we take into account current regulations regarding the corona virus from the regional, federal and state government. In case carrying out on-site sessions will not be possible anymore, we will switch into a fully remote program, meaning all sessions will be held via Zoom.

CO-FOUNDER MATCHING

We match top talents by considering their hard and soft skills as well as their interests and personalities. In the very beginning of our program we provide input on what makes a successful team. Starting from there, we offer a platform and workshop sessions to make you get to know each other really well and eventually team up with complementary co-founders. You will exchange ideas, develop new ones or join an existing team that is already executing on a certain business case!

YOUR TIME COMMITMENT

There will be input workshops once or twice a week. The “real” work however, namely, work “in the market” and “on the customer” needs to be done besides that. We expect you to be ready for a couple of very intense months. You should be willing to commit around 20 hours per week for your business validation, even when you are working full-time. 10 weeks are limited and we want you to get results as quickly as possible and not waste time.

ADMISSION FEE

Every talent who convinces us and is accepted by our internal jury will receive a complete scholarship for our Founders Foundation Startup School, worth 3.000€. In other words: We won’t charge you any admission fee. In return to us investing in you, we expect nothing less than your fullest commitment and an attendance rate above 85%. This is your chance of a lifetime. So take it and appreciate it. Excuses like “I didn’t have time” or “the job..” don’t make your startup grow. Commitment is everything!

PARTICIPANTS AGE

There definitely is no “too old”. Quite the opposite: Bringing professional experience and industry expertise can be a huge advantage when founding a B2B tech startup. As long as you are seriously ambitious to start a company, the Founders Foundation Startup School is your place to go.

WORKSHOP SESSIONS

Workshops and meetups take place on a regular weekly basis. The Startup School is designed as a hybrid program which means there will be both digital workshops via Zoom and on-site sessions in our Founders Home in Bielefeld. But don’t worry – all sessions (virtual and on-site) will take place after working hours or on weekends, so everyone should be able to participate even if you have a full time job.

CODING SKILLS REQUIRED?
EDP/Tech/software knowledge is not absolutely necessary because one person never founds alone (at least in our philosophy). In the beginning of our Startup School we match complementary talents and do our best to make sure every hacker finds a hustler and/or hunter. A complementary and quick-witted team is one of the Top 3 success factors when starting a business. For this reason: Knowing your strengths but also being aware of missing competencies is a good precondition.
NO BUSINESS IDEA IN MIND

Good! As we match teams, not everyone needs an idea on hand. We do however expect open and honest interest in technological innovation. We also gather a few “sponsored ideas” from experts within our network, who become your “idea sponsor”, industry expert and mentor.

BUSINESS IDEA IN MIND

At Founders Foundation we focus on B2B business cases in particular. We want innovations that improve the lives of many and create great value. We aim for nothing less than tenfold growth. Do you, too? Make sure to tell us as much as possible about your business idea in your application.

PIVOT-READINESS

Sometimes cases do not work out right away. They might not show the potential you first saw in them. This is normal and absolutely no sign for you to give up. We want you to have an open mind, appreciate the feedback you get and take it seriously. If you then realize, it’s not working – no worries! We will assess the situation together with you and will decide whether a pivot makes sense or you might have to start all over again. And if so, that’s just the way startup life goes.​​

AFTER THE PROGRAM

… is before our Founders Lab. If your first validation has been positive and revealed real potential, of course we won’t let you down. By completing our Startup School successfully, you will be well prepared to apply for our full-time Founders Foundation Lab program. Here we offer co-working, individual mentoring and a community of like-minded founders. We continue to support you until you have reached a convincing Problem-Solution-Fit and gained first pilot-customers. Only then will you be ready to apply for our Founders Foundation Accelerator program and make your way to a scaling.

360 TALENTS
ALREADY PARTICIPATED
IN OUR STARTUP SCHOOL

85 TEAMS
WENT THROUGH OUR PROGRAM

36 STARTUPS
ACTIVELY WORKING ON THE NEXT BIG THING. 

30 MIO OF FUNDING
WERE RAISED BY OUR EDUCATION PROGRAM ALUMNI

STARTUP SCHOOL ALUMNI VOICES

Victoria Erdbrügger
Victoria Erdbrügger, Co-Founder Circuly


"Through the Startup School, not only did I get to know my co-founder Nick, but I was also able to build an enormous network consisting of other inspiring founders, startup experts and investors."
torsten-bendlin-1024x683 (1)
Torsten Bendlin, Founder & CEO Valuedesk


At Startup School, I met my two co-founders Dennis and Ingo, with whom I still successfully run our company today. Without the Founders Foundation, many things would not have been possible. I can only warmly recommend the Startup School.
Jean_Michel_Diaz_Co-Founder Echometer
Jean Michel Diaz, Co-Founder Echometer


In the Startup School, you get valuable workshops from international top experts, such as Dr. Jan Brinckmann. Others have to go to the best universities in the world and spend a fortune. At Startup School, you get all of this for free!

YOUR APPLICATION

APPLY NOW AND START YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY

Please fill out the following form until September 25th 2021 to apply for the next Startup School batch #11 starting October 08th and ending December 17th, 2021.
This will take about 15 minutes. 

Elias_Weike_Program_Manager_Startup School

ELIAS WEIKE
Program Manager Founders Education

YOUR CONTACT

ANY QUESTIONS LEFT?
GET IN CONTACT WITH US!


ABOUT US

We from the Founders Foundation train the next generation of successful founders, right in the heart of the German “Mittelstand” – the family businesses, the salt-of-the-earth type companies that form the foundation of the economy. We are pioneering the training of founders using our own Founders Foundation Education Model.

By building a lasting B2B startup ecosystem, we connect New and Old Business. We help shape the digital future out of Ostwestfalen-Lippe, a region characterized by both modern urban spaces and large rural areas. For this purpose, we launched the tech conference “Hinterland of Things” in 2018.

As a non-profit organization, the core of all our efforts is a success- and impactful cultivation of tomorrow’s founders. We do not take any shares in the companies.