Acceleration Program Startup Live Aims To Be The First Stepping Stone Of Aspiring Entrepreneurs

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With a network of 10.000 participants and 500 mentors in 61 cities across Europe, Startup Live has been the starting point for many success stories. We spoke to Managing Partner Tanja Sternbauer to find out more about the acceleration program.

How would you describe Startup Live in a few words?

Startup Live is the leading acceleration program in Europe connecting entrepreneurial minds worldwide. At Startup Live we believe our generation faces challenges that can only be solved through innovative, entrepreneurial action. That’s why we are dedicated and passionate about empowering individuals, their ideas, and their organizations.

Acceleration Program Startup Live Aims To Be The First Stepping Stone Of Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Tanja Sternbauer, Managing Partner at Startup Live

What is your role at Startup Live and how did you get involved?

I’m Managing Partner of Startup Live, responsible for Marketing & Branding, the Program Management, and Finance. I pitched my own startup idea some years ago on the stage of a Startup Live program, experiencing first-hand how valuable it was. After selling the business I got the possibility to shape the European startup ecosystem in my current position at Startup Live.

Startup Live has many alumni to show for, some of which include Runtastic, Shpock, and mySugr. In what ways has your program helped them develop and grow?

Startup Live Program enables thriving entrepreneurs to develop their startup ideas into solid businesses by connecting them with a network of resources, industry experts, and investors. Our intense programs run for 2-3 days support startup founders with customer exploration, idea validation, business modeling and pitch training while connecting them with the local startup community.

In the past nine years, you’ve grown to a network of 10.000 participants and 500 mentors in 61 cities across Europe, delivering 1.000 pitches. What do you think makes your concept so successful?

Startup Live shapes European ecosystems since 2009 – that means not only almost 10 years of know-how around starting a startup but also an extensive network of industry experts and investors in Europe and beyond. In some ecosystems, Startup Live was the first acceleration program of its kind and therefore contributed to a lot of local success stories.

You “strive to be the first stepping stone of every aspiring entrepreneur helping them to succeed”. What can aspiring entrepreneurs expect from your weekend-long programs?

At a Startup Live Program, aspiring entrepreneurs will get insights into how to build their own businesses, starting with customer exploration, idea validation, different aspects of their business models, and of course how to pitch an investor. As we are working together with industry experts which guide through the Program, that way entrepreneurs instantly connect with the local ecosystem, meeting all relevant stakeholders.

Who are the people that join Startup Live? What’s their background and which industries are they active in?

When it comes to backgrounds: We have a very international crowd, their age ranging from 16 to 60 years, from IT to business, design to marketing. What all our participants have in common is the interest in the startup scene.

What’s special in our Programs is, that not only entrepreneurs can participate to shape their ideas, but also enthusiasts which want to contribute with their own know-how and experience. It’s a great opportunity to dive into the startup scene, learn new skills and expand one’s own network.

As you’ve heard and given numerous pitches yourself: What’s the crucial factor in making it a success?

In short: Stand out, know your audience, your customer and know your numbers. Traction always helps.

With the insane growth of accelerator programs joining the ecosystem – how do you make sure you stand out?

Startup Live Programs are the entry point for entrepreneurs, we encourage founders to join our Programs in order to get started and find their way into the scene. Once participated we are happy to forward our alumni teams to more specialized incubators or accelerators.

You have a variety of upcoming programs, including events in Munich, Vienna, and Tirana. What can you tell us about them? What can people expect?

No matter where our Programs take place, our high-quality standards are the same. Participants can expect state-of-the-art tools & resources, handpicked mentors which are experts in their fields, an experienced investors jury and an amazing experience with an outstanding crowd eager to change the world together. No matter in which city participants join, they will become part of our Startup Live Family, profiting from our Alumni network, our partner offers, and services on an European level.

What are some of the most impactful innovations we will see in the near future, in your opinion?

Blockchain technology will change a lot in the near future, disrupting existing industries and tapping into new markets. Our Focus Programs also concentrate on upcoming industries, e.g FinTech, Mobility, Health or InsurTech.

What’s next for Startup Live?

There will be up to 40 Programs taking place in European cities this year. We will also focus on bringing our know-how and network online, providing similar services to our community online on top of our local Programs.



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