1. Why did you found your startup, which problem do you address and how do you solve it?
Many companies want to find new customers, talk to partners and find high quality job candidates. All of these target groups can be found on social media. Yet companies fail to use their most valuable asset when it comes to promoting their business: Their own employees.
We are building a SaaS-platform to enable employee advocacy by turning regular employees into active brand advocates.
Employees can create and share company-approved content on their own social media networks with just one click – and will get rewarded and appreciated for it.
2. What gave you the idea to found Winstate?
While working at different companies, we realized how hard it is to find and share company-approved content. We just couldn’t understand: Why do marketing departments create all these fancy-shmancy images, stories and videos, but there isn’t an easy solution for employees to use these resources?
3. What was the most valuable advice somebody gave to you during your foundation phase?
The most valuable advice was to test our hypotheses. It is totally okay to pivot and see your hypotheses fail. The only important thing is that you arrive at a firm conclusion at the end. At the beginning, we also went through several pivots until we finally arrived at a product that resonates with the people we talk to.
It can be tempting to jump to a conclusion without testing it out – but even the most obvious things may turn out differently if you take the time to listen to your customers and test your hypotheses.
4. What are your learnings so far?
When building a startup, you have to act quickly – but sometimes, you have to be patient as well. For example, after we had sent out our pitch deck, we changed things around and sent it out again – and then again and again. We were too impatient. That’s something to keep in mind: Don’t rush everything.
5. If a team: where did you meet?
Ben and Thomas met many years ago when working at the Volkswagen Group – Lukas and Thomas know each other for more than 15 years. We’re a pretty good fit: Thomas comes up with all these crazy ideas, Ben is a master in making it look nice, and Lukas transforms it all into genius code.
6. Do you still have a proper social life since the founding?
We love what we do and have built our company on friendship. So social life and work life mix up together quite well.
7. If you could start all over again, would you do it the exact same way?
Probably not. By talking to many different people, we learned so much – having that knowledge early on, we would have made a few things differently.
For example, we would have put a stronger emphasis on building our network. We knew it was important, just not as important. There are always new things to learn. But if you have everything at your disposal from the ground up, where would be the fun?
8. Where do you see your startup in 3 years?
Of course, we’re aiming to grow, move to a bigger office, employ more people and have a good time. As we are industry and market agnostic, we can scale into many different countries. In three years time, we want to have a stable standing in Europe so that we can tackle other continents as well.
9. Do you have an office cat/doc/turtle..?
Not yet, but we’d like to have bunnies. Ben has two of those at home. If you had a bad day, just pick’em up and cuddle!
10. If an Investor gave you 250.000 Euro what would you do with the money?
We would definitely employ more techies and spend some on paid ads. We’re currently building out our MVP – but afterwards, we want to scale quickly. There is a huge potential in additional markets moving forward. Our SaaS solution will come with a self-service-online-checkout, so it’s really all about reaching our target audience and adding on essential features.