Hendrik Niemann participated in Batch 2021 of the High-Tech SeedLab Accelerator program and decided to leave early. In the following interview, he elaborates on why he took this step and what he takes away from the High-Tech SeedLab Accelerator program.
Hendrik, you participated in the High-Tech SeedLab Accelerator Program Batch 2021. What are your experiences from participating?
I have been a participant in the High-Tech SeedLab Accelerator Program since February 2021. I have already been working on my project since 2020. In the High-Tech SeedLab program, I have developed my project further and personally developed myself through the workshops and the exchange with the team. Especially the regular Jour Fixe with the Startup Coach, the conversation was constructive to push my project and develop my product further. In the various workshops, I learned a lot of new things, but I was also able to deepen my existing knowledge and ask specific questions.
You decided to leave the High-Tech SeedLab program two months before the end. What are your reasons for this decision?
In my project, I was very successful initially and was able to develop an MVP of my product. To verify my product idea, I conducted many interviews with potential customers. The feedback from these interviews was different from what I expected. Unfortunately, I did not confirm my previously prepared market and needs analysis. Based on this feedback, I adapted my product but concluded that there were no veritable monetization models. As a result, after much deliberation, I decided not to continue with my project. That was not an easy decision.
You were part of the High-Tech SeedLab Accelerator program as a single founder. To what extent did that influence your project?
For me, being a single founder was ambivalent. On the one hand, I was free in my decisions and could implement steps without long discussions. On the other hand, it was not always easy not to have feedback from a partner when I was unsure which action to take or how to decide on a question. The High-Tech SeedLab team and the Accelerator Program participants were good conversation and sparring partners. Still, they could not take the position of a co-founder or team member. The workload was 100% on me. It was not always easy to fill all company functions.
I felt comfortable in the single founder position, but I also see many advantages in founding as a team.
You started a project, founded a startup and decided to exit it. Will your startup journey continue, or is that it for you?
My startup journey will continue with another project. I have networked very well in the Berlin startup scene over the last few years. I got in touch with a team looking for support for their Startup in my network. After some discussions, we decided that I would support the Startup as co-founder and Head of Product after leaving the High-Tech SeedLab Accelerator program.
I am looking forward to this opportunity and the challenge it brings.