Key Learnings: Mentoring Startups at CeBIT 2015
The ambiance at CeBIT 2015; the world’s largest technology fair, was lively with innovation, enthusiasm and creativity. Heinz Paul, CEO of GUS-Group AG&Co had reached out to me earlier last year, with this great opportunity to become a formal mentor within the mentorship program for the German Startups Association, headed by Florian Nöll as the Chairman of the Board.
I am always grateful for opportunities to give back, as I have been involved in building businesses inside the technology realm for over 25 years, and I have been fortunate to get to where I am today with my own business.
The leaders and CEO’s from the German Startups Association, encouraged me to share my key learnings with the startups that were attending CeBIT; a well-organized technology fair in Germany.
When you get a bunch of start-up technology businesses and mentors together, who are enthusiastic about technology, you are bound to come across some new ideas, engaging discussions and honest exchanges about lessons learned and challenges overcome. I truly believe that, “Mentoring is a two way street, and we must learn from each other in order to continuously grow and improve our businesses.”
Startups tend to have a tremendous amount of energy, as they are always looking for new ways to drive their business forward and approach business challenges; which makes them an exciting bunch to interact with. This was also a great opportunity for me to learn from them about the new techniques they were applying towards achieving growth for their own businesses in areas such as, digital marketing and branding, and understanding the challenges they were facing in building a business based in Europe; due to the language and cultural diversities that exist within the European countries.
I was also delighted to see the immense amount of support and encouragement that the German government, through the German Startups Association gave them; by investing a large amount of resources and time in helping them grow their businesses. I also got to meet some of the mid-sized businesses that seemed very long-term oriented and deeply cared about their customers, just as we do at Volaris. It was also encouraging to see that many of the challenges faced by some of these mid-sized businesses were similar to the challenges faced by the businesses within The Volaris Group.
In my personal opinion, the CeBIT technology fair did a great job in facilitating the exchange of knowledge, by providing an innovative platform for start-up technology businesses from different walks of life, and in different growth stages to interact with each other, share ideas, and learn from each other in the process.