Building a tech startup – lessons learned

The biggest challenges when building up a tech startup

After several years of start-up experience in Tel Aviv/Israel and after spending a few years in advertisement, Mimi Sewalski works now as CEO of Avocadostore.de. Avocadostore.de was founded 2010 and is Germanys biggest online Marketplace for sustainable products, which are presented by more than 600 retailers, often start-ups themselves. Mimi accompagnied many of them over the last years and can share their experiences.

In this talk Mimi Sewalski CEO of Avocadostore.de will share her insights and lessons learned in building a tech startup and an online market place for eco fashion.

What are the biggest challenges when building up a tech startup?

For sure in Hamburg, and I think all over Germany and Europe, it is hard to find developers. First of all the demand for developers is higher than the supply. As a startup, you sometimes cannot offer the same wages and working conditions as bigger companies. But, startups can often offer freedom and straight ways of communication and low hierarchies.

As CEO of an online marketplace, you must always keep up with digital progress in order to offer your customers the best possible customer experience. How do you stay up to date and how do you decide which IT measures should or must be implemented? And what not?

Indeed sometimes not that easy. Building up a tech startup also often means to have little budgets but thousands of ideas and To-Do’s. As a consequence you become master of prioritisation and some questions are answered easy. What also helps is to have a mixed team of more and less experienced people. That way you can count on experience but also on innovation. I also always work with freelancers in combination with a stable team. A good way to stay updated and have a view beyond one’s own nose.

 What have been your most important learnings so far when setting up or accompanying tech startups? What are your tips to aspiring founders?

It is very helpful to have a good network. The more diverse, the better. Do not only meet other startups, but also people from well established companies. It helped Avocadostore immensely to have a Hamburg network of former founders and businessangels who, if they could not help out themselves, always had a good recommendation or contact. The second thing I learnt is, how important timing and flexibility is. Don’t stick too much to your plan, stay agile and be open to give up your roadmap completely in order to do what now, in that moment, is the thing, that helps your company the most.

At herCAREER we foster the exchange of information and experience that build on the personal experiences and expertise of the sparrings partners. What are topics that you would be comfortable to be a sparringspartner before / during / after the fair?

  • HR
  • Scrum/Agile
  • Sustainability

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