Start up success – Secrets from Scanbot's CEO Christoph Wagner

November 8, 2018

Globally, entrepreneurship has turned into an emerging trend. But while more and more people decide to found their own business, 9 out of 10 startups fail. Numbers like this demonstrate that cases of startup failures are skyrocketing while true success stories are few. So how to stay ahead in the startup game? Scanbot CEO Christoph Wagner sheds light on this question and reveals his startup success factors at the EBSpreneurship Forum 2018.

EBSpreneurship Forum 2018

On October 19th and 20th, 2018, the 10th EBSpreneurship Forum took place at the EBS University. This year, 500 participants from 20 nations came together to network, discover, and exchange ideas. Throughout the event, various discussions, speeches, and workshops provided valuable opportunities to get in touch with and learn from industry experts, managers, and CEOs of international companies. Partners included companies such as Axel Springer, HRS Hotels, or Scanbot, who shared their views and experiences regarding entrepreneurship with several hundred international business students and graduates. Due to Scanbot’s own startup success story and many years of experience, it was a primary interest to sponsor the EBSpreneurship 2018 as a Platinum Partner and share personal key learnings with future entrepreneurs.

Christoph’s key takeaways

With more than 12 years of experience in being an entrepreneur, Co-Founder, and CEO, Christoph is an expert for startup affairs. In the past, he often shared his latest insights at various startup events. These are the main tips he gave to the future entrepreneurs as a keynote speaker at this year’s EBSpreneurship Forum: 

  1. Creating a startup is an opportunity and a challenge at the same time. Therefore, enjoy the ride and embrace the principle “Love it, change it, or leave it.” Of course, one of the key factors when starting a business is passion.
  2. Be aware that being an entrepreneur does not only require being passionate about your idea but also about all the other tasks that come with it. These tasks include people management, sales, marketing, accounting, etc. and mastering all respective business functions. But don’t worry, we all know that nobody is perfect, and learning all the tasks alone is almost impossible. 
  3. Know your weak spots and ask for professional help where needed. Focus on your key competencies! Avoid trying to do it all alone; you will most probably end up being a master of none.

Working smart vs. working hard

Working smart brings you way further than only working hard. This includes structuring your day around your energy peaks and lows. Tasks requiring a high amount of concentration or creativity should be scheduled during your peak times while repetitive administrative tasks can also be accomplished during your energy lows. Nobody can be productive 24/7, so allow yourself to take breaks once in a while.

Furthermore, finding a suitable work-life balance matters. You will only see this balance if you make room for social activities and the things that matter to you in your private life. Hence, devote enough attention to your personal needs and know your breaking point. If you do not take care of yourself, nobody else will — Block time for individual appointments, workouts, or meetings with family and friends in your work calendar.

Embracing challenges

Often young entrepreneurs invest a majority of their time and resources into founding a startup. As business creation becomes such a focal point in their lives, many founders make a mistake to define themselves as their startup’s success solely. Instead, it is essential to keep in mind that your startup’s identity is not tied to your self-worth. This becomes especially important when things don’t work out the way you planned them. Don’t take failures too personal. Try to perceive them as an opportunity to learn from and grow. And when goals are reached, don’t forget to celebrate with the ones who supported you.

Scanbot’s startup success story

Even though startup success stories are few, they do exist for sure! The B2B product, called Scanbot SDK, enables companies to easily integrate document scanning and data extraction functionalities into their applications. Christoph and his team were able to attract billion-dollar companies to integrate Scanbot technology into their applications. With famous Fortune 500 and DAX 30 clients, the Scanbot software now improves millions of lives every month by offering the smoothest workflows for digitizing and working with documents all over the world.

If you want to get to know us a bit more, feel free to check out our blog posts about privacy and the current COVID-19 crisis!

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