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 personal 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 from international companies. Partners included companies such as Axel Springer, HRS Hotels or Scanbot who shared their views and experiences about 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 regarding startup affairs. In the past, he often shared his latest insights at various startup events. Here are a few of the key learnings he talked about as a keynote speaker at this year’s EBSpreneurship Forum: 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. Be aware that being an entrepreneur does not only require being passionate about your idea but also for 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 mastering all tasks alone is almost impossible. Know your weak spots and ask for professional help where needed. Focus on your key competencies and things you are really passionate about. Avoid trying to do it all alone you will most probably end 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 find 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 personal appointments, workouts or meetings with family and friends in your work calendar.
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 the mistake to solely define themselves as their startup’s success. 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! Currently, Scanbot offers a B2C product – the world’s leading and award-winning mobile document scanner app Scanbot with more than 10 million downloads on iOS & Android worldwide and a B2B product. 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 the Scanbot technology into their applications. With famous Fortune 500 and DAX 30 clients, the Scanbot software now improves tens of millions of lives every month by offering the smoothest workflows for digitizing and working with documents all over the world.